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Lappeenranta sees 'first snow' of Finnish summer

The recent cold snap is likely to continue into next week, with average temperatures set to be about 3-4 degrees Celsius cooler than normal for this time of year.

The city of Lappeenranta in southeast Finland saw snowfall of 5 centimetres on Friday morning.
Yle News

Residents of the city of Lappeenranta in southeast Finland woke up to an unexpected sight — for the month of June — on Friday morning, as about 5 centimeters of snow had fallen in the area overnight.

A total of three hours of snowfall left a light covering of the white stuff over the city, giving an appearance more usually associated with late autumn than the first week of summer.

The Finnish term ensilumi (first snow) is also generally more commonly used later in the year, than on 2 June.

Temperatures in the city, as well as in many other areas across eastern and central parts of the country, were barely above zero on Friday morning.

Vaahteranlehtiä, joiden päällä on lunta.
Snowfall weighing heavily on this maple tree in Lappeenranta. Image: Petri Kivimäki / Yle
Ruka 2.6.2023
There was heavy snowfall on Friday in Ruka, near Kuusamo, in eastern Finland. Image: Ensio Karjalainen / Yle

Summer in Finland has got off to a chilly and overcast start, with meteorologists saying that there is very little change in sight, at least in the short- to mid-term forecast.

The unseasonably colder conditions are expected to continue until Midsummer week, with average temperatures likely to be about 3-4 degrees Celsius cooler than normal until then.

Lunta auton tuulilasilla kesäkuussa Lappeenrannassa.
A car covered in snow in Lappeenranta on Friday morning, where snow ploughs were required to clear some city streets. Image: Mikko Savolainen / Yle

Impact on berry harvests, potatoes, flowers

The cold snap will have an adverse effect on berry harvests this summer, especially blueberries, researchers noted.

Rainer Peltola of the Natural Resources Institute Finland told Yle that the cooler temperatures will damage the flowers that produce the blueberry crop, leading to a much leaner harvest.

Kieloja, joiden päällä on lunta.
The colder conditions will affect berry crops. Image: Petri Kivimäki / Yle
Orvokki, jossa on lunta päällä.
A viola plant covered in snow. Image: Petri Kivimäki / Yle

The cooler start to summer will also affect potato crop production, Proagria specialist Netta Leppäranta said, as the vegetable will not grow as fast as it would in warmer conditions.

However, Leppäranta still believes that domestically-grown potatoes will be available by Midsummer.

Pieni lumipeite heinikon päällä Lappeenrannassa kesäkuussa.
Snow on the ground in Lappeenranta. Image: Mikko Savolainen / Yle
Rukan Juhannuskallio 2.6.2023. Lunta satoi edellisenä yönä.
Snow-covered trees on a slope. Image: Ensio Karjalainen / Yle

Olga Libniskaja from the Bishop's Garden (Piispan Puutarha) in the city of Kotka told Yle that the colder temperatures will slow down the blooming of some summer flowers, as they will stay in bud for longer than normal.

"If it were warmer, they would be in bloom already," she said.

Harapaisen kentällä sataa lunta kesäkuussa 2023.
A sports ground in Lappeenranta covered in snow. Image: Mikko Savolainen / Yle

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