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As the continent swelters, snow falls in Finnish Lapland

Snow fell in Kilpisjärvi on Saturday, and night frosts are possible in central Finland.

A snow flurry hit Kilpisjärvi on Saturday. Image: Traffic Management Finland

As most of the rest of Europe suffers record heat, Finland's weather is quite different. On Saturday, wet snow fell around 4 pm in the village of Kilpisjärvi. It's located in the municipality of Enontekiö at the top of Finnish Lapland's northwestern arm, close to the borders with Norway and Sweden.

There was little accumulation from the flurry, which was recorded by a traffic camera on European route E8, a road that extends from Turku, southwest Finland, up to Tromsø, northern Norway, also known as the Four Winds' Road. Near the village, the route reaches an elevation of 565.8 metres, the highest point in the Finnish road system.

Yle meteorologist Matti Huutonen says that sleet or snow is not uncommon in the far north-west of the country during the summer, falling about once a month on average.

"Kilpisjärvi is so high up, right next to the Norwegian mountains, that cold air comes down from the Arctic Sea, which sometimes condenses and falls as snow or sleet," he explains.

Kilpisjärvi's daily mean temperature in June is 7.5 degrees Celsius. From October through April, the mean temperature remains below freezing.

Huutonen says that unsettled, cool weather is in store for Lapland this week, so hikers and campers should prepare for all kinds of conditions.

-2.4 C in Jyväskylä

The chilly weather is not restricted to Finnish Lapland. There was frost early Saturday as far south as Jyväskylä where the temperature sank to -2.4, the same as in Kainuu. Meanwhile Salla, eastern Lapland, reported readings of -2.9.

Warmer weather is set to flow into southern Finland on Monday, with temperatures expected to reach the 25-degree mark in the southeast. Nights may be uncomfortably warm and humid.

The northwestern arm will however remain wet and chilly, with temperatures remaining in the single digits.

On Friday, France reached its highest recorded temperature ever, 45.9 degrees Celsius. At least six deaths in southern Europe have been attributed to the heatwave.