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40-degree temperature gap between northern and southern Finland

On Sunday lows in the far north fell to –37.7 degrees Celsius and hovered around five degrees above zero in the south.

Näkymä Utsjoelta.
Utsjoki during the period of polar night, when the sun does not rise above the horizon. Image: Esko Jämsä / AOP

Winter temperatures reached their lowest level this winter when the mercury dropped to 37.7 degrees below freezing in Kevojärvi in Utsjoki on Sunday morning.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute, FMI, said that later on Sunday morning, the cold dug in a bit deeper as temperatures slipped down to 37.9 degrees below.

The temperature in Finland’s northernmost municipality had been inching downwards overnight, as tabloid daily Iltalehti reported a record of minus 37.5 degrees during Saturday night.

There has been a yawning gap in the overall temperature difference across Finland this weekend, with mild conditions holding sway in the south even as the north finds itself in a wintry grip. Overnight temperatures on the south coast hovered around five degrees above zero compared to Utsjoki's -37-degree deep freeze.

The temperature variations come as Finland experiences its mildest winter in 100 years, while average temperatures in January have so far been up to 10 degrees warmer than usual.

Biting cold to continue in the far north

While the south contended with overnight showers on the weekend, northeast Finland and southern Lapland experienced heavy snow flurries. By eight o’clock Sunday morning these regions had been blanketed in 12 centimetres of new snow, and up to 15 centimetres during the previous 24 hours.

On Sunday morning meteorologists were predicting more snowfall across a zone stretching from Ostrobothnia in the west to central Lapland. Drizzles were in the forecast for regions further south.

However conditions were expected to clear Sunday evening in southern and central Finland, where daytime highs are projected to reach five degrees Celsius.

Dense snowfall in northern Ostrobothnia, Kainuu and central Lapland is expected to subside during the course of Sunday, starting in the west.

The forecast for northern Lapland is for dry conditions with partly cloudy skies and temperatures ranging from minus 10 to minus 20 degrees Celsius.

Residents of the far north can expect the frigid –30-degree-below conditions to continue.

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