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Cold snap cools spring prospects

Meteorologists are warning Finnish residents to brace for subzero temperatures at night. This time of year, the mercury usually only drops below freezing in Lapland.

Ihmisiä Kolilla.
Snow still blanketed the landscape in Koli, eastern Finland on Sunday. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Spring lovers are in for some disappointment this week, as temperatures are set to run colder than usual into the second week of May. According to Yle meteorologist Seija Paasonen the last time it was this cold at the same time of year was in 1999, while Lapland last saw such chilly springtime temperatures in 1995.

"Such cold period at this time of year occur two to three times in a century," Paasonen commented.

In southern and central Finland average highs should run from 12 to 15 degrees Celsius. However this week, they will barely top five to 10 degrees.

Up in the north, daytime highs are usually around five to 10 degrees Celsius at this time, but this week, they will hover between one and five degrees. Windy conditions expected in the next few days will add an unwelcome chill factor and make conditions feel two to four degrees colder.

Sleet, hail all the way down south

Lapland is still under a considerable amount of snow cover, given the time of year.

"For example, Kilpisjärvi has 106 centimetres of snow. On average, there is 15 to 50 centimetres more snow in Lapland than is common for this time. On the other hand, the snow has already melted in Torniojokilaakso," Paasonen noted.

Finland can also expect more snowfall this week, with white stuff descending on Lapland on Monday. Some precipitation – including snow – is also possible in the south early in the week.

"Sleet and hail is possible all the way down to the south. People should prepare for anything to come down from the sky," Paasonen warned.

Heavy showers will persist in the early part of the week. Current forecasts suggest drier conditions on Friday, but according to Paasonen, there is no indication that the weather will warm up noticeably anytime soon.

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