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Finland sees hottest June on record

There were 25 'heatwave' days during June.

Ihmisiä uimarannalla.
The average temperature throughout the country in June was 16.5 degrees, beating the previous high of 16.2 degrees set in 1953. Image: Otso Ritonummi / Yle

Last month was the warmest June in Finnish meteorological measurement history, according to data published by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) on Thursday.

Temperatures exceeded 25 degrees Celsius on 25 days during the month.

The average temperature throughout the country in June was 16.5 degrees, the highest number since records began in 1844, beating the previous high of 16.2 degrees set in 1953.

The south of the country experienced 10 more days of 'heatwave' -- when the mercury climbs above 25 degrees -- than usual, the data also revealed. The average temperature recorded at Helsinki's Kaisaniemi measuring station was 19.3 degrees, which is the highest ever average reading.

This trend was reflected across the country, as almost all regions had either a record-breaking or exceptionally warm month of June.

The FMI emphasised that meteorologists only use the word 'exceptional' (or poikkeuksellinen in Finnish) when the statistical occurrence of a meteorological phenomenon happens on average three times or less over a one hundred year period.

The highest temperature last month, 33.6 degrees, was recorded near the town of Parikkala, South Karelia on 22 June. This measurement fell just short of breaking or equalling Finland's all-time June record temperature, 33.8 degrees Celsius, set in Ähtäri, Southern Ostrobothnia in 1935.

Responding to a question about what caused the exceptionally high temperatures, FMI researcher Mika Rantanen told Yle that it is important to make one thing clear: Climate change alone does not cause meteorological phenomena.

Researchers and scientists are often asked whether a heat wave or a particular storm was caused by climate change, Rantanen added.

"It's a bit of a poorly phrased question," he said. "Instead, one should ask how climate change affected the intensity of the heat wave? Climate change is just one of the underlying factors."

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