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Heat wave ends, stormy winds expected

Cooler air will push into Finland, ending the month-long period of warmth.

Pilviä järven yllä.
Winds and clouds are expected starting Monday. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

A low pressure front will make the weather much colder than in previous weeks, according to Yle meteorologist Matti Huutonen. Starting Monday temperatures will dip down to below 15 degrees Celsius.

May, 2018 will also go down in history as unusually dry and warm throughout Finland, Huutonen says. Southern and western regions have been especially low on rainfall.

"There were record-breakingly many heat wave days in May," Huutonen says. "It's usually this dry only a few times in a hundred years. Measuring stations in Helsinki and Tampere show that it last rained exactly a month ago, on 3 May."

The summer climes extended into Eastern and Northern Finland, where technically speaking more precipitation did fall – but not enough to make a splash.

"It rained about a third as much as is usual for May, around 10-30 mm," says Huutonen. "But a single downpour can bring many dozens of millimetres of water."

Forest fire risk high

Previous extra long dry spells have gone on for some five weeks. The last similar rainless season was in July, 2006.

"A dry or rainless day is counted as one where rainfall is at a maximum of 0.1 millimetres," Huutonen describes. "For instance, last night some tiny showers passed across Southern Finland, but not enough rain fell to even take a measurement."

Even though people across the country no doubt appreciate the Mediterranean weather, Finnish flora and fauna would benefit from a little rain.

"The harvest period may be cut short for farmers if the new crops don't get enough water, and as temperatures drop there is the danger of frost," Huutonen says.

Not only that, but dryness also means that the risk of forest fires still stands, and the coming winds pose a further threat.

"Hard winds may fan even small fires into dangerous blazes," Huutonen says.

Edited to reflect more accurate forecast.

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