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January already 10 degrees warmer than usual in Finland

The new decade is off to a warmer-than-usual start, with more above-average highs expected on Wednesday.

Ulkoilijoita lumettomassa Helsingissä uudenvuodenpäivänä.
On Wednesday evening, parts of Finland will be as warm as some areas in Central Europe. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Meteorologists are forecasting more unseasonably warm weather on Wednesday as warm air currents sweep across Finland in the days ahead. The warm gusts are expected to push daytime highs up to nine or 10 degrees Celsius in southwest Finland.

"The exceptionally warm January continues. I wouldn’t quite forecast a new heat record throughout Finland, but there may be local records," said Yle meteorologist Joonas Koskela.

So far the highest recorded temperature in January was registered in the Åland Islands in 1973, when the mercury hit 10.9 degrees.

According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, FMI, so far, January has been up to 10 degrees warmer than usual (in Finnish). The biggest deviations from average temperatures for this time of year have been in northern Ostrobothnia in the west and Kainuu in the east.

More snow up north

Finland has been split in half in terms of snow cover. There is very little of the white stuff in the south and a remarkable amount of it in the north.

That stark difference will be reinforced in the days ahead as a zone of precipitation moves across the country between Tuesday evening and Thursday.

In the south, the low pressure system will dump rain and sleet on the ground, while Lapland can expect more snow. With highs in the south veering toward 10 degrees, temperatures in Lapland will hover around 10 below freezing.

"By Wednesday morning Lapland could see up to 10 centimetres of new snowfall, with a few centimetres in the east," Koskela remarked.

Mild conditions in the south will be accompanied by high winds, with FMI issuing a storm warning for seafarers on southern eastern seas on Tuesday evening, and for northern parts of the Baltic Sea on Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening parts of Finland will be as warm as some areas in Central Europe. For example, Helsinki residents will likely enjoy temperatures of eight degrees Celsius into the evening – the same as in Istanbul in Turkey and Athens in Greece.

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