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Northern Finland takes to skis as south braces for warm spell

Skiers took to slopes Friday at the start of the winter season in northern Finland as residents in the south anticipated highs of up to 16 degrees next week.

The Ruka ski resort in Kuusamo, northern Ostrobothnia opened slopes for the start of the winter skiing season on Friday with real snow drifting down from the sky.

Friday’s flurries were a welcome addition to some 75,000 cubic metres of snow that had been spread on two slopes during the summer.

Last year the resort opened for business one day later on 6 October. This year’s season is expected to run through to May next year.

The opening is just in time for the school autumn vacation in Finland, which runs from 5 – 28 October in different phases throughout the country.

South to warm up next week

While northern Finland appears to be welcoming winter, the jet stream will cascade warm air into the south next week, pushing daytime temperatures up to 16 degrees Celsius.

Yle meteorologist Anne Borgström said however that the forecast is somewhat uncertain since it is so long-term. But she added that at the moment jet stream activity appears to be so marked that it is possible to talk about a temperature rise.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts also corroborated Borgström's cautious prediction with its outlook for the next four weeks from 8 October to 4 November. According to that forecast, the next two weeks will be warmer than usual.

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