After a spell of chilly weather, mild conditions will prevail through much of Finland over the next few days. Yle meteorologist Matti Huutonen says that the mercury will hover around the freezing point in southern and western areas through Wednesday at least. Northern Finland will see readings of just below zero Celsius. Huutonen says conditions will generally be mild and overcast.
"Most parts of the country, except for the south-west, will receive freezing rain on Tuesday, which will make the asphalt surprisingly slippery," he notes.
On Wednesday, Finnish Lapland may receive some flurries, but otherwise little or no precipitation is in sight for the rest of the week.
Colder this weekend
On Thursday temperatures will remain around the freezing point on the west coast, with slightly chillier readings elsewhere. Most pupils in southern Finland begin their 'ski holiday' this weekend, when subzero temperatures are set to return to the south.
"It will be a few degrees below zero in the south this weekend," predicts Huutonen. "Temperatures will be somewhere around -5 in the north."
Huutonen says that those on ski vacation next week should have "proper winter weather" in store whether they stay close to home or head further north. The preliminary forecast calls for temps around -10 C, but Huutonen stresses that the prognosis is still highly uncertain.
Staggered holiday weeks throughout country
Most schools in Uusimaa, south-west Finland and Åland are on break 17-25 February. The following week, those in central Finland are on holiday, including the areas of Häme, Pirkanmaa, Ostrobothnia, Kymenlaakso, South Savo and South Karelia.
Most youngsters in eastern and northern Finland, including Lapland, North Savo, North Karelia, Kuopio, Joensuu and Kajaani will have to wait until 5-11 March for their vacations. There are local variations to these general schedules, though.