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Wintry weather returns

No, your calendar's not wrong - spring is taking a backseat as snow and sleet hits Finland once again.

weather map

For the past few weeks, Finland has enjoyed exceptionally warm April weather, but that's about to undergo a dramatic change.

The weekend forecast is now for snow, sleet, and high, gusty winds across almost the whole of the country.

According to Yle Meteorologist Matti Huutonen, a low pressure area is bringing snow and sleet to Ostrobothnia on Friday. This marks an abrupt change in the region where, for example, the city of Kokkola was basking in +18C temperatures earlier this week.

The beginning of April has been unusually warm in many parts of the country, which means that the change in the weather is likely to feel even more abrupt. This weekend will not be conducive to gardening.

"Nothing in the forecast promises weather that would very much tempt anyone to go outside," says Huutonen .

The heaviest precipitation on Friday is expected in an area extending from Vaasa to Kainuu. The provinces of Ostrobothnia, Northern Ostrobothnia and Kainuu are expected to see unseasonably heavy snow and sleet.

"Lapland will be mostly dry [on Friday) with precipitation in the evening...in the south, on the other hand, there will be intermittent showers mixed with sleet on Friday afternoon. Not even southern areas will be spared the white stuff during the weekend," Huutonen adds.

The heaviest downpours will likely remain at sea, but the forecast includes 10mm to 20mm of precipitation in some areas. Areas further north will see it coming down in the form of snow.

Total accumulation, how much new snow will actually build up, is difficult to estimate, in part because the ground has had time to absorb heat during the past few weeks.

In southern Lapland and North Ostrobothnia, high, gusty winds are also expected. In sea areas, the wind may hit 19 metres per second.

Weather warnings have been issued in large parts of the country, and according to Huutonen, motorists would be wise to be prepared for poor driving conditions even in more southerly parts of Finland.

A new round of snow, sleet and rain is expected on Saturday night in an area stretching from the southwest into central regions.

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