Second Longest Freeze in Lapland for 50 Years

published february 28. 2011 by YLE – original article here
A frozen tree branch.
Image: YLE Anna Sirén

The current stretch of frigid weather is the second longest Lapland has seen in half a century. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, several parts of Lapland have remained in the grip of sub-zero temperatures for nearly four months.

For Saariselkä in Inari and for Lokka in Sodankylä, Sunday marked the 115th consecutive day of freezing weather. In Rovaniemi, that number stood at 114 days.

Another month of sub-zero temperatures would make it a record-long cold spell in Saariselkä and Lokka, while Rovaniemi still has 21 days to go until the record is broken. The longest freeze in the last 50 years fell on the winter 1965-66, when the frigid weather held for 146 consecutive days in Naruska and Lokka.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute says that the record is unlikely to break this winter, since already on Monday mercury is edging up to above zero in many parts of Lapland.

Meteorologist Asko Hutila from the Finnish Meteorological Institute says that, despite the cold winter, the climate is warming up in the long term.

“Although we are talking about the climate warming up, that does not exclude the possibility that winters will be very cold. Finland generally has very variable weather, very cold winters being one example. Climate warming is a global change, which will only be visible in the long run.”

According to Hutila, cold winters like this one will become increasingly rare in the future.

“For example, in a hundred years, cold spells this long might be hard to come by.”



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