Press release archive: 2015

Finnish Meteorological Institute warning services to be upgraded in stages

3.3.2015 15:33

The Finnish Meteorological Institute's (FMI) weather warning system has been upgraded. In its first stage, the upgrade will see changes to the design of the warnings map in both the FMI web-service and mobile application. The coming changes will make it possible to better distinguish between extremely dangerous weather events and milder ones.

At the beginning of March 2015, the FMI adopted code colours used by the common European framework for the presentation of weather warnings: yellow, orange and red. Yellow indicates the mildest and red the most severe warning level.

The content, number and quality of warnings have for the most part remained the same after the upgrade. The format of forecasts issued in text or read on the radio will remain as they were. The distribution channels for warnings will also remain unchanged, and the information provided to them will be the same as previously.

Improved warning map for website

During the first stage of the upgrade, the warning map on the FMI website was revamped. In future, the colours displayed on the map template will represent the level of danger warnings present and the areas for which warnings have been issued. The weather phenomenon that the warning applies to shall always be displayed with a black symbol. The revised warning map provides information on the location of the most dangerous weather in Finland at a glance. Warning symbols have also been given a new look.

After the upgrade, warnings can be issued in exceptional circumstances independent of regional boundaries. For example, a warning for poor driving conditions can be issued for a very narrow area on the coast, when poor driving conditions are a result of snow flurries that are blowing in from the sea. This upgrade improves the accuracy of local warnings.

The only revision to content will apply to wind warnings for inland waters, which are linked to wind warnings for land areas. During the upgrade the minimum threshold for wind-gusts has been lowered to 15 metres/second (previously 20 m/s) for the summer season. This wind-gust reading compares quite well to situations in which an inland water wind warning was previously issued (average wind for a period of 10 minutes is over 10 m/s).

More information on the next stages of the warning upgrade will be provided at a time closer to their implementation.

Further information:

Head of Group Ari-Juhani Punkka, tel. +358 (0)29 539 3630, ari-juhani.punkka@fmi.fi