Press release 4.1.2013

The year 2012: Exceptionally rainy in places

According to the statistics compiled by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the year 2012 was clearly more rainy than average everywhere in Finland except Eastern and Northern Lapland.
Photo: Antonin Halas

The most precipitation was measured in southern coastal areas, in the zone extending from Northern Satakunta to Kainuu, in Northern Karelia and in Southwest Lapland. Out of all the observation stations, the greatest precipitation was recorded for Saaresmäki, Kajaani, where the figure for the year totalled 1,031 millimetres. The smallest amount, 409 millimetres, was measured in Angeli, Inari.

Many observation stations reported the greatest precipitation in 50 years

Many of the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s observation stations had the rainiest year within the past 50 years. Altogether 907 millimetres of precipitation was measured in Kaisaniemi, Helsinki. This is the second highest figure in the history of the observation station, which goes back to the early 19th century. The only rainier year was 1944, when the annual precipitation was 940 millimetres. The highest rainfall within 24 hours, 96 millimetres, was measured in Alkkia, Karvia, on 8 July.

A normal annual mean temperature

The mean temperature for 2012 ranged from a good +6° C in the southwestern archipelago and the Åland Islands to about -1° C in Central and Northern Lapland. No major deviations from the long-term average were measured anywhere in Finland. Temperatures were slightly warmer than average only in some parts of Northern Lapland and in some areas on the southern and southwestern coasts. Elsewhere in Finland, temperatures were near or slightly below the long-term average. However, deviations from the long-term average were generally under half a degree Celsius throughout the country. The highest temperature for the year was 31.0° C, measured in Lampela, Lieksa on 30 July, while the lowest temperature, -42.7° C, was measured in Kaamanen, Inari on 6 February.

The year’s weather in brief

Despite cold February, the mean temperature of the winter months (December to February) was generally higher than average because December was considerably milder than usual. Owing to the mild early winter, thermal winter did not start in Southern Finland until the turn of the year, which is unusually late. The highest precipitation during the winter months was measured in Southern Finland and in Southwest Lapland, where readings in excess of 250 millimetres were recorded locally. Several observation stations in the most affected areas reported the greatest winter precipitation in many decades.

Thermal spring had an early start in all of Finland: before mid-March in the south and after 20 April in Northern Lapland. Precipitation in spring exceeded the average figures in most of Finland, sometimes even by a wide margin.

Hot days in summer were few and far between. The number of days when the temperature exceeded 25° C was about half the average throughout Finland. In some locations, rainfall in June–August was over 1.5 times the normal figures, while elsewhere it remained below the long-term averages. Eastern Finland and Kainuu were the rainiest regions, while Central and Northern Lapland had the least rain.

There were clearly fewer thunderstorms than in the past two years. The number of ground flashes registered in Finland’s land areas in May–September was 78,000, which is considerably below the long-term average of 138,000. Thunderstorm activity peaked between 28 and 30 July, when about 50,000 ground flashes were registered.Autumn (September to November) was warmer and rainier than usual in the whole of Finland. Precipitation in some places in Western Finland and Lapland was one and a half times the long-term average.

During 2012, the Finnish Meteorological Institute began using the statistics calculated for the years 1981–2010 as the normal period for comparisons. The new normal period has an annual mean temperature for the whole of Finland that is almost 0.4° C higher than in the previous normal period. Precipitation figures for the whole country are slightly higher than in the previous normal period.

Additional information:

Annual statistics: (in Finnish)

Weather forecasts from the meteorologist on call 24/7, tel. 0600 1 0600 (€3.98/min. + local network charge)Weather statistics from the Climate Service, tel. 0600 1 0601 (€3.98/min. + local network charge)