Press release archive: 2001

Weather in Finland in 2000

20.3.2001 12:00

Temperatures reached almost record heights

Temperatures reached almost record heights in Finland in 2000. Compared with other years in the 20th century, 2000 is among the top six, depending on the locality. 1934 still holds the record. In the interior in the south of the country, the average temperature for the year was between +5 and +7 degrees, and in coastal areas and the archipelago exceeded even +7 degrees. The annual average in central parts of the country was between +3 and +5 degrees, while temperatures in the Province of Oulu and southern parts of the Province of Lapland were between +1 and +3 degrees above average. In northern parts of Lapland the figure was -1...+1 degrees.

June and September were the only months that were slightly cooler than the average for 1961-1990. All other months were considerably above normal. The number of days when the temperature exceeded +25 degrees was below normal, except in Lapland, though in other respects average temperatures during the summer months were typical. The nights were especially warm. The winter months between January and April and the last months of the year were particularly warm.

High precipitation levels

Precipitation levels were slightly above average all over the country. In the provinces of Oulu and Lapland the figure for the year was 500-750 mm, which was between 1.2 and 1.5 times more than the average for the period 1961-90. Precipitation in southern and central parts of the country came to 600-800 mm, which was only slightly above normal. In June and July, the number of days with precipitation was between 3 and 10 above average. The Häme region had 28 rainy days during July.

The month of June ended with violent thunderstorms, and except for the last week in July, there was almost daily thunder in different parts of the country. In connection with the thunderstorms, there were a number of local trombs. With the trombs in the Gulf of Finland a number of powerful waterspouts occurred in early August.

Sunny and windy

There were 1,500-2,000 hours of sunshine in Finland during 2000, a normal figure. May, June and September were the sunniest months. In September, as a result of a high pressure system, sunshine reached record levels and even exceeded the July figures. In November and December, there was hardly any sunshine. In Jyväskylä, there was only one hour of sunshine recorded for both months, and even this figure was divided between several days.

wind conditions during the early months of the year were fairly normal. In sea areas, 13 days were recorded between January and March during which wind speeds reached at least 21 m/s (average number of days 9). Between May and July, there were twice or even three times as many days with fresh winds as normal. In September, there were only a few windy days. In November and December only one stormy day was recorded in sea areas.

A lot of snow during the early months of the year

At the start of the year, snow cover in southern parts of the country amounted to 20-40 cm, while the cover reached half a metre in central and northern parts of Finland, which was above normal. Long spells of mild weather in January reduced the snow depth in southern and western parts of the country or melted it away altogether. On the other hand, snow depth in eastern and northern Finland increased. In February-March, eastern and northern parts of the country had between 50 and 100 cm of snow, which was 20 cm above normal. In Kainuu, and in southern and central Lapland there were places with a snow cover of 1.0-1.2 metres.

The greatest snow depth of the winter 1999-2000 was recorded in Haapovaara in Suomussalmi (151 cm in early March). Snow loads in both eastern and northern parts of the country were extremely heavy, as the water content of the snow was high. However, the snow in Lapland melted away evenly over a fairly long period of time, and bare ground appeared in mid May.

There was little snow in Finland in November and December. The first snow fell in small amounts in late October, but as the weather was mild, these snowfalls turned into rain during November and December. Lapland did not get a proper snow cover until year end. The snow depth was very small in all parts of the country (only 10-20 cm in Lapland by Christmas). The little snow that had fallen in southern and central parts of the country melted away or was compacted several times during the early months of the winter.

For more statistical information please contact our Climate Service.