Science news

FMI's researchers publish about 300 peer-reviewed articles annually.

In Science News we publish current information about FMI's studies on the weather, the sea and the climate.

« Back

Finnish snow research articles published in a special issue

Finnish snow research articles published in a special issue

Snow research and services enable weather predictions and safe air traffic, for example. The special issue of the Geophysica-journal contains information on the Finnish snow expertise the whole society benefits from.

Short term forecasting – or nowcasting – of snow events is required for safe and sound airport operation. The paper by Elena Saltikoff et al. shows what kind of mathematical techniques can be used for the purpose.

In unpopulated areas, automated continuous snow observations are important for weather prediction, climate modelling and interpretation of remote sensing observations. Leena Leppänen, Anna Kontu and Jouni Pulliainen have compared the manual and automated snow measurements in Sodankylä, Finland, and found automatic measurements to be accurate and usable for snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow temperature.

Extreme weather events, such as sea-effect snowfall, can have severe impacts on infrastructure and human safety. A good understanding of such heavy sea-effect snowfalls in the present climate is essential if we want to assess the probability of their occurrence and intensity in the future. A record-breaking snowfall of 73 cm (31 mm as liquid water) fell in less than a day in Merikarvia, Finland, on 8 January 2016. Taru Olsson et al. investigated the case with an ERA5 reanalysis, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and the numerical weather prediction model HARMONIE, using weather radar information as a reference.

Terhikki Manninen and Emmihenna Jääskeläinen used an albedo model to simulate various components of the forest scattering and showed how boreal forests can affect the snow albedo in Finland. The effect appeared largest at high latitudes, where the midday sun elevation is low and the canopy small and sparse. This information is essential for weather predictions and climate modeling approaches.

Arctic collaboration issues were included

The special issue of Geophysica also includes an article by Juhani Damski, the Director General of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, where he emphasizes the importance of Arctic and Nordic collaboration. Outi Meinander and Ali Nadir Arslan explain in their article the backgrounds for the Pyry100 snow seminar, part of the Finland 100 Project on the centenary of Finland's independence at the Prime Minister's Office, as well as for the European Union funded snow Action coordinated by Finland. Johanna Ekman comments on Finland's Chairmanship of the Arctic Council 2017-2019 and its working groups.

The Finland100 special issue of the Geophysica-journal contains almost 100 pages. It appeared on-line during 2018 and as printed in January 2019. The articles are based on the presentations given at the Pyry-seminar on 1 November 2017, organized by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The authors are researchers from Finland, Estonia, Austria and Germany. The reviewers were from Finland and abroad. The editor of the special issue was Outi Meinander, researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute.  Geophysica is a peer-reviewed Open Access journal of the Geophysical Society of Finland, published since 1935. The editor-in-chief is professor emeritus Kimmo Kahma.

The Finland100 special issue of the Geophysica-journal contains articles on Finnish snow research. Photo: Outi Meinander

Further information:

Research scientist Outi Meinander, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Editor of the Finland100 special issue of the Geophysica-journal, convener of the Finland 100 Pyry-seminar, black carbon and aerosols in snow, tel. +358 29 539 4157,

Research scientist Ali Nadir, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Chair of the EU ESSEM COST Action 1404, satellite observations on snow, tel. +358 29 539 1000,

Project manager Johanna Ekman, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland's chairmanship of the Arctic Council, tel. +358 29 539 1000,

Group leader Terhikki Manninen, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Satellite and radar applications group, tel.+358 29 539 4159,

Research scientist Elena Saltikoff, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Satellite and radar applications, tel. +358 29 539 3614,

Research scientist Leena Leppänen, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Sodankylä snow measurements, tel. +358 40 670 7133,

Research scientist Taru Olsson, Finnish Meteorological Institute, sea-effect snowfalls,


Meinander O. (Ed.), Special Issue: Finland100 7th National Seminar on Snow on the day of Pyry* in collaboration with the COST ES1404 Action (Blizzard), Geophysica (2018), 53(1), 91 s.,, ISSN 0367-4231 (printed), 2324-0741 (electronic)

Damski Juhani, Forewords, Geophysica (2018), 53(1), 1-2.

Outi Meinander and Ali Nadir Arslan, Editorial of the Finland100 Snow seminar special issue, Geophysica (2018), 53(1), 3–5.

Johanna Ekman, A Short Comment on Finland's Chairmanship of the Arctic Council 2017-2019, Geophysica (2018), 53(1), 7–8.

Terhikki Manninen and Emmihenna Jääskeläinen, The effect of boreal forest canopy on snow covered terrain broadband albedo, Geophysica (2018), 53(1), 9-29.

Elena Saltikoff, Martin Hagen, Heikki Juntti, Rudolf Kaltenböck and Seppo Pulkkinen, Nowcasting snow for airports at heterogeneous terrain, Geophysica (2018), 53(1), 31-43.

Leena Leppänen, Anna Kontu and Jouni Pulliainen, Automated measurements of snow on the ground in Sodankylä, Geophysica (2018), 53(1), 45-64.

Taru Olsson, Piia Post, Kalev Rannat, Hannes Keernik, Tuuli Perttula, Anna Luomaranta, Kirsti Jylhä, Rigel Kivi and Tanel Voormansik, Sea-effect snowfall case in the Baltic Sea region analysed by reanalysis, remote sensing data and convection-permitting mesoscale modelling, Geophysica (2018), 53(1), 65-91.

Science news archive