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Sorry, only "1. Environmental factors" and "4. The hard midwinter" are translated into English!
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1. Environmental factors:


You are now in the part dealing with the temperature conditions in the winter.
Other topics on winter
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1. Enviromental factors: temperature

Finnish winter is quite mild...

Finland is far away in the North, not in the arctic, but in the cool temperature climatic zone (snow forest climate). Elsewhere at the same latitudes there is an arctic climate. More: Winter temperatures! See also: Our northern nature/general!

January in Finland is 10 - 12 C warmer than almost anywhere else at the same latitudes.
In the continental climate zone areas of Siberia the winter is in places even 30 degrees colder than in Finland.
Cold winters can still be fatal among others to some of our birds!.

Severe frosts (annual minimum -20) only take place on about 40 percent of the earth's whole area. Only in third of the earth's area there are no severe frosts at all.


The Finnish climate is not very continental or very maritime. See also: Mean temperature annual variation!

Weather conditions vary a lot especially in the western part of Europe (also in Finland).

With the help of accumulated temperature sum, winter's frost accumulation can be measured. Summer's warmth is measured similarly.

In Northern Finland the frost sum accumulation in the air (2 meters high) during the winter is approximately 1500- 2000 degrees.
Because of our snowy and long winter the climate in Finland is often called a snow forest climate. Mild weather makes it possible for forests to exist almost in the whole country. See also: Snow forest climate!
Almost all of Finland's vegetation belongs to the area of boreal coniferous zone, when most of Central Europe is mainly temperate deciduous forest zone.

But it is rather long

Thermal winter begins when the accumulated temperature is fixed (at least for a week) below 0 C. In Lapland, it begins already in mid October, in Southern Finland over a month later. See also: Thermal winter!
Thermal winter ends in Lapland between April and May and in Southern Finland in the beginning of April.
Thermal winter lasts in Northern Finland even 6 -7 months but in Southern Finland only 3 - 4 months.


Pictures above: On the left winter begins/autumn ends. On the right winter ends/spring begins

Winter temperatures vary from year to year

At Finland's latitudes weather changes greatly: sometimes the winter is very cold and sometimes it is very mild.

After Ice Age there have been many different kinds of climates. Especially mild winters have been, among others, those of: 1924 - 25, 1929 - 30 and 1933 - 34. All of the 1930 has been called a warm season. Winters were then 2 - 3 degrees warmer than at the beginning of the century. After that it has been colder. Cold winters have been, among others, winters in: 1939 - 44 and 1960 and also the Januarys in 1985 and 1987.

Now we are waiting for the so-called greenhouse effect. More: Greenhouse effect See also: About the greenhouse effect.

Topography clearly makes its mark on temperatures

The seas have a major effect on winter climate. In the wintertime they work as a source of heat, and balance the temperature changes. The proximity of warm Gulf Stream is the most important reason for the mildness of our climate. In the coast of Norway the streams effect can be seen even more clearly. For example, January's mean temperature is in Bergen (which is in the coast of Norway) 0, in Helsinki -6.1 C and in Jakutia (Siberia) -45 - 59 C. However, all of these places are located almost at the same latitude. In Jakutia, the climate is very continental and in the winter the so-called inversion often takes place.

Inversion = cold air flows down, the warm layer is higher. In the winter, it can be several degrees warmer in the upper slopes of the fells than in the valleys. In the summer time, the situation is reverse. See also: Inversion!

In the mountain ranges the mean temperature falls here in the North about half degrees for every climbed 100 meters. Through the year, there is a permanent snow cover, for example, in Norway up from 0.8 - 1.9 kilometers, in the Alps from 2.4 - 3.2 kilometers high and in the equator up from about 5 kilometers.

This is the end of the 'Temperature' section

Other wintery environmental factors