The Highest Snowdrifts Rise in Southern Finland – Northern City of Tornio is Snowless

A rigged ship floats in the unfrozen Porvoo River on November 8, 2016. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

A rigged ship floats in the unfrozen Porvoo River on November 8, 2016. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

A long line of cars crawls quietly between the high snowdrifts at Mannerheimintie in Porvoo, southern Finland. It’s Tuesday, November 8, and the weather forecasting company Foreca has just released statistics on snow depths in Finland.

Surprisingly, Porvoo leads the statistics. The snow is 21 centimeters deep. Far up in Utsjoki, the most northern municipality of the EU and the country, the snow depth readings measure to 0.1 centimeters. Tornio, another northern city, is snowless. The weather books truly are in disorder.

The unusual phenomenon, according to Meteorologist Joanna Rinne from Foreca, is related to the unfrozen sea that causes the moist to form rain, which in frost becomes snow. The southern and southeasterly winds blow the snowfall across the southern coast, which crawls over the areas of Hanko, Helsinki, Porvoo and Kotka like a snake and spreads snow over the coast.

On Thursday, the statistics have changed minorly. The snow depth is 22 centimeters in Helsinki-Vantaa area and Porvoo; in Utsjoki there’s snow less than the length of an average matchstick. But while the snowfall is minor on Thursday and Friday in southern Finland, it could snow over 10 centimeters in the eastern cities of Lappeenranta, Ilomantsi and Kuopio.

Under the bridge of Mannerheimintie runs the Porvoo River. The river is unfrozen. A white, rigged ship floats in the water. I walk through a pile of snow to zoom in closer with my camera. Click. I enjoy the quiet for a moment and I start my travel back to the busy Helsinki.

It snows.

Snow depths in Finland on Thursday, November 10

Porvoo: 22 centimeters
Helsinki-Vantaa: 22 centimeters
Hanko: 21 centimeters
Tampere: 4 centimeters
Oulu: 2 centimeters
Tornio: 0 centimeters
Pori: 0 centimeters
Joensuu: 0 centimeters
Utsjoki, Kevo: 2 centimeters

Sources: Foreca, The Finnish Meteorological Institute