Snowy January in Finland

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Numerous fronts brought snow into Finland during the second two weeks of January 2019.

Date & Time
21 January 12:00 UTC–30 January 12:00 UTC
Airmass RGB

By Vesa Nietosvaara (EUMETSAT)

In the animation of the Meteosat-11 Airmass RGB overlaid with ECWMF Mean Sea Level Pressure (Figure 1), we can see that, altogether, three frontal passages occurred in southern Finland. Each of these brought 5–15 cm of snow.

Figure 1: Meteosat-11 six-hourly Airmass RGB overlaid by ECMWF Mean Sea Level Pressure analysis data, 21 January 12:00 UTC–30 January 12:00 UTC.

The later snowfall episode (29–30 January) was caused by low pressure moving from the North Sea over to Sweden, bringing snowfall and increased southeasterly winds to Finland. During that episode snow depths increased in some places. In Helsinki the snow depth increased by nearly 20 cm, resulting in the total snow depths of more than 50 cm (Figure 2), covering the city in a thick white blanket of snow (Figure 3).

Figure 2: Snow depth in Helsinki in January 2019 (Credit: Finnish Meteorological Institute.)
Figure 3: Snow-covered cars on the streets of Helsinki, 30 January (Credit: Yenny Hinostroza)
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