The new decade is off to a warmer-than-usual start, with more above-average highs expected on Wednesday.
January already 10 degrees warmer than usual in Finland

January already 10 degrees warmer than usual in Finland

January already 10 degrees warmer than usual in Finland

January already 10 degrees warmer than usual in Finland

January already 10 degrees warmer than usual in Finland

January already 10 degrees warmer than usual in Finland
January already 10 degrees warmer than usual in Finland
  • 2020-01-14 16:45:08 1 months ago
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Meteorologists are forecasting more unseasonably warm weather on Wednesday as warm air currents sweep across Finland in the days ahead. The warm gusts are expected to push daytime highs up to nine or 10 degrees Celsius in southwest Finland.

"The exceptionally warm January continues. I wouldn’t quite forecast a new heat record throughout Finland, but there may be local records," said Yle meteorologist Joonas Koskela.

So far the highest recorded temperature in January was registered in the Åland Islands in 1973, when the mercury hit 10.9 degrees.

According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, FMI, so far, January has been up to 10 degrees warmer than usual (in Finnish). The biggest deviations from average temperatures for this time of year have been in northern Ostrobothnia in the west and Kainuu in the east.

More snow up north

Finland has been split in half in terms of snow cover. There is very little of the white stuff in the south and a remarkable amount of it in the north.

That stark difference will be reinforced in the days ahead as a zone of precipitation moves across the country between Tuesday evening and Thursday.

In the south, the low pressure system will dump rain and sleet on the ground, while Lapland can expect more snow. With highs in the south veering toward 10 degrees, temperatures in Lapland will hover around 10 below freezing.

"By Wednesday morning Lapland could see up to 10 centimetres of new snowfall, with a few centimetres in the east," Koskela remarked.

Mild conditions in the south will be accompanied by high winds, with FMI issuing a storm warning for seafarers on southern eastern seas on Tuesday evening, and for northern parts of the Baltic Sea on Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening parts of Finland will be as warm as some areas in Central Europe. For example, Helsinki residents will likely enjoy temperatures of eight degrees Celsius into the evening – the same as in Istanbul in Turkey and Athens in Greece.

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January already 10 degrees warmer than usual in Finland

Today in pictures: an injured koala, protests in Lebanon, and a snowstorm in Norway

Today in pictures: an injured koala, protests in Lebanon, and a snowstorm in Norway

IN TODAY'S BEST PHOTOS from around the world, we lead with an image from Australia, where the devastating bushfires have led to thousands of koala bears being brought to hospitals for medical treatment. In addition, we have the protests in Lebanon, a snowstorm in Norway, and ice skating in Moscow. 

An injured koala bear awaits treatment for burn injuries at a makeshift field hospital on Kangaroo Island. Australia's unprecedented bushfires have led to the deaths of close to a billion animals, while thousands have been brought to medical centers to receive treatment for burns and smoke inahalation. 


A youth protester sprints between burning tires during a demonstration on the outskirts of Beirut. Protestors have promised a "week of wrath" this week in which government institutions and banks will be targeted as part of ongoing actions against government corruption. 


A snowstorm early this morning in Honningsvag in Northern Norway, which has cut off much of the surrounding region from the rest of the country. 


A young girl at an ice skating rink in central Moscow, with the city's business district looming in the background.


Image Credit: Lehtikuva

Unions, employers to continue wage talks without mediator

Unions, employers to continue wage talks without mediator

Representatives of chemical industry employers and employees will continue wage talks without the presence of the state mediator, according to the office of national labour conciliator Vuokko Piekkala.

The disclosure came after negotiators from the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland and the Industrial Union met to continue discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement at the conciliator’s office on Tuesday.

"In talks between the Chemical Industry Federation and the Industrial Union: the parties will continue face-to-face talks at an expedited schedule," the conciliators office tweeted on Tuesday.

Piekkala’s office said that the Finnish Forest Industries and the paper workers’ union Paperiliitto, will also continue their negotiations in the form of unmediated talks. Both organisations also held discussions at the conciliator’s office on Tuesday.

You can listen to our weekly All Points North podcast about Finland's collective bargaining system via this embedded player, Yle Areena, Spotify, iTunes or your normal pod player using the RSS feed.

Audio: Yle News

Neste: Strikes could hit transportation, food supplies

Employers and employees are divided on the so-called competitiveness pact, a labour market pact introduced by the Juha Sipilä administration in 2016 in a bid to boost national export competitiveness. The model added an additional 24 hours annually to employees’ working time without additional compensation.

The Industrial Union, Paperiliitto and Trade Union Pro, which represents professional and managerial staff in the public and private sectors, have threatened a large-scale two-week strike over the issue.

If employer and employee representatives do not resolve their differences, the strikes will begin on 26 and 27 January. The strike action would affect roughly 1,400 persons in the chemical industry.

On Tuesday, Finnish oil refining firm Neste predicted dire consequences if the strikes take place. It warned that long-term disruption of fuel deliveries would cripple transportation and heating services and would also affect rescue operations as well as food supplies.