Mika Launikari


Mediterranean heat in Finland

Published on and modified on Permalink

For its northern location, Finland is enjoying surprisingly warm summers and relatively mild winters. Overall the month of July has been perfect this year. The past week (21-27 July 2014) has been the hottest one for more than 50 years countrywide, so the national meteorological statistics indicate. The officially measured and registered temperatures across the country have reached +32-33C in the shade in the past days and even the nights have been amazingly “tropical” around +25C. But as it seems the all-time high reading of +37.2C from 2010, measured in the Eastern part of the country, will remain unbroken this year. Needless to say, also the water in the thousands of Finnish lakes is exceptionally comfortable this summer (around +23-25C).

For many tourists from southern Europe, Asia and Latin America these relatively high temperatures in Finland come as a huge surprise. They might never have expected such Mediterranean heat up here in the north; instead before arriving in Finland they have been preparing themselves mentally and physically for much colder type of weather here. So, when observing these foreign visitors or when talking to them on the streets of Helsinki, it becomes clear that they are fully enjoying the beauty of the Finnish summer with its fresh greenness, long-lasting days (hardly any night) and pleasant, easygoing style of living.

It is often stated that we Finns have two personalities or mentalities: one for the winter, the other for the summer. In the middle of the darkest wintertime, we tend to turn inwards and many of us seem to have depressive disorders, and we feel like dying, because the winter with is hardness takes a toll on our energy. But when the summer arrives and the nature starts blossoming, we wake up again, we are reborn with vitality and new energy, the horrible winter is a distant memory only and we are alive and live as fully as possible in order not to lose a moment of the fabulous summer with daylight, sunshine and outdoor activities (e.g. going to the beach, giving a barbecue party, going to the sauna and bathing in the lake).

During the past decade the summers in Finland have become warmer than they used to be before. Whether this is a consequence from global warming or not, is not really proven yet. At the same time, though, new species of animals (e.g. wild boar) and insects that normally live on more southern latitudes have settled in Finland on a permanent basis. Also the plant life (i.e. flora) of the country is getting more diverse thanks to new arrivals. At least to me it appears that the Finnish climate is gradually changing, but not so fast that during my life time we would become a country of producing wine, though :-)!