Europe, Environment

Europe freezes as Finland sets record temperature of -44.3C

After extremely hot and dry summer and warm fall seasons, Europe now gripped by extreme cold, bringing heavy snowfall and floods

Ahmet Gencturk  | 05.01.2024 - Update : 06.01.2024
Europe freezes as Finland sets record temperature of -44.3C Snowfall in Helsinki ( Alessandro Rampazzo - Anadolu Agency )


After an extremely hot and dry summer and warm fall seasons, Europe is now gripped by extreme cold, bringing heavy snowfall and floods, with Finland setting a new record temperature of -44.3 degrees Celsius (-47.74 degrees Fahrenheit) on Friday.

Temperatures dropped to a record low of -44.3C in Finland's northwest region of Lapland in the early hours of Friday, the public broadcaster YLE said, citing the country's Meteorological Institute.

The institute noted that temperatures below -42C have only been recorded three times this century.

The extreme weather also caused transportation disruptions in the capital Helsinki and across the country, as the Finnish National Rail Service (VR) suspended train service on dozens of routes.

Meanwhile, electricity consumption in the country has been at a record high for the past few days owing to the extreme cold, and the electricity spot price is expected to hit a record high of €2.35 ($2.57) per kilowatt-hour on Friday.

In Sweden, the cold snap has caused temperatures to drop below -40C in northern parts, with thermometers reading -43.8C at the country's northernmost weather station of Naimakka, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SHMI) said.

The extreme cold and snowfall also caused chaos on many of the country’s motorways, the public broadcaster SVT reported.

Similarly, Norway experienced the coldest weather since 2020 on Friday, with temperatures expected to drop to -20C in the capital Oslo, and -30C in the country's east, the public broadcaster NHK said.

Denmark, another Scandinavian country, is also experiencing sub-zero temperatures as of Friday, following heavy snowfall on Thursday and Wednesday, according to the public broadcaster DR.

Furthermore, the EU's Copernicus Emergency Management Service reported that floods are still occurring in several German states, including Lower Saxony, Saarland, and Thuringia, as well as in France's Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, affecting tens of thousands of acres of land.

In response, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated, and pumps, flood containment barriers, and vehicles were deployed to flood-affected areas in both countries.

Concerning the adverse weather conditions in the UK, the BBC reported that hundreds of more homes are forced to be evacuated as a result of storms and heavy rainfall, particularly in the Midlands, East Anglia, and southern England.

Heavy rainfall and flooding also impacted railway services and highway traffic in several parts of the country, it added.

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