Finland is situated between Sweden, the Baltic Sea, Eastern Russia, and the Northeastern horn of Norway. The municiplity of Sodankylä is located in the Finnish region of Lapland, which sits just above the arctic circle; giving the region a mean temperature of -1°C (30.2°F). With a population under 10,000 there is less than 1 person per square Km. Although the Lapand region is exposed to the Scandinavian Keel Ridge, the Northern portion of Finland is not moutainous but consists of many bogs (one of the four main types of wetlands – accumulating peat deposits of dead plant matieral and various types of moss). This region experiences an annual relative humidity of 80.7% (http://www.lapland.climatemps.com/humidity.php) and typically sees the coldest of Finland’s extreme low temperatures, the lowest recorded being -51.5°C (60.7°F) in 1999 (https://www.iceagenow.info/record-cold-in-finland/).
The above graphic shows snow depth, max temperatures, and minimum temperatures recorded in December of 2012. It is clear that the northern region of Lapland experiences low temperatures and winter precipitation at levels much more extreme than in the Southern portion of the country. The location of the station used in this report is marked with a red dot.
Major factors influencing the climate of Finland include the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Eurasian continent to the east. Finland is warmed much of the same ways that other Scandinavian countries are warmed; by way of the Gulf Stream as well as the North Atlantic Drift Current, which help to moderate the temperatures in the southern portions of Finland.
Finland’s short summers are often full of clouds brought in by the westerly winds. The counteractivity between the maritime influences as mentioned above, along with the continentality of the Eurasian continent causes extreme temperatures in both summer and winter.
With data collected from the NCDC, a pretty regular seasonal trend may be observed over the last fifty six years. Temperatures in the region are significantly lower than those in the southern regions of Finland. Some interesting trends that may also be observed by the data set include that the winter months seem to experience the widest variety of temperatures, while the summer and spring months show a much more consistent temperatre pattern.
From the precipitation data, it is pretty clear that the majority of the precipitation falls in the summertime. July having the highest overall levels as rain, whereas the winter and fall months have almost half as much precipitation. The spring time, however is interestingly when the region gets the majority of its snowfall. March, April, and May have received significant amounts of precipitation, and with May’s average temperature sitting around 5°C, it’s safe to say a good bit of that precipitation could be snow.
My personal bowen ratio estimate for the area from which the data to work on this project was retreived from would have to be a ratio that sits somewhere on the higher end of a medium ratio. Due in part to the fact that this region has a relative humidity that is on the higher end, the fact that it receives heavy precipitation throughout most of the year, but also taking into consideration that it is often very cold and not very sunny… if most oceans have a bowen ratio that is typically greater than 10, and rainforests sit around .2, I would say that the Lapand region in Finland might be somewhere around .9 for it’s bowen ratio.
*Unfortunately, this particular station’s history was not available through the NCDC/NOAA website.
(photo source: https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6037/6324559837_38cfe6f5b9_b.jpg )