Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:16
There is no bad weather, only bad clothing
Text and photos: Annika Lamberg
Winter is the longest season in Finland. It lasts from about 100 days in the Southwestern Finland to 200 days in Lapland. Students from warm countries can cope with coldness very well in Oulu.
David Martinez Garcia came to Finland from the sunny Spain. He is studying as an exchange student in a course of Digital Media and Multi-Broadcasting in Oulu University of Applied Sciences. For David it has been easy to adapt to the cold weather.
- At first frosty weather felt funny. My record of cold weather is -14°C degrees.
Winter begins usually in mid-October in Lapland and during November almost everywhere in the rest of Finland.
The midwinter in Finland is from December until February. At that time the mean temperature in Oulu is about -9°C degrees. The lowest temperatures in winter are from -25°C in the archipelago and coastal regions to -45°C - -50°C in Lapland and Eastern Finland. The lowest temperature recorded in Oulu is -41.5°C from 1966.
Bundle up in layers
The crisp winter weather is enjoyable with proper clobber. Comfortable underwear is the first thing to pay attention to. It should draw perspiration away from the skin. Cotton is good and then there are some new materials which transfer moisture to the outer layers of clothing but keep the warmth in and the skin dry.
On top of underwear there should be an insulating layer of warm clothing. Fleece cotton or wool are both good for this second layer. The outer layer should be a garment that is wind and waterproof but breathable. The garment needs to be padded or quilted depending on how cold it is. Especially important is to protect the feet, hands and head from the cold. The colder it gets, the more layers there should be.
- I can only feel the coldness in my face, when I wear the right kind of clothes, David tells.
For David it hasn't been difficult to get used to dressing clothes in layers. David bought a wind stopper jacket and winter shoes from Spain before he came to Finland. From Finland he has bought a cap and gloves.
- It has been hard to find right kind of gloves. Now I have three different kinds of them for the different kinds of weather.
Cold with the wind
The skin of human is like a surface of a radiator where warmth moves into the ambient air. The colder the weather the more warmth the skin will dissipate. The wind makes this transfer of warmth faster and the weather feels a lot colder than it actually is. If it is -10°C and it winds 10m/s (20 knots, 5 - 6 on Beaufort scale) it feels like there is about -20°C. The humidity of air makes the weather feel colder in the warmer circumstances but not in winter frost.
David has not yet experienced very cold weather. He goes back to Spain to do some exams in the end of December and returns to Finland in the beginning on February.- I would like to be in Finland in January when the weather is in its coldest, David assures.
Well, if it is for any comfort, there will be some crispy freezes in February as well, and maybe already in December.
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For your information
Temperature differences between regions are greatest in January, when the difference between Southern and Northern Finland is about 12°C. In June and July, this figure is only about 5°C.
Due to the warming influence of the Arctic Ocean, the coldest spot in Finland in terms of average annual temperature is not in the far north of Lapland, but in the northwest corner of Finland.
The difference in mean temperatures between the coldest and warmest months is 28°C in central Lapland.
The lowest temperature ever recorded at any weather station in Finland during the past 100 years is -51.5°C in Kittilä Pokka in 1999.
Source of information: Finnish meteorological Institute