Lapland, is within the Arctic Circle, and is the place Father Christmas calls home, but recently it has been sweltering in temperatures more akin to the equator than the North Pole.
Finland’s northernmost Arctic Lapland region recorded its hottest temperature for more than a century at 33.6°C on Monday, during a heatwave that has affected the entire Nordic country for weeks.
The temperature was measured at Finland’s northernmost Utsjoki-Kevo weather station near the border with Norway by the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
The institute said there was only one higher measurement reported in Lapland – 34.7 C in the Inari Thule area, in July 1914.
The beginning of July has been exceptionally warm in Lapland, one of Europe’s last remaining wildernesses known for its extremely cold winters that attracts domestic and international nature lovers in summer and winter. The region, Finland’s largest by surface area, holds records for the coldest temperatures in the nation of 5.5 million.
“It is exceptional in Lapland to record temperatures” above 32°C, Jari Tuovinen, a meteorologist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, told the Finnish public broadcaster YLE.
He said the current heat wave in Lapland is a result of prevailing high pressure causing warm air in the area. In addition, “warm air has been brought in from Central Europe to the north through the Norwegian Sea”, Mr Tuovinen told YLE.
Finland’s all-time high temperature of 37.2°C was measured in the eastern city of Joensuu in 2010, YLE reported.
Nordic neighbours Norway and Sweden also recently experienced high temperatures in the north, where the Norwegian municipality of Saltdal recorded 34°C this week.
“June 2021 was the hottest June ever recorded in my home town Stockholm by a large margin," climate campaigner Greta Thunberg tweeted.
“The second hottest June was in 2020. The third in 2019. Am I sensing a pattern here? Nah, probably just another coincidence."
Several parts of the world have experienced crushing heat waves this year.
Canada is battling forest fires in the western province of British Columbia after sweltering under temperatures of up to 49.6°C, a new national record.
Last week, the UN confirmed a new record high temperature for the Antarctic continent, measured last year, of 18.3°C.