This aerial photo shows the advancing fire around Ljusdal, Sweden, as a wildfire sweeps through the large forest area Wednesday, 18 July 2018. Photo: Maja Suslin / Lehtikuva / AP

By Bob Henson
18 July 2018

(Weather Underground) – Temperatures soared into the nineties Fahrenheit north of the Arctic Circle on Tuesday and Wednesday, as 2018’s parade of exceptional heat continued marching across the Northern Hemisphere. This week has been northern Scandinavia’s turn under the sizzling klieg lights, including Lapland (Sápmi), the region of northern Scandinavia famed for its reindeer and often associated with Christmas. In contrast to that wintry reputation, Sweden is now grappling with an onslaught of wildfires unprecedented in modern times, as reported by weather.com.

Here’s a sampling of the preliminary all-time highs set in Scandinavia on Tuesday.

Finland

  • Kilpisjärvi:  28.3°C (82.5°F)
  • Kittila Pokka: 30.2°C (86.4°F)
  • Salla: 31.5 (88.7°F)
  • Sodankylä: 31.8°C (89.2°F)
  • Rovaniemi (capital of the Finnish province of Lapland):  32.2°C (90.0°F)

Norway

  • Sihcajavri: 29.2°C (84.6°F)
  • Namsskogan: 32.6°C (90.7°F)
  • Mo I Rana: 32.6°C (90.7°F)

Sweden

  • Katterjak Airport: 28.3°C (82.5°F)
  • Kvikkjokk: 32.5°C (90.5°F)

Located at an altitude of 1100 meters (3500 feet), Finland's Tarfala Research Station is the coldest long-term reporting site in Lapland, according to weather records expert Maximiliano Herrera. The station hit 23.1°C (73.6°F) on Tuesday, smashing the all-time record of 21.4°C (70.5°F). The overnight low Monday night at Tarfala was a strikingly mild 13.3°C (55.6°F).

More records were smashed on Wednesday, including 33.4°C (92.1°F) at Kevo, Finland—the hottest temperature in reliable records for all of the province of Lapland in Finland, according to Herrera. Other all-time highs in the preliminary list for Wednesday. […]

Global Forecast System (GFS) model analysis of global temperature departures from average on 18 July 2018. The Scandinavian heat is highlighted by the red circle. Graphic: Climate Change Institute / University of Maine

Has it ever hit 100°F in the Arctic?

The hottest location in the Scandinavian Arctic on Tuesday, according to Michael Theusner (Klimahaus), was Kevo (latitude 69.75°N), with a high of 32.7°F (91.0°F). If you’re wondering whether any place in or very near the Arctic has ever broken 100°F, the answer is yes—but just barely. Back on 23 July 2010, the community of Ust Moma, Russia (latitude 66.27°N, or about eight miles south of the Arctic Circle), got up to 37.8°C (100.04°F), according to weather records expert Maximiliano Herrera. That’s the warmest reliable temperature on record at or north of that latitude, he says, although there’s an equal reading of questionable veracity in the books from Prospect Creek, Alaska, on 27 June 1915. The highest reliable reading north of latitude 67°N appears to be 37.3°C (99.1°F) at Verkhoyansk, Russia (67°33'N), on 25 July 1988. […]

Heat wave rolls onward in East Asia

Extreme heat has gripped parts of East Asia, including Japan and Korea, since last weekend, with several more days of intense heat on tap. The heat wave is being blamed for at least 14 heat-related deaths and thousands of heat-stroke hospitalizations. On Thursday, July 19, Kyoto tied its all-time high temperature for any month, 39.8°C (103.6°F), previously set on July 8, 1994. Kyoto has also beaten its previous all-time high for July (38.3°C/101.0°F from 26 July 2014) on five of the past six days:

  • 38.5°C (101.3°F) on Saturday, July 14
  • 38.7°C (101.7°F) on Sunday, July 15
  • 38.5°C (101.3°F) on Monday, July 16
  • 39.1°C (102.4°F) on Sunday, July 18
  • 39.8°C (103.6°F) on Thursday, July 19

Weather records in Kyoto extend back to 1881.

A number of all-time records set on Monday, July 16, in Japan, although most of the stations have periods of record dating back only to 1976. [more]

Hot Times for Reindeer: All-Time Records Melt in Lapland


A large part of the Elbe river bed is dried out during a long time of drought in front of the skyline with the Frauenkirche cathedral (Church of Our Lady) in Dresden, Germany, Monday, 9 July 2018. Photo: Jens Meyer / AP Photo

By Jonathan Erdman
19 July 2018

(weather.com) – Sweden's most serious rash of wildfires in recent history has prompted a call for help from the European Union amid a record-smashing Scandinavian heat wave that shows no signs of letting up.

At least 40 wildfires were burning in parts of Sweden Wednesday, the Local Sweden reported, prompting evacuations in the Swedish counties of Dalarna, Gävleborg, and Jämtland.

A pair of Italian planes and eight Norwegian helicopters were assisting firefighting efforts, and Sweden's Civil Contingencies Agency requested more aerial assistance from the European Union in what they told the Local Sweden was the nation's most serious wildfire situation of modern times.

This is happening during a heat wave that is smashing some all-time records across parts of Scandinavia.

Kvikkjokk, a village in northern Sweden just north of the Arctic Circle, topped out at 32.5 degrees Celsius, just above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, setting their all-time record high, according to climatologist and world records expert Maximiliano Hererra.

Wednesday, the Kevo observation station in northern Finland set an all-time record for Lapland, reaching 92 degrees, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute. [more]

Sweden Wildfires Most Serious in Recent Times Aggravated By Record-Smashing Heat, Ongoing Drought With No End in Sight

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