Morning headlines: Friday 20th December 2019

News Now Finland morning news headlines and weather first, every weekday at 09:00.

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Where to find a white Christmas in Finland

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas in Finland, the general advice is head north. There hasn’t been a proper white Christmas for nearly 10 years in the south of the country and it’s unlikely to happen this year either. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI, the temperatures will stay mild across much of the country from now until Christmas, which means a grey or black festive season instead of picture-perfect snowy white. “If you want a white Christmas, you have to go north of Joensuu and Jyväskylä. The west coast won’t do either, there’s zero centimetres of snow currently. It’s only above Ylivieska where you can expect the white Christmas in the west” says FMI meteorologist Anniina Valtonen. Historically you don’t have to look back too far to find a nice snowy Christmas for the capital region. Back in 2010 the fifth snowiest Christmas on record brought more than half a metre of snow to Helsinki. Read more at our original story here.

Overnight fire destroys large home in Akaa

An overnight fire in Akaa, south of Tampere, has completely destroyed a large home, with the residents making a narrow escape. Rescue crews got the alarm call late Thursday night to the three-storey, 300 square metre property and when they arrived on the scene the house was fully ablaze. There were two adults inside the home at the time and they were rescued by firefighters. After 05:00 on Friday morning there were still 11 rescue units at the house continuing to put out the fire, although the building has been completely destroyed. This morning an investigation begins into the causes of the blaze.

Supreme Court set to rule on journalist case

The Supreme Court will decide today rule on the case of a Helsingin Sanomat journalist who had computers and other electronic equipment taken from her home during a police raid. It happened in December 2017 after the reporter wrote a story about Finland’s intelligence-gathering capabilities based on some decade-old classified documents which had been leaked to her. The Supreme Court case is about whether police can make use of the materials they seized during the pre-trial investigation. It’s been made more complicated because the journalist has a right to protect her sources.

Last day of school for most students 

Today marks the last day of school and the start of Christmas holidays for most students around the country. It means a couple of weeks off but then spring semester is coming right up – while the marjority of classes begin only on 7th January, after the Epiphany holiday, schools in Joensuu, Kokkola and Kuopio open their doors earlier on 2nd January right after the New Year celebrations.

Friday morning weather

It’s another unsettled start to the day. A band of precipitation that stretches from Turku, through Tampere and into Central Finland moves slowly east but it still brings rain, sleet and wet snow to those areas this morning. There’s rain too in the south east around Lappeenranta. Elsewhere expect mostly cloudy skies except for the far north east in Inari. Temperatures range from -19°C in Inari to -1°C in Oulu; +1°C in Vaasa, +6°C in Åland and +4°C in the capital city region.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 20th December 2019 / Credit: FMI