Weather warnings cause flight cancellations, dangerous road conditions

Agencies warn of increased wind speeds, snow blizzards and the potential for more traffic accidents over the course of Tuesday afternoon and evening.

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File picture showing interior of Helsinki Airport / Credit: Finavia

A weather warning for heavy snowfall has prompted Finnair to cancel more than a dozen flights at Helsinki Airport this afternoon.

Most of the affected flights are domestic – to destinations like Turku, Tampere, Vaasa, Oulu, Joensuu and Kuopio, but one international flight from Brussels to Helsinki is also impacted.

The airline has contacted the passengers and offered to reroute them or give them a refund on the flight ticket.

Helsinki Airport says it’s ready for whatever winter weather conditions arrive today.

“Finavia’s maintenance is fully prepared and ready to keep the runways clear of snow. We believe that air traffic will operate rather smoothly regardless of snowfall” says Heini Noronen-Juhola, Finavia Vice President.

If there is freezing fog during today, aircraft engines must be defrosted between flights and that could delay departures significantly, with de-icing carried out in two stages.

“In winter, weather conditions around zero degrees when freezing and warmer temperatures alternate are especially challenging for the airline and airport operators. However, we have good winter skills in Finland” explains Noronen-Juhola.

Road warnings issued

If you’re on the move around southern Finland’s roads today you should be aware of some potentially dangerous driving conditions.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI has issued a bad traffic weather alert.

“Major traffic disruptions possible. Significant risk of traffic accidents” says the agency.

Conditions are expected to turn dangerous in Åland, Varsinais-Suomi, Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme, Kymenlaakso and South Karelia.

FMI also warns of the potential risk for treacherous driving conditions in Satakunta, Pirkanmaa, Central Finland and Etelä-Savo, where traffic flow is expected to be hit by disruptions, with a greater risk of traffic accidents.

The weather is also forecast to turn bad in sea areas around Åland, the southern Bothnian Sea, and the eastern part of the Baltic with winds forecast up to 14 metres per second.