This Weekend's Weather, Last Year's Lightning ({{commentsTotal}})

Far less snow is expected over the coming days compared with what hit the north earlier this week, but the mercury should be heading downward, well into the pipe-freezing range in some areas.

According to the latest forecast from the Meteorology and Hydrology Institute, a high-pressure zone over Estonia should keep the cloud layer relatively thin and the skies precipitation-free on both Saturday and Sunday.

The trade-off, however, is colder air. Daytime temperatures are expected to be -14 to -8 C, while at night they should drop into -18 to -13 C range with the possibility of -20 C readings in areas where the skies are clear.

The first half of next week is shaping up to be much the same, though Wednesday could see even lower daytime temperatures of -15 to -10 C and spots of -25 C at night.
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The institute recently also released its data on 2013's lightning activity, which showed 100,144 cloud-to-ground strikes in the country last year.

Though higher than the average of the last nine years, the figure doesn't come close to the results registered by the NORDLIS system in 2010 and 2011, which were roughly 150,000 and 138,000, respectively.

Last year, August was the most active month for lightning, coming in with 33,912 strikes, nearly double the typical readings for that month. Many of those came on August 9, when storms rolled through northern and western areas of the country. 

Pärnu and Võru tied for the top spot in the most days of lightning within a 15-km radius of the city. They each had 21 days, compared with the national average of 16.6.

It was the Harju County town of Kehra, however, that set the year's record for the most strikes, getting zapped 1,810 times, 1,444 of the strikes on the same day (August 9).

The institute did not say whether any of last year's strikes happened at the same place twice.

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