Graphics: Dry Midsummer's Eve more likely in coastal areas ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Midsummer bonfire on a beach in Estonia. Photo is illustrative.
Midsummer bonfire on a beach in Estonia. Photo is illustrative. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Forecasts by the Estonian Weather Service are currently indicating that coastal areas in Estonia have a 60-65 percent chance of staying dry on the night of June 23. Inland, however, particularly in Southeastern and Southern Estonia, one can expect a 50-50 chance of a wet Midsummer's Eve.

Based on Midsummer weather, Kuusiku, in Rapla County, could serve as the capital of the two-day summer holiday, where both the highest and the lowest Midsummer's Eve temperatures have been recorded. There are other candidates for the position as well, however.

According to Estonian Weather Service data, the majority of Midsummer temperature records date back quite a ways. Despite climate changes, however, Estonians have had to dig out their mittens for Midsummer in recent decades as well. Also not uncommon have been low temperatures dipping down near the freezing point.

If your goal is to avoid very strong rains but you're not worried about the possibility of some sprinkles, it is worth making plans in Southeastern Estonia. In Tõravere and Piigaste, for example, even precipitation records don't exceed 14 millimeters.

On the Western Estonian islands, meanwhile, there is no need to pack along winter clothes, as according to existing temperature records, temperatures have never dipped below 7 degrees Celsius around Midsummer in Kihnu or Vilsandi.

In terms of weather, Midsummer generally falls during a relatively peaceful time of year. According to newspapers and other written sources, however, over the past 150 years, the most extreme weather events seen in Estonia on June 23 and 24 have included tornadoes and heavy rains.

On June 23, 1930, for example, a tornado heavily damaged three farms in Tsooru. On June 23, 1902, heavy rains in Võnnu left fields of crops underwater.

A shepherd from near Narva may have been particularly popular at Midsummer bonfires in 1934 after being flown ten meters through the air by a tornado three days earlier. Anna Miller, meanwhile, may not have been in the best mood, as the same tornado damaged the roof of her house.

Ball lightning has reportedly been observed several times during the week of Midsummer. In 1930, a young man from Vana-Võidu was killed by ball lightning shortly before Midsummer. In 1911, a professor Aleksejev living in Elva may have been in for quite a shock a few days after Midsummer when ball lightning attacked his home. One of the professor's seven laborers was seriously injured as a result.

The information above was sourced from the Estonian Weather Service and the book "Estonian Climate, Past and Present" ("Eesti kliima minevikus ja tänapäeval") by Jaak Jaagus, Ain Kallas and Andres Tarand.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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