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White Christmas may still happen in Estonia

Tallinn Old Town in winter.
Tallinn Old Town in winter. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

While it was raining Monday morning, with temperatures above freezing everywhere in the country, snow could return to mainland Estonia from Saturday, weather forecaster Ele Pedassaar said.

She said that forecasting the weather more than three days in advance is difficult. But long-term forecasts help make sense of general trends. "Once we're done with tomorrow's very warm, rainy and windy weather, things will take a turn for the colder again starting Wednesday.

Wednesday and Thursday are still forecast to bring sleet, while the winter solstice on Friday could see a breakthrough," Pedassaar said on the "Terevisioon" morning show.

The key to a white Christmas in the area lies with low pressure areas surrounding the Baltic Sea and countries. "This night's calculations suggest a vortex will develop over the Baltic before heading across Finland toward Karelia. If that happens, colder air will move here from the east and north. Should we have precipitation then, it will be snow," Pedassaar explained. Mainland Estonia could, therefore, see the return of snow cover starting Saturday, while the islands will still have to make do with sleet over the weekend.

But the fickle nature of low pressure areas also means that snow might arrive in greater quantities than people hope. "We may have to issue a blizzard warning, while I dare hope the wind will die down some," the weather forecaster said, adding that a fairy tale Christmas of lazy snowflakes gently floating down behind the window pane is likely not in store in either case. "That said, longer-term forecasts suggest children can look forward to more wintry conditions in the second half of the winter break."

Tallinn and Tartu have seen a white Christmas during three of the last five years. While Pedassaar said that changeable weather around the holidays is quite common, this cannot be said of Estonia's unusually cold and snowy November and early December this year.

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Editor: Jaan-Juhan Oidermaa, Marcus Turovski

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