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Cold spell in Estonia set to continue through weekend

Cold weather in Tallinn.
Cold weather in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The cold snap that arrived with the new year is set to continue through to the end of the weekend, with the Northeast and the shores of Peipsi järv remaining cold and experiencing nighttime readings of as low as -30 degrees Celsius.

However the arrival of the new week will bring milder temperatures, but more snow.

An area of high pressure focused over the Karelia region to the Northeast of Estonia is bordered to the west by an active area of low pressure to the West.

This area of high pressure remains in situ Thursday, with arctic-levels of cold air entering its eastern edges; in practical terms on the ground, strong easterlies and northeasterlies make the weather more severe – the wind itself being maintained by the aforementioned low-pressure area, over Poland.

This low is too distant to bring the heavy precipitation it is exhibiting at its core, however, and temperatures in Estonia remain below -20 degrees even during the day.

Wednesday night into the small hours of Thursday was thus cold: Down to -28 degrees in the Northeast and with the mildest temperatures to be found on the islands, where it was still -15 to -14 degrees. Conditions were cloudier than they had been daytime, particularly in the Center and South, bringing a fresh dusting of snow, driven by easterlies of 4-15 meters per second in gusts up to 21 meters per second in coastal zones.

Weather map for the morning of Thursday, January 4, 2024. Source: ERR

Similar conditions prevail Thursday morning: Clearer over the Northern mainland, cloudier in the South and East and over the islands, with patches of snow in the Southwest and over Saaremaa. (North)easterlies will continue to blow with gusts on the coast up to 20 meters per second, while the temperatures in the Northeast (-29 to -25 degrees) will be colder than in the Center, West and Northwest including Tallinn (the latter's morning temperature will be around -21 degrees); again milder over the islands.

Daytime, the mercury will only climb a little – to a low of -25 degrees in the Northeast, -22 to -21 in the Center and Southeast, -19 to -18 degrees in the West and -14 to -13 degrees over the islands. Again, strong easterlies and patches of snow in the West.

Daytime weather map for Thursday, January 4, 2024. Source: ERR

This will make for another cold night Thursday over to Friday, but on Friday itself, the area of low pressure mentioned above is to move closer, bringing more snow, and stormy conditions since the easterlies remain.

Snow is expected Friday and Saturday nights.

The current cold snap is set to continue through to the weekend, with nighttime temperatures down to -30 in places, daytime averages -21 to -15.

However, from Sunday, northwesterlies will push away the cold, leading to milder conditions, getting milder still on Monday.

This means average temperatures rising to as high as -5 degrees daytime on Monday.

Four-day weather outlook Friday, January 5 to Monday, January 8, 2024. Source: ERR

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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja

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