Song and Dance Festival may be wet one as storm approaches Estonia

Bad weather conditions are nothing new in Estonia's history of song and dance festivals. Dancers dancing in clear rain ponchos at the 2017 Youth Dance Festival.
Bad weather conditions are nothing new in Estonia's history of song and dance festivals. Dancers dancing in clear rain ponchos at the 2017 Youth Dance Festival. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

A low-pressure system is approaching Estonia from Scandinavia, bringing with it heavier winds and downpours. According to the Estonian Weather Service's forecast, Tallinn may end up close to the eye of the storm on Friday, which means conditions may not be as severe, but performers and attendees at the XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival taking place from Thursday through Sunday nonetheless cannot rule out the likelihood of very rainy and windy weather.

The low-pressure system will reach the shores of Sweden by Thursday night and thereafter begin to deepen, said meteorologist Ele Pedassaar. Ahead of the system, winds will pick up in Estonia's western islands, with gusts of up to 15 meters per second, and the depression will reach the islands together with heavy showers. Rainclouds will reach the mainland around midnight, meaning that at least Thursday night's Dance Festival performance should stay dry.

Overnight into Friday, the low-pressure system will reach the Åland Islands before heading toward Estonia. The depression together with heavy rains (with a possible 15 millimeters or more of precipitation over 12 hours) will thereafter spread across Estonia. Lightning is possible in some parts of the country. On the mainland, winds will be out of the south, with wind speeds of 3-8 meters per second, gusting up to 13 meters per second. The islands and Estonia's west coast will see winds out of the southwest and south of up to 9-14 meters per second, with gusts of up to 20 meters per second. Overnight lows will drop to 8-14 degrees Celsius.

Friday could go either way

The eye of the storm will approach the island of Hiiumaa by Friday morning and the mainland by Friday afternoon, after which the forecast will vary regionally. The storm's steady rains will reach Russia to the east by midday, leaving partly cloudy skies in its wake. Some parts of the country, however, may see rapidly developing storm clouds and possible thunderstorms.

"Rain showers may be very intense, but it is difficult to say where exactly," Pedassaar commented.

By Friday afternoon, a new band of heavier rains will reach Estonia's western islands, which will move east toward the mainland by late Friday night. Winds will pick up on Friday as well, with gusts out of the south and southeast of up to 15 meters per second on the mainland and southwest and west of up to 20-27 meters per second on the islands. Winds in Northern Estonia will turn from the northeast to the north, while Western Estonia will see winds out of the northwest. Friday will see daytime highs of 12-17 degrees.

"For those participating in the Song and Dance Festival, Tallinn may end up near the so-called eye of the storm tomorrow, and the weather may not be that hopeless after all, but following overnight steady rains, one should nonetheless prepare for rain showers and possible thunderstorms just in case," the meteorologist warned. "Should the cyclone follow a more southerly trajectory, the weather in Tallinn may end up rainier and windier."

Pack your ponchos

By Saturday morning, the next round of rain clouds should begin to disperse, but festivalgoers participating in and cheering on Saturday's parade may still run the risk of being caught in a scattered downpour. Winds will be out of the northwest, blowing at 5-10 meters per second, and highs will be in the range of 14-17 degrees, indicating that jackets are still in order for spectators.

Sunday may see slightly warmer temperatures and lighter winds, but chances of downpours will remain.

"All in all, take rain ponchos and good spirits with you, and everything will be fine!" Pedassaar concluded.

Estonia celebrating double jubilee

The XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian) will take place from Thursday, July 4 through Sunday, July 7.

Click here for information regarding the schedule, tickets and more.

Want to stay dry? Click here for more information regarding ERR broadcasts of several performances of the Song and Dance Festival, beginning with the I Dance Festival performance at 6 p.m. on Thursday.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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