The Finnish capital has seen one of its most gloomy winters on record. According to the latest figures from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, whose readings were taken at Helsinki’s Vantaa Airport, only about 50 hours of sunlight have been seen in Helsinki since the beginning of December. The figure represents the darkest winter in 25 years and the third most dreary in the last 50 years.
Ville Siiskonen said on behalf of the Finnish Meteorological Institute that cloudy skies are not normal wintertime fare in the capital. He added, “Last winter was noticeably sunnier. The winter before that, by this time, we had had up to 92 hours of sun, almost 50 percent more than this winter,” the YLE reports.
He went on to explain the cause of much of Helsinki’s cloudy skies during the colder months: “Since the sun is not as strong during the winter, the ground freezes, that cools the air and the humidity in the air condenses into fog or clouds,” he said.
The cloudiest winter on record occurred from December of 1964 through to early 1965, when Helsinki only saw 38 hours of sunshine between 1 December and 18 February, whilst the second gloomiest period was that of 1988 through to 1989, when the capital saw only 48 hours of direct sunlight.