Very bad conditions on the roads spreading across the country
Extremely bad road conditions are in prospect in Southern Finland from Friday afternoon onwards as a belt of sleet and snow crosses the country.
According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, drivers can expect a serious challenge to their abilities in Varsinais-Suomi, Satakunta, Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme, the Kymi Valley region, and in Pirkanmaa, as practically the entire southern part of the country receives a decent dump of snow and sleet, with strong gusting winds by way of accompaniment.
The gale-force winds, with gusts exceeding 20 metres a second (72 km/h), have already had an impact in the form of power outages and with trees falling on buildings in the south.
At 15:30, around 17,000 customers of Fortum were without electricity as a result of the storm that blew in from Sweden during the morning.
Western and southwestern districts were worst hit.
The combination of gusting winds and wet, heavy snow that clings to trees increases the risk of power lines being brought down by falling trees.
The earlier mild weather has also left the ground unfrozen, making it even easier for heavily-laden trees to topple over, according to a spokesman for Fortum.
Elsewhere in the country, the forecast for road-users is not quite as bleak, but conditions are likely to be bad even to the north of a line from Vaasa down to the south-eastern border.
A warning of severe gales is in force for the Gulf of Finland and round into the Bothnian Sea, the lower half of the Bay of Bothnia.
The fast catamarans of Linda Line that normally ply the route between Helsinki and Tallinn will be remaining in port. Viking Line also cancelled one morning departure from Sweden to the Åland Islands.
Finnish Meteorological Institute
FMI: Weather Warnings
Road weather cameras in Southern Finland (Finnish Transport Agency)