Thursday 1 June saw potentially the lowest June temperature on record in Finland. A weather station in Lapland, Enontekiö Kilpisjärvi Saana, reached -7.7C. This may not seem that cold for northern Finland, where winter temperatures reach as low as -51.5C, but the last time Lapland saw a minimum temperature of -7C in June was on 3 June 1962.
In addition, at this time of year Lapland experiences midnight sun where it is constantly light and the sun does not set. This unseasonal cold was possible in the first month of summer due to a large area of high pressure to the west of Finland, blocking the usual westerly/south-westerly flow of weather systems across the Atlantic and North Sea.
The mostly stationary area of high pressure to the west meant that polar air continued to flow in from the north for several days. The cold is expected to continue through this week, but the high pressure will finally edge eastwards allowing some relative warmth to return.
This month has also seen the start of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, with Tropical Storm Arlene having developed in the Gulf of Mexico last week. The tropical depression strengthened into a tropical storm on 2 June, but sustained winds only reached 40mph before weakening and making landfall in Cuba at the weekend. No significant impacts from the storm were reported.
Meanwhile, wildfires have been breaking out across eastern Canada throughout the last week, becoming particularly intense in places. Nova Scotia saw its largest wildfire on record, which destroyed many homes, but attention has turned towards Quebec, where recent heat has allowed a rash of fires to ignite over the past couple of days. It was estimated that over the weekend there were more than 130 active wildfires across Quebec, which in turn has brought huge smoke plumes across the Great Lakes and across Michigan.
This weekend saw rain arriving into parts of Nova Scotia, suppressing the active fires there. The rain will track into eastern parts of Quebec through this week, which was expected to have a similar impact on dousing the flames there, too. However, the fire risk will transfer westwards as heat continues across much of Canada.