Spring arrives to six week forecasts


Service updates

Spring pilot season has started. Spring season is the fourth and last pilot season of the CLIPS project and it continues until the end of May.

In Finland spring is the shortest season and disappearence of the snow cover and arrival of the spring-like temperatures varies greatly between years. There are also big differences between the spring months: in March-April the snow depth typically reaches its highest point, whereas in May the growing season has usually already begun and the weather can be a lot like in summertime. Spring pilot season of the CLIPS project lasts from the beginning of March until the end of May and is last of the project’s pilot seasons.

Selection of the six week forecasts is at its largest

During the spring season the selection of six week forecasts is larger than during the past seasons. In the summer of 2017 the piloting started with six forecast products and now the amount has increased to several dozens. Also, the number of pilot users has grown from few hundreds to over 2500 Finnish people.

The new addition in the spring season is the collection of six week forecasts that describe the weather of the upcoming weeks through certain basic weather parameters, such as mean temperature, air pressure and weekly days of rain or snowfall. As usual, the spring selection also includes tailored six week forecasts. There is an enhanced version of the outlook for soil frost and bearing capacity. The six week forecasts of snow conditions have also increased in number and new acquintances include for example forecasts of weekly increase in snow load, snow depth and the probability of snow cover.

How long will the snow cover remain?

Forecasts estimating the snow conditions of the next six weeks are now put together under the title Snow outlooks. In addition to weekly amount of days with rain or snowfall they also estimate the snow depth, amount of snowfall, accumulated snow load and probability of snow cover.

A user can pick up the six week forecast about the snow condition that fits the user’s purpose best. Amount of weekly snowfall is probably more interesting for a person fond of skiing or maintaining roads, whereas the accumulated snow load might affect roof structures of buildings, halls or pavilions.

When the soil frost melts, frost heave takes over the roads

During the winter season the outlook for soil frost and bearing capacity was only predicting the changes in the soil frost depth. Now there is another forecast product that estimates the total soil frost depth and its changes on two different soil types (mineral & peat soil). Also, there is a six week forecast for probability of frost heave that describes conditions especially on small dirt roads, such as forest truck roads.

Frost heave season begins, when the soil frost has melted from the surface but the soil is still frozen deeper in the ground. Frost heave season ends when the soil frost has melted away completely. “After a night with below zero temperatures the forest truck roads can be in a good driving condition even during the forst heave season”, remind the researchers of the CLIPS project.

Outlook for growing season conditions makes a comeback

In February the test users were invited to answer a gallup about which six week forecasts they would like to see in the spring season. The most popular six week forecast, with superior amount of votes, was the growing season outlook. Therefore it makes its comeback during the spring.

The growing season outlook was one of the most liked and best-rated six week forecasts during the last summer. Project team also received lots of feedback and ideas for further development about the growing season outlook. The forecasts of the weekly days with below zero temperatures and probability of below zero temperatures during the week were also added to the side of the growing season outlook.

New pilot users are still welcomed

Six week forecasts of the CLIPS project are produced until the end of May, so there is still time to join in and try out the six week forecasts. As the service is in the pilot phase, it is unfortunately only in Finnish. If that’s no problem, you can sign up on our website. After signing up you receive an email with the login information for the service.

Here is a list of the spring season’s six week forecasts:

General six week forecasts

  • Mean temperature, air pressure, weekly amount of days with rain or snowfall

Growing season outlook

  • Development of growing season, growing degree day sum outlook, weekly amount of days with below zero temperatures and probability of below zero temperatures

Snow outlook

  • Forecasts of snow depth, probability of snow cover, weekly amount of days with rain or snowfall, weekly snowfall and accumulated snow load

Heating degree day outlook

Storm outlook

  • Air pressure, forecast of weekly maximum gusts, probability of near and severe gale gusts

Cottage season outlook

  • Weekly amount of days with rain, below zero temperatures, frosty days and probability of frost heave (especially on small dirt roads)

Biking weather outlook

Outlook for soil frost and bearing capacity

  • Forecasts of changes in soil frost depth, soil frost depth on mineral soil & peat soil, probability of frost heave (especially on small dirt roads)

Winter tire outlook

Wind outlooks (on 14 sea, lake and coastal water area locations)