Finland’s 100th Anniversary Snow Seminar

Finland100 Snow Seminar by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, organised as part of the official 100 year celebration of Finland’s independence (Photo: Outi Meinander).

As part of the official 100 year independence celebration in Finland, the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) organised the 7th Snow Seminar on November 1st 2017, the day of Pyry (Blizzard). The seminar programme consisted of a wide range of snow research and services-related oral and poster presentations and was jointly-organised by the COST ES1404 Action HARMOSNOW (). Moreover, the event also included one session on snow as an inspiration for art.

The welcome and opening address was by FMI Director General Dr. Juhani Damski. After this, Ms Johanna Ekman made a short comment on Finland’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council for the period 2017-2019. A Keynote speech, with an historical perspective, was given by Docent Esko Kuusisto, Finnish Environment Center, on “One hundred years of snow research in Finland”. He showed the many dimensions that there are to snow research and services in Finland, including snow in art.

The next COST ES1404 dedicated session on “European network for harmonized monitoring on snow for the benefit of climate scenarios, hydrology and numerical weather prediction” consisted of multiple talks and culminated with field work highlights introduced by Dr. Nacho López-Moreno from the Spanish National Research Council.

In the third session, which had the theme “Snow science and services in Finland”, the Keynote speech was given by Professor Jouni Pulliainen, FMI, on Satellite based research, services and products for high latitude terrestrial areas. He demonstrated how satellites are an important source of information and sometimes the only source. In the last talk of this session, completely different aspects were introduced by Teemu Lemmettylä from the Finnish Ski Association.

Director General of FMI, Dr. Juhani Damski opening the Snow Seminar at FMI, Helsinki in November 2017 (Photo: Outi Meinander).
Director General of FMI, Dr. Juhani Damski opening the Snow Seminar at FMI, Helsinki in November 2017 (Photo: Outi Meinander).

The seminar poster session included several posters on snow research, services and art, and one invited poster by Dr. Piia Post, University of Tartu, Estonia, on “Observing Large-scale Atmospheric Moisture Transport from Multiple Sources to Analyse Severe Snow Storm in the Baltic Sea Region”. The final session brought science and art together and included an artistic sound and picture presentation on “Water, snow, air, fire, earth” by Ms. Paola Livorsi of the Sibelius Academy and a session Keynote presentation by Professor Timo Vesala of the University of Helsinki on “From Vertigo to Blue velvet – Connotations between movies and climate change”.

The seminar was live-streamed over the internet and the recordings are available on the EU COST Action ES1404 website www.harmosnow.eu. The documentation of the 7th Snow seminar is also archived at the Prime Minister’s Office of Finland, which  officially included the event as part of the Finland100 Project on the centenary of Finland’s independence (vnk.fi/en/projects/finland100 and suomifinland100.fi). In addition, a special issue dedicated to the seminar presentations will appear in Geophysica in 2018 (www.geophysica.fi), an open access journal of the Geophysical Society of Finland, published since 1935.

By Outi Meinander, Finnish Meteorological Institute

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