Snow situation 30.3.2023

Snow in the entire country – less than usual in some parts of Southwest Finland

In Southern and Western Finland, the snow load is mostly 40–80 kg/m2 and in Central Finland and in the southern parts of Eastern Finland and Northern Ostrobothnia 80–120 kg/m2. In Kainuu, the snow load is 150–220 kg/m2, the Paljakka hill in Hyrynsalmi being the snowiest place. In Lapland, the snow load varies between 100 and 180 kg/m2.

Air-supported structures are already at risk of damage and collapse with a snow load of 30 cm (50–60 kg/m2).

The Finnish Environment Institute and the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency warn of the risks of snow load on roofs of large halls (press release 21 January 2022, available in Finnish)

Snow course observations are made once a month and twice a month during the snow melting period.

milloin lunta pitäisi pudottaa katolta, kuvituskuva

When should I push snow off the roof?

A roof snow load may damage the structures of large halls, in particular, which is why the snow should be pushed off the roof in time. A property owner must also ensure that snow and ice cannot slide off the roof and hurt passers-by. However, you should not take it upon yourself to climb onto the roof of a residential building to push down the snow.

Halls with a large frame

Buildings and halls with a large frame are high-risk sites in terms of snow loads. Any hidden structural defects in such halls usually come to light when the snow load reaches around one hundred kilograms per square metre. Even a layer of 50 centimetres of snow should be removed from the roof, but this job should be entrusted to professionals.

Air-supported structures

Air-supported structures that are held up by internal air pressure are no match for the weight of snow, and they may collapse under a layer of just 20 centimetres. As 20 to 30 centimetres of snow can accumulate over a short period of time in Finland, these structures are unsuitable for the winter conditions in our country.

Residential buildings

The roof structures of private houses and high-rise residential buildings can carry a large snow load, usually with no risk of collapsing, whereas icicles falling off the roofs are a particular hazard. To avoid putting your or other people’s safety at risk, you should never climb up to a roof without proper safety equipment.

Fun facts about snow?