While frozen back in April, the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland warm to tropical levels!

Written by on July 31, 2018 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

Could summer 2018 be remembered for the year the Mediterranean shifted to Scandinavia? An unusually persistent and hot sun with day after day soaring to between 27-32C on land and a lack of wind out over the water has allowed Scandinavian waters to heat to remarkable levels. Levels you’d even find warm in parts of the Mediterranean.

Blame an unusually strong positive NAO and consequential strong downstream Scandinavian blocking high.

The Azores high has essentially shifted 2,000 miles and set up shop over Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark while lower than normal pressure has kept southwest Europe cooler and wetter than you would typically expect.


Even the coastal waters around the UK have warmed into the low 20s. The normal is between 14-16C.

It’s quite amazing to think that the waters which are now at sub-tropical levels and bathtub warm were frozen just 4 months ago in what was a brutally cold beginning of spring.

March 30th, note a frozen Gulf of Bothnia.

Credit: NASA

February 22nd in Helsinki, Finland

Credit: Visit Helsinki

July 20th and 32C in Rovaniemi in northern Finland.

Credit: Pekka Niinivaara

The warmest waters compared to normal can be found beneath the core of the near record strong and persistent Scandinavian blocking high.

Credit: NASA

So how warm are we talking? A buoy in the Gulf of Finland measured a sea surface temperature of 25.5C. A level of warmth not seen in at least 18 years. One spot off the south Finnish coast measured a remarkable 27.4C.

23 and 24C is amazing to see all the way to the Gulf of Bothnia in the northern Baltic Sea.

These tropical-like waters have contributed to spectacular vortexes of cyanobacteria algae.

Credits: NASA

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