Helsinki prepares for flurries of snow this weekend

The most extreme snowstorm of this winter is expected to hit Helsinki this weekend. The City has initiated special measures to ensure street maintenance during these extreme weather conditions. 

According to a weather report by the Finnish Meteorological Institute this morning, a snowstorm is expected in Helsinki in the evening of Saturday, 2 February. 15–20 centimetres of new snow is expected by Sunday afternoon. The heavy snowfall may continue in Helsinki from Sunday evening to Monday evening.

Snow has been falling in southern Finland for several days now, which means that there is already plenty of snow on the ground. The increasing amount of snow is making conditions worse for transport and traffic, which may result in very challenging conditions for commuters over the weekend.

The entire fleet of machinery of the City of Helsinki is already in use to clear away snow, and the City will arrange for more workers and machinery in order to manage these dire conditions. The City is also currently looking into organising temporary parking in areas such as market squares and open areas.

Snow is removed by both the City’s own service provider Stara and private contractors.

The streets, pavements and cycling routes in Helsinki will be cleared according to their maintenance class, i.e. urgency. Primary routes, or main streets, and public transport routes will be cleared first. Residential streets will follow.

The best way to tackle this issue is through cooperation. The City reminds residents to stay alert in traffic and observe requests to move their vehicles. You should not disturb the contractors while they are working – it is not safe to approach any machinery in the street.

The City would also like to remind you of your responsibilities concerning snow. The City clears roadways in central Helsinki, but each property is responsible for ploughing their section of the pavement, removing the snow and spreading gritting sand onto the pavement. In central Helsinki, properties must also remove banks of snow accumulating next to the pavement after the roadways have been ploughed.