Meeting Santa Claus in his Lapland home is a winter treat for many families, but thanks to unseasonably high temperatures that have struck Finland's far north, snow is rather thin on the ground this year. This is disappointing news for holidaymakers as the area is usually snow-covered for around 175 days a year and generally receives 20 to 30cm of snow by the end of November.
Annual variations on the arrival of snow are normal, but it is believed that due to climate change, the unpredictability will probably increase in coming years. This year, the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, has been affected by the unseasonably warm weather and has seen just a few centimetres of snowfall. Concerns are growing that the lack of snow may disrupt the region's critical winter travel industry. ”The first snow arrives to Lapland generally early to mid-October," says meteorologist Ville Siiskonen from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, "but due to the prevailing weather type, the first snow has melted."
Nonetheless, the region wants to reassure visitors that tourism operations in Lapland are continuing normally despite low snow coverage. According to House of Lapland, the weather conditions favour enjoying the Northern Lights and outside campfires, as well as light trekking, fatbiking and photography. "If you prefer a hygge atmosphere, you can enjoy the magic of the polar night in special accommodation, eating local delicacies and superfoods or relaxing in the warmth of the Finnish sauna," it says. "And of course Santa meets his guests, big or small, every day of the year."