Winter condtions in Finland

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Winter condtions in Finland

Postby pjw65 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:24 pm

Hi,

I'm a Waze country manager in Switzerland and want to travel to North Cape with my Tesla car end of December 2017. :D

I've seen the fastest route goes over Sweden and Finland. It's also a good reason to visit Finland. :mrgreen:
How are the road conditions in December/Januar?
- Töre, Sweden
- Pello, Finland (I need that CHAdeMO Charging station) ;)
- probably over Sirkka, Finland (another CHAdeMO, that I could also skip, if the route E8 is better)
- Hetta, Finland (Route 93)
- Alta, Norway

I think the only critical road is Route 93 Finland-Norway with highest elevation 450m. In Switzerland are the passes closed during the winter months. We have instead some tunnels and also some trains, that transport cars. What do I have to expect between 21.12.-7.1. ?

Sorry for this off-topic question in English. I was also thinking to direct PM a level 5 editor of the region like @ranttine. :oops:

Thank you for every help.
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Re: Winter condtions in Finland

Postby kumiankka » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:42 pm

Hi and Welcome to Finland! Even if you are just trespassing :)

Road conditions can be observed via network of weather cameras maintained by the Finnish Transport Agency, a part of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Cameras are meant for local contractors doing the actual maintenance work but they serve the public as well. Cameras can be found at:
http://liikennetilanne.liikennevirasto.fi/
Switch to English from top right corner and activate Road condition cameras layer from the right-side menu. Most of the camera sites report wind speed and air & road surface temperatures as well, and a site can have more than one camera, pointing to different directions.

Generally speaking the roads are in good winter condition in Lapland area, meaning that they are plowed, sanded and/or salted depending on temperature. Roads may be covered in hard packed snow regardless of the amount of maintenance and smaller roads may have uneven surface due to lower maintenance standard. During and right after hard blizzards it may take some time before all roads get plowed, though. Winter tires are mandatory (by the law) from Dec 1 to Feb 28 and a proper winter tires are strongly recommended (by me). Preferably with studs but stud-less winter tires designed for Nordic conditions are OK if there is no too much icy conditions (temperatures just below zero°C and no salt or sand).

Please note that four-wheel drive will not make your stopping distance any shorter but good tires will. This gets important when your are about to hit a pack of reindeers eating road salt just behind a blind downhill curve. Thankfully there is no blind downhill curves on the bigger roads but reindeers there will be.

If we get even a decent winter, you may encounter temperatures down to -30°C and colder. Last winter we saw -40°C in early January in Muonio area, which I believe is on your route. Combine it with wind chill effect on a car doing 80-100 kph and you will need a good heater. When you get to Norway and closer to the Arctic Ocean, there won't be that cold but you should keep an eye on road closures, both for the season and temporary. Due to the ocean there may be lots of snow, like for several meters thick.
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Re: Winter condtions in Finland

Postby pjw65 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:15 pm

Thank you.
I was thinking to buy 4 new Nokian WR A4 245/45 R19 102V XL tires for my car, although Tesla offers Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 (and Pirelli Winter Sottozero Series II, which I had last winter) only.
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Re: Winter condtions in Finland

Postby FinToy » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:29 am

Be really prepared for bad conditions and don't forget that the sun doesn't rise at all that time a year in northern Finland. The roads may be closed on Norway as kumiankka just mentioned. There will be schedules on the gates that show you when the road will be opened. All the traffic will be following a plow-car and you're not allowed (actually you even cannot) bypass anyone that time.

I also shared you an album where I have some photos and videos from north, taken between December and February. At least you can see some road conditions.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/FC5tk2kJkwenXhdC2

edit: Here's an example of the sign where they mention the times the road will be open. You can also see the gate 100 meters ahead so you cannot miss it when the road is closed.
Google Maps
Hyvä jumala, anna minulle lisää kärsivällisyyttä nyt HETI! :cry:
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Re: Winter condtions in Finland

Postby ranttine » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:43 am

FYI: There's a charging station in Sirkka because the owner of the hotel Hullu Poro in Levi has a Tesla. I've discussed about the car with her and she said that in really cold winter days the battery capacity of the car suffers so much that she can barely make a trip to Rovaniemi and back (180km * 2).

Don't know how accurate that info is but anyway it might be good to know :)
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Re: Winter condtions in Finland

Postby kumiankka » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:49 pm

pjw65 wrote:Thank you.
I was thinking to buy 4 new Nokian WR A4 245/45 R19 102V XL tires for my car, although Tesla offers Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 (and Pirelli Winter Sottozero Series II, which I had last winter) only.

Tire selection for wide temperature range is always a trade-off. It's impossible to make a tire that would have good grip and be good to drive on both +5°C and -30°C. Most Central European winter tires, like Nokian WR A4, Pirelli Sottozero and Continental TS850 are winter tires specially tuned for higher speeds on dry roads or, at most, on wet/slushy surfaces but they will be inferior on icy roads of Lapland.

On the other hand, Nokian R2 is dedicated winter tire for cold Nordic conditions where it really excels compared to its southern cousins. However, driving with Nordic winter tires on temperatures +5°C or warmer will wear them off significantly faster than Central European winter tires in similar conditions. They will also feel squashy and unresponsive and don’t have good grip on wet tarmac.

Considering that driving thru Lapland will be only a fraction of your total mileage and Norway near the Arctic Ocean being more like Central Europe in what comes to winter conditions, I would agree that Nokian WR A4, Pirelli Sottozero or Continental TS850 will be reasonably good compromise on grip, driveability and wear resistance over your trip's total length.

It's just winter after all and we have survived it quite a many times so far :)
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Re: Winter condtions in Finland

Postby Harriv2 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:35 pm

pjw65 wrote:Thank you.
I was thinking to buy 4 new Nokian WR A4 245/45 R19 102V XL tires for my car, although Tesla offers Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 (and Pirelli Winter Sottozero Series II, which I had last winter) only.


Note that Nokian doesn't sell WR A4 in Finland, they offer only studded tires or R2 for winter.
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Re: Winter condtions in Finland

Postby pjw65 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:22 am

Harriv2 wrote:Note that Nokian doesn't sell WR A4 in Finland, they offer only studded tires or R2 for winter.


Studded tires is no option, because they are in a lot countries limited to snow covered roads and/or max. 80 km/h and not on Highways.
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Re: Winter condtions in Finland

Postby kumiankka » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:22 pm

Winter has arrived at Lapland. This is what the weather was like earlier today on road 93 near Enontekiö

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Currently there is about 5-10 cm of snow and temperature is down to -13°C.
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