Heading to Lapland this Christmas? You could be in for a shock because there's no SNOW
Tourists heading to Santa's home in Lapland could be in for a shock this year '“Â because there's no snow.
"Exceptional" weather in ScandinaviaÂ means that no snow has fallen in the region so far this year.
And unseasonably mild conditionsÂ haveÂ left many families crestfallen by dream holidays that have been spoiled by a lack of the white stuff.
At a time when northern Lapland would normally have 20-30cm of snow on the ground, there are now no more than a couple of centimetres in isolated patches, and the majority of the area has no snow at all.
Kym Baker, who is due to take her four-year-old daughter on a holiday at the beginning of December, told Sky News the lack of snow means the activities she booked - such as husky sledding and skiing - will be impossible.
She said provider TUI, who charged Â£2,100 for the four-day break for a family of three, had said she will be charged if she cancels the holiday and told her to "wait and see" if snow arrives.
'My daughter Macy's only five and it's a holiday of a lifetime type thing. A chance to go to Lapland while she still believes in Santa,' Ms Baker said.
'I feel like it's taken all the magic out of it.'
Long-term weather forecasts from the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) forecast show temperatures are dropping and conditions are now frosty, but predict no snow for the next 10 days.
Finnish meteorologistÂ Ville SiiskonenÂ said the lack of snow was an "exceptional" weather event - of the kind that happens no more than once every 30 years.
"Depending on the projected scenarios, it's expected that by the end of the century there will be much less snow, and in fewer places, in Lapland," Mr Siiskonen said.
Alexander Kuznetsov, who edits travel magazine All About Lapland, said it was "certainly a worry for local service providers" but added local industries had adapted to a lack of snow in recent years.
Mr Kuznetsov suggested tourists delay their visit to February or March, or try out different activities on their holiday.