A mesoscale numerical model, incorporating a land-surface scheme based on Deardorffs' approach, is used to study the diurnal variation of the boundary layer structure and surface fluxes during four consecutive days with air temperatures well below zero, snow covered ground and changing synoptic forcing. Model results are evaluated against in-situ measurements performed during the WINTEX field campaign held in Sodankyla, Northern Finland in March 1997. The results show that the land-surface parameterization employed in the mesoscale model is not able to reproduce the magnitude of the daytime sensible heat fluxes and especially the pronounced maximum observed in the afternoon. Additional model simulations indicate that this drawback is to a large extent removed by the implementation of a shading factor in the original Deardorff scheme. The shading factor, as discussed in Gryning et al. (2001), accounts for the fact that in areas with sparse vegetation and low solar angles, both typical for the nor-them boreal forests in wintertime, absorption of direct solar radiation is due to an apparent vegetation cover which is much greater than the actual one (defined as the portion of the ground covered by vegetation projected vertically). Moreover, the observed asymmetry in the diurnal variation of the sensible heat flux indicates that there might be a significant heat storage in the vegetation. The implementation of an objective heat storage scheme in the mesoscale model explains part of the observed diurnal variation of the sensible heat flux.