Warm summers and snowy winters.
The “weather portrait” of Finland sounds almost perfect, doesn’t it?
Because of Finland’s excellent location between Eurasian continent and Atlantic Ocean, the climate in Finland is quite unique. It’s a combination of maritime and continental climates. And thanks to this combination, Finns get to enjoy best parts of all four seasons.
Finland is a Land of Four Seasons
Everyone is free to have their own opinion on how to define each season, but for the official statistics season are defined by the daily mean temperatures. The actual date when one seasons ends and the next one starts can vary greatly from year to year. And because Finland is a long country, season starts different time in southern Finland compared to the northern parts of the country.
Each year is different, and so is the weather. But no matter how long the winter or summer season is, each season in Finland has typical characteristics on how they differ from each other. All the seasons are great in their own way, but usually summer and winter gets most votes in popularity contests.
Spring in Finland
When spring arrives, it feels like it’s a start of something new. And that what it is in nature. After long cold season it starts to get warm again. Snow melts away and slowly nature shows its beautiful colors again. Officially the spring season begins when mean temperature is consistently above 0 °C. In southern Finland this usually happens around April, in northern Finland about a month later.
Summer in Finland
Summer is the season everyone waits for. Even those who think that winter is the best season, they wouldn’t think so if there wasn’t summer first. We all hope that summer begins early and ends late, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. Officially summer begins when daily mean temperature rises above 10 °C. By this definition, summer usually last from late May until September in southern Finland.
But to make summer really feel like summer, the temperature must rise above 15 °C, or better yet above 20 °C. Best chances for this is usually between mid-June and mid-August. Sometimes, If we are lucky, the first heat waves might arrive as early as May, or might last until the first days of September. The highest summer temperatures in Finland are above 30°C but luckily that’s quite rare.
Autumn in Finland
At first autumn might seem a bit sad season as it is a farewell to summer. Leaves drop from trees, sky looks grey and it feels like it’s raining constantly. But before that happens, the beginning of autumn is one of the greatest times of the year. As the temperature drops below 0 °C during nights, nature starts to get ready for winter and reveals those amazing autumn colors, or “ruska” as it is called in Finnish. This is the most inspiring time to enjoy nature outdoors.
Winter in Finland
And then comes the winter. It’s good that everyone likes this season so much, because winter is the longest seasons in Finland. Winter lasts about 100 days in southern Finland and 200 days in Lapland.
The coldest days of winter are usually at the end of January or in the beginning February. In Lapland the temperature might drop as low as -50 °C. In southern Finland the coldest temperatures are usually about -25 °C. Lakes freeze over usually in late November or early December. The snow cover is deepest around mid-March. In eastern Finland the snow cover can be as deep as 90 cm.
Finnish Meteorological Institute