How is the Swedish weather?
Sweden has four distinct seasons, but the actual temperatures and weather of each season differs quite a lot between the north, middle and southern part of the country. Since Sweden is located so far up north, each season also bring substantial changes to the hours of daylight where the extreme northern parts have virtually zero hours of daylight in the winter and 24 hours of daylight in the peak of the summer.
For quick reference, the current weather in Stockholm, Sweden, is displayed to the right. In celsius up top, and fahrenheit below that.
Spring comes early in the south and late in the north, as expected. The difference between for instance the Stockholm region and the province of Skåne in the south is so noticable it easily feels like you’d get at least an extra month of winter in Stockholm in comparison.
The spring normally starts around march, at which time the hunt for “spring signs” start. If you find an early flower, spring birds, insects etc. really early, it might even make the news papers. As expected, the first spring signs are normally discovered in the south. A very noticable sign is the people at the outdoor cafés.. Not exactly being spoiled with warm weather, the Swedes take every chance they get and start spending time outdoors wearing full clothing and one or two blankets on top. They might be shivering, they might turn blue, but they are outside enjoying the sunshine which makes all the difference in the world!
One major celebration in spring is “Valborgsmässoafton”, walpurgis night, last evening in April, which is an old tradition with large bon fires, choir singing and more. This is especially major within the student communities where celebrations are both organized and disorganized. Uppsala is a major student city, and students from many parts of the country go there for celebrations this date.
By the later part of spring, a lot seems to be happening in Sweden especially with the daylight. Quite rapidly the days tend to get longer, and with that, the Swedes get happier. One sure sign of spring is when the street sweeping machines go through and collect all the gravel spread out on the road to handle the ice, and the dust that came with that gravel. Vegetation springs up all over, who could have thought that it would during the winter, huh?
Ah, the peak period of Sweden, at least if you ask me. Things are blooming everywhere and the people seem to be much happier than in the winter. The larger cities, like Stockholm and Göteborg for instance, get more tourists but many of the Swedes flee the city for their summer cottages on the country side or in the Archipelago.
Sun light is abundant and the sun does not set until 10 or 11 pm or not at all (if you’re in the northern parts). The sun rises again very early in the morning, say 3.30-4 am depending on where in Sweden you are. If you are not used to this – make sure to pull the blinds and close the windows, cause if the light won’t wake you, the birds singing will.
Many festivals and other arrangements take place in the Swedish cities during the summer so it will not be hard to find things to do!
Summer also means light rains, occasional thunder, cool breezes, but often nice warm days with warming sun light. The summer usually lasts August out before Fall starts to enter the stadge slowly but steadily.
The fall in Sweden sadly includes numerous rains and dropping temperatures. However, the occasional warm day keeps the fond memories of the summer alive. Fall also means the birds start moving and the leaves start changing in color. With the high proportion of pine trees, the forests still seem green but mixed with red, orange and yellow.
Some great things with the fall beside the colors would be the crisp air and the cool evenings where the Swedes sit outside as much as they can before winter comes. (Compare to the spring behaviour..)
Winter, winter, winter. Once again, a major difference between north, center and south of Sweden: the north can become very cold while the south only stays cool. Some years snow is quite rare in the center and southern parts and some years it falls in abundance. The winter time gives possibilities for all kinds of activities, such as going on a ski trip in the north, skating, sleigh riding or just simply throwing snow balls at eachother. Swedish has a word called “mula”, which is a verb for “stuffing snow in someones face”, more commonly practiced within the younger generations though, so don’t be worried.
The dark and rather cold winter does bring something extra to being inside. The warmth of the house, a couch and a cup of chocolate become so much more enjoyable when seing the dark and snow through the window.
Since the air is rather dry, Sweden does not feel as cold as you might imagine, so just put your coats on and run out and tumble around in the snow.