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Climate and daylight

When does the sun set? What could the weather be like?

The Lapland region has a subarctic to continental climate characterized by mild summers and cold, snowy winters. During the peak travel season, December to February, the region experiences an average temperature range of about - 16 °C (3 °F) to 3 °C (37 °F) depending on location, with occasional lows of about - 30 °C (-22 °F) or colder with wind chill. Thankfully, the dry, crisp air has a moderating effect on the temperatures. (See what to pack to stay warm and comfy for your winter visit.)

The amount and duration of snowfall also varies by location, but the average number of days with snow is around 175 – 225 days per year between mid-October and mid-May. The long-lasting snow cover makes Lapland an ideal place for leisure activities like dog-sledding, skiing, snowmobiling, etc. (See our Lapland Day Tours.)

In the summertime, temperatures are usually 10 - 15 °C (50 - 60 °F) and rainfall is moderate. With the abundance of rivers and lakes in Lapland, boating and fishing are especially popular in summer, as is hiking.

Please note: Weather conditions can change quickly and often, particularly in winter, so we recommend that all visitors to Lapland purchase travel insurance to safeguard their holiday plans.

Mean temperatures in Celsius (Fahrenheit) by month for selected towns in Lapland

Month Yllas (FI) Tromsø (NO) Kirkenes (NO) Kiruna (SE) Kemi (FI) Rovaniemi (FI)
Jan -13.6 (7.5) -4.4 (24.1) -11.6 (11.1) -10.7 (12.7) -10.7 (12.7) -11.7 (10.9)
Feb -12.1 (10.2) -4.2 (24.4) -11.3 (11.7) -10.4 (13.3) -10.3 (13.5) -11.0 (12.2)
Mar -6.9 (19.6) -2.7 (27.1) -4.5 (23.9) -8.2 (17.2) -5.7 (21.7) -6.1 (21.0)
Apr -1.0 (30.2) 0.3 (32.5) -2.4 (27.7) -3.9 (25.0) -0.2 (31.6) -1.0 (30.2)
May 5.9 (42.6) 4.8 (40.6) 3.0 (37.4) 1.5 (34.7) 6.2 (43.2) 5.8 (42.4)
Jun 12.0 (53.6) 9.1 (48.4) 8.5 (47.3) 7.2 (45.0) 12.8 (55.0) 12.2 (54.0)
Jul 11.4 (52.5) 11.8 (53.2) 12.1 (53.8) 10.7 (51.3) 15.6 (60.1) 14.9 (58.9)
Aug 11.6 (52.9) 10.8 (51.4) 10.5 (50.9) 9.0 (48.2) 13.3 (56.0) 12.1 (53.8)
Sep 6.1 (43) 6.7 (44.1) 6.2 (43.2) 4.3 (39.7) 8.0 (46.4) 6.6 (43.9)
Oct -0.4 (31.2) 2.7 (36.9) 0.4 (32.7) -1.0 (30.2) 2.2 (36.0) 0.2 (32.4)
Nov -7.9 (17.8) -1.1 (30.0) -5.5 (22.1) -6.2 (20.8) -4.1 (24.6) -6.1 (21.0)
Dec -12.2(10) -3.3 (26.1) -9.7 (14.5) -8.8 (16.2) -8.7 (16.3) -6.9 (19.6)

Source: http://www.yr.no (Norwegian Meteorological Institute)

Daylight
Most of the Lapland region lies above the Arctic Circle, so the differences in daylight hours between winter and summer are extreme. Depending on what season you visit, you may experience the contrasting phenomena of the northern lights or the midnight sun.

In the peak winter months, daylight is limited to a few hours usually between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. However, the light reflecting off the snow can make the days seem brighter. The short daylight hours also create ideal conditions to view the northern lights, or aurora borealis. These amazing displays of light are best seen between November and March. (See our Northern Lights Tours.)

In contrast, from approximately mid-May to late July the sun does not completely dip below the horizon—a polar phenomenon known as the midnight sun. (See our Midnight Sun Tours.)

Time Zones
Norway and Sweden: Central European Time (CET), or GMT +1 (GMT +2 in summer) Finland: Eastern European Time (EET), or GMT +2 (GMT +3 in summer)

Daylight Saving Time is observed between the last Sunday of March and last Sunday of October.

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