What the best time to visit Norway? What about weather?

Any time you will enjoy a lot of interesting activies and magnificent views. Photo: © Alexey Ponomarenko

What is the first thought at the mention of Norway? It is a cold northern country with severe winters and cool summers. Let's see what the real situation is.

Features of Norwegian climate

Despite the country's northern location the climate in Norway is much more pleasant than you might think. Thanks to the Gulf Stream bordering the coast of the country and mountain ranges in the east the natives and travelers can enjoy the warm summer, mild winters and little precipitation in most part of the country. Of course, the climate in Norway differs from region to region:

  • Hot summers and cold and dry winters are typical for the south of Norway.
  • In the north it is much colder and wetter, except for a small period in summer.
  • The coastal climate in southern Norway is known as warm and wet throughout the year.

Midnight sun period

Norway extended from north to south of the country and its regions differ not only in the amounts of precipitation, temperature, and general climatic characteristics, but also the sun. Thus, in the North Cape area one can observe the phenomenon of a midnight sun for 2.5 months (from mid-May to late July) when there is no sunset for 24 hours a day – it just becomes less active in the evening and night hours. For this miracle of nature and a kind of ‘additional’ summer fun Norwegians have to pay a month of a polar night in winter.

Place

from

to

North Cape

May 13

July 29

Hammerfest

May 16

July26

Vardø

May17

July25

Tromsø

May20

July22

Harstad

May24

July18

Svjlvaer

May28

July14

Bodø

June 3

July8

Air temperature

The highest annual temperatures in Norway are usually recorded in the southern and western coastal areas of the country. The normal annual temperature in Rogaland is usually 7.7°C.

Norwegian weather is very changeable. Photo: © Alexey Ponomarenko

Except for mountain area of Norway the coldest part of the country is Finnmark Plateau with an annual temperature of -3.1°C. In Lapland in the winter months the thermometer can drop to 40 Celsius below zero. In the mountains, the temperatures can reach -40 °C or less.

Average monthly temperatures at the major Norway resorts

Bergen

Lillehammer

Alesund

Oslo

Stavanger

Tromsø

Trondheim

January

2.7°C

-7 °C

2 °C

-4,3 °C

1 °C

-4.4 °C

-3 °C

February

3°C

-4 °C

2 °C

-4 °C

1 °C

-4.2 °C

-2.5 °C

March

4.9°C

-1 °C

3 °C

-0.2 °C

3 °C

-2.7 °C

0 °C

April

8°C

3 °C

5 °C

4.5 °C

5 °C

0.3 °C

3 °C

May

12.9°C

10 °C

9 °C

10.8 °C

10 °C

4.8 °C

9 °C

June

15.1°C

13 °C

11 °C

15.2 °C

12 °C

9.1 °C

12 °C

July

16.6°C

15 °C

13 °C

16.4 °C

14 °C

11.8 °C

13 °C

August

16.3°C

13 °C

13 °C

15.2 °C

14 °C

10.8 °C

12.5 °C

September

13.3 °C

8 °C

11 °C

10.8 °C

11 °C

6.7 °C

9 °C

October

9.8 °C

4 °C

8 °C

6.3 °C

8 °C

2.7 °C

5.5 °C

November

5.8 °C

-1 °C

5 °C

0.7 °C

4 °C

-1.1 °C

0.5 °C

December

3.3 °C

-5 °C

2 °C

-3,1 °C

2 °C

-3.3 °C

-2 °C

Precipitation

As for the precipitation the amount is markedly different in each part of the country due to warm currents along the coast and the mountains just near the sea. The western coast of the country with high precipitation in the fall and winter is a wet area, but the wettest part of Norway is the area of south-western fjords. An annual precipitation in the Brekke in Sogn og Fjordane county reaches 3575 mm. In summer, the rains move to the central regions, the south-east and Lapland. The driest area is Oppland County with an annual precipitation of 278 mm.

Seasons in Norway

Norway seasons in most of the country are strongly pronounced – with warm summers and cold, snowy winters.

Summer

Summer weather in Norway. Photo: © Alexey Ponomarenko

Summer is the best time for outdoor activities. Warm weather with maximum summer temperatures of 25-30 Celsius above zero and little humidity is perfect for the fjord cruises, fishing, mountain hiking. A pleasant water temperature (about 18 Celsius above zero ) makes the Norwegians open a bathing season.

The most pleasant and stable weather is kept on the eastern slope of the southern mountains, and the coast lying between Mandal and Oslo: about 15 Celsius above zero. Going to the north the summer temperatures are rising and may reach +30 oC. But due to the great length of Norway the climate throughout the country can significantly differ: in the areas of fjords, Northern Norway and Trøndelag the summer is wet and changeable.

Autumn

Due to the geographical features of Norway the land cools here faster than the sea water, that’s why it is warmer in coastal areas than in central regions. The highest average temperatures in the fall are observed in the region of the Oslofjord. Rogaland and Hordaland counties also have a favorable autumn weather.

At this time, high precipitation is possible that contribute to the collection of mushrooms. The fall is also perfect for hunting, mountain hiking and collecting northern berries: cloudberries, blueberries, cranberries.

Winter

Winter brings with snow to the most of Norway and at this time winter sport activities are popular: sledding, downhill or cross-country skiing. The average January temperature ranges from -2 oC in the south-western regions to -12 oC in the north. Low temperatures are typical for low-lying inland areas of the country: in the northern parts of Tromsø and Finnmark, Trøndelag and Eastern Norway the thermometer can drop to -40°C, though not every winter.

Coastal areas have mild winters, but there could be severe storms, heavy rains and cloudy weather.

Spring

You can go to Norway from May to mid-June to see the most picturesque landscapes: the fruit trees begin blooming; melting snow breaks down by raging flood waters of mountain rivers that go to fjords and valleys. Especially awesome view can be observed along the Hardanger Fjord.

The spring in Norway is also known for the largest differences in temperature between the southern and northern parts of the country and strong fluctuations of day and night temperatures. The warmest regions of Norway in May are the southern part of Eastern Norway and Southern Norway.

In addition, Norway weather in spring is unsteady and warm days when you can even sunbathe are replaced by cold ones with snow falls.

Regardless of the season you should be aware of possible rapid changes in weather throughout Norway, especially in the mountainous areas. Therefore, going on trips outside the city take care of warm clothing.

The best time to go to Norway

Norway is wonderful at any time, and the timing of your trip depends on your personal preferences:

  • The warmest time of the year is July, especially if you go to the coast, for example, to Stavanger. But if you go to fjords at this period you can face the rains and cool days.
  • The end of summer and early fall presents a riot of bright, warm colors and berry-mushroom season.
  • March is the best time for travelling to the ski resorts (Lillehammer, Geilo, Kvitfel, Hafjell, Hemsedal).
  • April is perfect for dog sledding: there is snow yet but it is not as cold as in the winter months, and sunny enough.
  • In May, you have a possibility to see the most splendid views of waterfalls which are filled by the waters of melting snow. However traveling around the country at this time can be difficult as many roads are still closed because of snow.

Whenever you go to Norway do not forget a good mood, and then you will remember your journey only with pleasant moments!