The weather in Finland is milder than one might expect, considering how far north the country is located. In general, Finland has an extreme swing between summer and winter, with bitterly cold winters when temperatures drop to -4ºF (-20ºC) in many areas, particularly in northern Lapland. Summer, by contrast, can be surprisingly warm, with temperatures rising to 68ºF (20ºC) or more. Temperatures as high as 86ºF (30ºC) are possible in the south and east of the country.
The capital, Helsinki, remains temperate, varying between an average of 63ºF (17ºC) in July to 23ºF (-5ºC) in February. January and February are the coldest months in Finland, and July is the warmest. Snow usually covers the ground in southern Finland from December to April, and northern Finland is covered in snow from October to April.
In the far north, the sun does not set for about 73 days during summer. In winter, the sun remains below the horizon for a 51-day stretch: a feature of life in Finland that expats may struggle to come to terms with. The winter night sky, especially in the northern areas of Finland, is often lit up with the magical dancing light of the aurora borealis. Ultimately, expats moving to Finland should be prepared for unpredictable weather and are encouraged to check the forecast every morning before leaving home to ensure their comfort.
What do expats say about the weather in Finland?
"What I miss most about home – other than the warm weather as it is summer year-round there – is the joyfulness of the people." Learn more about living in Finland in our interview with Filipino expat Mercy.
►Check out some of our pros and cons of expat life in Finland
Are you an expat living in Finland?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Finland. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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