Norway Climate and Weather

Many people expect Norway's climate to be bitterly cold. The latitude of the country certainly suggests this would be true. The Arctic Circle cuts through Norway about halfway up the length of the country.

Oslo lies in the southern part of the country but is at the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska. Hammerfest, on the northern tip of the Norwegian mainland, is the world's most northerly town. Still, the climate of cities along the Norwegian coast is much milder than might be expected at such northerly latitudes, even during midwinter, because of the warming effect of the Gulf Stream.

Summer in the southern part of the country can last from early May to late August or, in a bad year, for only a week in late June. There are about 20 hours of daylight during June and July in Oslo. (Note: In northern Norway, the midnight sun shines for nearly two months during this period!) Summer days rarely get warmer than 80 F and can be quite cool in the 50s and 60s.

Winter brings only about six hours of daylight in Oslo and none in areas north of the Arctic Circle. Snow brightens the landscape considerably, even during the shortest days. However, some people find the darkness oppressive. Norwegians seem to have found numerous ways to combat the depression of winter such as utilizing the many (often lit) cross-country trails and downhill slopes within the Oslo city limits or keeping things cozy and bright inside, using lots of candlelight for cheer and warmth.

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2019 edition