Climate of Finland

Climate of Finland

Where is the country of Finland located? Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. When you think of Finland, the words “cold” and “snow” quickly come to mind. To a large extent, that is true. Finland is a country where it can get very cold in the winter months, especially in the part above the Arctic Circle, and where Lapland is covered with a layer of snow for many months.

However, Finland is also the country where the nights in June and July are very short and it can be very pleasant and even sultry with wonderful summer temperatures in the capital Helsinki.


Finland has a continental climate, or continental climate, with precipitation in all months. Summers are warm in the southwest, while summers are cool in the rest of Finland. Compared to other countries at the same latitude, Finland is considerably warmer than, for example, Russia, Canada and Alaska. This is mainly due to the proximity of relatively warm seawater and the absence of high mountain areas, which can hold back warmer air currents from the south.


Much of Finland is covered with snow for more than half of the year. In the north, the first snow falls as early as October and it remains for about 7 to 8 months. The total amount of precipitation in Lapland varies from just under 400mm in the extreme northwest to over 600mm in the south and east. In the interior and the north, a large part of that precipitation falls in the form of snow. In Lapland, a pack of snow of 1 to 2 meters is no exception, because old snow hardly melts for months and the fresh snow only makes the layer thicker.

Lapland is one of the snowiest winter sports destinations in the world. Unfortunately, the small height differences mean that it is not a top destination in terms of ski slopes.


Besides snow, there is another important element characteristic of winters in Finland. Because the sun shines very little in winter and the solar power is especially low in December, it cools down considerably in the winter period. Polar nights with temperatures of -30 degrees Celsius are no exception. Combined with sometimes only a few hours of daylight a day, this makes the winters very dark and characteristic. Because there is sometimes little wind and the humidity is low, the cold is more bearable for humans and animals. Air temperatures of -10 degrees during the day can feel warmer than a few degrees above zero in the Netherlands with a wind force 4-5 from the east with cold winds.


The weather in Finland is largely predictable. In winter, cold and snow are guaranteed, while in summer long days full of sunshine are abundant. Another fact is that thunderstorms are rare (a few days a year and rarely violent) and the winds usually blow from the west, south or southwest. A number of times a year the wind force rises to stormy speeds, but often there is relatively little wind.

Climate figures

The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).

Maximum temperature Minimum temperature Hours of sunshine per day Days of rainfall per month Water temperature
January -4℃ -10℃ 1 20 2℃
February -4℃ -10℃ 2 16 1℃
March 1℃ -6℃ 4 16 1℃
April 7℃ -1℃ 6 13 2℃
May 15℃ 5℃ 8 11 5℃
June 20℃ 10℃ 9 11 9℃
July 21℃ 12℃ 8 14 15℃
August 20℃ 11℃ 7 16 17℃
September 14℃ 7℃ 4 18 14℃
October 9℃ 3℃ 3 18 10℃
November 3℃ -2℃ 1 21 7℃
December -1℃ -7℃ 1 21 3℃

Best time to visit Finland

Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Finland? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. Finland is a holiday destination that is loved in both summer and winter. The winter months are especially popular for the ever-present snowdrifts in Finnish Lapland and the chance to see the Northern Lights. The summer months are ideal for those who want to travel around Finland or make a city trip to Helsinki, for example. Although Finland is partly located on the sea, it still has a continental climate. The largest part has a cool continental climate (type Dfc), which is also referred to as a subarctic climate. The southern coastal strip has a moderate continental climate (type Dfb) and areas with a tundra climate (type ET) occur in the extreme north. The best time to travel to Finland depends mainly on your destination.

Round trips, city trips and active holidays

For the average holiday, where you make a round trip through Finland, visit a city or go into nature, the period from June to August is the best time to travel. It is then summer in Finland. These are the warmest months with temperatures between 16 and 24 degrees Celsius depending on the daytime location. The south is the warmest, while the area above the Arctic Circle is the coolest. Because July and August are a bit wetter, you should opt for June rather than July or August for an active holiday. May and September can also be fine for a visit to Helsinki. It is not so hot, but it is certainly not unpleasant.

Winters Finland

Finland is a special winter destination. You can ski, snowboard and cross-country ski for months in snow-sure Lapland. Because there are few mountains in Finland, the number of kilometers of ski slopes is limited. Traditional winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding are an afterthought for many people when they fly to Finland in winter. It is the unique atmosphere that makes this such a special winter destination. Think reindeer rides, snowmobile rides, dog sledding, a visit to an ice hotel and the chance to see the Northern Lights at night. The cold combined with a wonderful sauna at the end of the day ensures that you sleep well at night, while the polar night can reach minimum temperatures of minus thirty degrees. The best time to travel for winters Finland is frommid February to late March. There is then a lot of snow, the days are getting longer and the cold is less.

See the Northern Lights

Since Finland is quite northerly, there is a big difference in day length during the calendar year. At the end of June it doesn’t really get dark at night in all of Finland and the day period lasts very long. The sun does not set at all over the Arctic Circle. In winter it is the other way around. It is then dark for a long time and the days are short. Above the Arctic Circle it barely gets light around the end of December. This makes the period from November to February the perfect time to see the aurora. The aurora borealis is most visible when it is otherwise pitch dark.