Adapting to the climate in Norway

Hello everyone,

Adjusting to new climatic conditions is key in any expatriation process. Moving to Norway is no exception.

What are the climate characteristics of Norway?

How does the local weather impact your daily life, mood or health?

What are the pros and cons of the climate in Norway?

Share you advice and help people adapt quickly to their new weather environment.

Thanks in advance,


I've only lived in the East of Norway (So Oslo and close to Gardermoen Airport (Oslo Airport)) and the climate varies fairly drastically depending on where you live in Norway, for example if you live on the West coast (Stavanger etc) it will rain a lot more than in the East. 

Here the temperature has drastic changes over the year.  It is very common that temperatures will be -20C (at least!) in Winter and it can easily be over 30C in Summer (I've seen my outside Thermometer reach above 40C in the sun).  Due to that there are two sets of tires required by law here, if you don't change from Winter to Summer tires you can be fined.  During winter you can still have weeks at a time of perfectly blue sky, so don't get me wrong, it's not all bad!  But most people do get tired of the snow and can't wait for it to warm up.

Snow can stay permanently on the ground from Mid October to May (that's the extreme range, usually maybe Mid November until March), and I don't mean a few CMs of snow, I'm talking one day there may be no snow and the next you wake up with 30cm (again this varies GREATLY depending on where you live in Norway, West Norway basically doesn't have much snow, and it doesn't stay long).

Because Norway is at such a 'high' Latitude (Closer to the North Pole) than many countries people may not be used to the amount of daylight which varies throughout the year.  There can be days during summer where it simply never gets properly dark at all.  This also means during Winter there are times (months) where there is only sunlight between maybe 9-4.  The further North you go (Norway is a VERY long country) the less daylight you get during winter, there are places i Norway that have zero daylight during winter, none at all.

This lack of daylight can lead to people being more depressed at times.  Lets face it, waking up and going to work whilst it's still dark, leaving work at 4 and it's already dark and all of a sudden you're never seeing sunlight during the week.  That can be tough at times.  However, the summer is beautiful, we can have months where there is almost idyllic (pefect) weather, sun all day with lovely blue sky and long days.

Due to the lack of daylight in Winter quite a few people take a short vacation to 'Syden' meaning France/Spain/Italy etc to get some sun and a break from the snow and cold.

Great weather during summer
Mostly 20C+ and sunshine
Long days
Winter days with crisp blue sky is simply gorgeous

Can be cold for months at a time (November-March 0C to -25C)
Sometimes it's much milder than that, but always on the cold side
Very short days in Winter, so little sunlight for long periods (depends where you live though)
LOTS of snow (depending where you live)

Don't come to Western Norway if you hate the rain! I live near Bergen and a keen gardener ( being English!) and I'm totally frustrated with the weather conditions. We seldom experience Norwegian winter days here ( CONTINUOUSLY below freezing for 24 hours or more). The world standard for winter ( daily average temperature does not exceed 6C) can last from the end of November right through to practically the end of April.

Weather conditions on a month to month basis starting with January.

January - can expect snow, rain, hail, storms and the odd kitchen sink! Temps can vary between -15 (exceptionally cold) to +8 ( in favoured spots)
February - much the same as January.
March - A little milder ( up to +10C) still a risk of snow but fast receding.
April - Usually experience an Artic outbreak at around Easter ( laying snow for a few days with summer tyres on car!) but generally a bit warmer.
May - Can still get morning frosts but sometimes that comes with warm daytime temps. Can be wet too!
June, July and August - In hot dry summers can get to +30 or more but mostly in low 20's in normal wet summers. From mid August onwards clear nights can lead to overnight heavy dew or frost on the grass.
September - Local mountains can get their first hesitant dusting of snow (above 500-700 metres), can also rain until Christmas. Grass stops growing so no more mowing the lawn.
October - Usually rain and mild ( circa +10 - +15C). One year we had sea level snow on the last day of October and it was CHAOS ( nobody had their winter tyres on)!!!!
November - More rain and when you can see the tops of the mountains they are covered in snow.
December - A lot more rain and a bit colder still - may experience a bit of snow but a white Christmas is never guaranteed.

I hope that helps.

I do not live in Norway (yet), but have frequently spent time in Bergen. Well - it is Bergen, you know ;-),  and so one has to learn to like that from 365 days at least 220 will be characterized by some sort of downpour. Thus best to be prepared with lightweight, easy to stow away rain gear and an enthusiasm that cannot be dampended by even the heaviest regnbyge. To be honest: I find this refreshing. For someone who loathes rain, the Bergen-Region is just one to avoid, period. Norway has so much more to offer, so this really should be no prob!

I cant talk about climate in Norway because i am living in China now,but i am so happy to know more about ,i love Norway )

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