Just how dark and cold is Sweden really?

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(Nick Näslund/Sveriges Radio)
(Nick Näslund/Sveriges Radio)
Sweden is hardly known for its inviting climate or mild summers, being part of the Arctic region the country is far more known for its long, dark and numbingly cold winters. But how cold and dark is Sweden really?

Not as bad as you might think given the country’s northern location, according to Sverker Hellström, a meteorologist with the Swedish Hydrological and Meteorological Institute.

It is mainly southern Sweden that experiences this kind of warm, almost Mediterranean climate though. The average temperature in the southern city of Malmö is approximately 18 degrees celsius in the summer and -1 in the winter, whereas the average temperatures in the northern city of Kiruna are ten degrees celsius in the summer and -15 in the winter.

But there are also major seasonal differences in temperatures in Sweden. A city in northern Sweden could measure temperatures close to 30 degrees celsius in the summer and below -40 in the winter.

On average though, it is comparatively warm here, given Sweden’s northern location. In January the average temperature in Stockholm is between 20 – 25 degrees higher than a Canadian city on the same latitude.

This is much thanks to Gulf Stream which carries warm water across the Atlantic and brings slightly higher temperatures than normal.

Sverker Hellström also argues that global wind patterns has a lot to do with our relatively mild climate.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Airbus’s new A350 in Iqaluit, Nunavut for cold weather testing, CBC News

Finland: Weather animation: Powerful storm front passes through Finland, Yle News

Sweden: Weather deals double blow to Sweden’s timber industry, Radio Sweden

United States:  Warm Alaska weather may mean misery for Iditarod racers, Alaska Dispatch

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