Sara and John say...
With Atlantic, Arctic and Baltic influences on this long land of fjords, mountains and forests, Norway is a country of contrasts! So much depends on time and place.
Bathed by the Gulf Stream, the west coast, though rugged, enjoys a much milder climate than you might imagine. In fact along southwestern coasts towards Bergen, it’s rain, rather than snow, that you should prepare for, even in the depths of winter. Indeed the weather is mild, cloud and blustery for much of the year.
Further up the coast, temperatures are lower, turning the rain to snow in winter. But even north of the Arctic Circle, it remains remarkably mild - well above freezing through the long summer days.
Head eastwards across Norway and you’re soon reminded how far north you really are, especially in winter. Temperatures are much lower, ensuring a blanket of snow for much of the winter period. The mountainous interior endures a harsh climate, with frequent snowfall in winter, turning to wet summer weather. However to the east of the high ground and towards the Baltic coast, the weather is markedly drier and more continental. So while Lapland is gripped by freezing temperatures for the bulk of the year, winter snows are actually quite infrequent. And the bulk of the summer rain comes in brief, sharp showers.
South to Oslo - the capital. If you’re travelling here in winter, pack for freezing temperatures, both by day and night. But don’t be surprised by a milder midwinter spell if Atlantic winds briefly arrive. The longer, warmer days of springtime make this a great time to visit, as Norway slowly thaws out.
Indeed, away from the west coast, summer days can get hot, even as far north as Lapland - the land of the midnight sun!