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If you're planning to travel to Finland, you might want to take the time to understand the country's variable weather before making the trip. Depending on the month in which you visit this country, you can expect to experience different kinds of weather. Although some people immediately assume that Finland is frigid year-round, this is not actually the case. Once you more fully understand the climate of this country, you'll be better prepared to plan your trip during a time period that will suit your weather preferences.
A Wide Array of Temperatures
It's important to note that July is generally the warmest month in Finland, while February is the coldest month. However, in terms of precipitation, February is also the country's driest month, while you'll usually experience the wettest weather during the month of August. The variable weather of Finland can be attributed to the country's location. It is subjected to prevailing westerlies, which means that cold polar air and warm tropical air commonly meet. This clash of temperatures means that Finland's weather can change very quickly, especially during the winter months. This tendency towards quickly changing weather patterns is actually quite common in the Scandinavian countries. Iceland's prevailing low pressure systems and the Siberian high pressure systems also have a pronounced effect on Finland's weather. Depending on the strength and position of these various systems, either one can be dominant in Finland's weather patterns.
Although the warm air influence of the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic can definitely keep temperatures on the moderate side in Finland, the country is also subjected to the effects of the Asian continental weather patterns. As such, you'll sometimes find severely cold weather during the winter months, and even extreme heat during the summer. However, the weather is often clear and warm during the time periods when the westerly winds are dominant.
Not as Cold as You Might Think
Finland does indeed have cold temperatures, especially during the winter and particularly during the month of February. However, overall the temperatures in this country are probably not as cold as you might have always believed them to be. As compared to other countries at the same latitude such as south Greenland, Finland's temperatures are usually a bit higher. Finland owes this slight warming trend to the influence of the warm air currents provided by the Baltic Sea as well as the Atlantic.
However, it is true that the winters in Finland are quite cold and long, especially in the northern areas of the country. It's not unusual in these areas to find the ground covered by snow for three or four months of the year. The area of southwestern Finland is generally the warmest region, especially in the islands of the Baltic Sea.
If you're visiting Finland during the summer months, you might find it hard to imagine the cold weather experienced during the winter months. Finland's summer weather is actually quite pleasant, especially in the central and southern areas of the country. There's you'll find that the weather is generally warm and mild, just as you would expect to find in other areas of the southern Scandinavian countries. During the summer months in northern Finland you'll even be able to experience the Midnight Sun, since this area extends beyond the Arctic Circle.