Experience the seasons of Swedish Lapland
The Sami people wisely speak about 8 seasons over the year. This relates to the climate breaks and the related stages of the reindeer herding calendar.
For visitors, you need to consider at least 5 seasons and they are Winter, Spring Winter, Summer, Autumn and late Autumn. Each season offers different feelings and experiences and each one unique in its own way.
What is Arctic?
Technically it is an area starting at the point north where in winter, the sun does not come above the horizon for at least one day, and in the summer, where the sun does not dip below the horizon for at least one day. The climate you find here is different by continent due to weather patterns. Here in the Nordics, we have the Gulf Stream that gives us a liveable climate even though we are a long way north.
To us, the Arctic is not a point on the map. Our lifestyle defines our perception of what it means to live in the Arctic.
December ~ February
Defined by snow and ice and short days, this is the magical time of year when the north reminds us of Narnia. The daylight in late December and early January is short, but as each day passes, the light returns quickly, and by late February, the days are relatively even. The feature of this darkness is that it increases our chances of seeing the northern lights.
Winter spring season
March ~ April
The favourite time of the year for local people. Long light days and plenty of ice and snow make this time of year fantastic for snowmobiling, and dog sledding. Indeed, all the winter activities make our life in Swedish Lapland so much fun. There is still enough darkness in March to have an excellent chance of seeing the northern lights, but by April, it's probably best to focus on the activities.
June ~ July
The transition from spring/winter to summer is quick. Once the snow and ice melt away, the long days of Arctic Light cause the land to turn green and lush. This is the time of year when it does not get dark for at least 2 and a half months. The season of the midnight light. In late June we have Sweden's most important festival "midsummer", and we enjoy canoeing, wild swimming, hiking, fishing and enjoying great food potentially around the clock.
August ~ September
The days are beginning to shorten, the forest is beginning to change colour, berries of all sorts cover the forest floor and the nights are becoming a little crisper. All this signals the arrival of Autumn in the Arctic. There is enough darkness from the end of August for the northern lights to be seen and it is time to help train huskies for the upcoming winter. This is the season when we still enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities as well as gathering berries and mushrooms from the forest.
Late autumn season
October ~ November
The nights are getting longer now, increasing our chances of seeing the Aurora. The leaves are falling from the deciduous trees and the land is preparing for winter. A great time to come and enjoy good food harvested in the early Autumn as well as hike and enjoy the first early snow falls.
September ~ March
The weather patterns, the light and the intensity of the solar wind change during the year. This makes predicting their best time to see the northern lights a challenge. We know from our local experience the months of September and March have high levels of activity and are often warmer, but the months in between have more darkness to help us see this natural phenomenon. The best plan is to choose a time of year that suits your interests and leave the rest up to chance.