It is without a doubt that Swedish weather is unpredictable to say the least! One day you may have clear, sunny skies and the next snow may be falling (I know, be careful with the S word!). Not only that, but there are vast changes in the forecast within hours.
Many who are unfamiliar with Sweden may believe that it is a frozen tundra inhabited by many polar bears, but they would be surprised to know there are actually four seasons. Sweden is much milder than many would imagine due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. While Sweden has below freezing temperatures and snow in the winter, the summer is characterized by long days of warmth and sunshine.
Currently, Sweden is enjoying a fall that is reminiscent of summer. Temperatures are higher than normal and the sunny days are out numbering the rainy ones. The city of Hudiksvall even experienced temperatures of 25 degrees nearing the end of September. The unusual summer weather is much more welcomed than the unexpected rain storms.
However, as everyone is outside enjoying fika in the sun, thoughts of the coming dark and cold months are hard to shake. In the coming weeks Sweden will begin to assume the usual fall characteristics of lower temperatures, rainfall and cloudy skies. And eventually, fall will turn into winter and rain will turn into snow.
Here are some tips to getting through the coming dark and dreary days:
1. Vitamin D is your friend
The body produces Vitamin D through sunlight; the long days of darkness that occur in Sweden can lead to a deficiency of Vitamin D in the body. The deficiency, called Seasonal Affective Disorder, can lead to a winter depression, resulting in a mood disorder that makes you experience depressive symptoms during the winter months. Vitamin D supplements can be taken to help raise levels in the body and keep you more happy and healthy in the darker and colder months. This is especially important for foreigners who are not used to the darkness.
2. There is no bad weather only bad clothing
One of Sweden’s most popular sayings definitely holds some truth. The fall months are much more bearable with a pair of rubber boots and an umbrella. And, there are many fashionable options. Winter is probably most important. If you are planning on leaving the comfort of your warm and cozy apartment at some point you will need a durable winter jacket and a warm hat, scarf and mitts!
3. Let the light shine in
A great way to dealing with darkness is to fill your home with light. A few warm-lighting lamps and many candles can turn a dark afternoon into a cozy one. There is nothing better than doing some studying under a knitted blanket with a hot cup of coffee and a few candles burning.
As the sunshine begins to waver, the cold weather begins to come upon us and the days become shorter it is important to be prepared. Because, as the Swedes say, there is no such thing as bad weather!