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Weather in Latvia
Both ends of the year are white, and the middle is green - this is how national poet Ojārs Vācietis described Latvia. Because Latvia’s climate is its wealth – Latvia is located in such a geographical zone,which allows one to enjoy the magic and the differences of the four seasons, which is mostly not possible elsewhere in Europe.
More than one world traveller has called Latvia paradise on earth, because it has no earthquakes, volcano eruptions, nor destructive tornadoes, devastating floods, harsh winters, nor burning heat, nor droughts. And they are, indeed, right, because Latvia is situated in the temperate climate zone and the weather conditions are influenced by the proximity of the Baltic Sea. Therefore the climate in Latvia is mild and humid, without extreme fluctuations in temperature; however, it's true that the weather conditions are unsettled and changeable.
Nevertheless Latvia has four pronounced seasons – winter, spring, summer and autumn.
Fluffy snow, bright sunshine without freezing cold ... Winters in Latvia are for the most part like that, usually starting in mid-December and lasting till mid-March. However, it is worth noting that because of the variable climate the weather conditions in winter can change – even though the average temperature in winter is around – 6°C, the cold can reach even – 30°C, and spring-like warm weather can set in, with temperature staying above zero. So, even if the climate in Latvia is not too harsh, in winter it is advisable to have warmer clothes, a hat and gloves.
In the recent years winter has indulged Latvia with a thick and stable layer of snow, allowing to enjoy winter joys in full – ice fishing, skiing, skating, also mountain skiing, because even though Latvia is not a country of mountains, the steep slopes of its hills can be used for fast decent on skis. There is no need to go the Alps to enjoy skiing.
Sometimes spring comes to Latvia already at the end of February, but it also happens that winter retreats only in April. Nature starts awakening in March, when the first migratory birds return to Latvia, and bushes and flowers blossom in forests. In spring warm and sunny weather can suddenly be replaced by arctic air masses, causing steep decrease in temperature and even bringing snow. Moreover, it must be noted that in Latvia frost can occur even till mid-June! However, Latvian spring gives unforgettable sensations – the awakening of nature, bird-cherry trees, lilac and apple trees in blossom, the twittering of birds, and the rapid high waters in rivers, which make Latvia into an excellent site for water tourism.
Summer in Latvia lasts from June till August. July is the hottest month, with the air temperature reaching even 35 degrees, but the average temperature is around 19 degrees Celsius. Summers in Latvia are sunny, but not so hot as to cause discomfort. In Latvia during summer one can sunbathe and swim on the hundred-kilometre long sandy beaches. However, when choosing one’s clothes, one should remember that summer evenings in Latvia sometimes are quite cool. During the second half of summer it often rains; moreover, July and August is characterised by a climate phenomenon typical of Latvia – thunderstorms, sometimes accompanied by strong gusts of wind and heavy showers.
Rains are most frequent in autumn, as everywhere. However, this kind of weather alternates with a warm and sunny Indian summer, when the daytime temperature can rise even above 20° C. Sometimes the first snow takes people by surprise in October and November, but it melts quickly. Autumns in Latvia are especially spectacular, because the tree tops are coloured in red and yellow, and the vast forests bring visual enjoyment with the variety of colours, while migratory birds gather in flocks and fly to hot countries.
The most detailed forecasts of the weather conditions in Latvia are available at: http://www.meteoprog.lv/en/