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Compared with Norway, the Swedish climate is usually less rainy and more continental. It is colder in winter and warmer and sunnier in summer than in the neighbouring country. The Baltic Sea has a limited moderating capacity. The westerlies, (mild and humid winds) are partially blocked by the Scandinavian Mountains.
Northern Sweden lies in the Land off the Midnight Sun and so has continuous daylight during part of the summer. Southern Sweden never has continuous daylight, though it averages 19 hours of daylight a day in midsummer. In winter, Sweden has similar periods of continuous darkness.July temperatures in Sweden average 13 to 17°C. Winter’s duration also varies depending on the area, from three months in the far south to nine months in Lapland. Snow covers the ground in southern Sweden usually from December to April. In winter temperatures range from – 30 to -3°C. February is usually Sweden’s coldest month. The Gulf of Bothnia can freeze in winter. Most of the country is icebound in winter, but special icebreaking boats keep the major ports open. On milder periods, in which the westerlies blow, snow melts in a broader area. The winter night sky often becomes enriched with brilliant displays of the aurora borealis.