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Climate - Lithuania

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go, what to pack

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Flag - Lithuania

Map - Lithuania

Lithuania, a flat country overlooking the Baltic Sea, has a semi-continental climate, with cold winters and mild, moderately rainy summers.

Winter in Lithuania is cold and dark, with temperatures below freezing, and snow-covered landscapes from December to mid-March. The temperature decreases gradually as we proceed inland. The average in January and February is around -5 degrees Celsius at night and around freezing during the day in the coast (see Klaipeda), while it decreases by a few degrees in the central area (see Kaunas), and even more in the east, so that Vilnius, the capital, is the coldest city in Lithuania, with a daily average of around -5 °C in January and February.
Snowfalls are frequent but not abundant, and often occur in the form of a continuous light snow. The temperature can change a lot depending on meteorological situation: when the currents come from the Atlantic Ocean, it can exceed freezing even in winter, while when they blow from Russia, it can plunge below -20 °C, or at times even -30 °C.

In spring, the temperature gradually increases, even though the weather remains cold for a few weeks; April is typically a cold month, which has, especially in the first half, still some chance of snow and frost, while in the second half the first warm days are possible, caused by the southerly winds. In general, the temperatures become stably pleasant from the middle of May.

Summer, from June to August offers pleasant temperatures: lows hover on average around 12/13 °C across the country, while highs gradually increase as we move away from the sea, from 19 °C on the coast to 22/23 °C in inland areas. In addition, summer has very long days, however, it's a fairly rainy season.
Sometimes, the temperatures considerably increase due to warm currents from the southern plains of Eastern Europe: in these cases, they can touch 25/30 °C on the coast and even 30/35 °C in inland areas. However, these hot periods generally last only a few days.

Autumn is still quite pleasant in September, while in October it becomes dull and rainy, and gradually colder over the weeks. The first snowfalls typically occur on late October or in November.

Here are the average temperatures of Vilnius.
Vilnius average temperatures
Vilnius J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) -8 -8 -4 1 7 10 12 11 8 3 -1 -5
Max (°C) -3 -2 2 10 18 21 22 21 16 10 3 -1

Precipitation in Lithuania are frequent throughout the year, however, in terms of quantity there's a relative minimum between January and March (when it often occurs in the form of light snow), and a maximum in summer.
Here is the average precipitation in Vilnius.
Average precipitation Vilnius
Vilnius J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 40 35 35 45 50 75 80 75 65 50 50 50 655
Days 14 12 10 9 12 9 9 10 10 10 12 14 131


The Baltic Sea doesn't invite you to bathe: the sea temperature goes from 1 °C in February, to 16 °C in July, and 18 °C in August.
Sea temperature Klaipeda
Klaipeda J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°C) 3 2 2 4 7 12 16 18 16 12 9 5

When to go

The preferable time to visit Lithuania is summer, from June to August: the temperatures are pleasant, sometimes even hot. Certainly there is no shortage of rainfall, often in the form of thunderstorms in the afternoon, but there are also some nice days. As it's often the case in the Nordic countries, from mid-August the summer already begins to decline: the rains become more frequent, and in any case the days get shorter.
If you want to visit Lithuania in its winter appearance, February is preferable to December, because it has longer days.

What to pack

In winter: very warm clothes, down jacket, hat, gloves, scarf.
In summer: clothes for spring and autumn, being ready to add or remove the outer layer, t-shirt, but also long pants, jacket and sweatshirt; raincoat or umbrella.

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