Norwegian Language Blog

Winter weather in Norway Posted by on Nov 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

this was the coldest day I´ve ever experienced in my whole life and we were on a walking tour of Oslo

Now that we have had our first snø (snow) here in MN after a long, warm, and beautiful høst, I´m definitely getting in the spirit of vinter and jul.  Although I was very disappointed to have to leave Norway recently, I was happy to narrowly escape the normally scheduled and very prompt arrival of vinter immediately upon my return home.  Since much of my sommer was spent in northern Norway and thus was much cooler than juli and august in MN, I was quite pleased to come home to such great vær.  Anyways, vinter is here now and it´s time to embrace it!

my best friend playing hockey for Furuset in Oslo

If you are not a vinter sport person, being able to enjoy yourself outside really depends on how you are dressed.  If you bundle up enough and can keep yourself warm even if you are standing still, you should be good to go.  I think for a while I didn´t know what the best way to layer was or maybe I was terrible at judging how much warm clothing I would need based on walking outside and testing the weather.  Either way, unless I was skiing, skating, or sledding, I loathed vinter, with a passion.  I have poor circulation in my hender (hands) and føtter (feet), so I was always miserably cold because I could never find votter (mittens) that were warm enough for my hands!  I can thank a small store in Tromsø for providing me with the world´s best votter, hands down.  They are huge, down, bright red votter that are undoubtedly going to keep my hender nice and toasty.

What other vocabulary would be useful for you with regards to winter wear?

Let´s start at the top:  everyone needs a lue (hat) or øreklokker (earmuffs, literally translated to ear clocks) to keep your hode varm (head warm).  Many people neglect nakken (the neck) by not wearing a skjerf or some other sort of covering, such as a halsvarmer (neck warmer).  Although we always hear that the most heat escapes from our heads, a jakke (jacket) or a frakk (coat) are essential to keeping the trunk warm.  Underneath your jakke or frakk you might have lang undertøy (long underwear) and a genser (sweater).  On your hender, you may choose votter or hansker (gloves).  Your bottom half also may have lang undertøy or even snøbukser (snowpants).  Your føtter need warm sokker and støvler (boots).

Now that we´ve covered winter wear items, I want to share with you some winter trivia from Norway.

-The coldest recorded temperature was -51.4 C (-60.5 F!) in Karasjok-brrrrr!

-The Langnes-Tromsø area have the most snowcover on average.  There are 160 days a year when there is 25 cm or more snow on the ground.

skiing out of a dorm in Trondheim

-The warmest average January temperature in Norway is in Molde-right about at freezing.

The coldest city in Norway right now is Lillehammer at -12 C and the warmest is Stavanger with 4 C.

Happy winter, especially to those of you in cold, snowy climates!

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


  1. Julio:

    Wowww…. thanks for the tips and the vocabulary. I am going to Trondheim next month, departing from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. I’m very anxious to experience that winter for the very first time… I am “brrr” in advance.

  2. Roger Nikolai:

    Go to or to check the wether forecast