Tuesday, 27 May 2014

NORDIC WEATHER (AND MOODS) DEMYSTIFIED

I'm sure you've heard that we Nordics are a bit bi-polar when it comes to weather affecting our moods. You know, how the long, dark winters are supposed to make us go all Nordic Noir: moody and suicidal. And then there's the instant personality transplant that comes with the long, bright summer nights: turn on the sunshine and we get unnaturally cheerful and chatty, even start talking to strangers on the bus… (BTW: if you are taking a bus in Finland and a fellow passenger starts talking to you, it’s OK, as long as this happens in summer. Any other time of the year, on the other hand... well, we tend to think that only crazy people, drunks and American tourists try to start a conversation with a stranger…)

I guess there is some truth to that, temperature and daylight hours do affect your mood, though I for one am not so much affected by daylight as I am by temperature…

And because of that I would like to divide the year into six seasons, instead of the usual four:
(NOTE: both the temperatures and daylight hours are average for southern Finland; in the north both are quite a bit more extreme)

THE PERFECT WEATHER SEASON

from mid-August to late October, temperature from 20°C / 68°F (August) to 5°C / 41°F (late October),  daylight hours: 16-9

I love autumn... it's warm enough to go for walks, cool enough to wear nice coats (a trench for early autumn, a wool coat for October). I don't mind the dark evenings, or even some rain (except for what it does to my hair...don't ask). The only problem with autumn is that it's too short, to be replaced by:

THE DARK AND DREARY SEASON

November- December, temperature from 5°C / 41°F to  -5°C / 23°F, daylight hours: 8-6

Bears hibernate, the Moomins hibernate...  a walk on a Saturday afternoon? More like sofa and telly, pass the wine, please...
Time to put on the 'winter work uniform': a sleeveless dress, a cashmere cardigan, tights, boots, a wool coat / long down coat.

THE WAY-TOO-COLD-I-REALLY-HATE-THIS SEASON

January-February, temperature from  -5°C / 23°F to -20°C / -4°F, daylight hours: 6-10

OK, can me make this a stay-at-home-day? No? I have to go to work!?! OK, fine, whatever… At least it's not snowing anymore... Oh, it is? Oh well, snow happens, get over it... Spring is just around the corner, it's almost March, just a little while longer... Although I wouldn't mind a bit of that climate change here right now...

Nordic Winter
Professor M's Winter Elegance

THE ENOUGH-WITH-THE-SNOW-ALREADY SEASON

March-April, temperature from  -5°C / 23°F to 0°C / 32°F, daylight hours: 10-15

Not this again...slush everywhere, can’t I just sit this one out? Could the weather gods or powers-that-be finally settle on either 'cold and snow' or 'warmer and rain', not both? And could we please get temperatures to match the sunshine??!! I mean, seriously, a down coat and sunglasses, I look like the Michelin Man on holiday...
(Ditch the 'winter work uniform' for trousers, a cashmere cardigan, water-proof shoes, light-weight down parka, sunglasses)

THE I-HATE-THIS-EVEN-MORE-THAN-WINTER SEASON, 

a.k.a  THE POLLEN SEASON

from mid-April to May, temperature 5°C / 41°F to 20°C / 68°F, daylight hours: 15-18

I hate spring...I hate spring... I hate spring... (sneezing) I hate spring...

20°C / 68°F : SUMMER!!! Sandals!!!

THE WAY-TOO-HOT-AND-STICKY SEASON

from mid-June to mid-August, temperature 20°C / 68°F - 30°C / 86°F, 
daylight hours: 19 - 16

Confused Japanese tourists wander around the empty streets, wondering where all the locals are... But fear not, Finns have abandoned their cities only temporarily: they're on holiday, cooling off by a lake somewhere, frying their pale skins under the midnight sun as if they'd never heard of skin cancer. They'll be back by August.


These photos were taken on Friday 23 May, between 10:10 and 10:20 PM.
The sun was about to set. Sunrise was at 4.22 AM 
I do like summer, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing:

20°C / 68°F: PERFECT!!! I need a new sundress... or two... make it three, summer's here to stay.

23°C / 74.4°F : I think there is a special place in Hell for fashion designers who put belts on sundresses…
I miss February, I swear I will never complain about cold weather again...

27°C / 80.6°F : Clothes??!!?? DO I LOOK LIKE I CARE WHAT I’M WEARING??!!??
Where's the freezer? Quick, I must go and stick my head in the freezer, I think my brain is melting…

Does the weather affect your mood? Are you a winter or a summer person?

Enjoy the weather, whatever it might be in your neck of the wood, 

Tiina

Tiina L


PS:
This blurry photograph is a rare piece of evidence of me
1) wearing swimwear and
2) not trying to hide from the sun...

According to my (late) grandmother, I was quite a fashionista at such a tender age and had specified that my swimwear had to be a) a two-piece and b) red.
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4 comments

  1. Yikes! The variation of temp is vast!! I can stand the hot weather provided it's dry but I just can't stand humidity.. it just suffocates me! Now we are experiencing the 32-40 degrees with 50%-75% humidity.. makes me just want to stick my head in the ground like the ostrich! Stay cool.. hope UK will be better :)

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    1. I hate both hot and cold weather with a passion... But it is easier to escape the cold in Finland as houses are well-heated. And I spend a good portion of summer always in Britain, and it's never that hot there... Enjoying the British rain at the moment...

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  2. The weather does definitely effect my mood! Here where in live in the middle of Canada our weather goes from -40C in the winter to +40C in the summer! Just crazy but apparently I still live here! Love that picture of you as a kid! So cute!

    Rebecca
    www.winnipegstyle.ca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, your temperatures are even more extreme... Does it get very dark in winter? I once spent a summer in Toronto, and I just remember it got dark in the evenings (unlike in Finland in summer). Thanks for your nice comment.

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