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When is it actually spring in Norway?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
When is it actually spring in Norway?
There are a number of signs of spring in Norway that may not appear until after the official start. Pictured is a view of Lofoten in Norway during the spring. Photo by Knut Troim on Unsplash

Depending on who you ask, spring is just around the corner in Norway. However, many will likely still experience cold, grey weather. So when should we expect it to feel like spring in Norway?


Spring is popularly considered to be the months of March, April and May, and plenty of things can help it feel like the country is finally leaving the winter behind – such as the clocks going forward. 

However, while the spring equinox (March 20th) may be considered the official start of the new season for many, it may still feel like winter. 

Some years, you may even get lucky and see it arrive in late February. 

In many places in Norway, snow on the ground could last well into March, and temperatures could remain in the single digits. 

The ‘natural’ start to spring

If you live in southern Norway, it’s a safer bet to assume that what typically feels like spring will arrive in April. Further north, or up in the mountains, you may have to wait for May. 

 This is when you can expect spring flowers to appear, the trees to bud, and birds to nest. 

The earliest sign of spring could be the first sighting of gåsunger, or catkins or goslings, on trees. These small, plump, furry collections of flowers bloom early, so they normally signal the early stages of spring. 

As plants and animals follow their natural cycles, so do humans. The beginning of spring could be considered the first weekend when patrons of bars and cafes decide it’s warm enough to enjoy a drink outside. 


Unfortunately, there can also be a false spring in Norway. After a weekend of enjoying an utepils (outdoor beer) or two, the country’s cities could slump back into hibernation as colder temperatures, rain, and even snow return. 

Using the sporting calendar

For many, it feels impossible to live in Norway without at least dipping their toes into sports and outdoor hobbies. 

Many may consider the start of spring as the period in which they can go hiking without snow and ice being an issue. 

This may be contentious, as spring is ironically also considered the best time for winter sports like skiing and cross-country skiing (which both remain popular into April). 

The less equipment and adaptation you need, the closer to spring it is. For a runner, this might mean running without spikes, reflective gear, water and windproof clothing, and not adapting their favoured routes to avoid snow, ice, puddles, and excessive amounts of grit. 


Spring also sees the return of professional and domestic football outdoors, too. For most, football will fire back up from the end of March to early April. 

Cities versus rural areas 

In cities, consider it spring when roadsides aren’t covered with grey snow/sludge and the pavements aren’t so covered in grit that you risk ruining your floors if you forget to take your shoes off indoors. 

Sadly, pavements in many cities might not be cleared of grit until the run-up to Constitution Day in Norway. 

For those who are into fashion, it can also be considered the time to wear their “good sneakers or shoes” again and change out of their winter beaters. 

The return of bikes and e-scooters to cities is also a sign that spring has sprung. Most typically pack away their bikes for the winter – especially as the winter weather can wreak havoc on a bike’s condition.


The state of the floors on public transport can be another sign that winter has given way to spring. If you aren’t gliding across a pool of brown sludge to get to your seat, then spring has arrived. 

Snow may be a reality of spring in rural and mountainous areas. If you see some shrubbery or greenery beneath the snow, it should hopefully be green rather than a rust orange or brown. 

As with cities, clothing is a great indicator. Have you been able to swap out the wool hat for a cap or headband? Do you need base layers if you will spend a lot of time outside? These are the sorts of questions that will determine whether it’s spring. 

If you are lucky enough to visit or live near a mountain resort, another sign of spring could be whether ski centres are hosting outdoor after-ski events. 

What do forecasters say? 

In Norway, the meteorological definition of spring is when the average daily temperature is between 0 and 10 degrees and rising. 

Due to this definition, there are actually several coastal areas that never have “winter” as a result.


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