When does it snow in Tromsø, Norway?
The self-proclaimed “capital of the Arctic”, Tromsø sees snow throughout the cooler winter months.
But when can you expect it, and just how much might you contend with?
Plus, what winter activities can you enjoy in Tromsø?
We’ll go into them all in this article, which is based on my wonderful snowy trip to Tromsø in February 2023!
When Does it Snow in Tromsø?
You’ll find Tromsø deep within the Arctic Circle – it has a subarctic climate.
This Norwegian city is the definition of a winter wonderland – I completely relished the season when I visited in February!
So, it can snow throughout the winter (and sometimes in autumn and spring too!).
Here’s a month-by-month breakdown:
Does it Snow in Tromsø in October?
Winter starts to make an appearance in Tromsø as early as October.
Some snow appears, gently covering the mountains and giving the landscape a light, white coating.
However, snowfall is generally not persistent at this stage.
Does it Snow in Tromsø in November?
By the time November rolls in, Tromsø gears up for a more winter-centric atmosphere!
Snowfall becomes more frequent and the ground starts to retain a consistent snowy cover.
That being said, climate change is making the snow come a little later, and it can be unpredictable!
Does it Snow in Tromsø in December?
December in Tromsø is a winter spectacle.
Snowfall’s abundant, and the city looks magical.
Daylight’s also limited, but the glowing light only adds to the atmosphere.
Does it Snow in Tromsø in January?
January is the apex of winter in Tromsø.
Expect steady and substantial snowfall throughout the month.
That said, it’s never guaranteed, and climate change has interrupted some snow patterns in Arctic Norway.
This is when winter activities are in full swing, from dog sledging to snowshoeing.
Prepare for cold temperatures and pack accordingly!
Does it Snow in Tromsø in February?
February maintains the winter momentum with enduring snowfall.
Activities like skiing and Northern Lights chasing are particularly popular at this time.
The snow conditions are typically excellent; when I visited Tromsø in February we had lots of snow!
Does it Snow in Tromsø in March?
March signals the onset of spring, but snow is still frequent.
Some winter activities start to wind down, although there’s still plenty of skiing in the mountains.
Why Does it Snow in Tromsø?
Tromsø’s geographical location and climate features conspire to make it a snow-rich destination.
Situated well above the Arctic Circle, its latitude ensures a cold climate that’s ideal for snow.
But, the city’s proximity to the North Atlantic Ocean, moderates its temperatures. It’s often much milder here than you’d expect for a city so close to the North Pole!
But ocean currents also bring moisture into the atmosphere.
When this moisture-laden air meets the colder continental air, it’s the perfect recipe for snow!
Tromsø isn’t too far from mountain ranges like the Lyngen Alps.
These mountains act as barriers that trap moist air, compelling it to rise, cool, and eventually condense into snow over the city.
Snowy Activities in Tromsø
What are the best things to do in Tromsø when it snows? Here are our favourites!
Tromsø is one of the best places to visit in Norway in winter, partially due to its proximity to the slopes!
The nearest slopes are at Tromsø Alpinsenter, just a 20-minute drive from the city center.
With seven slopes and four lifts, it caters to skiers of all levels.
Local buses 20, 24 or 450 can take you there if you’re relying on public transport.
You can even rent ski gear here!
If you’re seeking an alternative to skiing, dog sledding is a unique Arctic experience.
Tours are available from November through March, and you’ll find a range of options, from half-day trips to multi-day expeditions.
Local tour operators often provide thermal suits, and some even include a Northern Lights hunt as part of the package.
Reindeer are integral to Sami culture, and sledding with these gentle animals offers not just fun but also a cultural lesson.
Tours are usually led by Sami herders and include storytelling sessions around a warm fire, where you learn about the 10,000-year history of reindeer herding.
Reindeer sledding locations are usually within a 60 minute drive from Tromsø and often include transfers.
Tips for Tromsø in the Snow
Use weather forecast websites
Before you venture out into the Arctic wilderness, don’t forget to check the weather!
Dress for the cold
Layering is the key to comfort and safety in Tromsø’s subarctic climate.
Start with thermal underwear, followed by fleece or wool mid-layers, and finish with a waterproof and windproof outer layer.
Don’t skimp on accessories like woollen socks, mittens, and a warm hat!
Opt for boots with a good grip to navigate snowy and icy paths.
If you plan on walking around, make sure the boots are insulated, and waterproof, and provide ankle support.
Carry a fully charged phone and a power bank, as cold temperatures can quickly drain batteries!
If you plan to rent a car, make sure it’s equipped with winter tires.
However, I really wouldn’t recommend driving unless you have experience in similar conditions.
Arctic winters really are brutal!
Always carry a map as GPS can be unreliable, and familiarize yourself with local road signs and speed limits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Tromso have snow?
Yes, Tromsø experiences snowfall, particularly from October through March, due to its subarctic climate.
Is there snow in December in Tromso?
December typically sees significant snowfall, although climate change has altered things somewhat. But generally, expect to see snow if you’re here around Christmas.
Is there snow in Tromso in October?
October marks the start of the snow season in Tromsø.
While it’s not as abundant as in the peak winter months, you can expect landscape changes due to early snowfall!
Will there be snow in Tromso in November?
Yes, the likelihood of snow increases in November, setting the stage for winter activities and the festive season.
Is Tromsø worth visiting in October?
October is a transitional month, offering a mix of fall and early winter experiences.
It’s less crowded than peak winter months and a little cheaper too.
Is October a good time to see the Northern Lights in Tromsø?
October is a fairly good month for seeing the Northern Lights as the skies darken sufficiently – although the best time to see them is November, January and February.
Is Norway snowy in October?
Snow in October is more common in northern regions like Tromsø compared to the rest of Norway.
The southern parts may not see snow until later in the year.
Is Tromsø worth visiting in winter?
Tromsø in winter offers a range of activities from skiing and dog sledding to Northern Lights tours, making it an epic winter destination!