Winter Cold in Lithuania | True Lithuania
True Lithuania

Climate in Lithuania

The climate in Lithuania is temperate continental. The population density is lower than in the Western Europe, therefore most of Lithuania is covered by forests and agricultural pastures. While wild animals are not an everyday sight, you may be lucky enough to see rabbits, deer, wild boars or other animals at the roadsides or crossing the roads.

The Lithuanian climate (continental humid) is comparable to that in the cities such as Moscow and Toronto. In Vilnius, the average highest daily temperature in July is 22,1 C, the average lowest daily temperature in July is 12,3 C. Average highest daily temperature in January is -3,5 C whereas lowest average daily temperature in January is -8,7 C.

Typically, there are several very hot weeks in summers (with daytime temperatures surpassing 30 C) and one or two very cold weeks in winter (with nighttime temperatures going under -20 C).

Close to the sea in Klaipėda the winters are milder and the summers are cooler, but the difference between Vilnius and Klaipėda weather does not exceed a couple of degrees.

Temperature charts for Vilnius and Klaipėda (°C). ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Water temperature in the Baltic Sea is around 18 C in summer and considered especially warm if over 20 C. In lakes and rivers, it gets significantly hotter.

Lithuanian terrain is extremely flat (all country under 300 m), meaning there are no altitude-induced climate differences.

The precipitation is never a major issue and varies little. July is the wettest month with 77 millimeters of rain. In winter it snows but the snow cover rarely stays for more than a couple of days before melting (however, there are many such "snow periods" every winter).

If you come from outside Europe, it may surprise you that Lithuania is quite far to the north: further north than any US, Canadian, Japanese or Chinese major city. While the warm Gulf Stream supports its temperate climate and never allows Klaipėda port to freeze, it could not change the day/night cycle. High latitudes mean that in the deep winter, Lithuanian the days are quite short (7 hours) whereas in mid-summer they are very long (17 hours), with nautical twilight lasting the whole night. Daylight savings time means that the sunset comes even earlier in winter, it getting dark by ~4 PM.

Total darkness ~5PM in winter (left) and the bright Vilnius midnight in June (right). ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

That said, every season in Lithuania has its own beauty as nature paints itself in different colors. Contrary to popular belief, the winters are not perpetually white, but you have high chances of encountering heavy snow if you visit in January or February. The autumns are universally yellow as the leaves of every tree prepare to fall down. The springs and summers are green, although during the summer droughts everything may start gaining a yellow shade earlier.

The time zone for Lithuania is UCT+3 in summer and UTC+2 in winter (due to the daylight savings time).

There are no natural disasters like volcanoes, earthquakes or tornadoes in Lithuania. Forest fires do happen, but they are minor compared to the ones raging in Australia or Southern Europe. The cold in winter takes its toll sometimes but this is limited to the homeless. Heavy rains and strong winds do some damage, but, usually, only to the property and crops. Moreover, even this damage is minor compared to places like the United States with a total "destruction of homes or cars by weather" virtually unknown in Lithuania. Historically, Thunder used to be a feared phenomena by the Lithuanian villagers and even considered to be the key god in Lithuanian mythology. Lightning-rods changed that, however.

Four seasons in Vilnius Castle Hill and National Museum: autumn, winter, spring and summer. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

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  1. Where is cathedral tower in first two picture?

    • Left of the image. While I have attempted to make all four pictures with the same view evidently the final two include some more area on the right (and less area on the left) and therefore include the tower.

      By the way today the hill looks somewhat different as the trees have been recently cut down.

  2. thank you, you have help me out geting a good grade for my paper on lithuania.

  3. In Greece, our time zone is +2 in winter and +3(+2 which is normal, +1 due to day light savings) in the summer. So in a sense, in Lithuania you go -1 during summer time from what I understand. Is it correct though(it just seems too strange)?

    • This was a mistake, thanks for notifying. It has been corrected now. Indeed, the time in Lithuania is the same as in Greece.

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