Northern Sweden gets the best of summer sun

Anyone who headed south to find the Swedish summer sun this year was heading in the wrong direction. The sunniest places in Sweden in June and July were all in the north of the country.

Östersund, 550 kilometres north of Stockholm, was the sunniest place in Sweden during the summer. It was followed by Umeå and Luleå, on the north-east cost.

The sun shone for 654 hours over Östersund in the ten weeks from 1st June, according to calculations from Sweden’s state meteorological office, SMHI. Umeå had 640 hours of sunshine, while residents of Luleå enjoyed 635 hours of sun.

The islands of Gotland and Öland, usually the best destinations for Swedish sun worshippers, fared less well. Visby on Gotland was in seventh place, while the northern tip of Öland was in tenth place.

The least sunny place in Sweden this summer was Växjö, with just 438 hours of sunshine.

Overall, while this year’s summer has seen a lot of rain, experts say they can point to years with even less sunshine.

“The summer of 2007 has been among the worst in terms of number of hours of sunshine, but it is not the worst ever. In 2000 there was less sunshine in many places,” said Isagel Cedefamn of SMHI.

Temperatures this year have been around average. In northern Sweden they have been a little higher than usual, and on Wednesday many places experienced record August temperatures.

“Karesuando recorded a temperature of 29.1 degrees, which is the highest since measurements began in 1878. Kiruna recorded 28.4 degrees, beating the record from 1969,” Cedefamn said.