In northern Europe, on the Scandinavian Peninsula, lies Sweden, the European Union’s third-largest country. It is bordered by Finland and Norway on land, and has a coastline that runs along the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia. Interestingly though, it also has maritime borders with Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and is also linked to Denmark by the Öresund Bridge. The country is largely forested, with a small portion of farmland, and is traditionally divided into three regions: Norrland, in the north with vast expanses of mountains and forests (overlapped in the far north by Lappland); Svealand in the central part of the country with lowlands in its east and highlands in its west; and Götaland in the south which includes both highlands and rich plains. The country is also known for some incredible lakes; not surprisingly either, when they have around 95 700 of them. The central and southern regions hold the largest part of the population, itself spread sparsely, due to the agricultural benefits of the lowlands and the long summer periods.
The country’s seasons are known to each have their own ‘personalities’ and the variation from north to south can be quite significant. Despite its northern location, Sweden can experience quite temperate weather, mostly as a consequence of the Gulf Stream. Stockholm and the southern areas are generally warmer, while the mountainous areas experience a subarctic climate. As a general rule, spring runs from the end of March to May, summer from June to August, fall from September to November and winter from December to March. Like the geography of the country, the climate can most easily be described using the division between Norrland (north), Svealand (centre) and Götaland (south).
With harsher conditions, the north is far less populated and displays long, cold winters, dropping to sub-zero temperatures with considerable snow. In summer it warms up to a mild 15℃, though sometimes it even peaks at 30℃. Interestingly, in the far north, by the arctic circle, the sun never sets for periods of summer – known as Midnight Sun. Moving down, Svealand is milder and only slightly colder than the southernmost region; average temperatures are just below zero in winter with snowfall common – particularly in the northwest, where a number of popular ski resorts are located. And summers bring temperatures of low teens to early 20℃s. Götaland has shorter and milder winters with little, if any, snow and humid summers, comfortably resting between 15℃ and 25℃ in the daytime. Humidity actual extends year-round, making summer warmer and winter cooler. The project takes place in the southern part of Norrland and thus experiences a chilly subarctic climate, though it can experience both extreme heat and cold. Summer brings midday temperatures of around 20℃, although nights are cold and frost is common.
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