Weather: Latvia, Estonia

Scandinavians will feel at home with the climate of Latvia and its northern neighbour, Estonia. Both countries adjoin the Baltic Sea, with a west coast wrapping around the Gulf of Riga. Proximity to water gives these countries a cool, humid regime year round. Winter temperatures are relatively mild for the latitude – no colder, on average, than in the Ukraine – although the north coast of Estonia gets a few winter gales that add to the chill. Light snows are common across the country, along with periodic thaws (especially near the coast) that prevent the snowpack from getting too deep. Showers and a few steady rains occur about every 2 or 3 days on average in summer. The high latitude ensures plenty of mid-summer sun, however. Autumn rains aren't especially heavy, but they become more frequent by September. Off-season visitors might be better off in the sunnier months of May and June.