Latvia: Weather Overview
The weather in Latvia is fairly typical of its northerly location, though the climate is moderated considerably by the presence of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga on its west coast. Conditions increase in extremity the further north you head and also as you move away from the moderating influence of the sea waters.
The climate is largely continental, temperate in parts and humid. The country sees a large range in annual temperatures, with winters getting particularly cold and summers get much hotter than you might expect at such a northerly latitude. The coastâs climate can be described as maritime with winters that are slightly milder than other parts of the country.
You can expect precipitation year-round in Latvia, though it is highest in summer, peaking in August. Summers are generally mild; the warmest months are July and August. Spring and autumn are periods of rapid change but are generally pleasant nearer to summer. Winters are cold and snowy.
Riga is Latviaâs cosmopolitan capital city, lying on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea in the Gulf of Riga. It sits on the fertile low-lying Eastern European plain, a plain largely covered in pine forests and lush flora. It has a temperate climate that sees warm summers and cold winters.
The coldest months in Riga are January and February which have an average daily temperature of -6Â°C and see the mercury often falling below a blistering -25Â°C! Heavy snowfall is common; away from the coast snow cover can last for up to 80 days in winter. Summers in Riga are warm and particularly humid. The summer months see an average temperature of about 18Â°C, though the mercury has been known to rise well into the 30âs, pushing 36Â°C on many previous occasions.
When the cold winds from Russia and interior Lativa hit the warm sea rain and fog is created over Riga. This is particularly common in the autumn months of September to November.
The vibrant coastal capital of Riga has beautiful winding cobblestone streets and Art Nouveau architecture. Lying slightly further inland you will find the enchanting city of Sigulda which has long been known locally as the 'Switzerland of Latvia', because of its position in the Gauja Valley and the medieval castles that dot the region.
While Riga is the largest city in Latvia and also the most popular if you have the time there are many beautiful cities to visit across the country. If you head inland you should visit the towns of Aluksne and Rezekne which lie in interior Latvia near Russia. If you choose to visit these cities then itâs best to organise your trip in the months outside of winter - as they lie further from the sea the winter months can see very extreme weather. You could also visit the towns of Liepaja, which lies on the west coast, or Ventspils, which sits in a more northerly location on the coast upon the Irbe Strait.
Latvia is located in Northern Europe upon the coasts of the Baltic Sea. It lies south of Estonia, north of Lithuania and to the west of Belarus and Russia. As travellers search for undiscovered destinations, Latvia is becoming more and more popular.
During the Soviet period, Latvia experienced heavy industrialisation and a huge influx of immigrants, mainly from Russia. Latvia claimed its independence in 1991 and Russia withdrew its military forces in 1994. Since then the country has undergone a transformed itself, joining NATO and the European Union in 2004 and implementing strict language and citizenship laws. In 2004 the Government introduced controversial reforms to restrict the use of the Russian language in schools and in 2006 a law was brought it that those who failed a Latvian language test three times will be denied citizenship.