Due to its location near the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi has a subarctic climate with short, pleasant summers, while the winters are long, cold and snowy. Winters are somewhat modified by marine air from the North Atlantic Current that ensures average temperatures are less extreme than expected for an inland area at such a northerly latitude. Snow stays on the ground 175 days a year on average. December averages just -6°C of sunshine daily. Despite the fact that Rovaniemi experiences polar day between 7 June and 6 July it does not experience polar night. However, the sun barely gets above the horizon in the winter.
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The Northern Lights are visible on around 150 nights a year in Finnish Lapland. In Rovaniemi, the spellbinding astral show can be witnessed in and around the city. The Northern Lights season spans from mid-August until early April. Contrary to popular belief, the best times for spotting the Auroras are at the beginning of August and the end of March. The Northern Lights commonly appear between 10 PM and 2 AM, but can at times be seen as soon as 7 PM. A show might last from only a couple of minutes to several hours. For a more thorough Aurora experience, there are plenty of ways to hunt the Aurora, such as on snowmobiles, husky sleds, snowshoes, and in reindeer sleighs.
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