In Greenland, an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, the climate is arctic along the north-central coasts (zone 1 on the map), where the temperatures of the warmest months are around freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) and subarctic on the south-central coasts (zone 2 on the map), where the average temperatures in the summer months are above freezing, but still below 10 °C (50 °F).
The average temperatures in Greenland do not exceed a mean of 5.6°C (42 °F) in the warmest summer months. In the southern part of the country and the innermost parts of the long fjords, the temperature can, however, rise to more than 20° C (68° F) in June, July and August.
Due to Gulf Stream influences, Greenland's winter temperatures are very mild for its latitude. In Nuuk, the capital, average winter temperatures are only −9 °C (16 °F). In comparison, the average winter temperatures for Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada, are around −27 °C (−17 °F).
- Popular Areas in Greenland
- Summer in Greenland
- Fall in Greenland
- Winter in Greenland
- Spring in Greenland
- The Midnight Sun and The Northern Lights
- Climate Change in Greenland
Visitors head to the northwestern part of this island nation for iceberg adventures, dog sledding, and optimal viewing of the midnight sun, which is best seen during the summer months. The vast section of Greenland stretches from Qaanaaq way up north to Upernavik on the coast down to Ilulissat in the Disko Bay. Temperatures are bitter cold in January, even in Ilulissat, which averages a low of 2 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees below 0 Celsius) to start the year. But by July, high temperatures...
Destination Arctic Circle
Adventure lovers will embrace Sisimiut, Greenland's second-largest city, and Kangerlussuaq, which is home to the only road to the Greenland Ice Sheet. The area sees extremes, dropping well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees below 0 Celsius) in January but jumping above 50 F (0 C) in July. The Northern Lights are best viewed here in the winter.
Greenland's largest city is its capital, Nuuk, which anchors the southwest of the island. Southern communities such as Paamiut offer small-town getaways and snowy adventures in the winter. The relatively mild temperatures year-round, including an average high of 24 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees below 0 Celsius) in January, make the capital a good destination any time.
With the midnight sun at its peak and the humidity at its lowest, summers in Greenland are warmer than you might expect. This is the best time to experience the country's natural beauty with activities like cycling, hiking, or kayaking. What to pack: During the day, you should be comfortable in a short-sleeved shirt and some long pants. With the su...
In the fall, temperatures are just starting to drop in Greenland and the days grow noticeably shorter as they pass by. However, the cooler weather will reveal the warm tones of the autumn foliage, which makes this an especially photogenic time to visit. What to pack: The temperature is cooling down, but it's not quite freezing yet. It's best to dre...
Winter is the most extreme time to visit Greenland, especially compounded with the darkness of the long polar nights, and temperatures drop well below freezing and stay there. What to pack: Be sure to pack snow-ready and water-resistant gear if you plan to partake in any winter activities, as well as a variety of sweaters, thermal underwear, and ac...
The transition from winter to summer can feel very quick in Greenland when temperatures hop back up to above the freezing point. As the days grow longer and the snow melts, this is a great time to watch Greenland come back to life. What to pack: The weather is warming but gets cold at night, so make sure to pack warm layers and your snow gear. With...
Because of Greenland's location right on the Arctic Circle, it's possible to experience perpetual nighttime in winter and perpetual daylight in summer. To fully experience the midnight sun, you'll need to visit between late April and late August. In winter, it is the opposite phenomenon. As the earth tilts away from the sun, Greenlanders experience...
In Greenland, the effects of climate change are active and visible, and Greenlanders' attitudes toward the climate shift is complicated. Although the melting ice entices tourism and other industries who have opportunities to benefit from warmer weather in Greenland, it also endangers wildlife and is potentially driving hungry polar bearsfurther sou...
The climate in southwest Greenland, where most of the population of 55,000 live, is low-Arctic. This part of Greenland is characterized by relatively mild winters with a lot of snow and periods of thaw, and wet summers with average temperatures of less than 10°C in the warmest month. North and north-east Greenland are in the high-Arctic zone.
If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Greenland, the hottest months are July, August, and then June. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally early to mid July where highs are regularly around 48.9°F (9.4°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 38.2°F (3.4°C) at night.