Denmark has a predominantly humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb). About one-fifth of the southern Jutland Peninsula displays a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb). Denmark is a Nordic and Scandinavian country in Northern Europe, to the southwest of Sweden and south of Norway. The only land borders are with Germany in the south. The North and Baltic Seas share maritime borders with the country, along with its numerous offshore islands. The northern temperate latitudes and proximity to vast bodies of water mainly influence the climate.
Denmark lies in the temperate zone between 54°N and 57°N. The Nordic country consists of the Jutland Peninsula and more than 443 named islands. The landscape is mostly flat, with an average elevation of 31 meters above sea level. Mollehoj in the Ejerbjerge hills is the highest natural point in Denmark at a mere altitude of 170 meters. Rolling plains form a chunk of the terrain, along with sandy coastlines and large dunes. Odense, Gudena, Susa, Skerjn, and Vida are important rivers that flow across the country. The largest lake is Lake Arreso, with an area of 15.39 square miles. The area of inland water is 270 square miles. The coastline is 1057 miles long, excluding the shorelines of the numerous offshore islands. Any location in the country is at a maximum distance of 32 miles from the coast. The Kingdom of Denmark includes Greenland and Faroe Islands.
The climate of Denmark is mild relative to its northerly location due to the influence of ocean waters. Cloudy skies, humidity, wind, and rain are standard features. The western Jutland coasts have milder weather than the rest of the country. Summers are pleasantly warm but frequently wet. The average temperatures are in the warm 12.8°C (55°F) to 22.2°C (72°F) range, and the daylight lasts for more than 15 hours. Temperatures rarely cross 30°C (86°F) on hot days due to the influence of the southern currents. Nights are cool to mild, even at the peak of the summer. Winters are cold and dark, with poor sunshine. The Siberian High brings eastern currents that push the temperatures down to -20°C (-4°F) in worst conditions. Night temperatures remain below freezing, and precipitation is moderate but frequent. Moderate snowfall occurs during the winter. Spring is cold until May when the average temperatures register in the 7.8°C (46°F) to 16.1°C (61°F) zone. Autumn is comfortable in September but becomes windy and rainy in the second half. November is cold, dull, and rainy.
The annual rainfall in Denmark is in the moderate range of 508mm (20") to 812.8mm (32") and occurs evenly throughout the year. June to August is the peak precipitation period, while the driest period is in March and April. Western Jutland receives 800.1mm (31.5") of rain annually, which drops to 635mm (25") in the extreme north, and 508mm (20") in the east. The period from November to mid-April accounts for 20 days to 25 days of moderate snowfall. Atlantic depressions occur throughout the year. The annual sunshine in Denmark is weak and registers between 1600 hours and 1800 hours. Most of the bright days are between late spring and early autumn. The average sea temperatures are cold to mild in the range of 3.9°C (39°F) to 17.8°C (64°F), with the North Sea warmer than the Baltic Sea. The average monthly humidity ranges from a low of 72% in June to 86% in January. The average wind speeds are in the high range of 16.1km/h (10mph) to 30.6km/h (19mph), with a peak in January.
The highest recorded temperature in Denmark is 36.4°C (97.5°F), set on August 10, 1975, in Holstebro, Midtjylland. The lowest temperature on record is -31.2°C (-24.2°F), set on January 8, 1982, in Thisted Municipality, North Denmark Region.
The best time to visit Denmark
The best time to visit Denmark is between June and August in the summer. Copenhagen temperatures are in the range of 12.2°C (54°F) to 22.2°C (72°F), and it is generally warm everywhere. The nights tend to be cool, even though the days are occasionally hot. Early summer in June is cooler and drier than the later part of the season. Rainfall frequently occurs for short periods. The daily sunshine lasts above 8 hours in the summer, but the peak of 8.5 hours occurs in late spring in May. The average seawater temperatures of the North Sea are in the acceptable range of 16.1°C (61°F) to 18.3°C (64.9°F). Summer is the time to experience the famous Nordic white nights, particularly during the middle part of July. Early autumn has comfortable weather, with bright colors over the landscape.
The worst time to visit Denmark
The worst time to visit Denmark is during the severe winter from December to February. The nights are frigid, and even the days are cold and dark. Temperature variations are little, with strong winds, especially in the north. The daily sunshine is feeble and hardly lasts for 1.5 hours in most regions. The daylight lasts for less than 7.5 hours in December and January, and the skies are often cloudy. The precipitation is moderate in frequent short bursts. The average seawater temperatures register below a dangerously cold 2.2°C (36°F). Moderate snowfall occurs for 5 days to 8 days during each month in the winter.
Denmark faces weather hazards in the form of storms, floods, landslides, earthquakes, and cyclones. Floods are major hazards and frequently occur during periods of heavy rainfall. Winter storms are standard, especially during December and January. Cyclone Anatol cost Denmark 20 fatalities and US$ 3 billion in December 1999. Cyclone Xaver, a force 12 winter storm in 2013, brought heavy rain, snowfall, and strong winds. Tidal surge during storms is responsible for coastal flooding. Earthquakes of moderate intensity, such as the one in Skane County in 2008, occur occasionally.
Weather in January
January is usually the coldest month of the year in Denmark, with cold days and mostly freezing nights. The skies are overcast for at least 70% of the time, and the daylight lasts a little above 7.5 hours. The feeble sunshine rarely registers above 1.5 hours in most regions, and the conditions are cold and dark. Copenhagen, the capital, in the central region, registers average temperatures in the cold -1.1°C (30°F) to 2.8°C (37°F) zone. Temperature variations are little between day and night. Cold eastern currents further push down the temperatures, while westerlies bring mild weather. January brings at least 6 days of moderate snowfall in Copenhagen, but only 40.6mm (1.6") of rainfall. The average seawater temperatures in Esbjerg on the North Sea coast at a cold 6.1°C (43°F) are not favorable for swimming. The second half of January is the windiest in Copenhagen, with average daily wind speeds of 24.5km/h (15.2mph). Scarves, hats, gloves, and coats are necessary for the winter in January in Denmark.
Weather in February
February is the driest month of the year in Denmark, with hardly 38.1mm (1.5") of rainfall in most regions. The conditions are cold and dark, with barely 2 hours of feeble daily sunshine. Copenhagen registers average temperatures in the cold range of -1.1°C (30°F) to 3.9°C (39°F) and has a high average monthly humidity of 84%. At least 5 days are snowy in February, and there are more than 11 wet days in the month. The daylight improves significantly from 8.5 hours to 10.5 hours over the month. Odense records cold temperatures in the -0.6°C (30.9°F) to 3.3°C (37.9°F) zone, with cloudy skies for 66% of the time. The average seawater temperatures are frigid at 1.7°C (35.1°F), and exposure to the water even for moderate periods is dangerous. The average daily wind speeds decrease slightly from 24.5km/h (15.2mph) to 22.5km/h (14mph) over the month. Wear warm winter clothing throughout the day during outdoor visits. Expect occasional windstorms in the cold winter of Denmark in February.
Weather in March
March is cold at the beginning of the spring season in Denmark, with average temperatures in the range of 0°C (32°F) to 6.1°C (43°F). Spring is the driest season, with hardly 38.1mm (1.5") to 50.8mm (2") of rainfall every month across the country. The daily sunshine improves to 4 hours in most regions, but nights remain below freezing. Copenhagen registers average temperatures in the cold zone of 0.6°C (33.1°F) to 6.7°C (44.1°F), and the skies remain overcast for 60% of the time. The daylight increases to 12 hours by the end of the month as the latest sunrise occurs by 7 a.m. The average daily wind speeds in Roskilde decrease from 22.7km/h (14.1mph) to 20.8km/h (12.9mph) over the month. The average monthly relative humidity is over 82%, with 13 wet days in the month. Frost and light snowfall are prevalent in most places, but the landscape gradually becomes green. Expect cold days in early spring, and wear warm jackets in March in Denmark.
Weather in April
April sees a gradual change from cold to mild conditions in Denmark, with an increase in daylight. The days extend from 13 hours in the beginning to 15.5 hours by the end of April. The daily sunshine lasts for at least 6.5 hours and pushes the average temperatures in the mild zone of 3.3°C (37.9°F) to 11.7°C (53.1°F). Temperatures in Aarhus range between 2.8°C (37°F) and 11.7°C (53.1°F), as the skies remain cloudy for 52% of the time. The average daily wind speeds remain above 17.7km/h (11mph) in much of the country, but the relative humidity drops below 78%. Windy conditions still prevail, but there is a significant decrease in the frequency of windstorms. April has the least number of wet days in the year, at 11. Snowfall is over in most places. The average sweater temperatures at a cold 6.1°C (43°F) are not suitable for swimming or sunbathing on the sandy beaches. Tourist numbers gradually rise by the end of April in Denmark.
Weather in May
May is beautiful in Denmark, with a sharp rise in sunshine and daylight. The daily sunshine lasts for 8 hours, and most regions have 17-hour long days. The average temperatures are in the mild range of 7.8°C (46°F) to 16.1°C (61°F), with slightly high temperatures in the western and southern regions. Nights remain cold but are comfortably above freezing temperatures. The melting of snow brings freshwater to the rivers and streams. Floods occasionally occur in the coastal regions. Expect up to 13 wet days in May that bring an average of 50.8mm (2") of rainfall. The average daily wind speeds are consistently above 18km/h (11.2mph) in much of the country. The weather is similar in most of the country due to a flat and homogenous landscape. Expect the days to warm up with each passing day in May. Carry a jacket for protection from wind and rain. Late May sees a surge in tourist numbers with the arrival of warm weather in Denmark.
Weather in June
June is the beginning of the warm and beautiful summer season in Denmark, with bright skies and long days. The daylight increases to a record 17.5 hours and brings 8 hours of bright sunshine. The sun rises at 4.25 a.m. and sets at 9.57 p.m. on June 20, the longest day of the year. The average temperatures are in the warm range of 12.2°C (54°F) to 18.9°C (66°F), with slightly low temperatures on the northern coasts. A few hot days are due in the month, but most register below 26.7°C (80.1°F). The nights are cold but cozy, with a drop in average monthly humidity to 72%, the lowest of the year. June registers up to 63.5mm (2.5") of rainfall in the country, with 13 wet days. The average sweater temperatures are cold at 15°C (59°F), but the beaches offer bright sunshine during the long days. Expect crowds everywhere and prepare to spend more during the sunny days of June. June has excellent weather for a visit to Denmark.
Weather in July
July is the warmest month of the year in Denmark, with the average temperatures in the range of 13.3°C (55.9°F) to 21.7°C (71.1°F). The sunny month sees 8 hours of daily sunshine during the 16- hour days. The unique feature is the bright white nights that mostly occur in the first half of July. Copenhagen temperatures are in the 12.8°C (55°F) to 21.1°C (70°F) range, with clear skies up to 58% of the time. The precipitation averages at 76.2mm (3") in the country, as July records 14 moderately wet days. Skagen, on the northern coast, registers average temperatures in the 12.8°C (55°F) to 19.4°C (66.9°F) range. The northern shores witness their lowest average daily wind speeds of 20.1km/h (12.5mph). The average sweater temperatures at a warm 17.2°C (63°F) evince a lot of tourist interest. Summer peak temperatures usually remain below 30°C (86°F) in the country. Long pants and jackets are useful in the warm summer. July offers pristine weather in Denmark and is the peak of the tourist season.
Weather in August
August is the wettest month of the year in Denmark, with an average of 91.4mm (3.6") of precipitation in 16 wet days. The skies remain clear up to 54% of the time, and the conditions are warm, with 6.5 hours of daily sunlight. The daylight recedes gradually from 16 hours to 14 hours over the month. Odense registers average temperatures in the warm zone of 12.2°C (54°F) to 21.1°C (70°F). The average daily wind speeds increase from 18.3km/h (11.4mph) to 19.6km/h (12.2mph) in Odense, and the rainfall is between 71.1mm (2.8") to 88.9mm (3.5"). The average monthly humidity touches 75% in the country, but the days are warm and comfortable. Nights tend to be cool. The seawater is at the warmest of the year, with average temperatures at 17.8°C (64°F) during the first week of August. Afternoons are prone to thunderstorms. Carry a rain jacket for protection from showers during outdoor visits. August is the last month of the beautiful summer in Denmark.
Weather in September
September begins the autumn season in Denmark, with a rapid decrease in temperatures and sunshine. The average temperatures are in the zone of 10°C (50°F) to 17.8°C (64°F), with warm days and cold nights. Copenhagen has average temperatures in the mild range of 10.6°C (51.1°F) to 17.2°C (63°F) and sees cloudy skies up to 52% of the time. September sees a slight decrease in precipitation at 61mm (2.4") in the country. The daylight lasts a shade over 12 hours by the end of the month from 14 hours in the beginning. The first half of the month still has remnants of the summer conditions. The second half begins to witness a colorful landscape. Skagen sees an increase in the average daily wind speeds from 23.7km/h (14.7mph) to 26.2km/h (16.3mph). Warm jackets are out of closets as nights become cold. Low temperatures can go down to 6.1°C (43°F) during the last week of the month. September is the last month of agreeable weather in Denmark.
Weather in October
October brings the peak of the fall foliage in Denmark, although the daily sunshine lasts for hardly 4 hours. The conditions are cold and wet, with a surge in the average precipitation to 83.8mm (3.3"). Aalborg registers mild to cold temperatures in the 6.7°C (44.1°F) to 12.2°C (54°F) zone, while Roskilde records average temperatures in the range of 6.1°C (43°F) to 12.8°C (55°F). Temperatures rarely exceed 17.2°C (63°F) in most regions, but a few nights occasionally drop to freezing. The daylight decreases rapidly from 11.5 hours to 9.5 hours over the month. The average daily wind speeds range from 20.9km/h (13mph) to 23.3km/h (14.5mph) in most areas and register between 25.7km/h (16mph) to 29km/h (18mph) on the windy northern shores. Wind direction is mainly from the west and the south. Crowds are fewer in the fall season, which is a good time for budget travelers who do not mind a bit of cold. Expect dull and rainy weather in the second half of October in Denmark.
Weather in November
November is a cold month in the autumn in Denmark, with average temperatures in the range of 3.3°C (37.9°F) to 7.8°C (46°F). The conditions are cold and dark, with less than 2 hours of daily sunshine. The skies are overcast up to 67% of the time, and the daylight recedes to 7.5 hours by the end of the month. Temperature variations are little, with many nights and even a few days register below freezing. The average precipitation drops to 76.2mm (3"), but at 20, November records the highest number of wet days in a month. The average monthly humidity is 84%, with frost and light snowfall in most regions. Odense registers cold temperatures in the range of 3.9°C (39°F) to 8.3°C (46.9°F), while Aarhus is between 3.3°C (37.9°F) to 7.8°C (46°F). The average seawater temperatures of the North Sea at 10°C (50°F) are slightly higher than the Baltic Sea at a cold 7.8°C (46°F). November sees a rapid decrease in tourist footfall in Denmark.
Weather in December
December is the beginning of the cold and dark winter in Denmark, which brings hardly 1.5 hours of feeble daily sunshine. The average temperatures are in the chilly zone of -0.6°C (30.9°F) to 3.9°C (39°F), with many days and most nights below freezing. Copenhagen records at least 4 snowy and 17 rainy days in the month. December 21 is the shortest day with 7 hours of daylight in the capital region. The average daily wind speeds range between 22.5km/h (14mph) in the interior to 30.6km/h (19mph) on the northern shores. The Baltic Sea waters are icy at 5°C (41°F), while the North Sea is at 7.2°C (45°F). The rainfall drops below 61mm (2.4") in most places and is in the form of a drizzle. Warm winter clothing is necessary, along with caps, gloves, scarves, and winter boots for outdoor visits. Expect bone-chilling cold, primarily due to the Siberian High's effects that can push temperatures below -17.8°C (-0°F). Consider the harsh December weather while planning a trip to Denmark.