Despite deep snows in neighboring Norway, the lands of southern Sweden remained green and snow-free in late autumn, 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on November 17.
Sweden stretches about 980 mi (1,575 km) from north to south. At the northernmost extreme sits the city of Treriksröset (not seen in this image) at roughly 70°N latitude. The village of Smygehuk sits at the southern tip of the county on the Baltic Sea at about 55°N latitude. About 15% of the country lies north of the Arctic Circle.
Although much of Sweden lies as far north as frigid lands such as Siberia, Canada’s Northwest Territories, Alaska, Finland, Norway and Greenland, which are well known for cold and heavy snow, the country’s climate is relatively mild. The Koeppen-Geiger classification for southern Sweden’s climate is listed as Cfb, which means a mild temperate/mesothermal climate with significant precipitation year round, and with the warmest month averaging below 22°C (71.6°C) but with at least 4 months averaging above 10°C (50°F).
The land of southern Sweden is primarily low plains, with mountains rising on the western border with Norway. Inland forests are primarily spruce and pine, especially in the mountains. In the far south, deciduous species dominate the forests. Most of the land in the most southern part of Sweden is agricultural. The growing season in the south extends as long as 240 days, with up to 19 hours average daylight hours in the peak of summer. Wheat, rapeseed and sugar beets are staple crops grown in the south.