Intellicast's Climate Guide To Europe

Although this continent, which is the second smallest in the world, is largely affected by the warm and moist air from the North Atlantic, Europe’s typically moderate climate is not a stranger to extremes. From sub-arctic conditions in the tundra areas of Scandinavia to 100-degree plus temperatures during the summer months in the Mediterranean, Europe features a wide range of weather conditions from season to season.

SPRING
Mid to late spring is one of the most pleasant seasons to travel and discover the continent of Europe. Throughout the North, increasing amounts of daylight and sunshine promote warming temperatures and the melting of any snow cover that may remain. Rapid snowmelt is expected in the Alps as a result of rapidly increasing temperatures due to a local wind called the Fohn. Across Western Europe, more sunshine and fewer days of precipitation is likely. Warmer and increasingly sunny days provide a preview of what is to come in the summer months along the Mediterranean coasts, however, pleasant conditions may be hampered early in the season by a few showers or thunderstorms. Eastern Europe and the Alps feature the best chance for precipitation during this time of year.

SUMMER
Travelers to Europe, and even locals, in the summertime flock to the Mediterranean resorts where hot, sunny, and dry conditions are expected and are only very rarely spoiled by an afternoon shower or thunderstorm. Western Europe and the British Isles also feature a fair amount of sunshine and warmer temperatures, although there is a greater chance for encounters with brief, but sometimes heavy, showers and thunderstorms. Warm temperatures are also felt as far north as Scandinavia as extended hours of daylight and drier conditions increase the area’s potential for temperatures to increase throughout the day. Eastern Europe and the Alps have the greatest chance for showers and thunderstorms during the summer months, with hot temperatures likely to develop in the lowlands of the South.

AUTUMN
Autumn in Europe quickly replaces the generally pleasant summer months with increasing amounts of cloudiness and precipitation. Quite stormy conditions may develop across the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Western Europe producing gale-force winds and more frequent rain. Precipitation may also begin to impact northern parts of Portugal and Spain. As the number of daylight hours decrease, temperatures begin to drop across the continent. The Mediterranean coasts usually still feature mild temperatures during this time, although portions of Eastern Europe and the Alps likely experience some colder, winter-like temperatures.

WINTER
The least favorable season to travel to Europe is during the winter. Frequent precipitation and strong winds are likely in and across the north due to storm systems barreling in from the North Atlantic. Episodes of snowfall are possible in the British Isles, the interior, and the higher elevations of Western and Eastern Europe, while higher elevations of Scandinavia may feature severe arctic conditions with heavy snow and strong winds. The Alps also receive a good deal of snowfall during the winter, providing mountain resorts with super conditions for winter sports. Bitter cold temperatures are likely in Eastern and Central Europe as a result of winds draining the cold air from Russia. The Mediterranean usually is wet and mild, although it may be impacted by cold air at times.

THE BRITISH ISLES
(IRELAND, NORTHERN IRELAND, ENGLAND, SCOTLAND)

Under the influence of the mild and moist westerly flow of the North Atlantic, the British Isles feature a climate that is moderate in nature and rarely affected by extremes.

Changeable conditions are likely throughout the year across the British Isles with periods of clouds and rain. Late spring and early summer typically features the best weather conditions for travelers with an increase in the length of daylight, which brings warm sunshine and milder temperatures. The total number of days featuring precipitation is generally less during this time of year, although showers may be brief yet heavy at times. There is a greater chance for thunderstorms even though severe activity is unusual for this region but not unlikely. Temperatures in the spring and summer are mild to warm even in the North where the higher latitude brings longer daylight hours. Temperatures in the 80s and even 90s (°F) are possible on occasion especially in the South.

During the winter, not only is this region subject to frequent low clouds and fog due to the moist winds off the North Atlantic, it is also the first to greet many North Atlantic storm systems. These storm systems often wrap in moisture off of the North Atlantic to produce windy and wet conditions for many areas of the West such as Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. England is also subject to the brunt of these storm systems, although eastern sections typically do not receive as much precipitation overall since many storm systems carry the bulk of the precipitation to the north. Episodes of snow are possible throughout the entire region during the winter and early spring. Snow is usually heavy, wet, and short lived and is more likely to occur in the hills and higher elevations. The mountains of Scotland receive the greatest snowfall each year, which, when accompanied by high winds, may create blizzard-like conditions. Daytime high temperatures generally average on the cool side in the 40s and 50s (°F) throughout the region, with below freezing temperatures possible at night especially in the interior and higher elevations.

LONDON, ENGLAND

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Rain Days
January 15°F -10°C
36°F 2°C
43°F 6°C
58°F 14°C
2.1 inches 54 mm 15
February 15°F -9°C
36°F 2°C
44°F 7°C
61°F 16°C
1.6 inches 40 mm

13

March 18°F -8°C
38°F 3°C
50°F 10°C
71°F 21°C
1.5 inches 37 mm 11
April 28°F -2°C
42°F 6°C
56°F 13°C
78°F 26°C
1.5 inches 37 mm 12
May 30°F -1°C
47°F 8°C
62°F 17°C
86°F 30°C
1.8 inches 46 mm 12
June 41°F 5°C
53°F 12°C
69°F 20°C
91°F 33°C
1.8 inches 46 mm 11
July
45°F 7°C
56°F 14°C
71°F 22°C
93°F 34°C
2.2 inches 57 mm 12
August 43°F 6°C
56°F 13°C
71°F 21°C
92°F 33°C
2.3 inches 59 mm 11
September 37°F 3°C
52°F 11°C
65°F 19°C
86°F 30°C
1.9 inches 49 mm 13
October 26°F -4°C
46°F 8°C
58°F 14°C
78°F 26°C
2.2 inches 57 mm 13
November 23°F -5°C
42°F 5°C
50°F 10°C
66°F 19°C
2.5 inches 64 mm 15
December 19°F -7°C
38°F 4°C
45°F 7°C
59°F 15°C
1.9 inches 48 mm 15

SCANDINAVIA, FINLAND AND ICELAND
(NORWAY, SWEDEN, FINLAND, DENMARK, ICELAND)

Scandinavia features a wide variety of weather conditions ranging from mild, maritime air in coastal Norway and Denmark, to severe, arctic-like conditions in the higher elevations.

Directly in the path of North Atlantic storm systems, Iceland, coastal Norway and Denmark experience changeable, and often very stormy, conditions beginning in the late summer / early autumn and persisting throughout the winter months. Gale-force winds and frequent episodes of rain are not uncommon results of storms that impact this area. Snow is also likely in Iceland and along the central and northern coasts of Norway, while Denmark sometimes will only receive very little snow over the course of a winter season. As strong storm systems track across the higher elevations of Norway, severe arctic conditions are likely with heavy snow and strong winds. Daylight hours are also shorter in this area due to the high latitude putting a quick cap on any rising temperatures. Somewhat sheltered by the Norwegian mountains and from the maritime influence of the North Atlantic, neighboring countries Sweden and Finland experience very long and cold winters. Precipitation falls mainly in the form of snow throughout Finland and central and northern Sweden and is heaviest in the higher elevations. Snow cover is likely to last for extended periods of time to due very cold temperatures and few hours of daylight.

Increasing daylight in the spring and summer months brings a good deal of warmth to the region with many areas featuring somewhat drier conditions. Warmest temperatures are expected throughout Denmark and the southern sections of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Temperatures can become quite warm at times due to the extended day light hours. Iceland features changeable conditions during the summertime with cool temperatures. The chance for precipitation increases throughout the region as autumn approaches.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Rain Days
January -19°F -28°C
23°F -5°C
30°F -1°C
49°F 10°C
1.7 inches 43 mm 16
February -13°F -25°C
22°F -5°C
30°F -1°C

53°F 12°C

1.2 inches 30 mm

14

March -8°F -22°C
26°F -4°C
37°F 3°C
59°F 15°C
1.0 inches 2.5 mm 10
April 11°F -12°C
34°F 1°C
47°F 8°C
68°F 20°C
1.2 inches 31 mm 11
May 26°F -3°C
43°F 6°C
58°F 14°C
82°F 28°C
1.3 inches 34 mm 11
June 34°F 1°C
51°F 11°C
67°F 19°C
90°F 32°C
1.8 inches 45 mm 13
July
46°F 8°C
57°F 14°C
71°F 22°C
94°F 35°C
2.4 inches 61 mm 13
August 41°F 5°C
56°F 13°C
68°F 20°C
88°F 31°C
3.0 inches 76 mm 14
September 32°F 0°C
49°F 9°C
60°F 15°C
78°F 26°C
2.4 inches 60 mm 14
October 20°F -7°C
41°F 5°C
49°F 9°C
63°F 17°C
1.9 inches 48 mm 15
November 12°F -11°C
34°F 1°C
40°F 5°C
54°F 12°C
2.1 inches 53 mm 16
December 3°F -16°C
29°F -2°C
35°F 2°C
54°F 12°C
1.9 inches 48 mm 17

EASTERN EUROPE
(POLAND, ESTONIA, LATVIA, LITHUIANIA, BELARUS, UKRAINE, CZECH REPUBLIC, HUNGARY, ROMANIA, BULGARIA, SERBIA)

A changeable climate, much like other regions of Europe, is expected in the East although its close proximity with Russia makes this region one of the coldest during the winter.

Cold winds whistling from the east and northeast creates bitter cold conditions throughout Eastern Europe during the winter months. Prolonged cold spells are most likely in the persistently cloudy and foggy lowlands and valleys where the heavy cold air becomes trapped. Generally milder conditions can be found along most coastal areas. Precipitation is generally lower at this time of year, although frequent bouts of snowfall are anticipated especially in interior sections and the higher elevations.

Springtime thaw is slow throughout this area, especially in interior sections and the higher elevations where snowfall is still a possibility. Spring and summer features the greatest chance for precipitation in Eastern Europe with the chance for showers and sometimes even severe thunderstorms. Temperatures are generally mild to warm with the coolest temperatures found along coastal areas of the Baltic Sea. Extreme heat is rare in areas to the north such as Poland and the Czech Republic, however, with increasing amounts of sunshine to the south, temperatures can become quite hot throughout Yugoslavia, Romania, and Bulgaria and have been know to reach 100-degrees Fahrenheit on some occasions.

WARSAW, POLAND

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Rain Days
January -20°F -29°C
22°F -6°C
32°F 0°C
51°F 11°C
1.1 inches 27 mm 15
February -16°F -27°C
21°F -6°C
32°F 0°C

56°F 13°C

1.3 inches 32 mm

14

March 6°F -14°C
28°F -2°C
42°F 6°C
65°F 18°C
1.1 inches 27 mm 11
April 22°F -6°C
37°F 3°C
53°F 12°C
80°F 27°C
1.5 inches 37 mm 13
May 27°F -3°C
48°F 9°C
67°F 20°C
92°F 34°C
1.8 inches 46 mm 11
June 38°F 3°C
54°F 12°C
73°F 23°C
93°F 34°C
2.7 inches 69 mm 13
July
45°F 7°C
58°F 15°C
75°F 24°C
95°F 35°C
3.8 inches 96 mm 16
August 44°F 7°C
56°F 14°C
73°F 23°C
92°F 33°C
2.6 inches 65 mm 13
September 34°F 1°C
49°F 10°C
66°F 19°C
88°F 31°C
1.7 inches 43 mm 12
October 17°F -9°C
41°F 5°C
55°F 13°C
78°F 26°C
1.5 inches 38 mm 12
November 10°F -12°C
33°F 1°C
42°F 6°C
63°F 17°C
1.2 inches 31 mm 12
December -14°F -26°C
28°F -3°C
35°F 2°C
55°F 13°C
1.7 inches 44 mm 16

THE ALPS
(SWITZERLAND, LIECHTENSTEIN, AUSTRIA, SLOVAKIA)

From high mountain tops and plateaus to lower valleys and basins, the complex terrain of the Alps creates an assortment of climate conditions that travelers need to be prepared for.

Wintertime in the Alps is typically cold, especially with an east to northeast wind component that carries very cold air from Russia. Deep valley areas may hold on to cold temperatures for longer periods as cold air sinks and becomes trapped. As the cold and heavy air collects in the valleys, cloudy and foggy conditions are likely and may persist, while the higher elevations experience greater amounts of sunshine creating excellent conditions for winter sports. Precipitation during the winter is typically in the form of snow, which may be frequent across the central Swiss Plateau. Snow cover is likely to remain throughout the season due to very cold temperatures in the area.

Springtime thaw is enhanced with the Fohn wind. This dry and warm wind runs through the valleys and can rapidly increase temperatures. As result, there is usually a great snowmelt that occurs in a short period of time. The chance for precipitation increases heading into the summer months as this period brings the wettest conditions with the chance for showers and embedded thunderstorms. Higher elevations that featured abundant sunshine in the winter experience an increase in clouds and precipitation during the summer months. Valley areas become sunnier as sinking air warms and dissipates any clouds. Lower elevations of the South, including the lower valleys of Switzerland, southeast Austria, and Slovenia, are somewhat influenced by the Mediterranean as quite warm to even hot temperatures may develop. Precipitation is also heavier during the summer when there is an increased chance for thunderstorms (which in some cases may be severe).

WESTERN EUROPE
(FRANCE, BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS, GERMANY)

Similar to the British Isles, this portion of Europe is also largely affected by the warm and moist air streaming in from the North Atlantic.

Summertime in Western Europe features a blend of sun and clouds, warm temperatures and fewer days of precipitation. When precipitation does fall, it is usually in the form of brief but heavy showers or thunderstorms. Temperatures are generally in the 70s and 80s (°F) although warmer temperatures are possible as you travel south towards the Mediterranean.

The transition from summer to winter brings an increase in cloudiness across Western Europe and sometimes gale-force winds to coastal areas, especially along the English Channel and the North Sea. Wintertime precipitation is generally in the form of rain in northwest France due to the mild influence of the North Atlantic, while central and eastern France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands have a good chance for frosty and snowy conditions. Germany and southern Belgium may experience bitter cold temperatures at times especially when an east wind develops. Snow cover may persist in some portions of Germany, Belgium, and in the higher elevations of France for an extended period of time. Low clouds, fog, and extended cold spells are anticipated each winter in the valleys.

PARIS, FRANCE

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Rain Days
January 10°F -12°C
34°F 1°C
43°F 6°C
58°F 15°C
2.2 inches 56 mm 17
February 6°F -15°C
34°F 1°C
45°F 7°C

71°F 21°C

1.8 inches 46 mm

14

March 24°F -4°C
39°F 4°C
54°F 12°C
78°F 26°C
1.4 inches 35 mm 12
April 32°F 0°C
43°F 6°C
60°F 16°C
86°F 30°C
1.5 inches 42 mm 13
May 36°F 2°C
49°F 10°C
68°F 20°C
91°F 33°C
2.2 inches 57 mm 12
June 42°F 6°C
55°F 13°C
73°F 23°C
100°F 38°C
2.1 inches 54 mm 12
July
48°F 9°C
58°F 15°C
76°F 25°C
104°F 40 °C
2.3 inches 59 mm 12
August 46°F 8°C
58°F 14°C
75°F 24°C
95°F 35°C
2.5 inches 64 mm 13
September 37°F 3°C
53°F 12°C
70°F 21°C
92°F 31°C
2.2 inches 55 mm 13
October 27°F -9°C
46°F 8°C
60°F 16°C
83°F 28°C
2.0 inches 50 mm 13
November 23°F -5°C
40°F 5°C
50°F 10°C
69°F 21°C
2.1 inches 51 mm 15
December 9°F -13°C
36°F 2°C
44°F 7°C
62°F 17°C
2.0 inches 50 mm 16

FRANKFURT, GERMANY

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Rain Days
January -11°F -24°C
29°F -2°C
38°F 3°C
57°F 14°C
2.3 inches 58 mm 17
February -3°F -19°C
30°F -1°C
41°F 5°C

65°F 18°C

1.7 inches 44 mm

15

March 17°F -8°C
35°F 2°C
51°F 11°C
75°F 24°C
1.5 inches 38 mm 12
April 26°F -4°C
42°F 6°C
60°F 16°C
87°F 31°C
1.7 inches 44 mm 14
May 29°F -2°C
49°F 9°C
69°F 20°C
94°F 34°C
2.5 inches 55 mm 14
June 39°F 4°C
55°F 13°C
74°F 23°C
101°F 38°C
2.9 inches 73 mm 14
July
46°F 8°C
58°F 15°C
77°F 25°C
101°F 38°C
2.8 inches 70 mm 14
August 44°F 7°C
57°F 14°C
76°F 24°C
100°F 38°C
3.0 inches 76 mm 14
September 33°F 1°C
52°F 11°C
69°F 21°C
94°F 34°C
2.2 inches 57 mm 13
October 25°F -4°C
44°F 7°C
58°F 14°C
78°F 26°C
2.1 inches 52 mm 14
November 19°F -7°C
38°F 3°C
47°F 8°C
65°F 19°C
2.2 inches 55 mm 16
December 0°F -18°C
32°F 0°C
39°F 4°C
56°F 14°C
2.1 inches 54 mm 16

MEDITERRANEAN
(SPAIN, PORTUGAL, FRANCE, ITALY, GREECE)

Popular for its hot and dry summer conditions, the Mediterranean may also feature cold temperatures and even snow during the winter.

Abundant sunshine and hot temperatures can be expected throughout the Mediterranean region during the summertime. Temperatures are generally hot in the 90s (°F) especially in southern sections and may be enhanced by the Sirocco, which is a warm and humid wind that originates from Africa. Temperatures have been known to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit especially in southern Spain. Precipitation in this region only falls on a few days during this season and is generally in the form of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Northern and central portions of Spain may feature the greatest chance for precipitation especially early in the season as the area continues to be affected by disturbances from the Atlantic. Shower and thunderstorm activity may also affect the higher elevations of the Italian peninsula more frequently than other areas in the region.

As autumn approaches, the chance for precipitation increases across the region especially in Portugal as Atlantic storm systems begin to travel further to the south. Wet conditions are likely throughout the region during the winter months. This generally falls as rain in most coastal locations, although snow is likely in the higher elevations and the central plateau of Spain, inland areas of Portugal, the northern plains of Italy, and even in Greece (although not in the islands). Higher mountain areas may feature frequent bouts of frost and snow. Occasional cold spells are possible throughout, although temperatures generally remain mild along coastal locations and in the islands.

ROME, ITALY

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Rain Days
January 24°F -5°C
40°F 5°C
52°F 11°C
66°F 19°C
2.8 inches 71 mm 8
February 21°F -6°C
42°F 5°C
55°F 13°C

68°F 20°C

2.4 inches 46 mm

9

March 28°F -2°C
45°F 7°C
59°F 15°C
74°F 23°C
2.2 inches 57 mm 8
April 35°F 1°C
50°F 10°C
66°F 19°C
78°F 26°C
2.0 inches 51 mm 6
May 38°F 3°C
56°F 13°C
74°F 23°C
89°F 31°C
1.8 inches 46 mm 5
June 50°F 10°C
63°F 17°C
82°F 28°C
98°F 36°C
1.5 inches 37 mm 4
July
54°F 12°C
67°F 20°C
87°F 30°C
98°F 36°C
0.6 inches 15 mm 1
August 53°F 12°C
67°F 20°C
86°F 30°C
104°F 40°C
0.8 inches 21 mm 2
September 51°F 11°C
62°F 17°C
79°F 26°C
92°F 33°C
2.5 inches 63 mm 5
October 39°F 4°C
55°F 13°C
71°F 22°C
84°F 29°C
3.9 inches 99 mm 8
November 30°F -1°C
49°F 9°C
61°F 16°C
74°F 23°C
5.9 inches 129 mm 11
December 27°F -3°C
44°F 6°C
55°F 13°C
65°F 19°C
3.7 inches 93 mm 10

BARCELONA, SPAIN

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Rain Days
January 28°F -2°C
43°F 6°C
55°F 13°C
73°F 23°C
1.2 inches 31 mm 5
February 20°F -7°C
45°F 7°C
57°F 14°C

71°F 21°C

1.5 inches 39 mm

5

March 33°F 1°C
48°F 9°C
60°F 16°C
76°F 24°C
1.9 inches 48 mm 8
April 39°F 4°C
52°F 11°C
65°F 18°C
82°F 28°C
1.7 inches 43 mm 9
May 41°F 5°C
57°F 14°C
71°F 21°C
90°F 32°C
2.1 inches 54 mm 8
June 52°F 11°C
65°F 18°C
78°F 25°C
94°F 35°C
1.5 inches 37 mm 6
July
58°F 14°C
69°F 21°C
82°F 28°C
96°F 35°C
1.1 inches 27 mm 4
August 56°F 13°C
69°F 21°C
82°F 28°C
97°F 36°C
1.9 inches 49 mm 6
September 51°F 10°C
66°F 19°C
77°F 25°C
89°F 32°C
3.0 inches 76 mm 7
October 41°F 5°C
58°F 15°C
69°F 21°C
82°F 28°C
3.4 inches 86 mm 9
November 37°F 3°C
51°F 11°C
62°F 16°C
76°F 25°C
2.1 inches 52 mm 6
December 28°F -3°C
46°F 8°C
56°F 13°C
70°F 21°C
1.8 inches 45 mm 6
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