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Climate

 

Greece is perfect for those who enjoy the sun, as for over two thirds of the year the country basks under clear, sunny skies. Temperatures do vary, however. Winters are mild and rainy, with temperatures sometimes dropping to freezing point, especially in the north. Summers are long and dry, with extremes of 37°C (99°F), making the yearly mean temperature about 17°C (63°F). For those not overly fond of the heat, the mountainous areas offer some respite as they receive more rain in summer, and even snow in winter. 

Rainfall figures vary, depending on the region. Thessaly is very dry, receiving around 38mm (1.5in). Portions of the western coast paint a different picture, however, receiving about 1,270mm (50in) of rain. 

Greece can be divided into the northern and southern climatic regions: 

Northern Greece
Northern Macedonia and the northern part of Epiros have a climate similar to the Balkans, with freezing winters and very hot, humid summers. Attica’s peninsula, the Southern Aegean Islands and the central and eastern Peloponnese have a typically Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and milder winters. 

Snow covers the highest mountains during the winter, while the temperatures soar to 40°C (104°F) during July and August. During these months the meltemi, a strong northerly wind, sweeps the eastern coast of mainland Greece and the Aegean islands. The areas more to the south and to the west do not experience the meltemi. 

Southern Greece
Crete stays warm the longest - you can swim off its southern coast from mid-April to November. Mid-October is when the rainy seasons starts in most areas, and the weather stays cold and wet until February, although there are also occasional winter days with clear blue skies and sunshine.
 

Average air temperatures in °C
Athens  Thessal.  Crete  Rhodes 
January 10.2 5.0 12.1 11.8
February 10.6 6.6 12.2 12.0
March 12.3 9.7 13.5 13.6
April 16.0 14.2 16.6 16.6
May 20.6 19.4 20.2 20.5
June 25.1 24.2 24.3 24.7
July 27.9 26.5 26.1 26.9
August 27.8 25.9 26.0 27.0
September 24.2 21.7 23.4 24.6
October 19.5 16.1 20.0 20.7
November 15.5 11.0 16.7 16.5
December 12.0 6.8 13.7 13.3
Average sunshine in hours per day
Athens  Thessal.  Crete  Rhodes 
January 4.2 3.1 3.8 4.4
February 4.8 3.5 4.3 5.2
March 5.9 4.8 5.7 6.6
April 7.7 6.8 7.6 8.0
May 9.4 8.1 9.7 10.0
June 11.2 9.9 11.7 11.7
July 11.7 10.5 12.0 12.1
August 11.0 9.5 11.2 11.5
September 9.2 7.7 9.4 10.1
October 6.7 5.3 6.4 7.8
November 5.1 3.9 5.0 5.9
December 3.9 3.3 3.9 4.5

 
 
 
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