El climate of Spain it is colloquially known as the Mediterranean climate. It is a quite famous climate thanks to its characteristics such as the many hours of sunshine, mild winters and summers with little rain. However, it is not the only climate in Spain.
In this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the climate of Spain and its characteristics.
Table of Contents
Among the main characteristics that we have of the climate of Spain, it attends to the geographical characteristics of our country that make the climate not entirely homogeneous. We can go from places where temperatures are around 15 degrees, while in others they exceed 40 degrees in summer. The same goes for rainfall. We can go from areas where there is average annual rainfall with a value of more than 2500 mm, while in others there is a Mediterranean desert climate where it does not exceed 200 mm annually.
Although we have different areas with different characteristics, we can find some general features in the climate of Spain. Let's see what all these traits are:
- The thermal amplitude that exists in the warmest and coldest month is much greater in the interior of the central plateau than in places like the Canary Islands. While inside the central plateau we can find thermal amplitudes of 20 degrees, on the islands we find variations of only 5 degrees.
- The values of the temperatures are descending from the west to the east in the interior of the peninsula.
- The northern part of the central plateau has somewhat lower average temperatures than in the southern part.
- The month with the lowest temperatures in the entire peninsula is usually January. On the other hand, the month with the highest temperatures is August.
- As for the water temperature, in the Mediterranean we have an average of 15-18 while in the Cantabrian Sea it is somewhat lower.
Climate of Spain: types
We are going to see which are the main climates of Spain that exist: we mainly have the Mediterranean, oceanic, subtropical and mountain.
This is the dominant type of climate in Spain because it extends along the entire Mediterranean coast, the interior of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands. However, there are considerable differences between some regions and others, which gives rise to three subdivisions: the typical Mediterranean, the continental Mediterranean and the dry Mediterranean.
But before talking about these subdivisions, let's first look at the general characteristics of the Mediterranean climate: The Mediterranean climate is a subtype of temperate climate. It is characterized by mild and rainy winters, dry and hot or mild summers, and variable temperatures and rainfall in autumn and spring.
We are now going to analyze each of the types of Mediterranean climate in our country:
- Typical Mediterranean: This is the Mediterranean climate as such. It covers a large part of the coastline of the same name, some inland areas, Ceuta, Melilla and the Balearic Islands. Summer is hot and dry, with an average temperature above 22 ° C. On the contrary, winter is humid and rainy with mild temperatures. In Spain, this pattern is different, because the coast is protected by the Castilian plateau and faces east. Therefore, autumn and spring receive more rainfall than winter.
- Continentalized Mediterranean: As the name suggests, it has some characteristics of a continental climate. It is a place with a typical Mediterranean climate but far from the sea, such as the central plateau of Spain, the Ebro depression, the interior of Catalonia and the northeastern part of Andalusia. Winter is long and cold, summer is short and hot, and the temperature difference between day and night is great. It maintains the precipitation conditions of the Mediterranean climate, but has the most extreme temperature characteristic of a continental climate. Due to the distance from the sea, the climate is drier than usual.
- Dry Mediterranean: It is a transitional climate between the Mediterranean and the desert. The temperature is higher, winter is warmer, summer averages more than 25 ° C, and the maximum temperature in the interior area is very high, even higher than 45 ° C. Precipitation is lower, concentrated in autumn and spring. This climate is a variant of the dry subtropical climate and the warm semi-arid climate. In Spain, it is a typical representative of Murcia, Alicante and Almería.
The oceanic or Atlantic climate is characterized by abundant rains, which are distributed regularly throughout the year. In Spain, this climate extends to the north and northwest, from the Pyrenees to Galicia. Annual precipitation usually exceeds 1000 mm, so the landscape is very green. The temperature in winter is around 12 ° C-15 ° C, and in summer it is around 20 ° C-25 ° C. An example of a city with this type of climate is San Sebastián, Vigo, Oviedo, Santander, etc. Especially in southern Galicia, the humidity characteristics of coastal cities exacerbate minimum and maximum temperatures.
The subtropical climate predominates in the temperate regions near the terrestrial tropics, and it only occurs in the Canary Islands in Spain.
Due to its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer and the arid African coast, the Canary Islands have a completely special climate. The Temperature is warm throughout the year, averaging between 22 ° C and 28 ° C. Rainfall is concentrated in winter, but varies from one region to another and can be higher or lower. Therefore, in the subtropical climate of the Canary Islands some subclimates can be distinguished.
Climate of Spain: mountain climate
The mountain climate corresponds to the great mountain system: the Pyrenees, the Central System, the Iberian System, the Penibetic mountain range and the Cantabrian mountain range. It is very cold in winter and cool in summer.
It occurs in areas above 1000 m above sea level. The temperature is around 0 ° C in winter and does not exceed 20 ° C in summer. The precipitations are very abundant, generally in the form of snow as the altitude increases.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the climate of Spain and its characteristics.