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Climate and Weather

Gibraltar - Climate and Weather


Gibraltar is a small British territory located south of Spain on the southern side of the Iberian Peninsula. The territory lies on the Strait of Gibraltar where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. Gibraltar's climate can be described as a subtropical climate, which is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara of northern Africa. Gibraltar is home to more than 28,000 British citizens.

There are two main prevailing winds. The eastern wind, known as the Levante, is the one that comes from the African region of Sahara, bringing humid weather and warmer sea currents. The western wind, known as Pontiente, is the one that brings fresher air and colder sea currents. The terrain consists of the 430 meter (1,411ft) high Rock of Gibraltar and the narrow coastal lowland that surrounds it. Rains are common during the wintertime, while the summers are usually dry.

The average morning humidity is around 82%, while the evening humidity is 64%. Average annual sunshine hours are 2,778. In the month of November residents see 5 hours of sunshine per day, while in July they enjoy 11 hours of sunshine per day.

The winter in Gibraltar rarely has snow or frost. During this time of the year, the average lowest temperature is about 10°C. In the coldest months the country experiences some heavy rains, reaching the peak in January. The average rainfall can be 6 inches in a 10-day period, but only around 30% of winter days are actually wet. Sunlight during a winter day can be quite short, around 6 hours a day, while the humidity can go up to 77%, especially in November. Gibraltar has mild winters, so the heavy clothing that is required in some northern countries is not really necessary here.

The summer has a pleasant temperature in this country. The average high temperature is around 29°C and up to 12 hours of sunlight per day. Summers are considered to be relatively dry. It is unlikely that more than 1mm of rain will fall during the day. Sometimes, there is no rain at all for several months in Gibraltar. The lowest recorded temperature in summertime is 13°C, but low temperatures of this level are very rare. During the warmest months the average humidity is lower, around 66% in July. This type of weather is best for those who prefer diving and sailing, so there is a large number of tourists who come to Gibraltar to enjoy these outdoor activities.

Gibraltar is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the north and the Atlas Mountains to the south. That is the main reason why the two prevailing winds come from the east and west. Extreme weather is very rare, but there were some cases of severe storms in previous years. The Gibraltar Meteorological Service is linked to the Met Office in the United Kingdom.

Those expats who look to maintain a western lifestyle, while enjoying a warmer climate, should find Gibraltar ideal for life. The warm weather is also a good place for those who prefer water sports such as sailing. The mild winters are also good for those who aim to go to the country and avoid the cooler conditions in some northern continental countries.

Seasons in Gibraltar

Spring

The spring in Gibraltar has an average of 10 cm of rainfall in March. Rainfall decreases as spring progresses, with around 6 cm in April and 3 inches in May. The highest temperatures during the springtime are usually between 17 and 21 degrees C. The lowest temperatures in the mornings are around 10 degrees C during the months of March, April and May.

Summer

The summers in Gibraltar are quite warm and dry. The month of June has an average rainfall of 1 cm. The warmest months, July and August, are usually completely dry. The highest temperatures in June can reach up to 23 degrees C on average. The highest daily temperatures in July and August reach up to 27 degrees C, with warm sunshine. The lowest night temperatures during the summer are around 15 degrees C. When it is a bright sunny day, people can often see the northern coast of Africa clearly.

Autumn

The autumn in Gibraltar begins with warm and dry days in September. The average high temperature in September is around 26 degrees C with 2cm of rainfall during the month. Rainfall in October is around 7 cm and increases to 14 cm in November. Daily high temperatures in October and November are around 16 degrees C. Morning lows during the autumn months range from 19 degrees C in September to around 12 degrees C in November.

Winter

Winter in Gibraltar is the season with the most rainfall during the year. Over 12 cm of rainfall occurs in December, around 11 cm in January and 10 cm in February. Daily high temperatures during the wintertime are around 16 degrees C. Winter morning lows are usually around 11 degrees C. During the wintertime visitors can still find sunshine in Gibraltar because more than half of the winter days are generally dry.

Annual average sunshine and temperature

The annual average temperature in Gibraltar is 18 °C (64 °F). It is 21 °C (70 °F) during the day and 15 °C (59 °F) at night. The average annual sea temperature is 15–16 °C (59–61 °F). In the warmest month, August, the sea temperature ranges from 25 to 31 °C (77–88 °F) during the day, and above 20 °C (68 °F) at night. The average number of days above 21 °C (70 °F) is 181, while the average number of days above 32 °C (90 °F) is 5 to 6, during the warmest months. The highest temperature ever recorded is 40.6 °C (105.1 °F) on July 5, 1994, while the lowest temperature ever recorded is 0.0 °C (32.0 °F) on January 13, 1978.


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