Weather and Climate in Portugal and at the Algarve
Those who look at the situation of Portugal on the map will soon notice that in this country there is no uniform climate; While in the south of the country, Algarve, the climate is mainly marked by the warm Mediterranean Sea, the capital Lissabon and a large part of the country are mainly influenced by the rough Atlantic ocean.
But it can be generaly said that portugal is a very dry country. For example, by looking at the graph showing the rainy days per month, one sees that during the hot summer months July and August, it is almost a guarantee that it won't rain. If there are rainfalls in Portugal, most of the times it is in the heartland. There, in the Serra de Estrela, even doing winter sports is possible, but this is only for the local people's use, as no one would do the far trip to Portugal just for skiing.
Those who are on holiday in Algarve will find during the summer months july and August crowded hotels and overcrowded beaches. Having holiday there a few months before and after is more nice and pleasant. The best months are September and October, as during these months, the day temperatures are pleasant, and also the water still has a pleasant bathing temperature. During the hot summer months, the air temperatures at night seldom fall below 20°C; thus, one can confidently abstain from wearing long clothes. But already in the months May, June or September, one does not want to miss a jumper or a light coat during the walk in the evening. Those who travel to Portugal in the winter will ceretainly not find bathing weather, but the climate is pleasantly mild and during the day, one can enjoy a pleasant sunbath in a protected place.
There is to consider that in Portugal, it is not self evident that an hotel room can be heated. In the summer time, one should in any case make sure to have an air conditioner in the room, as otherwise, the room heats up too much during the day. Those who are on holiday in Portugal during the winter months should get better previously informed whether the room or the appartment is heated, as when the thermometer falls below 10°C at night, it is possible that one wakes up with a temperature of cold 17 Grad degrees.
In Portugal, the sea never achieves Caribbean temperatures. When the water achieves a temperature of 20°C, one should be already happy. But 20°C at the Algarve provide a completely different feeling than in the Artlantic coast; At the Mediterranean Coast, he sea is calmed and one can slowly get into the water. At the Atlantic coast to the contrary, the sea is permanently beating some waves, and one has to partly through oneself into the water; with seawaves, one does not feel the cold water temperatures they way one does as when one slowly gets into the calmed sea.
In the graph of the water temperatures it is visible that during the summer months in the Algarve, the sea slowly gains temperature and then cools down in the late autumn. This is why it is also possible to have a bath in the sea in the late season. But the sea does not have a constant water temperature, neither during the hot summer months: for example, if there is a north wind, the wind will blow the warm coastal water widely into the sea, and the cold water comes up from the deepness; then the temperatures use to fall around 1-3°. To the contrary, if the wind blows in southern direction, it provides some warm mediterranean water to the proximity of the beach and the water temperatures increase. There is also a difference whether one has a bath at the east or at the west of the Algarve: the further one gets from Lagos in direction to the west, the more the influence of the Atlantic is noticeable and the water gets rougher and cooler.
Those who visit the capital of Portugal Lissabon will have also here practically a guarantee of no rainy days. But during the spring time that already starts from February, one should have a light rain coat on hand, as it can rain sometimes. But visiting Lissabon in the hot summer can also be a torture, as it is really hot outside and a steamy smog dome extends all over the city. Then, one does not only physically suffer but also does not enjoy a good sight, and also the camera only captures the fantastic views in form of the present pictures. Thus, it is better to visit the capital of Portugal either in spring time or in the late autumn.
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Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz