Climate of Catalonia
The climate of Catalonia is typically Mediterranean, with many hours of sunshine, mild in winter and warm in summer. The Pyrenees and the neighbouring areas have a high-altitude climate, with minimum temperatures below 0ºC, annual rainfall above 1000 mm and abundant snow during the winter. Along the coast, the climate is mild and temperate with temperatures increasing from north to south, while the rain behaves the opposite way. The hinterland, far from the sea, has a continental Mediterranean climate, with cold winters and very hot days. Gencat
- The latitudinal position of Catalonia, straddling the temperate and tropical climate zones, its position between two seas and two continents, and the huge geographical variety of the region make it a country with a unique mosaic of climates and tremendous meteorological complexity.
- Catalonia has a predominantly Mediterranean climate but also experiences some extreme climate conditions more typical of the climate zones
- Winter is not a rainy season in Catalonia, because of its position downwind of the Atlantic storms. The Atlantic Ocean is over to the west, but clearly separated from Catalonia by the high altitudes of the Iberian Peninsula. These can act as an aerological barrier, reducing and modifying the Atlantic influence. In the coastal and pre-coastal zones, autumn is the rainiest season as this is when the biggest temperature contrasts between the Mediterranean sea and the first cold air currents occur. Finally, the climate is tempered by the proximity of Africa, where some of the weather systems that affect it originate. The result of this combination of influences can be seen in the very diverse annual
- The range of altitudes covers over 3,000 metres, producing climatic belts, especially in terms of temperatures, that result in average annual temperatures ranging from 17 ºC to 0 ºC. The geography is very compartmentalized into mountain ranges and depressions. This factor, together with the different directions in which the various types of relief face, results in significant climate and weather contrasts between neighbouring counties. A good example of these contrasts can be found in the average rainfall map, where the total rainfall figures fluctuate between more than 1,200 mm in certain parts of the Pyrenees and less than 400 mm to the west of the central depression.
- Because the Coastal and Pre-Coastal mountain ranges run parallel to the coast, they shield the interior from the maritime influence far more than the modest distance they occupy would suggest. This gives the central depression evident traits of a continental climate as opposed to the moderating influence that the Mediterranean sea has on the coast.
Average annual temperature and average annual rainfall (Source: ACC).
Geography of Spain
The Iberianature guide to Spain