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Weather

The climate of Greece

Weather conditions in Greece is generally typical of the Mediterranean:
Mild and rainy winters, relatively warm and dry summers and generally long periods of sunshine throughout most of the year.

Greece is located between parallels 340 and 420 of the Northern hemisphere bordering the eastern Mediterranean.

Specifically, in various regions of Greece there are often a great variety of climate subtypes but always within the range of the Mediterranean climate. This is due to the topographic configuration of the country with its vast differences in elevation (there are mountain ranges along the central part of the country and other mountainous areas) and an alternation of land and sea. Thus from the dry climate of Attica and generally of Eastern Greece there is a change to the wet climate of the North and of Western Greece. Such climatic differences occur even in places that are in close proximity to one another, a phenomenon occurring in only a few countries around the world.

From a climatic point of view, the year can be divided into two main seasons: The chilly and rainy winter period, which typically lasts from mid-October to the end of March, and the warm and dry season which typically lasts from April to October. During the first period, the coldest months are January and February, with an average low temperature of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius in the coastal regions, 0 to 5 degrees Celsius over the mainland and with lower temperatures sometimes below zero in the Northern regions.

When it rains during the winter months it doesn't last for many days. The sky in Greece never stays cloudy for many consecutive days contrary to other parts of the world. Since antiquity, winter stormy days are often interrupted in January and during the first two weeks of February by bright sunny days known as "Halcyon days". The winter is milder on the islands of the Aegean and Ionian compared to the cold in Northern and Eastern Greece.

During the hot and dry season, the weather is stable, the sky is clear, the sun is bright and there is hardly any rain except for the occasional summer storm which is short in duration. The last two weeks of June and the first two weeks of August tend to be the hottest periods, when the average maximum temperature ranges from 29 to 35 degrees Celsius. During the warm season, the high temperatures are tempered by the cool sea breezes along the coastal areas of the country and from north annual winds which blow mainly in the Aegean.

Spring does not last long. Winter starts late therefore summer begins early. Autumn is long and warm and often extended in Southern Greece even to mid-December.