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Spain and Gibraltar climate

Costa del Sol, Malaga, Ronda

Spain is dominated by three main climate types: Mediterranean, semi-arid and oceanic.

Southern Spain has a warm dry winter, although the ski slopes high up in Andalucia are only a short drive away. Daily average maximum temperatures vary from 9 °C (49 °F) inland at Madrid to 17 °C (63 °F) along the Mediterranean coast. Average dry days number about 23-24, and typically 6 hours of sunshine can be expected. Winters in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar are considerably wetter than much of southern Spain due to exposure from Atlantic storms. However, the winters do tend to be rather warmer than the mainland.

By late spring, Spain is experiencing settled warm weather, but beware of some rather cool nights. Daily average maximum temperatures will have risen to about 21 °C (70 °F) at Madrid, and 2 or 3 degrees higher on the coast. Average dry days remain at about 23-24, but daily average sunshine hours have increased to about 11 per day. Average maximum temperatures at Gibraltar are broadly similar to the Spanish mainland, but there are more dry days (about 27) on average.

In the summer, the Spanish coastline enjoys sea breezes, keeping the temperatures bearable. Daytime maximum average temperatures reach 30-31 °C (86-88 °F), a good 11-12 hours of sunshine can be expected on average each day, and there are about 28 dry days on average. Gibraltar enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with a very dry summer, some months having no rain at all on average. The daily average maximum temperatures are pegged back somewhat on those of southern Spain, peaking at about 29 °C (83 °F).

The early part of autumn serves as an extension of summer, daytime maxima still well up at about 28 °C (82 °F) on the coast, and the sea is still very warm. By November, the daytime maxima have fallen back to about 20 °C (68 °F). Daily sunshine values will be at about 5-6 hours, coupled with about 24 dry days. Autumn temperatures in Gibraltar are lower than those on the mainland, topping at about 24-25 °C (76-78 °F). An all-year-round feature of Gibraltar's weather is the gustiness of the winds, caused by the shape of the 300-metre rocky peninsula.

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