Different Climates Found throughout the Country of Spain
Similar to the USA, Spain is a large country that cannot be defined by one climate. In fact, there are several climates throughout the country including microclimates in certain areas. We take a look at some of the different climates found throughout the country of Spain as defined by the Koppen climate classification.
About Weather in Spain
Spain is a diverse country that is surrounded by ocean on three sides and has several mountain ranges. The centre of the country consists of a large plateau that elevates much of the country. All of these physical features have helped shape the different climates that Spain experiences in its various regions.
The north coast region of Spain, including the north-western region of Galicia, has an Oceanic climate. This type of climate classification means that the region has a warm climate but rarely reaches the extremes.
It differs from the typical Mediterranean climate found in many other coastal regions of Spain as it sees much heavier rainfall throughout the year and is a lot less hot and humid than others parts of the country. This regular rainfall contributes to the beautifully green landscape of northern Spain and is ideal for the growing of grapes for the famous Spanish wines that come from there.
Although this region does not have summers as hot as most other areas of Spain, it does have much milder winters in comparison to the continental region and cities such as Madrid.
Approximately one-fifth of Spain has a Mediterranean climate. The areas with a Mediterranean climate include most of the south coast region of Andalusia as well as most of the east coast and Balearic Islands.
The Mediterranean climate experienced in Spain is characterized by mild winters and often very hot summers. However, the exact temperatures can vary between different regions. Generally there is not a huge difference between the average summer highs and the winter lows. The temperature is quite consistent all year round and rainfall is at its peak during the fall.
Some of the cities and towns that experience a Mediterranean climate in Spain include: Barcelona, Girona, Seville, Malaga and Palma.
Spain has several large mountain ranges that have a huge impact on the climate of surrounding regions. A mountain climate is experienced in several regions of Spain, most notably Granada’s Sierra Nevada mountain range as well as the Pyrenees in the country’s north-west and the Cordillera Betica mountains in the Midwest and southeast.
Temperatures are much colder in the regions with a mountain climate. Snow and strong winds are very common in the mountain areas and winters are extremely cold. Summers are often sunny but still very mild with temperatures staying quite low.
Some of the towns that experience a Mountain climate in Spain include: Leon and Jaen.
A large majority of Spain falls under the continental climate classification. Essentially all of Spain experiences a continental climate except for the coastal and mountain regions (and a few other exceptions).
There are quite large variations in temperature and rainfall in areas with a continental climate. The summers tend to be very hot (particularly in central Spain) and the winters very mild. In some areas of Spain the winters are cold enough for snow and frost. Although many areas of Spain see little rainfall during the summer months, northern parts of Spain with a continental climate have a lot of rain during these months. The majority of rainfall occurs in late spring time in most parts of continental Spain.
Some of the cities that have a continental climate include Madrid, Toledo, Salamanca and Zaragoza.
The final type of climate that is found in Spain is the semi-arid climate. This is only found in a very small area of Spain – the south-east corner. A semi-arid climate can be found in the region of Murcia and a small portion of Andalusia in Almeria.
These areas contain Spain’s closest climate to a desert. There is very little rainfall in the semi-arid region and it is hot and dry all year round. There are minimal fluctuations in temperature throughout the year.