Carpathian climate: what weather to count on during the vacations?
22 April 2022
Never been to the Carpathians before? Already went to the mountains, but at a different time of the year? Then information about the climatic features of the region will help you unmistakably pack your suitcase! Let’s take a closer look at the typical weather conditions for each month.
Unpredictable mountain climate
The Carpathian climate is moderately continental. Winter is mild with lots of snow, spring is rainy, summer’s not hot, autumn is dry. The higher you climb the mountains, the harder it is to predict the weather for the next day. This is especially noticeable when ascending above 1600 m, which is associated with the formation of a large number of local air currents. Relief features result in vertical climatic zoning: with every hundred meters of elevation it becomes colder approximately by 1 degree, the amount of probable precipitation increases by 12% and wind speed increases on average by 0.3 m/s. Therefore, even in summer hiking in the Carpathians you should take a windbreaker, raincoat and fleece.
Also here you can encounter such a natural phenomenon as climate inversion: in the lowlands (pits, tracts, narrow valleys) masses of cold air stagnate. The temperature here is up to 10 degrees lower than in the surrounding areas. It is especially nice to find a place with an inversion during a summer hike.
The Carpathian climate in summer is ideal for hiking. Already in June, the trails dry out, and snow completely melts from the peaks. The daytime temperature at medium altitudes is up to +20 degrees. Note that the Carpathians have a lot of sunny days, and the higher you climb, the stronger the ultraviolet exposure. That’s why you should take sunscreen with you at any time of the year. The only exception is late autumn, but the off-season is not the most popular period among tourists.
The hottest month is July, when the thermometer rises to +25-27 degrees in the shade. At the same time it is during this period the most precipitation falls. August is considered the most popular summer month: the temperature drops (about +20), berries ripen in the forests, and the mushroom season begins. Valleys during this period are often covered with fog. The climate of the Ukrainian Carpathians is perfect for a quiet, contemplative rest.
September in the mountains is usually warm (up to +15 degrees), but in the mornings there are sometimes frosts. In the second half of the month, the forests are dressed in gold. October is great for leisurely walks and admiring the beauty, but only when paired with a raincoat. In November, winter comes, most of the slopes are covered with snow, but the humidity remains high.
In December, a dense snow cover sets in, the ski season opens. The air temperature drops to a slight minus. In January it is colder – up to -10 degrees. In February it gets a little warmer, blizzards often occur, but this does not hinder skiing.
In the first half of spring, the weather is wintry: you can enjoy winter sports until the end of March. In April mass thaws begin, but due to the humidity and the danger of avalanches, it is still too early to go hiking.
The summer season starts in May. The climate in the Carpathians at this time of the year is quite stable: the weather is sunny, the weather is warming by leaps and bounds, it rains less often, the air warms up to +15 degrees. But at the highest peaks there is still snow cover almost until the end of the month, which should be taken into account if you’re going to hike.
The modern level of tourist infrastructure in the Carpathians makes the rest at any time of the year as comfortable as possible. But you should consider the weather conditions when planning your leisure time. Summer and early autumn are suitable for trekking. For winter entertainment – winter and early spring. Carpathian hotels and resorts welcome guests all year round, providing exciting leisure for the whole family!