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Climate - Hungary

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go, what to pack

See also the US version (°F - inches - feet)

Flag - Hungary

Map - Hungary

The climate of Hungary is continental, with cold winters and warm summers, sometimes hot. Spring and autumn are mild, but there are frequent changes in temperature, especially in spring.

Precipitation is not abundant, but it is well distributed throughout the year: in the capital Budapest, 610 millimetres of rain per year fall, with a minimum of 35/45 mm per month from December to April, and a maximum of 70 mm in May and June. During winter, snow or sleet are quite frequent, while from May to August, thunderstorms may occur during the afternoon.
Here is the average precipitation in Budapest.
Average precipitation Budapest
Budapest J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 35 45 40 45 70 70 55 45 35 55 70 45 610
Days 8 7 7 7 8 8 7 6 6 8 9 9 90

The climatic differences between the different regions are not great. In Budapest, near the centre of the country, the average temperature January is -1.5 degrees Celsius while in July it's about 21 °C. In Debrecen, in the east, it goes from -2 °C to 20.5 °C.
Here are the average temperatures in Budapest.
Budapest average temperatures
Budapest J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) -4 -2 2 6 11 14 15 15 12 7 2 -2
Max (°C) 1 5 10 16 21 24 27 26 22 16 8 3

On the shores of Lake Balaton, a large but not deep lake, in winter the weather is usually a bit less dull and cold, except during cold waves, when it's cold anyway, while in summer the breezes temper the heat. In summer, the lake is warm enough for swimming.

During the winter, from December to February, gray skies, mists and fogs are frequent. Snowfalls are not abundant, but they are quite frequent. Sometimes, cold air masses from Russia can lower the temperature by several degrees, down to -20 °C, and sometimes even below.

Summer, from June to August, is very warm and quite sunny, though with fairly frequent thunderstorms in the afternoon. Sometimes, warm air masses from Southern Europe can raise the temperature for a few days, around or even above 35 °C, usually in July and August, but sometimes also in June and September. On the other hand, sometimes even in summer the Atlantic weather fronts can reach the country, bringing cloudy, cool and rainy weather.

Lake Balaton at Keszthely

When to go

The best periods to visit Hungary are spring and autumn, in particular the months of May, June and September. The midsummer period, in July and August, is generally a good period too, although sometimes it can get very hot.

What to pack

In winter: warm clothing, sweater, down jacket, gloves and scarf; raincoat or umbrella.
In summer: light clothes, T-shirts and shorts, but also long pants, light jacket and sweater for the evening and cooler days; raincoat or umbrella.

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