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Climate - Budapest

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go

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Budapest, where it lies
The climate of Budapest is continental, with cold winters and warm summers.
The average temperature goes from -1.5 °C in January, to 21 °C in July.
Here are the average temperatures.
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

Precipitation is not abundant, since it amounts to 610 millimetres per year, although it's fairly well distributed throughout the year, however, it has a maximum in late spring and early summer (in May and June), due to afternoon thunderstorms, and a secondary maximum in autumn (November), due to Atlantic depressions.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation in 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

Winter, from December to February, is cold, with average temperatures around freezing, or slightly below. Cold air often stagnates in the plains, bringing a cold and gray weather, with mist and fog; snowfall is quite frequent but generally not abundant. On some occasions, however, cold air masses from Russia invade the Hungarian Plain, bringing strong winds at first and then intense frosts. In January 1987 the temperature dropped to -27 °C; more recently, in February 2012, it has dropped to -23 °C.

In spring, different situations alternate: the average temperatures rise quickly, and already in March the first pleasant days may occur, but the return of wintry weather is also possible, with snow and frost in March, and more rarely in April. Clashes of different air masses can generate intense winds.
In the second half of April the temperature can already exceed 20 °C, and in May the first warm days can occur, with peaks around 30 °C, on the other hand, in other situations it can still be cold in the first half of May, and more rarely in the second, at least at night. In May, afternoon thunderstorms begin to occur.

Summer, from June to August, is warm and sunny. Sometimes, Atlantic weather fronts can still pass, bringing cool and rainy weather; at other times there may be heat waves, with maximum temperatures rising to about 35/37 °C, most likely in July and August, but typically they only last two or three days. In fine weather, afternoon thunderstorms can erupt.

Autumn is initially a sweet and pleasant season in September, when, however sometimes it begins to be a little cold at night, then from October the temperature decreases rapidly, and cloudiness and rain become more frequent. November is a cold and gray month, and in the course of the month the first snowfalls may occur.

The amount of sunshine in Budapest is acceptable in spring, it's good in summer and in September, while it's little or mediocre from November to February, when gray skies predominate.


When to go

The best times to visit Budapest are spring and autumn, to avoid the winter cold and the summer heat, and in particular the months of May, June and September: daytime temperatures are pleasant, although it's better to bring a sweater and a jacket for the evening. In July and August the temperature is often warm without excesses, but there is the risk of running into some very hot days, which can happen, more rarely, even in the second half of June and the first half of September.

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