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Climate - Meknes

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go

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Meknes, where it is
The climate of Meknes, northern Moroccan city, located at 500 metres above sea level, is subtropical, with mild and quite rainy winters, and hot and dry summers. The climate is quite similar to that of Marrakesh, although it's a bit cooler (on average there are a couple of degrees less in winter, and even 3/4 °C in summer), and rainier, given its northern position.
Here are the average temperatures.
Meknes average temperatures
Meknes J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) 6 7 7 9 12 15 18 18 17 13 9 6
Max (°C) 16 17 19 20 24 28 33 32 30 25 20 16

Rainfall is not so scarce: in one year it amounts to 570 millimetres, and occurs mostly from October to April; some rain, usually in the form of downpour, can occur even in May, and more rarely in June and September. The decent amount of rainfall and the presence of rivers that descend from the Atlas mountains makes it possible to cultivate the land, so the landscape is quite green. This also applies to the nearby Fez, which has a similar climate.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation Meknes
Meknes J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 75 80 70 70 40 10 2 2 10 45 80 85 569
Days 9 10 9 10 7 4 1 2 4 7 9 10 82

Winter, from December to February, is mild: the average temperature in January is 11 °C. However, it's often cold at night, so that lows can approach zero degrees, and sometimes even light frosts may occur (around -2/-3 ° C). Sometimes it can get quite cold even during the day, with highs around 10 °C. In January 1981, even a snowfall occurred.
There can be long periods of good weather and no rain, with highs even very mild, around 20 °C, but also periods of bad weather, with rain and cloudy skies.

Spring, from March to mid-June, is mild or pleasantly warm, but it is also quite rainy until April or mid-May, when it can still get a little cold at night, with minimum temperatures around 5 °C. At other times, the first days with southerly winds can occur, in which the temperatures may reach 35 °C in May and 38/40 °C in June.

Summer, from mid-June to August, is hot and sunny, with very rare thunderstorms. The average temperatures are not so high, and in general the nights are still quite cool; indeed sometimes the minimum temperatures may drop below 15 °C. However, periods of hot weather are possible, in which the winds blows from the desert. In the hot summer of 2012 the temperature touched 45 °C in late June and in July, and 44 °C in August.

Autumn, from September to November, is initially hot, though already with cool nights, then becomes progressively cooler and rainy. In the first half of October the temperature can still exceed 30 °C, while in November it gets cold at night.

The amount of sunshine in Meknes is acceptable from November to February, when there is no shortage of sunny days, alternating however with cloudy periods, while in spring and autumn it's good, and in summer it's very good, given that clear skies prevail.


When to go

The best times to visit Meknes are spring and autumn, especially the months of April and October, although they are quite rainy. In May, in the first half of June and the second half of September, the heat is generally pleasant or at least bearable, but we can not exclude some days with intense heat, due to the desert wind. In mid-summer, in July and August, it depends on the period: sometimes the heat is bearable, but there is also some chance of periods of hot weather.
A sweatshirt for the evening can be useful also in June and September; those who suffer from the cold can bring it even in July and August.

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