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Climate - Poland

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

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Flag - Poland

Map - Poland

In Poland the climate is continental, with very cold winters, often below freezing, and warm summers. The climate is milder along the northern coast, overlooking the Baltic Sea, while it becomes progressively more continental going south, where the distance from the sea is greater.
Here the average temperature of Gdansk, located on the northern coast.
Gdansk average temperatures
Gdansk J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) -3 -3 -1 3 7 11 13 13 10 6 2 -2
Max (°C) 1 2 6 10 16 19 21 21 17 12 6 3

In inland areas, the climate becomes slightly more continental, as we can see from the average temperatures of Warsaw.
Warsaw average temperatures
Warsaw J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) -5 -4 -1 3 8 11 13 12 9 4 0 -3
Max (°C) 0 2 7 13 19 22 24 23 18 12 6 2

Precipitation in Warsaw is not abundant, given that it amounts to about 550 mm per year; the driest seasons are winter and spring, while the rainiest is summer. In the rest of the country precipitation have a similar pattern. Here is average precipitation in Warsaw.
Average precipitation Warsaw
Warsaw J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 25 30 25 35 45 70 90 65 45 40 30 45 545
Days 8 7 5 7 7 8 11 8 8 6 8 9 92

Winter, from December to February, is cold throughout the country, with average temperatures in January around freezing along the Baltic coast, and progressively decreasing towards the south and east, ranging from an average of about - 1 °C in the north-western area, to -4 °C in easternmost area, on the border with Belarus and Lithuania, to -3 °C in the southern area. In Warsaw, the Poland's capital, near the centre of the country, the average in January is -2.5 °C. The ground is often covered with snow from December to mid-March, although snowfall is generally not abundant. The weather during the winter can have different characteristics: the sky is often gray, the temperature is around or a few degrees below freezing, and a light snow falls, but when cold air masses from Russia reach the country, the temperature decreases by several degrees, dropping below -20 °C. The coldest records are around -25/-30 °C in the interior, therefore in much of Poland, while they are around -18/-20 °C along the northern coast.
Spring, from March to May, is initially still cold, and on early April there can be late cold waves with snow showers; in April and early May, cold days alternate with the first warm days, while from the middle of May the temperature becomes steadily pleasant, so that highs are around 15/20 °C, and sometimes above.
Summer, from June to August, is mild or pleasantly warm: the average daily temperatures are around 17/18 °C. The Baltic coast, which during winter was the warmest zone, in summer it becomes the coolest: here the maxima in July and August are around 20/21 °C, while they increase gradually moving south, and arrive to around 23/24 °C in the centre and south of the country.
Summer is the rainiest season, because Atlantic disturbances arrive even in this season, besides thunderstorms in the afternoon may occur, more frequently in inland areas, and even more near the Sudetes and Tatra Mountains in the south. In July, it rains on average 10 days on the north coast, 11 in Warsaw and 12 in the south. However, there's no shortage of sunny days, which may be hot, especially when warm currents come up from the south-east, so that the temperature may reach 30/35 °C.
In autumn, from September to November, the temperatures decrease rapidly, but the first half of September is still pleasant. Afterwards, the weather turns cold and dull.

In southern Poland, where there are mountain ranges like the Sudetes and Tatra mountains, the climate is naturally colder, with cold and snowy winters (but not much colder than the lowlands, because of the temperature inversion, a phenomenon in which cold air stagnates in the lowest layers, typical of the plains in winter), and cool and thunderous summers. In Zakopane, a popular tourist resort, at 850 metres above sea level, the average temperature is -5 °C in January, and 15 °C in July. At higher altitudea, at 2,000 metres above sea level, it ranges from -9 °C in January, to 7.5 °C in July.
On the slopes of these southern mountains and in the valley bottom a warm dry wind foehn-type can blow, the Halny, especially in early spring and autumn; sometimes this wind can be stormy and cause damage.
The highest peak in the country is Mount Rysy, 2,503 metres high, on the border with Slovakia.


The Baltic Sea, very cool even in summer, does not invite you to swim, however, the water temperature reaches 18 °C in August.
Sea temperature Gdansk
Gdansk J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°C) 4 3 3 4 8 13 16 18 15 12 9 6

When to go

The best time to visit Poland is summer, and in any case the warm season, which runs from mid-May to mid-September. The temperatures are usually cool at night, and mild or warm during the day, however, there can be cool and rainy days, but also warm and sunny days, sometimes hot.
In the mountains, it's still possible to ski at Easter, while at Christmas it can be very cold, and the days are very short. In February it's cold as well, but at least the days are a little longer.

What to pack

In winter: very warm clothes, fleece, down jacket, hat, gloves, scarf, raincoat or umbrella.
In summer: light clothes, t-shirts, but also long pants, jacket and sweater for the evening or for cool days; raincoat or umbrella.

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