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Climate - Bilbao

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go

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

Flag - Spain

Bilbao, where it lies in the map
In Bilbao, the largest city in the Basque Country, is located on the northern coast of Spain, where the climate is different from the rest of Spain, being temperate oceanic, with mild, rainy winters, and quite cool or pleasantly warm summers.
Here are the average temperatures.
Bilbao average temperatures
Bilbao J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) 5 5 6 7 10 13 15 15 13 11 8 6
Max (°C) 13 15 16 17 20 23 25 26 24 21 16 14

Precipitation is quite abundant, given that it amounts to 1,200 millimetres per year, and it's frequent from October to May, while from June to September it becomes a bit less frequent, so much so that in the latter period it rains on average from seven to nine days per month.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Bilbao
Bilbao J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 125 95 95 125 90 65 60 80 75 120 140 115 1185
Days 13 11 11 13 12 8 7 8 9 11 12 12 127

Even the wind blows frequently from the ocean, and can be strong, especially in the cold half of the year. On the other hand, the hot and dry southerly wind, which descends from the Cantabrian Mountains, can cause sudden temperature increases, thanks to the foehn effect.
At night, fog can form, especially in autumn and a little less frequently in spring.

Winter, from December to February, is mild and rainy. The average January temperature is 9 °C. Atlantic disturbances pass regularly, bringing rain and cloudy skies.
Cold spells are quite rare, and don't have remarkable effects; there may still be some cold days, with highs around 5 °C; snow is a rare phenomenon, though not impossible. At night, slight frosts can occur, typically of one or two degrees below freezing, although in January 1985 the temperature dropped to -7 °C, and in February 2012 to -4 °C.

Spring, from March to May, is cool, cloudy and rainy. Wind and humidity can increase the feeling of cold. When the wind blows from the south, there may be sudden temperature increases, with the first warm periods, maybe only for a day or two.

Summer, from June to August, has generally pleasantly warm days, and cool nights. Some Atlantic disturbances, which can bring rainy and cool weather, with highs around 20 °C, can pass even in summer, although more rarely than in the other seasons, so that there may be entire weeks without rain, even though it depends on the year. Very hot days are rare: the temperature exceeds 30 °C for a few days per month, and even in these cases the nights remain cool. Every so often, hot days are possible, with highs near 40 °C, when the aforementioned down-slope wind blows from the south, but even in these cases, at night the temperature usually drops below 20 °C, and besides, these are usually isolated events, as happened on July 31, 2013, when the temperature reached 42 °C for one day. Only in August 2003, but that does not count because that summer was exceptional in all of Western Europe, there have been several very hot days in a row, and the temperature has even reached 46 °C.

Autumn, from September to November, is cool and rainy, especially in October and November, while in September the temperature is still pleasant, and the rains are not so frequent, so that there is not a big difference with the summer months, especially in the first half of the month. In autumn, during the nights with clear skies, fog can form.


The amount of sunshine in Bilbao is not high, given that cloudy skies are predominant, especially in the long period in which Atlantic depressions are more frequent, ie from October to May.

For swimming, the sea is very cool, if not a bit cold, even in summer, since its temperature reaches at most 20/21 °C from July to September.
Sea temperature Bilbao
Bilbao J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°C) 13 12 12 13 15 18 20 21 20 18 15 13

When to go

The best time to visit Bilbao goes from June to mid-September, being the warmest and driest of the year. It's better to bring a sweatshirt and a light jacket for evenings and rainy days; even an umbrella can be useful.

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