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Climate - Rome

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go

United States version (°F - inches - feet). See also the metric version (°C - mm - meters)

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Rome, where it is
The climate of Rome, capital Italy, is Mediterranean, but with some slight elements of continentality. Winter is mild and quite rainy, but at night it can get cold; summer is hot and sunny, with a few rare afternoon thunderstorms.
Here are the average temperatures.
Rome average temperatures
Rome J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°F) 37 38 42 47 54 61 66 66 60 54 46 40
Max (°F) 53 55 60 65 74 82 88 88 80 71 61 54

Rainfall amounts to about 31 inches per year; the wettest season is autumn, followed by winter. In spring, in April there is a certain increase in rainfall compared with the previous months.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation Rome
Rome J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (in) 2.8 2.8 2.2 3.1 2.4 1.2 0.8 1.2 2.6 3.9 4.5 3.9 31.3
Days 7 8 7 9 6 4 2 3 6 8 10 9 79

Winter, from December to February, is quite mild, given that the average temperature in January is about 45 °F. There's no shortage of sunny days, which can be mild, with highs around 54/59 °F, but it often gets cold at night, with lows around freezing or slightly above. Cloudy periods, accompanied by wind and rain, are milder, especially at night, because of the wind from the south, and cloud cover which is able to prevent nocturnal cooling.
The wind from the north, the Tramontana, brings cold and sunny days, with highs below 50 °F, and possible light frosts at night. In colder nights, the temperature rarely drops below 23 °F in the countryside, while within the city, due to the urban heat island, frosts are very rare. Snow is a very rare phenomenon, which occurs once every few years, because as we said, generally the cold periods are accompanied by sunshine. Sometimes, however, quite heavy snowfalls, from 4 to 15 inches, may occur, as happened in December 1939, February 1956, February 1965, March 1971, January 1985, February 1986 and February 2012.
In early December, an autumn-like weather can still prevail, with mild temperatures, above 60 °F, and abundant rainfall. In the second half of February, in some years you can already see the first spring-like days.

Spring is a relatively mild and rainy season. In March, the first days of spring, with highs around 64/68 °F, alternate with some colder days. The temperature often remains cool enough until mid-April, when highs remain around 59/63 °F. At Easter the weather is usually variable, with sunshine and rain, and sometimes even a bit of cold.
From the second half of April, nice days, with 70 °F or more during the day, become more frequent, and this happens normally in May. In May, the italian capital is in bloom, and sea breezes cool down the air in the first warm days. Sometimes in the first half of the month, it can still be cool, with some rain and a bit of cold at night.

Summer, from June to August, is hot and sunny; clear days are the norm especially in July and August. Some rare thunderstorms can occur in the afternoon, especially in the northern and eastern neighborhoods of the city, more distant from the sea.
The afternoon breeze, called "ponentino" ("west wind"), temper a little the heat, but is felt especially in southern and western neighborhoods, closer to the sea, while in the center and in the most densely populated areas it penetrates with difficulty. The so-called "urban heat island" of the city keeps the night temperature a few degrees above that recorded in the countryside, so that it often remains above 70 °F. Nights are often sultry. On hot days the temperature touches easily 93/95 °F, and every year it reaches for a few days 98/100 °F. It goes better on the Roman coast, where the daytime temperature can be a few degrees lower than in the city proper.

Autumn, from September to November, is mild and humid, with sunny days alternating with periods of cloudy skies and rain, which gradually becomes more frequent. In this season, southerly winds dominate, the libeccio (blowing from the south-west) and the scirocco (blowing from the south-east). During the night, thunderstorms can erupt, at times intense. There's no shortage of sunny days, at least in the first part; in October the nice and almost summer-like days are called ottobrate, and are frequent especially in the first half of the month, with highs around 73/77 °F, while when the scirocco blows the temperature can reach 82/86 °F still in the first half of October.
In November, the rains are frequent and the temperature decreases fairly rapidly: at the beginning of the month the temperature is often very mild, around 70 °F, while in the middle of the month it drops to around 59/63 °F; at the end of the month, the weather is often similar to that of winter.

The amount of sunshine in Rome is never scarce: clear days are always possible, but in winter they alternate with periods of cloudy and bad weather. In spring, sunshine gradually increases, and becomes frequent in May. In summer the sky is almost always clear, especially in July and August. In autumn, Atlantic or Mediterranean depressions become gradually more frequent, and November is often a gray and cloudy month.

Rome - via dei Fori Imperiali

On the Roman coast (Ostia, Fregene, Fiumicino, Santa Marinella etc.), the sea is warm enough for swimming from July to September. In June, it is still a bit cool, but all in all already acceptable.
Here are the average sea temperatures.
Sea temperature Ostia
Ostia J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°F) 59 57 57 59 64 72 77 79 75 70 66 61

When to go

The best times to visit Rome are spring and autumn, from mid-April to mid-June and from September to early October. In June, the weather is often nice, but sometimes it can be hot, especially in the second half of the month. In early May, some days can still be a bit cold and windy, and in September and October it can rain.
In mid-summer, in July and August, the weather is usually good, but can be very hot. However, tourists flock to the city, and those who stand the heat can choose this period as well, remembering that there's a lot to walk in the extensive historic centre of Rome.

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