Barcelona Weather and Seasons
Barcelona weather provides some of the best conditions for sight seeing during the summer months. Long sunny days followed by warm evenings mean many people choose to visit the city between June – September. However, Barcelona is the perfect destination to visit all year round.
Spring and Autumn
During Spring and Autumn, Barcelona weather can be a little changeable, so it’s always a good idea to carry an umbrella or a jacket. From March till May it is almost as wet as autumn but increasingly warm and sunny. The average high temperature climbs to 16°C in March, 17°C in April and 20°C in May. From mid April sunny days can see temperatures reaching 20°C. Night times remain cool, only getting above 10°C in May. The sun comes out for longer and longer, getting up to eight hours per day in May. Fog often develops and the wind can bring a cold edge to warm days.
In October and November it is initially warm and wet but rainfall soon lessens and temperatures fall. In October the average high temperature falls to 21°C and five hours of sunshine per day can be expected. However, it rains quite frequently, fog sometimes comes in from the sea and at night it regularly gets down to 12°C which is quite nippy. Click here to check daily local forecasts for Barcelona city.
Between June and September it is the most popular time to visit Barcelona. The season can expect heat and plenty of sunshine which brings out the best in the city’s mix of modern, gothic and mystical architecture, its numerous parks and it’s festive, party spirit. The average high temperature rises to a peak of around 28°C in July and August, hovering in the mid 20s in June and September. Night times cool off pleasantly in the fringe months but in the peak of the season can often stay up around 20°C. While low humidity and a steady breeze help to keep the temperature comfortable, it can soar up into the mid 30s when weather systems move over from Africa.
The highest temperature ever experienced was 38.6°C. While Barcelona weather is cooler than many Mediterranean resorts, you should be prepared for it to be very hot. It regularly spikes into the 30s and the high humidity makes temperatures harder to handle.
From June till August nine or ten hours of sunshine per day can be expected; September is slightly more overcast but still receives around seven hours per day. While Barcelona is not generally seen as a beach destination, the heat and sun see the long, sandy beach packed with sunbathers in the summer months. The sea temperature gets up to 25°C in August and is warm enough for swimming throughout the season. Rainfall is low at the beginning of the summer but as the season progresses and the heat builds, thunderstorms become quite frequent. September is the wettest month in the year on average. However, even in September it only rains on around nine days. Rainfall is usually heavy and brief.
The wind is strong throughout the summer giving rise to waves that are quite large for the Mediterranean. These conditions have made water sports very popular. Sailing, windsurfing and surfing are all to be found on Barcelona’s seaside.
Barcelona weather in the winter time generally means the city gets a lot cooler. From December till February it is on average quite mild but in reality often rather cold. The average high temperature falls to its lowest in December at 13°C when the average low gets down to 4°C. This seems vastly preferable to the UK’s respective highs and lows of 7°C and 2°C. However, the weather is very unpredictable and very susceptible to sunshine levels.
On average each day sees around four hours of sunshine, but this can mean the odd day of brilliant sunshine followed by whole weeks of grey skies which bring on wet, cold and blustery weather when the temperature doesn’t get above 4°C in the day and falls below freezing at night. Rainfall falls back to moderate levels in winter and snow can be expected in most Januaries. On the other hand, if the sun stays out for a few days the temperature can get into the mid teens and you could find yourself without a coat on.
The lowest temperature for Barcelona weather ever recorded was -9.6°C in 1896, but since then the coldest temperature was -6.7°C in 1956. During Christmas 1962 Barcelona was hit by a blizzard which dumped 50cm of snow on the city of Barcelona and up to 1 metre of snow on the surrounding hills. This was the biggest snowfall since 1887.
The biggest snowfall since 1962 occurred in March 2010. The public bus network was forced to shutdown, forcing many more commuters to use the metro and therefore causing huge queues. Many people had to stay in hotels as they found it too difficult to get home. The border with France was also closed resulting in 5000 cars and trucks being stranded.
While Barcelona does not usually get heavy snow, the Pyrenees do, and Barcelona is sometimes used as a base from which to visit various ski resorts. However, they aren’t that close. The closest resorts are La Molina and La Masella which are around one and a half hour’s drive or train journey from the city. The ski season generally lasts from December till April, though some resorts open as early as November.