The Czech Republic has a mainly temperate oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb), with warm, wet summers and cold, snowy winters. A significant portion of the country experiences a warm-summer humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb). The high mountain slopes are subarctic (Köppen Dfc), and the climate is alpine (Köppen ET) above the tree line. The Czech Republic lies in central Europe and shares borders with Poland to the northeast, Slovakia in the southeast, Austria in the south, and Germany to the west. The temperate latitudes and presence of mountain ranges chiefly influence the climate.
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country, between latitudes 48°N and 51°N. The landscape is diverse, with a large percentage of hilly regions. Much of the country lies between altitudes of 200 meters to 500 meters. The western section of Bohemia consists of low mountains engulfing plateaus, rolling plains, and hills. The Elbe and Vltava rivers flow through the low mountains of the Krkonose range of the Sudetes. The eastern region of Moravia is mostly hilly and mountainous. The Morava and Oder rivers drain the eastern part. Most of the rivers flow into the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, and the North Sea. Snezka is the highest peak in the Czech Republic at 1603 meters above sea level. The Elbe River is the lowest point at 115 meters.
Summers in the Czech Republic are warm, with a moderate amount of sunshine. Showers and thunderstorms are frequent in the afternoon. The average highs across the country range between 20°C (68°F) and 30°C (86°F) and peak by July. Temperatures are generally in the pleasant range of 12.8°C (55°F) to 23.9°C (75°F) in the lowlands. Mid-summer days are occasionally chilly. Winters are cold and cloudy, with substantial snowfall in the mountains, and occasionally light snow in the lowlands. The coldest temperatures occur in January and generally drop below freezing. Spring weather is unstable, especially in the early part of the season. Warm days often alternate with cold ones, and frost and snow are common in April in the highlands. The days are sunny by the second half of May, but the intensity of the sunrays is moderate. Autumn is pleasant in September but becomes progressively cold, cloudy, and rainy in the latter half of the season. Temperatures drop below 15°C (59°F) in October and are below freezing in November. The average annual temperature at the peak of Snezka is -0.6°C (30.9°F) and rises to 10°C (50°F) in the lowlands. Temperatures vary greatly by elevation. Precipitation increases and temperature decreases with increase in altitude.
The average annual rainfall in the Czech Republic is a scarce 381mm (15") to 508mm (20"). The Sudetes Range and the southwest border region are the only areas with moderate rainfall between 838.2mm (33") to 1016mm (40") annually. Much of the precipitation occurs during late spring and summer. May to August is the only period with concentrated heavy rainfall, while sporadic precipitation occurs throughout the year. Snowfall is substantial to the tune of 1016mm (40") to 1778mm (70") in the high mountains. Lowlands receive light snow and frost in the winter. The average annual relative humidity is 77%, with a peak in the winter. The average monthly relative humidity ranges from a low of 70% to a high of 85%. The annual sunshine is in the moderate range of 1600 hours to 2000 hours. June has the longest days and December the shortest.
The highest temperature on record in the Czech Republic is 40.4°C (104.7°F) in Dobrichovice, set in 2012. The lowest temperature on record is -42.2°C (-44°F) in Litvinovice, set in 1929.
The best time to visit the Czech Republic
The best time to visit the Czech Republic is from May in late spring to September in early autumn. Day temperatures during the warmest part of the year range between 18.9°C (66°F) and 30°C (86°F). Nights are mild to cool and usually between 7.8°C (46°F) to 15.6°C (60.1°F). Sunny days are numerous, but bouts of rain and thunderstorms occur frequently. Summer sees peak temperatures and 7 hours of daily sunshine in many parts of the country. The conditions stabilize by late May, and cold fronts are rare compared to the early spring season. September is pleasant, with at least 6 hours of sunshine every day and comfortable temperatures.
The worst time to visit the Czech Republic
The worst time to visit the Czech Republic is during the cold winter from December to February. Temperatures are below freezing in many areas, even during the day. Heavy snowfall occurs in the high mountains. Prague registers average temperatures between -3.9°C (25°F) to 2.8°C (37°F) in the winter. Mount Praded, at 1500 meters, records frigid temperatures between -7.8°C (18°F) to -2.8°C (27°F). The days are cloudy, and the humidity is at the highest of the year. The sunshine is feeble and lasts hardly for 2 hours in many regions. The daylight lasts for only 8 hours in December.
The Czech Republic faces natural weather hazards, such as floods, thunderstorms, and cyclones. Floods are the most severe hazard with a major event every few years. The Bohemian region under the Vltava and Elbe river basins is prone to heavy flooding. Late spring is prone to floods with the melting of snow and summer during heavy rainfall. Summer is prone to severe thunderstorms and damaging straight-line winds. Tornadoes occur during the summer. Extratropical cyclones occasionally pass through the country, such as Cyclone Emma, in 2008. Heavy frost and poor visibility is a problem during the winter.
Weather in January
January is the coldest month of the year in the Czech Republic, with mostly dark skies. Temperatures are below the freezing point in many regions, and even the lowlands receive light snowfall. Much of the country has several incidents of frost during cold fronts from Russia. The mountain peaks receive heavy snow, and daily highs are often below freezing. Prague, the capital in the central region, is cold in the -3.3°C (26.1°F) to 2.8°C (37°F) range and receives negligible rainfall. Plzen in the northwest is in the -3.3°C (26.1°F) to 2.2°C (36°F) zone, with cloudy skies for 66% of the time. The daily sunshine limits to 2 hours, and the daylight lasts between 8 hours and 9 hours in January. The relative humidity is low in the comfortable range of 55% to 60%. January is the windiest month, with a peak average daily wind speed of 17.7km/h (11mph). Warm clothes, including a sweater, jacket, gloves, and a hat, are necessary for January in the Czech Republic.
Weather in February
February is the driest month of the year in the Czech Republic, with less than 25.4mm (1") of rainfall. Snowfall is light in the plains but significant in the mountains. Frost is common, and the cold air masses often settle down on the valley floors. Temperatures above an altitude of 1500 meters remain in the frigid range of -7.8°C (18°F) to -3.9°C (25°F). The skies remain overcast for at least 58% of the time, and the daily sunshine lasts for 3 hours. Prague registers average temperatures in the cold zone of -3.3°C (26.1°F) to 3.3°C (37.9°F). The days are cold and dark but remain mostly above freezing. Nights are icy in most parts. The relative humidity remains in the comfortable range of 55% to 60%. The average daily wind speeds are between 12.9km/h (8mph) to 16.1km/h (10mph), and the wind direction is predominantly from the west. The daylight increases up to 11 hours by the end of February in the Czech Republic.
Weather in March
March is cold and cloudy in the early spring season in the Czech Republic. The sunshine is weak and hardly lasts for 4 hours every day. The average temperatures are in the range of 0°C (32°F) to 8.9°C (48°F) in the plains. The day highs rise to 11.1°C (52°F) by the second half of the month. Nights often remain drop below freezing. The southeastern city of Brno registers between -1.1°C (30°F) to 11.7°C (53.1°F) and has 12 hours of daylight by late March. The precipitation is below 30.5mm (1.2") in most parts of the country, and substantial snowfall occurs only in the high mountains. The average daily wind speeds drop from 16.1km/h (10mph) to 14.5km/h (9mph) during the month. The chance of a muggy day is negligible, with relative humidity between 55% and 65%. The weather is unstable during early spring, and cold fronts are standard. Sweaters and warm jackets find ample use in the spring. March gradually removes the Czech Republic from the clutches of the winter.
Weather in April
April has mild weather in the spring season in the Czech Republic. The green landscape offers a breath of fresh air, with clear skies for 50% of the time. The daily sunshine increases to 6 hours. Much of the country has a homogenous climate, with temperature based on altitude. Prague registers 14 hours and 41 minutes of daylight by April end. The earliest sunrise is at 5.39 a.m. on April 1, and the latest sunset is at 8.20 p.m. on April 30. The average temperatures in the capital are between a cold 2.8°C (37°F) to warm 13.9°C (57°F). Mikulov registers average temperatures in the zone of 2.8°C (37°F) to 15.6°C (60.1°F) and 6 hours of daily sunlight. Mount Praded is cold in the -2.2°C (28°F) to 1.1°C (34°F) range, with occasional snowfall. The precipitation is a scarce 38.1mm (1.5") in most places, with less than 7 wet days in the month. April is an excellent option for budget travelers with fair weather and discounted accommodations in the Czech Republic.
Weather in May
May is mild to warm in the Czech Republic, with a significant rise in temperatures and sunshine. The average temperatures below an altitude of 500 meters are in the warm range of 7.8°C (46°F) to 19.4°C (66.9°F). The late spring season often sees a surge in rainfall, with an average of 76.2mm (3") in 10 wet days in May. The melting of snow brings freshwater to the rivers and streams. Temperatures in Plzen range between 5.6°C (42.1°F) and 20.6°C (69.1°F) and the daily sunshine lasts for 7 hours. The daylight increases sharply from slightly less than 15 hours to 16 hours. The relative humidity sees a rise from 55% to 65% by late May in most regions. The westerly winds register at average daily wind speeds of 12.9km/h (8mph). A light rain jacket is useful in the plains, but warm clothing is necessary for the mountains. The tourist season begins by mid-May in the Czech Republic with the arrival of warm weather.
Weather in June
June has the longest days of the year in the warm summer season in the Czech Republic. The average temperatures in Prague range in the beautiful 11.1°C (52°F) to 22.2°C (72°F) zone, with 7 hours of brilliant sunshine. In Prague, June 20 is the longest day of the year at 16 hours and 23 minutes, with sunrise at 4.52 a.m. and sunset at 9.15 p.m. In Brno, temperatures are generally between 11.1°C (52°F) and 23.3°C (73.9°F), and the warmest part of the day is between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. The cloud cover is present for 40% of the time, and the precipitation is at a peak of 76.2mm (3"). The relative humidity approaches mugginess levels by late June and is generally between 55% and 75%. The average daily wind speeds register at 12.9km/h (8mph), and moderate breezes blow from a predominantly westerly direction. June is an excellent time to visit the Czech Republic, even though the tourist season is at its peak.
Weather in July
July is the sunniest and hottest month of the year in the Czech Republic. The average temperatures in Prague are in the warm 12.8°C (55°F) to 23.9°C (75°F) range, with 7 hours of daily sunshine. However, afternoons are cloudy due to Atlantic disturbances and prone to thunderstorms. The clearest day in July has bright or mostly clear conditions for 58% of the time. At least 11 wet days in the month accumulate average precipitation between 63.5mm (2.5") and 76.2mm (3"). Temperatures in Klatovy are in the 11.7°C (53.1°F) to 23.9°C (75°F) range, while Plzen registers between 12.2°C (54°F) to 24.4°C (75.9°F). In the Sudetes mountain range in the north, temperatures are in the cold zone of 7.2°C (45°F) to 11.1°C (52°F) at altitudes above 1500 meters. The average daily wind speeds range between 11.6km/h (7.2mph) to 12.4km/h (7.7mph), and the wind direction is from the west for at least 50% of the time. Expect bright sunshine followed by cloudy periods in the Czech Republic in July.
Weather in August
August is warm and sunny in the Czech Republic, with moderate rainfall of 63.5mm (2.5") to 76.2mm (3"). The days are comfortable to muggy, with relative humidity in the range of 55% to 75%. Afternoons are cloudy and prone to thunderstorms. The daylight recedes sharply from 15 hours to 13.5 hours over the month. The average temperatures in Brno are in the warm range of 12.2°C (54°F) to 25.6°C (78.1°F). The daytime temperatures rarely exceed 31.1°C (88°F) or fall below 8.9°C (48°F) in much of the country except for the high mountains. The average daily wind speeds increase from 12.1km/h (7.5mph) to 13.7km/h (8.5mph) over the month. Light summer clothing, such as t-shirts and shorts are fine during the day, but long pants and jackets are suitable for the cool evenings. Only one of four days is wet in August, which is an excellent time to explore the mountains. The pristine August weather makes it an excellent time for a visit to the Czech Republic.
Weather in September
September is warm and pleasant at the start of the mild autumn season in the Czech Republic. The average temperatures in Prague are in the comfortable range of 8.9°C (48°F) to 18.9°C (66°F) when the leaves begin to turn colors. The days remain warm, but nights gradually become cold by the second half of the month. The rainfall decreases significantly and averages a modest 40.6mm (1.6") in most regions. The daylight drops from 13.5 hours to slightly above 12 hours over the month. In Plzen, the average temperatures range between 7.2°C (45°F) and 21.1°C (70°F). The cloudy cover increases from 45% to 54%, as daily sunshine registers only 5 hours. The humidity levels drop considerably in the country to register in the 55% to 60% range. The average daily wind speeds remain within 0.2km/h (0.1mph) of 12.7km/h (7.9mph) in the month. Expect the days to cool down gradually, with a general decline in the daylight and sunlight. September is the last month of long warm weather periods in the Czech Republic.
Weather in October
October is mild to cold in the autumn in the Czech Republic. The landscape is colorful everywhere, and the days are comfortable. The daily sunshine lasts for 4 hours amid a sharp decline in daylight from 11.5 hours to 10 hours over the month. In Prague, the average temperatures are in the 5°C (41°F) to 12.8°C (55°F) zone, with mostly cold nights. Mikulov registers average temperatures in the 6.7°C (44.1°F) to 14.4°C (57.9°F), with rare instances of nights below freezing. The skies remain overcast between 52% and 62% of the time. The average precipitation is below 38.1mm (1.5") in most parts of the country, but the humidity levels remain south of 60%. The air is fresh but cold, and the average daily wind speeds increase from 13.7km/h (8.5mph) to 15.3km/h (9.5mph) throughout the month. Sweater and jackets are necessary during the nights. October has fair weather for budget travelers to visit the Czech Republic at the end of the tourist season.
Weather in November
November brings cold weather to the Czech Republic in the last stages of the autumn. The skies are dark, and the daily sunshine lasts for 2 hours. The highest chance of cloudy conditions is 66% during the third week of the month. The average temperatures in Prague are in the cold 1.1°C (34°F) to 6.1°C (43°F) range, with many nights below freezing. Brno is in the cold zone of 2.2°C (36°F) to 7.2°C (45°F), with day temperatures mostly below 14.4°C (57.9°F). Temperatures range between 1.1°C (34°F) to 6.7°C (44.1°F) in Klatovy and drop even up to -6.7°C (19.9°F). Frost is common in most regions by the second half of the month. Light snowfall occurs in the plains, while the mountains receive significant amounts at heights above 1500 meters. Precipitation is less than 30.5mm (1.2") in much of the country. The average daily wind speeds remain in the range of 14.5km/h (9mph) to 15.3km/h (9.5mph). Expect winter weather by the end of November in the Czech Republic.
Weather in December
December is the beginning of the cold winter in the Czech Republic, with dark skies and hardly 2 hours of daily sunshine. The average temperatures in Prague are in the frigid range of -2.8°C (27°F) to 2.2°C (36°F). Most nights and many days register temperatures below freezing. Much of the Czech Republic receives negligible rainfall below 25.4mm (1"). Cold fronts from Russia bring frost in many regions. Mountains receive significant snowfall. Mount Praded registers average temperatures in the icy range of -7.2°C (19°F) to -2.8°C (27°F), and temperatures even drop to -17.8°C (-0°F). December 21 is the shortest day in Prague, with 8 hours and 4 minutes of daylight. The earliest is at 7.39 a.m. on December 1, and the latest sunset occurs at 4.09 p.m. on December 31. The skies remain overcast for 64% of the time, and the relative humidity is below 55%. The average daily wind speeds increase from 16.1km/h (10mph) to 16.9km/h (10.5mph) over the month, and the wind direction is mainly from the west. Christmas is mostly cold and snowy but not entirely white in the Czech Republic in December.