The climate of Germany
has a mainly temperate climate with warm summers and cold winters. The western and northern parts near the sea exhibit an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb). The central and east fall into the temperate continental type (Köppen variants of Dfb, Dfc). The southern mountainous portion of the Alps experiences
alpine climates (Köppen ET) at high elevations. Germany lies in west-central Europe and shares land boundaries with nine countries. The North Sea and the Baltic Sea form maritime boundaries in the northwest and northeast. The temperate latitudes, exposure to polar air masses, proximity to large water bodies, and ocean currents influence the climate.
Germany has a diverse topography, with an elevation that ranges from 3.5 meters below sea level in the northern lowlands to a high of 2962 meters in the Alps. The topography consists of lowlands in the north to forested uplands in the center, and mountains in the south. The mountains act as a barrier to the warm Mediterranean air masses that flow from the south. The North Atlantic Drift keeps the regions near the North Sea warmer than those near the Baltic Sea. Major rivers such as Rhine, Elbe, and Danube traverse the country. The weather is frequently unsteady due to clashes between Siberian cold and Atlantic mild air masses. Cold, heat, rain, snow, and other conditions rapidly bring change in the weather. Fog is frequent in the winter but occasionally occurs even in the summer. Zugspitze, in the Bavarian Alps, is the highest peak with a height of 2962 meters.
Summers are warm and humid in Germany, with a moderate amount of rainfall. The German summer is not very sunny and often sees wet and chilly days. The sunniest region is in the south, in the mountains, where also the sunshine hardly lasts for more than 8 hours a day. The peak of the summer in July
sees average temperatures at a maximum of 26.1°C (79°F) in the warmest regions. Nights are often cold in the highlands, while they are cozy near the northern coasts. The climatic divide is more on the lines of west-east than north-south. Winters are colder in the east than the west, with occasional freezing days. Humid westerly winds keep the winters mild in the north and northwest. Cold waves from Siberia often push down the temperatures to -20.6°C (-5.1°F) in the winter. High-pressure systems in nearby Scandinavia bring freezing temperatures even in the day in the winter. Spring and autumn are mild to cold and often receive rain and snow in the early and late portions of the season, respectively. The temperatures rise gradually by the second half of March
but are still cold enough to give a feeling of winter. Warm Fohn winds blow in the south in the spring and autumn to moderate the cold.
The average annual rainfall in Germany is 787.4mm (31") and occurs evenly throughout the year. The coastal regions and high mountains receive ample rainfall. The sea temperatures are cold to mild in Germany, and the warmest period registers average high temperatures of 17.8°C (64°F) in August
. The humidity is often high in the summer, and the skies remain cloudy for extended intervals. The sunshine varies from 1265 hours annually in Trier in central Germany to a high of 1846 hours in Zugspitze in the south. Snowfall is heavy and frequent in the highlands and high mountains and occurs even in the summer. Blizzards and avalanches occur during the peak of winter. Germany is susceptible to cold winds from Siberia as well as the northern polar region.
The highest recorded temperature in Germany is 42.6°C (108.7°F), set in July 2019, in Lingen, Lower Saxony. The lowest temperature on record is -45.9°C (-50.6°F), set on December
24, 2001, in Funtensee, Bavaria.
The best time to visit Germany
The best time to visit Germany
is from late spring to early autumn. The temperatures are pleasant between mid-May
, but there is no guarantee that the weather will remain stable for extended periods. May temperatures are often in the range of 12.8°C (55°F) to 21.1°C (70°F) in much of Germany. Moderate precipitation occurs in the lowlands, while the mountains receive heavy rain. The nights remain cozy in the summer, and it is an excellent time to visit the central and eastern portions that remain cold much of the year. The southern mountains often see clouds and fog in the summer. September is an excellent time to explore the fall foliage and is less prone to thunderstorms.
The worst time to visit Germany
The worst time to visit Germany
is in the cold winter season from December
. The night temperatures are well below freezing, and even the days are dark and occasionally below freezing. Extreme temperatures are rare, but the mercury column may drop below -20.6°C (-5.1°F) in some places. Cold air masses have an affinity to settle in the valleys of Bavaria, which makes the conditions challenging. The high mountains tend to rise above the clouds and fog. Snowfall is substantial in the Alps, which makes winter a favorite season for adventure lovers. February is perfect for skiing and winter sports, with plenty of snow in the mountains and the longest days of the winter.
is prone to weather hazards such as thunderstorms, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and snowstorms. The high slopes of the mountains in the south receive as much as 2540mm (100") of snow annually. Thunderstorms frequently occur in the summer, and avalanches are common in the winter in the mountains. Late spring and summer are prone to thunderstorms, with lightning strikes. Floods occasionally occur in the lowlands during spring due to the melting of snow and heavy rainfall. Droughts are not rare, even though major rivers traverse a significant portion of the landscape of the country. Moderate intensity earthquakes occasionally occur in the hilly regions. The northern wind blows at high speeds during the autumn in Germany.
Weather in January
is the coldest and snowiest month of the year in Germany
, with little sunshine or warmth. The mercury column displays astonishingly low temperatures as cold winds blow with all their might. Moisture-heavy cold air clings to the soil as snow and ice cover the ground. Hamburg, halfway between the two northern coasts, registers average temperatures in the cold -1.1°C (30°F) to 3.9°C (39°F) range, as the sunshine rarely lasts for more than 2 hours. Weather in January »
Weather in February
is typically cold and wet in Germany
, but the daily sunshine hours are the best of the winter. Garmisch, on Zugspitze, registers freezing temperatures in the range of -5°C (23°F) to 3.9°C (39°F), but the snowy slopes see 3 to 4 hours of daily sunlight. Weather in February »
Weather in March
is an extension of the winter season in Germany
, which signals the arrival of the spring season with green shoots on the landscape by the end of the month. The daily high temperatures are between 7.2°C (45°F) to 10°C (50°F) in much of the country, and nights occasionally remain below freezing. Snowfall is heavy in the southern mountains, and even the lowlands remain in the clutches of ice and frost. Weather in March »
Weather in April
welcomes the spring season to Germany
with an increase in sunshine and the melting of snow in the lowlands. The average temperatures in Kiel, near the North Sea region, are in the mild range of 3.9°C (39°F) to 11.7°C (53.1°F). Weather in April »
Weather in May
revives warmth in hearts and hearths in Germany
as the sun smiles on the landscape. Westerly winds turn snowfall into the rain. The northern shores are warm due to the influence of the winds as well as the water. The sweet aroma of the wet soil and blooming flowers fill the landscape. Weather in May »
Weather in June
is the beginning of the warm and humid summer season in Germany
. The average temperatures register in the beautiful 10°C (50°F) to 21.1°C (70°F) zone, with 6 to 7 hours of daily sunshine. The precipitation is in the range of 50.8mm (2") to 101.6mm (4"), with moderate showers that are rarely a nuisance. Weather in June »
Weather in July
is the hottest month of the year in Germany
, but the average high temperatures rarely go over 26.7°C (80.1°F). The peak summer often has clear skies in the morning followed by hot afternoons with thunderstorms. The average temperatures in Frankfurt and Gorlitz in the central region are in the warm 12.2°C (54°F) to 25°C (77°F), with a brilliant 225 hours of monthly sunshine. The sea temperatures are cool, and a coastal breeze often blows even in the summer. Weather in July »
Weather in August
is a warm summer month in Germany
, with long days and cozy nights. The average temperatures in the North Rhine-Westphalia region are in the warm zone of 13.9°C (57°F) to 23.9°C (75°F). The mountains of Bavaria witness beautiful sunshine for more than 6 hours a day. Heatwaves occasionally occur during the summer but rarely last more than three days. Weather in August »
Weather in September
brings the lovely time autumn season to Germany
, with beautiful colors and warm temperatures. The fall foliage spreads colorful hues over the landscape that attains a fairy tale proposition. Berlin has comfortable conditions, with average temperatures in the mild range of 10.6°C (51.1°F) to 18.9°C (66°F). Weather in September »
Weather in October
is a wet and cloudy month in the autumn season of Germany
. The mild autumn season sees the mercury column in the average range of 5.6°C (42.1°F) to 13.9°C (57°F) zone. The fall foliage is at its peak by the middle of October. Weather in October »
Weather in November
is late autumn in Germany
, with chilly conditions and the trees devoid of leaves. The average temperatures are in the cold zone of 1.7°C (35.1°F) to 7.2°C (45°F), with many freezing nights in the month. Zugspitze is severely cold, with temperatures in the range of -9.4°C (15.1°F) to -4.4°C (24.1°F). The days become progressively short, and the daily sunshine is less than 2 hours. Weather in November »
Weather in December
begins the cold and dark winter in Germany
, with the sun generally on leave for long hours. The daily sunshine lasts between 1 and 2 hours in the entire country, with 50.8mm (2") to 76.2mm (3") of precipitation. Snowfall is substantial in the mountains and occasionally on the plains, especially in the forested areas of the central region. The average temperatures in Kiel, in the north, are in the chilly range of 0.6°C (33.1°F) to 5°C (41°F), with many nights below freezing. Weather in December »