Long-term weather forecast
Long-term weather forecast

Monthly weather forecast and Climate
Istanbul, Turkey

Ships along the coast of the port city of Istanbul, Turkey, with a background view of the cityscape
Ships along the coast of the port city of Istanbul, Turkey, with a background view of the cityscape
Istanbul exhibits different types of microclimates such as the Mediterranean (Köppen climate classification Csa), humid subtropical (Cfa), and oceanic (Cfb) within its various zones. Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, is a transcontinental city between Europe and Asia that spans the Bosporus Strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. The large water bodies near the city have a significant influence on its climate.

Istanbul’s landscape features seven hills, while the Golden Horn, a natural harbor, further divides the city. The average elevation is about 39 meters above sea level, and the topography consists of rolling hills, rivers, lakes and marshlands. The varied topography, size and two different water bodies to the north and south, give rise to different microclimates. Earthquakes and tsunamis pose a threat to Istanbul as it lies near the North Anatolian fault.

Summers are mostly hot and sunny in Istanbul with a high degree of humidity. The average high temperature at the peak of the summer is around 26.7°C (80.1°F) in August. Winter is cold, and the temperatures occasionally drop below freezing, but the average low temperatures remain between 2.8°C (37°F) and 5.6°C (42.1°F). Spring and autumn tend to be warm and pleasant, but it is cold during early spring and late autumn.

Annual precipitation of 812.8mm (32") occurs throughout the year, while the rainiest months are from November to January. Istanbul receives annual sunshine of about 2432 hours, and the sunniest period is between June and August. Light snowfall and frost usually occur in the winter, but the city rarely accumulates large amounts of snow.

The humidity touches 80% in the mornings and the dense fog in the northern part of Istanbul during late autumn and winter often disrupts the transportation through the sea. The sea temperatures are warm in the summer, and usually between 21.1°C (70°F) to 24.4°C (75.9°F).

The highest recorded temperature in Istanbul is 41.5°C (106.7°F) while the lowest temperature on record is -16.1°C (3°F).
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The best times to visit Istanbul are in late spring to early summer from May to June, and around September to October in the autumn. The latter half of spring is pleasant with temperatures in the 11.7°C (53.1°F) to 21.1°C (70°F) range and a decrease in the rainfall. The early part of autumn has comfortable temperatures in the 16.7°C (62.1°F) to 23.9°C (75°F) range but the wetness increases by October. June is warm, but the summer tends to be hot around July and August with an increase in humidity.

Winter is cold and wet, and December to February is usually the worst time to visit Istanbul. The low temperatures sporadically drop below the freezing mark in the winter. Snowfall is light, but the average snowy days are at least 13 in the year while frost and fog are regular. Winter is also the rainiest season with the shortest days in December, and the sunshine reduces to merely 3 hours a day due to the cloudy skies.

Istanbul is vulnerable to thunderstorms, fog, floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Severe thunderstorms along with lightning and rain are common in the summer. Dense fog is regularly present in the mornings and lasts up to afternoons in the winter. The city experiences many minor earthquakes due to its proximity to the North Anatolian Fault. A major earthquake shook Istanbul’s suburbs in 1999, and there is a risk of a major earthquake in the future, according to seismologists.

January is the coldest month of the year in Istanbul with mostly cloudy and dark skies. The sunshine is at a premium at the peak of the winter with the sun barely in the sky for a daily 3 hours. Weather in January »

There is a chance of snowfall and frosty nights as the temperatures remain in the average range of 3.3°C (37.9°F) to 8.9°C (48°F). The skies are mostly cloudy with a persistent fog over the harbor. Weather in February »

March starts the spring season in Istanbul, which gradually warms up the city. The early days of spring tend to carry the cold air of winter, but the temperatures rise by the end of the month. Weather in March »

April brings the fresh aroma of spring to Istanbul with relatively drier days. The days warm up to the extent that the daily highs are usually above 12.8°C (55°F) while the nights rarely drop below 4.4°C (39.9°F). Weather in April »

May is sunny and beautiful as the spring blooms over Istanbul. The 14-hour days host the sun for a daily 8.5 hours. The temperatures are in the comfortable 12.2°C (54°F) to 20°C (68°F) range. Weather in May »

June is the beginning of the warm and dry summer season in Istanbul with the longest days of the year. The average temperatures are in the range of 16.7°C (62.1°F) to 24.4°C (75.9°F). Weather in June »

July is the sunniest and driest month in Istanbul as the sun blazes for around 355 hours in the month. The high summer registers temperatures in the 20°C (68°F) to 26.7°C (80.1°F) average range. Weather in July »

August is usually the hottest month in Istanbul with an average high temperature around 26.7°C (80.1°F). The maritime influence on the city does not allow the city to bake in the sunlight. Weather in August »

The heat tapers down with each passing day as the clouds push over the Atlantic to bring moderate rainfall of 61mm (2.4") in September. The sunshine drops to a daily 8 hours. Weather in September »

The first signs of the approaching wet season are apparent by mid-autumn as each passing day increases the probability of rain. The skies are mostly cloudy and the sunlight registers for a daily 6 hours. Weather in October »

November is cloudy and wet and ends the fall season in Istanbul. The rainfall is to the tune of 101.6mm (4") in 13 days. The average temperatures fall in the cold range of 8.9°C (48°F) to 15°C (59°F). Weather in November »

December is the wettest month of the year with around 121.9mm (4.8") of rainfall. The beginning of the winter sees average temperatures in the range of a chilly 5.6°C (42.1°F) to 10.6°C (51.1°F). Weather in December »

The month with the highest number of snowfall days is February (4.9 days).
Months with the lowest number of snowfall days are April, May, June, July, August, September and October (0 days).