Castile and León Climate

Castile and León has a Continental Mediterranean Climate, with long, cold winters, with average temperatures between 3 and 6 °C in January and short, hot summers (average 19 to 22 °C), but with the three or four months of summer aridity characteristic of the Mediterranean climate. Rainfall, with an average of 450–500 mm per year, is scarce, accentuating in the lower lands.

Climatic factors

In Castile and León the cold extends almost continuously for much of the year, being a very characteristic element of its climate. The coldest periods of winter are associated with invasions of a continental polar front and strata of marine arctic air, rare is that they do not reach temperatures of the order of -5 ° to -10  °C. Likewise, in situations of anticyclone, in the interior of the region they cause persistent fogs, creating prolonged cold situations due to radiation processes. The intense “cold waves” of the winter central months are typical, showing a particular tendency to occur from the second fortnight of December to the first of February. During its course the most extreme minimum temperatures occur, whose values vary between -10 ° and -13  °C of its westernmost sector and -15 ° and -20  °C of the central plains and high moorlands. The lowest recorded records reach -22  °C of Burgos, -21.9  °C in Coca (Segovia), -20.4  °C in Ávila, -20  °C in Salamanca and -19.2  °C in Soria. The high altitude of the Meseta and its mountains accentuates the contrast between winter and summer temperatures, as well as day and night temperatures.

Due to the mountainous barriers that surround Castile and León, the maritime winds are stopped, thus stopping the precipitations. Due to that, the rains fall in a very unequal way in the Castilian and Leonese territory. While in the middle of the Douro basin there is an annual average of 450  mm, in the western regions of the mountains of León, the Cantabrian Mountains and the southern area of the Provinces of Ávila and Salamanca, rainfall reaches 1500 mm per year, with a maximum of 3400 mm per year in the western part of the Sierra de Gredos, in the Candelario-Bejar Massif, which makes this area the rainiest not only from Spain, but from the Iberian Peninsula.

Climatic regions

Although Castile and León is framed within the continental climate, in its lands different climate domains are distinguished:

According to the Köppen climate classification, a large part of the autonomous community falls within the Csb or Cfb variants, with the average of the warmest month below 22 °C but above 10  °C for five or more months.

In several areas of the Meseta Central the climate is classified as Csa (warm Mediterranean), by exceeding 22 °C during the summer.

In high elevations of the Cantabrian Mountains and mountain areas, there is a cold temperate climate with average temperatures under 3 °C in the coldest months and dry summers (Dsb or Dsc).

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