On its Own
Weather in the Algarve is different to that of neighbouring Spain. The Spanish resorts experience Mediterranean weather whilst the Algarve enjoys a climate shaped by weather movements in the Atlantic. Along the Algarve there are differnces with the east being drier and hotter than the west. In particular the east recieves less winter storms and correspondingly tends to be more dry and arid
The good news is that throughout the summer months the Algarve can be relied upon to give clear blue skys and lots of sun. Day after day. From April through to mid September there is rarely a cloud in the sky. The heat starts in June and tempretures decline rapidly with September. August can be very hot and even dedicated sun bathers may find they take shelter in mid afternoon.
In the winter months there are many dry days with clear blue skies. T shirts remain the order of the day but you reach for something warmer when the sun goes down
For those who have their homes in the Algarve a few days rain a year are inevitable. November and Febuary are the most likely months. When a wet winter arrives it can be really wet. This is usually tropical rain which has worked its way up the coast of Africa.. a veritable monsoon.
If the rain is wet, it is usually warm as well. Clear blue skies arrive on days when there is no depression arriving from the south and air pushes out from the high pressure sitting over central Spain.
The mountains of Spain are high and cold, often capped with snow throughout the winter.The wind is cold but the sun warm in sheltered places. When the sun goes down we light large log fires and open the Brandymel.
Hurricane Gone Wrong
The hurricanes that do so much damage in America and the Caribbean are spawned off the coast of Africa near the Cabp Verde islands. Occasionally one of these spiral shaped depressions takes a wrong turn and heads north up the coast of Africa.
On the rare occasion that the depression turns and comes into the Algarve it brings a few hours of strong winds and hard rain before dieing away. Although spectacular these storms are just a tiny reminder of their big brothers on the other side of the Atlantic.
The key factor in the west Algarves winter weather is the high pressure system that sits over the Azores. If the pressure system is strong it breaks up the tails of the North Atlantic depressions which bring rain to the UK. If the high pressure is not strong enough the troughs of low pressure sweep through and bring rain to the western Algarve.
As if in compensation a wet winter is always followed by the most beautiful wild flowers in spring. The Algarve enjoys one of the finest climates in Europe with sunshine and blue skies being the normal weather throughout most of the year. Although the sun shines nearly every day there are pleasant differences in the seasons.
Summer Months are June, July , August and September. Any rain or cloudy days would really be out of character. Temperatures are high and on the beach it can get to be very hot, particularly in August when sun block is a must.
Autumn in the Algarve is more mellow. Days may still be hot enough for the beach during the afternoon but there is now a chance of days of rain. As October passes into November rain is to be expected and may be as torrential as a monsoon, lasting several days at a time.
After the first prolonged rain of the year temperatures will be lower, even on the fine days, and it is time to start having a fire in the evening to keep the chill away.
Winter settles in to the Algarve with late November . The sky is usually clear and blue and the afternoon sun warm like a fine English summers day.
The nights are longer now and it is dark by 6.00. In the villages there is a pleasant smell of burning logs as people let the fire burn through the day.
Its an Algarve tradition to take a walk along the beach on Christmas day and some brave people take a swim.. Usually a quick one.
As the winter draws to a close, February is the other month when rain is often about. Unlike northern Europe the winter does not bring endless grey days. When it rains it pours down and then the sky turns blue and the sun comes back out.
Spring arrives after the winter rains and throughout March, April and May the countryside is green with fresh grown grass and ablaze with wild flowers. The skies are blue again and any rain is nothing more than short showers.
By Easter visitors are returning to spend their afternoons on the beach, and after an English winter ,it feels just great. This is the ideal time for an activity holiday and a chance to benefit from out of season prices.