Madrid has a Continental Mediterranean climate which is basically characterized by warm to hot and dry summers and mild to cool and slightly wet winters. While Madrid may be a city situated in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula, it is elevated at a level of about 650 meters above sea level – it is this unique topographical feature that lends to this type of climatic conditions in the city. This means that even though summer temperatures can get high during the daytime, night temperatures tend to be generally cooler making it ideal for an active nightlife (which Madrid is famous for). There is also a greater degree of variation between winter and summer temperatures in the city. Humidity tends to be low in Madrid as well so even during the hottest days of summer the heat is generally tolerable. Moreover, because it is situated close to the mountains – the Somosierra to the north, Guadarrama to the northeast and Toledo in the south and east, Madrilenos enjoy fresh air from virtually all fronts.
The city is also called the sunniest in Europe, and for good reason. Madrid enjoys the most number of sunshine hours in the day. Especially during the summer months, the city gets anywhere between 270 to 350 hours of sunshine per month. This favorable climate makes Madrid one of the best places to visit in the whole European continent, ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing.
Visitors to the city will most enjoy a trip during the months of mid-March to mid-June when average temperatures are between 15 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius. Warmer weather follows during July to August when temperatures soar from 26 degrees to 40 degrees Celsius. In the past years, the city has experienced heat waves (temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius) during the summer months. While this may not necessarily be a trend, it would be wise to check on a weather forecast before planning a trip to Madrid on these months. Rainfall is also very low, if not rare during the summer with average precipitation days of 1-2 in a month. Some visitors have also observed that during the summertime Madrid tends to be dryer than other major cities in Spain like Seville or Granada.
The fall months of September to October are generally pleasant with temperatures ranging from 26 degrees to 19 degrees Celsius. Both spring and autumn seasons enjoy more rainfall but the general weather is still mild making it the best times of the year to travel to the city.
During the winter months of November to January, the temperature drops – sometimes even below freezing point. Average temperatures in November drop to 12 degrees Celsius to the single digits in December. The lowest recorded temperature in Madrid is -14 degrees Celsius. Because the city tends to experience very little precipitation, snowfall during the winter is also very little in the city but not in the mountainsides. Because of this phenomena, there are still plenty of fun activities to do during the winter such as skiing on the slopes and other winter sport activities.