Holiday Weather

Weather Crete

Last updated:

25 Nov

Local Time: 00:33 EET UK Time: 22:33 GMT
55°F
(13°C)
North 5mph
(8kmh)
  • Sunrise 07:03
  • Sunset 17:08
  • Moonrise 09:33
  • Moonset 20:11
Temp feels like: 55°F (13°C)
Length of Day: 12h 07m
Humidity: 62 %
Dew Point: 45°F (7°C)
Pressure: 30.09 " (1019 hpa)

Average for November: 62°F (17°C)

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Weather Overview for Crete

The island of Crete has a temperate Mediterranean climate. It experiences hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Crete has the mildest climate in Greece due to its southerly location and surrounding waters.The central mountains, stretching from east to west, create a natural barrier to the north-westerly prevailing winds and result in great regional variation in weather conditions. Northern Crete is similar to most other European Mediterranean resorts. Southern Crete is hotter, drier and sunnier, averaging over 2800 hours of sunshine a year; it resembles coastal regions of North Africa in its heat and aridity. Southern Crete’s similarity to North Africa allows African swallows to remain there year round rather than necessitating migrating south for winter.  Mountainous regions are cooler and see more pronounced seasons. They experience heavy snowfall in winter at high altitudes. On the peaks snow can remain as late as June and in midwinter mountain passes can become completely blocked off.

 

Summer, from June till September, sees average highs in the high 20s, peaking just below 30ºC in July and August. Night time temperatures are high but are generally made bearable by the low levels of humidity. In the peak months temperatures can often get into the low 30s and sometimes soar towards a stifling 40ºC in the south, especially when the island is treated to the sirocco wind. The sirocco blows up from the south, originating in Africa in the Sahara. This brings uncharacteristically high temperatures, aridity and sometimes sand. As a result the sky can become hazy and the air is often laden with dust. However, the prevailing wind is from the northwest. This is the meltemi: a cool wind coveted by sailors, wind and kite surfers and also sizzling sunbathers in need of some relief. A whopping twelve hours of sunshine per day can be expected in June and August.

Autumn, in October and November, still sees great temperatures but is often wet and overcast. Visiting the island in this season is recommended to those wanting to avoid the thick crowds of the peak season with an interest in exploring the island rather than in simply roasting on the beach. Sea temperatures are reasonable throughout the season and the air temperature remains around 20ºC during the day, slightly warmer at the beginning of the season, dipping just below at the end. However, night time temperatures drop to around 16ºC in October and 13ºC in November: extra layers are required. The sun diminishes drastically to around five hours per day, shared out between days of grey and those with blissfully clear skies. The beginning of the winter rains start to fall in October and increase throughout the season. While rainfall is limited to a few heavy storms, threatening clouds are a common sight. Another good reason to visit in this season is the landscape’s positive response to the much needed water.

Winter, from December till March, is mild but wet and blustery. Rainfall is at its highest in winter and falls on about half the days in each month. The wind can whip up real storms, though rain usually falls in steady showers, and forces the perceived air temperature plummeting down. Day time highs usually sit around 16ºC, falling below 10ºC at night but rarely below 5ºC. Subzero temperatures and snow are alien to coastal Crete though climate change has been known to bring this incorrigible pair to these shores; in February 2004 the temperature dropped to a record -0.8ºC and snow dusted the entire island. Conditions are generally preferable to those found at more northerly latitudes, for instance in England, and the odd clear day can receive temperatures near 20ºC, but summer-like weather should not be expected. The sea, around 15ºC, is okay for brave water sports enthusiasts with wetsuits but too cold for swimming.

Crete Greece

Crete, Greece.

Spring, in April and May, as expected, improves as it progresses. Rainfall drops off rapidly, only falling on around five days in each month. The average high temperature gets quickly into the low 20s though night time lows remain cool. Sunshine levels increase to six hours per day in April and a glorious eight in May. Spring is preferable to autumn in terms of rain and sunshine but unfortunately the sea remains cold until the middle of the season, only getting up to 20ºC at the end.

Crete’s microclimates are reflected by the landscape and vegetation. The south is sparsely vegetated, mostly with shrubs and grasses, while the north is greener. One might expect tourists to flock to the warmest areas of the island, but in fact Crete’s most popular resorts, Rethymnon, Hersonissos, Stalis, Malia and many more, are to be found on the north coast. The verdant landscape of the north coast with its milder temperatures has been deemed preferable by far to the desert-like south. However, this in itself is a selling point for the area; southern Crete still has many beaches that remain virtually deserted in the peak of the tourist season, and many towns are free from the garish markings of mass tourism.

 

 

 


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