Lyon, in the east-central France, has a temperate continental climate, with hot summers and cool winters. Rainfall is quite moderate year round but unpredictable. Lyon sits in the Rhone Valley, where the River Rhone and River Soane meet, and sprawls over flat land between the mountains of the Massif Central and the Alps.
Summer, from June till September, sees gorgeous highs slipping up from 24°C in June to a peak of 27°C in July, sidling back down to 23°C by September. Humidity is quite low and night time temperatures are pleasant around 14°C, though obviously slightly cooler at either end of the season. The sun beats down for a whopping ten hours per day in July while other summer months see around eight. Year round rainfall levels do not experience much variation; it is quite frequent and falls in short storms. September is technically the wettest month in the year.
Autumn, in October and November, experiences a sharp drop in temperatures and is considerably less sunny. However, the success of a trip to Lyon, while moderated by weather, is not defined by it, as the city has so much to offer culturally. The average high temperature plummets to 16°C in October then down to 10°C in November. Night time temperatures drop below 10°C seeing an average low of 7°C in October, and 4°C in November. By the end of November it can sometimes drop below freezing and frosts are likely. The sun withdraws behind an overcast sky, only coming out for four hours per day in October, and three in November. Rainfall remains moderate and unpredictable.
Winter, from December till February, rarely sees temperatures above 10°C and night time lows hover around freezing. The sun comes out for a measly two hours per day. Precipitation is as moderate as usual, often falling as snow or sleet. Low night time temperatures can freeze precipitation on the roads and make driving conditions hazardous. Heavy snow falls in the mountains and Lyon is not too far from numerous fantastic ski resorts such as Serre Chevalier and les Deux Alpes.
Spring, from March till May, sees a gradual return to pleasant temperatures and sunny days, though rainfall levels rise throughout the season. The average high temperature rises from a chilly 13°C in March, to a mild 16°C in April, to a warm 20°C in May. Night times remain very cool; the average low does not get above 10°C till the very end of the season. Lyon’s climate can be attributed to its location in the low valley between two mountain ranges, its latitude in the northern hemisphere, and its distance from the sea. Lyon experiences slightly more extreme temperatures than areas either side of the mountains that surround it as it is blocked from the moderating effects of the sea, resulting in its continental climate. The dry mistral wind from the east is channelled down the Rhone Valley, and brings to Lyon its hotter summers and colder winters. The surrounding mountains draw precipitation to themselves and away from the valley.