Atlas Mountains, Morocco: Live Weather
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The Atlas Mountains range lies across the north-western stretch of Africa and spans 2,500km across Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.
From the Moroccan port of Agadir in the south-west to the Tunisian capital of Tunis in the north-east. This mountain range forms the geological backbone of the countries in the western part of the Arab world and divides the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert.
The Atlas mountain range is the ideal place for trekkers and walkers and includes the second highest peak in Africa, Toubkal, which is 4,167 meters high and lies in south-western part of Morocco.
The mountain range is, in fact, three different ranges, which split the interior part of the country into strips of land. The population of the area is mostly Berbers and boasts numerous Berber villages which help preserve a fascinating and tenacious ancient culture within the region.
As well as offering exceptionally dramatic scenery, the Atlas Mountains are also home to a number of plant and animal species unique to Africa. Sadly, many of these species are nearing extinct, or are in danger of extinction, including the Barbary macaque, Barbary leopard, Atlas bear and the Barbary lion. However there are still many interesting and unique species to explore.
The Atlas Mountains also house an abundance of natural resources, including deposits of lead ore, iron ore, mercury, silver, rock salt, marble, copper, phosphate, gas and coal, offering a geological landscape that is impossible to resist.
The Climate in the Atlas Mountains
The weather in the Atlas Mountains in winter is typically warm, dry and sunny, offering a wonderful holiday destination for all who choose to visit. However it is difficult to supply reliable weather statistics for the entire range, since the Atlas Mountains covers such a vast area and reaches altitudes of over 4,000m.
Cooler temperatures are likely to be experienced in the more northerly areas of the Atlas Mountains, mainly due to the western winds that blow from the Atlantic lying to the north of the region. However, towards the south of the range, the weather is more influenced by the Sahara Desert offering drier, warmer climates no matter what time of year it is.
Summer Weather in Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains have a typical mountain climate with cool but sunny summers and average temperatures of approximately 25°C.
The summer season in the Atlas Mountains offers visitors a cooler break from the hot temperatures of the neighbouring city of Marrakesh, which can reach up to a scorching 40°C at this time of year.
There is the risk of thunderstorms and heavy rains in the Atlas Mountains during the afternoons in the summer months. However rain is only likely to fall for two or three days during any given month in the season and therefore offers plenty of fine days to enjoy.
Altitude levels will usually keep the summer temperatures endurable. However, the weather forecast in exposed valleys during this time of the year can get unbearably hot. In the High Atlas range, the temperature in the valleys have an average low temperature of 30°C during the daytime ensuring that shade and sun protection are vital when visiting.
Winter Weather in Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains are ideal for trekking any time of the year but winters can signal the start of snow and freezing temperatures in the region, especially at high altitudes.
The highest peaks like Jebel Toubkal will remain covered in snow from the months of November through to the start of June, and sometimes remain snow-capped all year long.
Indeed, winter can usher in plenty of wonderfully crisp, dry and sunny days ideal for trekking. Though night-time temperatures can get considerably cooler, dipping to 5°C in Imlil and below zero at high altitudes on Jebel Toubkal.
The Atlas Mountains also receive plenty of rainfall throughout the winter months, though most is focused along the north-east part of the range, rather than the south-west. And with less than one in three days likely to experience any rain at all, the popularity of the range for walkers never seems to wane.
Spring/Autumn Weather in Atlas Mountains
Forecasted temperatures are good although varying altitude levels will affect the local climate. The mountains are also resplendent with spring growth and stunning autumn colours making trekking through this beautiful part of the world an unforgettable experience.
Springtime in the Atlas Mountains can be wet and the valleys may be susceptible to flash flooding from rain and melted snow. However there are plenty of dry, bright days to enjoy the region and with 7 or 8 hours of sunshine each day these seasons represent a nice middle ground.
Visiting the Atlas Mountains
A visit to Morocco's Atlas Mountains is a thrilling experience with its awe-inspiring castles, magnificent canyons and harsh deserts. At the core of these lies the fascinating Ouarzazate, the last taste of France in the region originally built for troops in the 1920s.
Visitors can enjoy trekking (both on camel and foot), a visit to the Atlas Corporation film studios in Ouarzazate, plus some excellent shopping facilities. Local treasures include camel skin slippers, Malinese carved doors and other authentic antiques.
Along with all of the other attractions the region has to offer, visitors can also relish in the delights of Moroccan cuisine. This variety of food offer highlights from an assortment of Berber dishes, Spanish ingredients, Arab spices, and desert staples, all of which are delivered with exceptional levels of service and outstanding hospitality.
Atlas Mountain Trekking Morocco
Trekking is the main attraction for the tourists coming to the Atlas Mountains with thousands of British, French and Spanish walkers journeying to the region every year to experience the area's unique geology, warm weather and fascinating culture.
Tours are arranged easily in the Atlas Mountains either before your trip or during your stay. The ascent of Toubkal remains a favourite amongst visitors and locals alike which requires less technical expertise and can be just a day's walk into the foothills.
For hardier types, there are treks that can last for several days or up to a week through the mountain range. Tourists can hike from the village of Tassa Ouirgane, located near the Toubkal National Park at an altitude of 1200m, all the way to the Azadden Valley through forests of oaks and juniper trees. If trekking sounds like too much hard work, there are plenty of beautiful luxury hotels with spas and restaurants to enjoy, many of which boast stunning backdrops of the elegant Atlas Mountains.