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The Climate and Weather in Crete

The Climate and Weather in Crete

The climate in Crete is categorised by meteorologists as temperate Mediterranean.  This means that summer is typically hot and dry in Crete with almost no rainfall, but winter is mild and wet with almost no snowfall.

Geography and the Climate of Crete

But the location of Crete is not the only factor that dictates its climate.  Geography also plays its hand.  The mountains of Crete neatly divide the eastern and western parts of the island, and these mountains thwart the passing of the prevailing northerly winds.

Because of the presence of these mountain ranges, the weather in the eastern as well as southern part of Crete is generally drier and warmer than the weather in the western and northern part of the island.

Elevation also plays a role in the climate in Crete.  The coastal regions and the flatlands rarely experience snowfall.  However, in the mountainous regions, snowfall can come down plentifully and they sometimes do not melt until it is already June.

Also, there are coastal towns that are naturally shielded from the winds due to the shape of their harbour.  In these places in Crete, the weather is usually mild and the seas calm and a lot safer for swimming.

Another interesting point to note about the climate in Crete is that there are times during the winter months that the southerly winds blow into the island carrying with it dust from the Sahara desert.  The dust adds a lovely colour onto the Cretan skyline.

The Months and the Weather in Crete

Breaking the weather in Crete down month by month, it will appear that the months of January until March are considered the coldest in Crete.  The average temperature ranges from 12°C to 14°C.  It is also rainy and windy during these months.  However, there is usually a week in January where the weather in Crete is fine and mild, without wind or rainfall.  This week is referred to by the locals as the Halcyon Days.

In April and May, the weather in Crete becomes warmer even though it is as yet too cold to swim in the sea.  These months can be the equivalent of springtime in other regions, as the flora of Crete start to come in full bloom during these months.

June is the month when summer - and the tourists - starts to roll in.  It is hot and sunny everywhere in Crete and the sea becomes very inviting.  Summer peaks in July when the average daytime temperature rises to 26°C.

The heat of the summer begins to dissipate by the time September comes around.  It is still sunny during this month but the temperature is no longer as scorching as it is during summer.  The rains start to come in October and as November comes along, the weather in Crete becomes more unpredictable.  By December, the rains become constant and the days colder.

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