Climate in Croatia
Climate in Croatia varies from continental in the interior regions and Mediterranean along the Adriatic coast, with some fluctuations within these climatic zones. Since this country has a long and narrow-shaped territory, with a landscape consisting of a mixture of mountains, plains, forests and a coastal line, climate in Croatia varies dramatically from region to region, and the difference between weather conditions often penetrates the patterns of the two distinctive climatic zones.
Mediterranean climate. Mediterranean climate is predominant on the islands and in the coastal areas from Istria and Kvarner on the north to Dalmatia on the south. In summer the average air temperature is 24°C-26°C. However, the interior areas of Istria are somewhat cooler, with the average temperature being about 22°C. Sea temperatures fluctuate between 8°C in winter and 27°C in summer because of warm sea currents. July and August are the hottest months, with the air temperature reaching as high as 35°C. As a rule, there is not much precipitation in summer, whereas rainfall during winter is the highest of any season.
Winters on the coast are milder than on the continent, with temperatures seldom dropping below 2°C in the northern coastal areas and 9°C on the south. Dubrovnik is the wettest place from October to December. The coastal regions are almost snow free, unlike the continental regions. The sunniest place in the whole country is Hvar Island, which enjoys over 2700 hours of sunshine per year. The top sunniest resorts of Croatia also include Split, Vela Luka, and Dubrovnik.
Coastal Winds. Coastal climate in Croatia is determined by the winds. The southern part of the Adriatic is under the influence of Jugo, a warm, humid east-southeast wind, in the period from September to May. However, during spring months it is frequent in the northern coast as well. The summer wind maestral blows from the sea, carrying on its tails good weather and white clouds. The Adriatic gets its fair share of harshness due to an unpleasant and unpredictable wind bura (bora), which becomes a frequent guest of the coast when the temperatures decrease. When this north-easterly wind blows during winter months, it brings cold air from central and Eastern Europe to the Adriatic coast.
As for the storms on the Adriatic, they are usually sudden and violent, but don't last long, sometimes leaving behind pleasantly cool air.
Continental Climate. Separated from the coast by the grand Dinaric Alps, Croatia's inland experiences totally different weather patterns.
Climate in Croatia's interior areas is typified by a fair amount of snow during winter months. The average temperatures in January hover around 0°C to -2°C, whereas the monthly average for July reaches the 22°C mark, although recent years have seen unusually hot summers. Since Slavonia and the eastern part of the country have mostly flat, fertile land, winters are extremely cold, icy, and snowy.
Snow is a typical feature of the mountain summits. It stays on the ground for many weeks before melting, which makes an ideal location for ski vacation. Such mountain ranges as Velebit and Medvednica are characterized by much colder weather conditions, with temperatures dropping according to altitude. During the summer months, the weather in the mountains is pleasantly cool and comfortable, registering air temperatures of 10°C-18°C, and providing Croatia people and tourists alike with a great alternative to the heat of the Adriatic coast.
In general, climate in Croatia is ideal for summer beach holidays with 10-12 hours of sunshine per day, a small number of rainy days, and comfortable temperatures.