How cold is Winter in Sardinia?

How cold is Winter in Sardinia? Sardinia is the second biggest island of the Mediterranean sea, and the Southern part of it’s only 250 km away from Tunisia and North Africa. It means that the climate is warm, very hot and dry during Summer, more rainy and colder in Winter, almost never freezing.

Basically, Sardinian climate is Mediterranean along the coasts, plains and low hills, it becomes continental on the interior plateaus, valleys and mountain ranges.

Winter temperatures in Sardinia:

During the year there are something like 135 days of sunshine, and Cagliari is the Italian city with more hours of sun per year. For example it’s easy to find people still swimming or having some beachlife up to November. The last years, thanks to the climate change, we often arrive close to Christmas with a Spring like conditions, sunny and warm.

The average temperature in Sardinia is between 11 to 17 °C (52 to 63 °F), with mild winters and hot summers on the coasts ( 9 to 11 °C (48 to 52 °F) in January, 23 to 26 °C (73 to 79 °F) in July), and cold winters and cool summers on the mountains ( −2 to 4 °C (28 to 39 °F) in January, 16 to 20 °C (61 to 68 °F) in July).

Climate data for Olbia, Gallura, North East Sardinia:

olbia-year-temperature-and-precipitations

Climate data for Alghero, North West Sardinia:

alghero-year-temperature-and-precipitations-2

The wet season:

The wet season in Sardinia starts in October to end in April, it doesn’t rain that much though, even if some areas are affected by periodic flooding. In any case it usually rains enough to fill up the artificial lakes where is stored the water for the summer and for farming needs. The last serious drought came in the eighties, almost 30 years ago.

How much rains in Sardinia?

The map below can be very helpful, it shows how much rains during the year in Sardinia, the average for the entire island is about 800 mm (31.5 in). The minimum is at Capo Carbonara at the extreme south-east of the island with 381 mm (15.0 in) and the maximim on Gennargentu mountain with almost 1,500 mm (59.1 in) per year.

rainfall-in-sardinia

It barely snows in mountains:

Although Sardinia landscape is very hilly, there’re not high mountains, in fact the highest peack reaches 1834 meters only (6,017 ft). It means that rarely snows in Sardinia, the most of the times in the Barbagia highlands only, where we can find a handful of towns between 800 and 1000 meters.

Close to Fonni, the highest Sardinian towns with its 1000 meters of elevation, there’s the Bruncu Spina mountain, where we can find the only 3 sardinian ski runs. They’re quite short and easy, plus usually we can have fun on them only for a few weekends between January and March. The snow in fact tends to melt soon and when it happens it’s also too warm to successfully use the snow cannons.

bruncu-spina-ski-run

The winter 2016/17 has been almost unique, because it fell from half meter up to more than a meter of snow in the whole Barbagia, the most intense snowfall in the last 50 years. Anyway, even when it snows so much, Sardinia never experienced any avalanche.

It almost never snows in the main plains and close to sea, even if, sometimes, the beaches get covered by a thin white layer. It happened in Alghero and Gallura 5 years ago, it happened again this year in Porto Torres.

In any case if you have to drive through the center of Sardinia during the Winter it’s better to have snow tires or snow chains, especially in the morning the roads might be icy.

Cover image by Wikipedia (g / CC BY-SA 3.0)
Recent Posts

Leave a Comment