The climate in the Czech Republic is moderately continental, with cold winters, during which the temperature is often below freezing, and warm summers, during which nights remain cool.
Precipitation is fairly frequent, but it’s not abundant in most of the country, amounting to around 400/500 millimetres (15/20 inches) per year. However, being scarcer in the winter months (when plants are at rest) and more abundant in late spring and summer, it is generally sufficient for agriculture. The only moderately rainy areas are found in the Sudetes Range, where precipitation exceeds 1,000 mm (40 in) per year, at the foot of the same mountain range (in Ostrava, precipitation exceeds 700 mm or 27.5 inches per year), and in the south-west, along the border with Germany and Austria.
During winter, from December to February, in Prague and in the other Czech cities, temperatures hover around freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) or just below, the weather is often dull and cloudy, and light snowfalls can occur. On the contrary, outbreaks of cold from Russia can bring intense frosts, with temperatures dropping to -20/-25 °C (-4/-13 °F) in the worst moments.
In spring, from March to May, the weather is unstable, and the first warm days alternate with the return of cold weather: frosts and snowfalls can still occur in April, especially in the first part of the month. There’s usually a turning point in the second half of May, when the maximum temperatures regularly reach or exceed 18/20 °C (64/68 °F), and the weather becomes enjoyable.
Summer, from June to August, is usually warm. There is a moderate amount of sunny days, during which showers or thunderstorms can erupt in the afternoon. Even in mid-summer, there can be cool and rainy days, with highs around 20 °C (68 °F), but also hot periods, during which the temperature may exceed 30 °C (86 °F) for a few days. However, temperatures are usually pleasant, with highs around 22/24 °C (72/75 °F) and lows around 12/13 °C (54/55 °F).
Autumn, which goes from September to November, is initially pleasant in the first half of September, and then becomes progressively more cloudy and cold, with fairly frequent rains.
Plains and hills
Most of the country is located between 200 and 500 meters (600 and 1,600 feet) above sea level, and has a fairly homogeneous climate. In the capital, Prague, the altitude varies between 180 and 400 meters (600 and 1,300 feet).
Here are the average temperatures in Prague.
In Prague, 525 mm (20.5 in) of rain or snowfall per year. Since the amount of precipitation falling during winter is not high, snowfalls are frequent but generally not abundant. During the summer, instead, the rains take place in the form of afternoon thunderstorms on sunny days, or are brought by Atlantic weather fronts, which can arrive even in this season. Here is the average precipitation.
In Prague, the sun is rarely seen from November to February, while in summer, the sun can be obscured by Atlantic disturbances as well as by cloudiness in the afternoon, which, as we said, can also lead to thunderstorms. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
In the north, in the Sudetes mountainous area, on the border with Poland, temperatures decrease with altitude, especially in summer: at 800 meters (2,600 feet) above sea level, summer is cool, and the daytime temperature is typically around 18 °C (64 °F).
The highest point in the Czech Republic is Mount Snežka, 1,603 meters (5,259 feet) high. Here are the average temperatures on the top of Mount Praded, at 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) above sea level, in the Eastern Sudetes.
The best time to visit the Czech Republic runs from mid-May to mid-September, since it is the warmest, or at least the mildest, of the year. Temperatures can be cool in May and September, and sometimes in June, while they are normally higher in mid-summer (July and August).
What to pack
In winter: bring warm clothes, such as a sweater, a down jacket, a hat, gloves, and a scarf.
In summer: bring light clothes, t-shirts and shorts, but also long pants, a jacket and a sweatshirt for the evening or for cooler days, and a raincoat or umbrella. The best time to visit Italy is during spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November), when the temperatures are comfortable and there are fewer crowds. Wildflowers in early April and rising temperatures through to the end of June are a real draw. From October, the summer heat eases off, the grape harvest is in full swing, and the cities are quieter for sightseeing. Temperatures in the south remain mild in winter. While it is the off-season and some attractions have limited opening hours, it’s still an enjoyable time to explore many of the country’s historical sites. Winters in northern Italy, however, are normally wet and cold. The summer months of July and August see higher temperatures and visitor numbers reach their peak. Prices are also higher.