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The weather in Madeira explained

 The weather in Madeira explained

Madeira is known to have a mild climate all year round. However, there are some things that should be taken into consideration about the weather before visiting.
The two islands of Madeira and Porto Santo have a very mild climate, so much so, that they are known as the islands of Eternal spring. The continuous north-east trade winds bring a bit of cloudiness, humidity, and rainfall on the north-side of the island. On the other hand, in the cold half of the year, the islands can be affected by the Atlantic depressions, leading to a colder temperature, more rain, and wind.

 

Temperature Madeira

Daytime temperatures stay between 19°C and 20°C (66°F to 68°F) from December to April and exceed 20°C (68°F) between May and November, reaching up to 26°C (79°F) in August and September. The minimum temperatures are between 13°C and 15°C (55°F to 59°F) from December to May and around 17°C to 19°C (63°F to 66°F)

Funchal – Average temperatures

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Min (°C)

13

13

13

13

15

17

18

19

19

18

16

14

Max (°C)

19

19

20

20

21

22

24

26

26

24

22

20

Min (°F)

55

55

55

55

59

63

64

66

66

64

61

57

Max (°F

66

66

68

68

70

72

75

79

79

75

72

68

However, the sea temperature in Madeira is not very high. It’s around 18°C (64°F) in winter and spring, around 20°C (68°F) in June, and it is warmest in August and September, when it reaches 23°C (73°F). It is around this time when the ocean temperatures are the best for swimmers.

Funchal – Sea temperature

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Temp (°C)

18

18

18

18

19

20

21

23

23

22

21

19

Temp (°F)

64

64

64

64

66

68

70

73

73

72

70

66

Precipitation Madeira

Most rainfall occurs in the period from October to mid-April. In this time of the year, rain can be expected quite frequently, especially on the north-side of the island. The southern part of the island suffers less from these rains, due to the wind blowing from north to south. The island of Porto Santo is more arid that Madeira and, like Madeira, the island is only green on the north-side. In Porto Santo, annual rainfall does not reach 400 millimeters (16”), while in Funchal it is around 640mm (25”).

Funchal – Average precipitation

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Prec.(mm)

105

85

65

40

20

12

3

3

35

75

100

100

640

Prec.(in)

4.1

3.3

2.6

1.6

0.8

0.5

0.1

0.1

1.4

3

3.9

3.9

25.2

Days

12

11

10

8

5

3

1

2

6

9

11

13

91

Sunshine Madeira

The amount of sunshine on the two islands is acceptable during winter, when there is an alternation between periods of sunny and bad weather. During the summer months, the amount of sunshine obviously gets better. However, in June, a blanket of clouds, called “Capacete” (Helmet) often forms, which covers the island in the early morning, but thins out during the day. Even in midsummer, cloud banks can form on the Atlantic Ocean and affect the islands, even if it doesn’t rain.

Funchal – Average hours of sunshine a day

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Hours

5

5

6

6

7

5

7

8

7

6

5

5

Microclimates Madeira

Madeira is an island with a steep incline immediately from the shoreline all the way to the center, with relatively high peaks (Highest point is Pico Ruivo at 1862m or 6109ft). Therefore, the island has a great variety of microclimates that can change all over. Because of the northern trade winds, the northern side is rainier and windier than the south, where the landscape is more arid. The city of Funchal, on the south-western slope, is quite sheltered from the winds coming from the north. On the other hand, the center of the island, which is characterized by high and steep mountains is often covered in a layer of fog or low clouds. As temperature decreases with altitude, in the mountains, especially above 1500m (5000ft), snowfall and frost can occur in winter although very rarely. In the period from June to September, Madeira can be affected by the Leste, a hot, dry wind blowing from the Sahara, which can raise the temperature to above 30°C (86°F) and bring desert sand.

Best time to visit Madeira

Given that there is a mild climate all year round, there is really no “best” time to visit Madeira. However, during mid-October to mid-April, there may be days where it rains. This period is more suitable for walkers and nature lovers because during this time of the year the temperatures are not very high. During the summer. From July to September, the temperature is higher, and the island will turn into a place that is very suitable for swimming and sunbathing. Nature / Flower lovers should visit the island during spring.

What to bring

During the winter you should take your typical spring/autumn clothes (sweater, light jacket, jeans) along with a raincoat or umbrella and if you are planning to do any sort of walking or hiking, we advise you to take a hat, gloves and hiking / good walking shoes.
During summer you should take light clothing (T-shirts, short trousers, flip flops or thin sneakers) and your swimwear. However, it is advised to also take at least one pair of long trousers and a jacket if you are planning on visiting the higher parts of the mountain. You will also need sunglasses and good sunscreen. Yet again, if you are planning on doing any walks you will need to bring good walking shoes and maybe a sweatshirt.

In conclusion, Madeira’s weather is very mild all year long, with some periods of more rainfall during the winter and higher temperatures and loads of sun during the summertime. Sunbathers and swimmers will have a better time during the summer and walkers / nature lovers during the wintertime. However, there will still be days with a high temperature and lots of sun during the winter months and days of rain in the summer months. Regardless, Madeira can still be enjoyed even if the weather may not be in your favour!

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