Central Europe: Past weather and climate

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Central France has rather cold winters with a greater chance of frost and snow than the north-west. Summers also tend to be a little warmer. Daily average maximum temperatures at Paris range from 6 °C in January to 25 °C in July. The wettest month on average is August (64 mm).

The North German Plain has quite low rainfall, with the wettest month being July (73 mm at Berlin), and much of the summer rainfall takes the form of thundery showers. Winters are often quite severe, and it is common for lakes and canals to freeze over. Average maximum temperatures at Berlin range from 2 °C in January to 24 °C in July. There are on average eight days of sunshine in summer, but only two in winter.

The Jura mountains are wetter than the Swiss Plateau, and in winter the mountains carry snow for long periods. In some enclosed valleys, temperatures can sink very low as cold air drains into the valley bottoms. Daily average maximum temperatures at Geneva range from 4 °C in December to 25 °C in July, and the wettest month is September (99 mm).

The Danube and Vienna basins are the driest parts of Austria, the wettest month being July (84 mm at Vienna). Here, average daily maximum temperatures range from 1 °C in January to 25 °C in July. Winter snowfall at Vienna is rarely deep, but can last for many weeks in a cold winter.

Proximity to the sea, low elevation and other factors contribute to a marked uniformity in the climate of Holland. The coastal regions are the mildest and driest areas. At De Bilt (between Rotterdam and Amsterdam), daily average maximum temperatures range from 4 °C in January to 22 °C in July. Gales are frequent on the coasts, particularly during autumn and winter, indeed the flatness of the country results in it being a generally windy nation.

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