Weather & Climate of Slovakia
Four Seasons (and average temperatures)
As a continental country in central/eastern Europe, Slovakia is a land of friendly, moderate climate. There are four distinct season rotating each year, beginning with spring in March, which is, as of June 22, followed by summer. The beginning of Slovak autumn dates to September 23rd and the four seasons are closing to the end of a cycle on December 21, which is the opening day for a three month winter season.
Spring in Slovakia, as well as autumn, is a season of frequent (and rapid) weather changes, so be sure to bring your umbrellas! The main difference between spring and autumn is in temperatures and wind conditions, with the latter being slightly warmer in the beginning, but a lot windier. While spring might be beautiful in Slovakia, it is certainly not the most hospitable season of the year. Temperatures usually hover around 9° C in April, 14° C in May and 17° C in June. Early spring in Slovakian mountains may provide a last-minute opportunity to enjoy the few remaining days of winter sports season.
Summers in Slovakia tend to be fairly hot, even tropical with heath waves in lowlands. The hottest month, with temperatures reaching 30° C to 35° C or slightly above in lowlands, is July. This is also a month of higher rain storm frequency. Storms in Slovakia are usually not very dangerous and without extremes, so do not expect tornadoes, floods or hurricanes. As for the temperatures in northern or mountain areas, they usually stick to 25 ° C or lower, according to the altitude.
A few more details regarding the autumn season: autumns are often foggy, windy and if they happen to be so, you should expect long, continuous periods of rainfall as well. On the other hand, some early autumn seasons may resemble the summer season more. With plenty of golden sunshine and dry air periods around the turn of September/October, this is the right time to enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities.
As for winters, they may be (in the mountain areas) unforgiving, but usually do not bring massive snowfall or extremely low temperatures. Get ready for both rain and snow though. Some years tend to be freezing, but those that are not usually bring plenty of snowfall/rainfall mixture in lowlands and this may be very uncomfortable for both pedestrians and drivers. Average temperatures keep jumping between -5° C and -10° C or lower. Winter season, of course, is best to be spent skiing or doing any other winter sports. Slovakia can provide plenty of such activities in its mountain areas, which often stay sunny throughout the day, no matter what do the skies look like down in the valleys.
Sunshine and sunlight protection
If you are the type who likes to read through various stats, you will certainly find interesting that in average, every day in Slovakia has exactly 5.7 sunlight hours. Now, while this might be a good measure, it is a bit misleading.
In Summer (and at any time while climbing the high peaks of Slovakian mountains), the sunlight is a number one thing to be aware of. Do not expose your unprotected skin directly to the sunlight for even short periods of time - apply a sun cream with appropriate protection factor. In hot days, make sure you protect your head as well and increase your water income to maximum. While Slovakia is far from being a desert, no one says the weather can‘t get nasty!
Best Season for Alpine Hiking
The best time to visit mountains and hills of Slovakia is definitely in the late spring/early autumn period. From May to September, Slovakian nature is ever changing and offers a great variety of astonishing views that you don’t want to miss. The downside is that (especially throughout the summer) you won’t be the only one who wants to enjoy Slovakia.
Winter season warning
Much like in any other mountain area, the winter in Slovakian mountains may get pretty tough. When driving your car anywhere in Slovakia throughout winter, make sure you slow down and keep slightly under the speed limit. Always check if the roads are icy before you start your car. It is a good thing to equip your car with snow chains, so that you have them ready if necessary. Snow tires are compulsory in winter! Drivers should also be aware of the fact that some roads are closed or without maintenance in winter and thus may become quite dangerous.
In winter, pedestrians, tourists and skiers are never allowed into a wild nature (and specifically marked tourist paths) unless they have an official confirmation, which is very rare. The reason why this is so strict is mainly because the avalanche risk in mountains is usually high.
The average rainfall in lowlands is about 600 millimeters per year, in midlands about 700 millimeters per year and the biggest average rainfall rate belongs to mountain areas – approximately 1500 millimeters per year. Majority of rainfall happens in June and July. Umbrellas are always essential though.
The warmest and the coolest places
The warmest regions in Slovakia are Podunajská nížina and Jihoslovenská kotlina. The coolest place, understandably, is Lomnicky Peak (2634 m) in High Tatras. Overall, southern places are much warmer then the northern regions, which are also more montainous.
The highest temperature ever documented in Slovakia is officially set to 40,3°C (measured in 2007 in Hurbanovo), while the lowest temperature ever measured in Slovakia reached –41 °C in Víglaš – Pstruša (recorded in 1929).