Morocco’s climate is certainly diverse – from Mediterranean, to High Mountain and Plateau, to Steppe, and to Hot Desert. Overall the climate could be classified as moderate and subtropical, cooled by breezes off the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Typically the climate gets hotter and drier the further south you go and travellers to the southern desert areas should prepare for cold nights, particularly in December and January. On the coast, the winter months, from November to March, tend to be rainy while mountain temperatures are cool. In the interior the temperatures are more extreme, winters can be fairly cold and the summers very hot.
Marrakech has a wonderful average winter temperature of 21ºC (70ºF) and summer temperatures can reach 100°F (38°C). If you don’t mind the heat of high summer then Marrakech makes a great all-year round destination. Rain falls rarely and overcast skies are infrequent, which means numerous blue sky days are experienced through the year. Summer evenings are exotically warm, winter evenings can be chilly – a light coat or fleece should suffice.
In the Atlas Mountains temperatures can drop below zero and mountain peaks are snow capped throughout most of the year. Oukaimeden in the High Atlas is a summer walking base and winter ski resort. The winter in the north of the country is wet and rainy, while in the south, at the edge of the Moroccan Sahara, it is dry and bitterly cold. Sunshine hours build up throughout the year from around 5 hours a day in January to 11 hours a day in July, falling back to 5 hours a day in December (Rabat averages).
In line with other popular destinations for travellers, certain places in Morocco are much busier during UK and French school holiday periods, in particular Christmas and Easter. Although the heat of high summer may put off some families, for others it is a real attraction, so July and August are still popular months.
August is also, traditionally, the month that Moroccans take their main annual holidays – coastal resorts are literally heaving during this period and accommodation can be scarce unless you book early. Out of holiday periods, Morocco is a real delight – the blossoms of early Spring and the balmy warm evenings of early Autumn – and without the crowds. If you are looking for winter sun then head for Marrakech, it has much to offer.
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