Czechoslovakia's central European location influences its
climate. Although the continental weather systems that dominate
Eastern Europe prevail throughout the country, western regions
are frequently influenced by the maritime weather prevalent in
Western Europe. When the systems to the north are weak,
Mediterranean weather may occasionally brush southern parts of
Winters are fairly cold, cloudy, and humid, although high
humidity and cloud cover tend to be more prevalent in valleys and
lower areas. Light rain or snow is frequent. The mountains are
covered with snow from early November through April, and
accumulations are deep in some places. Lower elevations rarely
have more than fifteen centimeters of snow cover at a time.
Summers are usually pleasant. There is heavy rainfall, but it
comes in sporadic showers, making for many warm, dry days with
scattered cumulus clouds. Prevailing winds are westerly; they are
usually light in summer (except during thunderstorms) and
somewhat stronger in winter.
Average temperatures in Prague, which is representative of
lowland cities in Bohemia and Moravia, range between about 1°C
January and about 19°C in July. Winters are chilly; summers
warm afternoons and cool evenings. In the eastern parts of the
country, the temperature extremes are greater. Higher elevations,
especially those with western exposures, usually have a narrower
temperature range but on the average are considerably cooler.
December, January, and February are the coldest months; June,
July, and August are the warmest. Spring tends to start late, and
autumn may come abruptly in middle or late September. At lower
elevations, frosts are rare between the end of April and the
beginning of October.
Rainfall varies widely between the plains and the upland
areas. Parts of western Bohemia receive only forty centimeters of
rainfall per year; some areas in the Vysoke Tatry average two
meters. The average rainfall in the vicinity of Prague is fortyeight centimeters. Precipitation varies more than in other areas
of Europe, which are often dominated by maritime weather systems;
consequently, droughts and floods sometimes occur.
Despite the greater frequency of precipitation during the
winter, more than twice as much precipitation, or about 38
percent, falls in the summer. The spring and autumn figures are
Data as of August 1987