Actual Weather Conditions in Sicily
Sicily is a Mediterranean location places it directly in the middle of the Mediterranean climate zone, which only covers 2 percent of the Earth’s surface and is also called the dry summer subtropical climate. The Mediterranean climate is characterized by moderate temperatures, wet winters and dry summers. In the United States, Southern California is the only area with a Mediterranean climate zone similar to the climate of Sicily. Sicily’s climate also varies between its coastal and inland regions.
Sicily’s temperature is moderated by the warm Mediterranean sea and its location in proximity to the equators. Sea temperatures around Sicily range from around 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to approximately 80 degrees in the summer. The coastal regions of Sicily have pleasant spring daytime highs from March through May that begin around 60 degrees and warm to the mid-80s in May. When the Sicilian summer arrives, coastal regions have daytime highs in the 90s that last into September until the temperatures fall throughout autumn. It almost never falls below freezing on the coast, with daytime highs dropping no lower than 50 degrees in January, Sicily’s coolest month. The island’s inland mountain regions host temperatures about 15 degrees less than the coast throughout the year. In December and January, Mount Etna often receives snow and slush for skiing and sledding.
The alternating jet streams in the Mediterranean are the leading factors that contribute to the annual precipitation cycles in Sicily. During the summer the subtropical high keep the precipitation levels low by suppressing cloud development and precipitation, and the Westerlies control the wet winters. Sicily’s average annual rainfall is a little more than 23 inches per year with October, November and December as the wettest months with more than three inches of rain each month. June, July and August are the driest months with less than .05 inches of rain per month.
The Sirocco Winds are an important factor that sporadically affect Sicily’s climate. The winds are a mixture of the subtropical high and winds that originate in Arabia and the Sahara Desert. As the continental and maritime air mix, the circulation pushes the mixture across southern Europe. The Sirocco is responsible for storms and cold and wet weather in Sicily. The winds, which can be up to over 50 mph, typically occur in the fall and spring and may last for a half a day to several days.
Actual Sea Water Temperature