What’s The Weather Like In Madeira?
What’s the weather like in Madeira? Well, to start off with, which part of Madeira are you asking about and at what time of the year? As the locals say, you can experience all 4 seasons in one day!
North vs South
The north side of the island takes all the punishment. The trade winds travel down the Atlantic and hit the north coast brining with them rain and cool air. The high mountains act as a barrier to the more densely populated, “sunnier” side of the island, the south side. 90 percent of the population live on the south side, being the better habitat for agriculture and transport and I think it’s safe to say that 90 percent of tourists flock to the south side, especially those looking for sun.
The southwest is the place to be for more guaranteed sun; Ribeira Brava, Ponta do Sol and Calheta boast the best climates on the island followed by Funchal, Camera de lobos and Machico. Funchal still being a favourite with most tourists because of the centrality of the capital city and the array of choice.
The north side is all about nature. Smaller villages and quieter stays are the rewards for putting up with the elements. Personally, I find the north side extremely beautiful and mystical and you can’t go wrong staying in Santana, Porto Da Cruz, Porto Moniz or Arco de Sao Jorge to name a few. Expect some rain and colder temperatures as well as the need to drive or pay more in taxi fares.
Temperatures decrease with altitude. In the mountains, especially above 1,500 meters (5,000 feet), snowfall and frost can occur in winter. The record is -9.5 °C (15 °F), recorded in Bica da Cana, at 1,580 meters (5,185 ft), in March 1993.
On the coast, daytime temperatures hover around 20/21 degrees Celsius (68/70 °F) from December to April, and reach 25/26 °C (77/79 °F) from July to October.
It rarely gets cold, however, from January to March there can be cool days, with highs around 15 °C (59 °F). The coldest record in Funchal is 7.5 °C (45.5 °F), recorded in March 2011, when snowfalls above 500 meters (1,650 feet) occurred in inland areas.
In the period from June to October, Madeira can be affected by the Leste, a hot, dry wind blowing from the Sahara, which can raise the temperature and bring a fine red powder. Typically, the temperature does not exceed 32 °C (89.5 °F), however, the heat record at Funchal airport is 37 °C (98.5 °F), recorded in September 1988 and in July 2012.
In Funchal, the average temperature of the coldest month (February) is of 16.6 °C (62 °F), that of the warmest months (August, September) is of 23.2 °C (74 °F). However, the city climbs hills up to an altitude of 800 meters (2,600 ft), and the higher neighborhoods are cooler and cloudier.
Sea water temperature
The average temperature of sea water is relatively high and varies regularly throughout the year between about 17ºC in March and 22ºC in August and September.
The values observed for sea water temperature in the region rarely drop below 15°C and rarely exceed 25 ºC.
If you want to be swimming everyday, in the ocean, stick to the south coast, Lido area is the best (Funchal)
Don’t trust the weather forecast. There are various tunnels on the island where you can enter with sun and exit with rain, people don’t usually believe me when I mention this but it’s very true. Often the forecast is wrong or it’s monitoring the wrong place!
The best you can do is to be prepared for anything, layers of clothing, sunscreen, waterproofs, closed shoes if you’re adventuring and of course hiking boots when on the trails, including levada walks!
Don’t stress the weather, it’s all part of the experience!
For your viewing pleasure, we made a video guide of everything you need to know regarding the weather in Madeira, which you can see here;
And that’s it guys and gals, if you need anything, please just ask and of course looking forward to having you in Madeira soon!
Let’s hit the road!!