Podhale may be known for having 10 months of winter, but Zakopane takes the cake. There is no summer season here – defined by average daily temperatures of 15°C or higher. The period between April and October is one long stretch of spring and fall. Winter, on the other hand, lasts about 120 days with average daily temperatures below zero. You won’t find a summer here, no matter how hard you look.
When visiting Zakopane, you can expect a mountain climate, with an average annual temperature of 5.1°C and the coldest month being January (-2.5°C). However, the climate of different parts of the city varies considerably depending on the altitude and the local orographic system. A unique phenomenon of temperature inversion can often be observed from late fall to early spring.
This is due to cold air sinking to the lowest points of the valley. On winter days, the temperature difference between the city and the top of Kasprowy Wierch can be several degrees.
Average Weather Conditions
Zakopane enjoys a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The average annual temperature in the area is 10°C and the annual rainfall is 487 mm. It is dry for 159 days of the year, with a humidity of 83% and a UV index of 3. You can expect to find pleasant temperatures and occasional rain in Zakopane.
↳ Make sure to check out my guide to ALL attractions in Zakopane, so you don't overlook anything interesting: 66 Best Attractions in Zakopane 2023 – What to Do – Interesting Places
Most of the rain falls in June and July, and the least in February. It’s no wonder that it rains every second day in this beautiful valley. There are 187 days of rain during the year. If you’re lucky, you might even get some snow.
The record snowfall on Kasprowy Wierch was 355 cm on April 15, 1995. This is great news for tourists and vacationers. They can enjoy the snow and don’t have to worry about drivers and road services. So grab your umbrella and get ready for an adventure!
Please read more about the most interesting activities in Zakopane: Discovering the Best Sites of Krupówki: Zakopane’s Old Town
Climate Considerations in Zakopane
Zakopane’s climate has been praised for its minimal wind levels, with 295 days a year registering complete silence or wind speeds below 3 m/sec. Nowadays, however, the lack of wind is not so advantageous for people visiting this region due to the high level of pollution. The predominant wind is the „Oravian” – a cold westerly wind.
A local phenomenon is the foehn, or mountain breeze. It occurs when there is a low pressure system in the west and a high pressure system in the east. The air masses moving from south to north are forced to rise when they hit the Tatra Mountains. They cool by half a degree every 100 meters and form a heavy cloud bank over Giewont and Red Peaks.
When the air descends on the other side of the mountain, it warms up by one degree for every 100 meters and reaches the lower parts of the Tatras and Zakopane. The strongest foehn was recorded during the hurricane of May 6-7, 1968. Wind speeds of up to 280 km/h caused extensive damage to the Tatra forests. In Zakopane, these gusts can also be catastrophic. They can knock down trees, roofs and windows.
You may feel a little excited before the arrival of the Föhn wind. But for people with cardiovascular problems it can be dangerous. The lower air pressure in Zakopane can be a risk factor for people with heart problems, especially as it can fluctuate.
In general, the climate in Zakopane is energizing, stimulates the metabolism and helps in the treatment of many diseases.
However, the climate and geography are very different from the rest of Europe. It is a good idea to consult a doctor before visiting the Podhale region. You may find the climate beneficial, but it’s best to be prepared.
Seasonal Variations and Temperatures
Look at the table below to quickly find the average weather in Zakopane for each month, the temperature range and when it rains the most. You are looking at averages based on weather data from the last 30 years.
When is The Best Time to Visit Zakopane?
If you’re looking for the best time to visit Zakopane in Poland, you can’t go wrong with the months of June to August. You can expect pleasant temperatures and very little rain during this time. The highest average temperature is 21°C in July, while the lowest is -2°C in January.