Guimaraes Climate & Monthly Temperature Overview – Portugal

Summer (June-August)

Summer in Guimarães is characterized by warm, sunny weather, with average temperatures ranging between 15°C (59°F) and 30°C (86°F). The warmest months are July and August, when temperatures can reach up to 40°C (104°F). June and August also see the most rainfall, with an average of 10-12 days of precipitation each. However, these showers are typically brief and intermittent.

Autumn (September-November)

Autumn brings cooler temperatures and less rainfall. The average temperature in September is 18°C (64°F), while in November it drops to 12°C (54°F). October is the driest month of the year, with an average of only 5 days of precipitation. Autumn is a popular time for outdoor activities, as the weather is generally mild and pleasant.

Average Temperature in Guimaraes, Portugal

Guimarães, a captivating city nestled in northern Portugal, boasts a moderate oceanic climate. Throughout the year, the city experiences relatively mild temperatures, with distinct seasonal variations. During the summer months (June-August), Guimarães basks in warm and sunny weather. The average temperature during this period typically ranges between 15-25°C (59-77°F), making it an ideal time for outdoor activities and exploring the city’s historic charm.

In the winter months (December-February), Guimarães experiences cooler temperatures, with an average temperature ranging from 5-12°C (41-54°F). While precipitation is common during this season, the city typically enjoys occasional sunny intervals, allowing visitors to appreciate the city’s architectural heritage amidst the picturesque winter landscape. Spring and autumn in Guimarães are characterized by mild and pleasant temperatures, with average temperatures ranging from 10-18°C (50-64°F). These seasons provide a perfect opportunity to explore the city’s verdant surroundings, vibrant culture, and rich history.

Cloud Formation and Types

Guimarães, located in northern Portugal, experiences a diverse range of clouds in its temperate climate. Cloud formation is influenced by several factors, including atmospheric temperature, moisture content, and wind patterns. Guimarães lies within the mid-latitude zone, where prevailing westerly winds bring moisture from the Atlantic Ocean. As this air rises and cools, it condenses into clouds. The most common types of clouds observed in Guimarães include cirrus, stratus, cumulus, and nimbus. Cirrus clouds are thin, wispy, and high-altitude, while stratus clouds are low-level and form a uniform layer covering the sky. Cumulus clouds are puffy and can develop into taller forms known as cumulonimbus, which produce thunderstorms.

Cloud Cover and Precipitation

The amount and type of cloud cover in Guimarães vary throughout the year. Winter months experience more overcast days, with high levels of humidity and frequent precipitation. During summer, clearer skies prevail, with warm and sunny conditions. Cloud cover can significantly impact temperature and humidity levels. Overcast skies can provide shade and reduce solar radiation, while clear skies allow for increased sunshine and warmer temperatures. Precipitation is common in Guimarães, with average annual rainfall exceeding 1,000 millimeters. Rain, snow, or hail can occur depending on the season and weather conditions, with heavier precipitation associated with frontal systems and thunderstorms.

Seasonal Variability

Guimaraes, located in northern Portugal, experiences distinct seasonal variations in precipitation. During the wet season, from October to May, the region receives the majority of its annual rainfall. Frontal systems bringing moist air from the Atlantic Ocean frequent the area throughout this period, leading to frequent showers and overcast skies. The dry season, from June to September, is characterized by fewer rainfall events and drier conditions. High pressure systems dominate during this time, hindering the formation of clouds and precipitation.

Geographic Distribution

Precipitation in Guimaraes exhibits a somewhat heterogeneous distribution due to its topography. The Serra da Estrela mountain range, located to the east of the city, acts as a barrier for moisture-bearing winds from the Atlantic. As a result, the western slopes of the range receive considerably higher rainfall than the eastern slopes. Additionally, the coastal area of Guimaraes tends to have more precipitation than inland areas, as it is more directly exposed to Atlantic air masses.

Seasonal Rainfall Patterns

Guimarães experiences distinct seasonal rainfall patterns, heavily influenced by its temperate maritime climate. Winters are characterized by abundant rainfall, with the wettest months being December and January, when precipitation can exceed 100mm. Rainfall is also common in spring and autumn, but to a lesser extent. Conversely, summers are typically dry, with July and August receiving less than 30mm of rainfall combined.

Annual Rainfall and Climate Change

On average, Guimarães receives around 1,300mm of rainfall annually. However, recent years have witnessed a trend towards increased variability and intensity of rainfall events. Climate change is believed to be a contributing factor, leading to more frequent extreme weather occurrences, including heavy rainfall and flash floods. These events can pose significant challenges to urban infrastructure and local communities, requiring proactive adaptation measures to mitigate their potential impacts.

Characteristics and Frequency

Guimarães, a charming medieval town in northern Portugal, experiences snowfall with varying intensity and frequency. The snowfall in Guimarães is characterized by its unpredictable nature, with some winters seeing significant snowfall while others remain largely snowless. Typically, snowfall occurs during the coldest months of the year, between December and February, and tends to be accompanied by cold temperatures and occasional icy conditions. The snow cover can range from a light dusting to several centimetres deep, occasionally reaching ankle or knee height. While snowfall is not an everyday occurrence, it is not uncommon for Guimarães to experience at least one or two significant snow events each winter.

Impact and Local Life

When snowfall occurs in Guimarães, it brings with it a picturesque transformation of the town’s historic streets and landmarks. The medieval castle, the Paço dos Duques, and other notable buildings become adorned with a blanket of white, creating a captivating winter wonderland. The snowfall can disrupt daily life to some extent, leading to temporary school closures, traffic delays, and general travel disruptions. However, the snowfall also brings a sense of joy and excitement to the community, as locals and visitors alike embrace the opportunity to engage in winter activities such as snowball fights, sledding, and snowshoeing. The snowfall typically persists for a few days before melting away, leaving behind a refreshing and enchanting winter landscape.

Sun in Guimaraes, Portugal

Guimarães is blessed with an abundance of sunshine throughout the year. During the summer months (June to September), the city basks in warm and sunny conditions. Temperatures typically reach the mid-20s Celsius (mid-70s Fahrenheit), making it ideal for outdoor activities such as exploring the historic center, visiting the castle, or relaxing in one of the city’s many parks. The skies are predominantly clear with occasional light breezes, providing perfect weather for sightseeing and al fresco dining.

In the shoulder months (April, May, October, and November), Guimarães experiences a mix of sunshine and occasional rainfall. Temperatures range from the mid-teens to the mid-20s Celsius (low 60s to low 70s Fahrenheit). The sun still shines for many hours each day, but it is advisable to pack a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. The fresh air and pleasant temperatures make it a delightful time to walk around the city and enjoy the scenery. During the winter months (December to March), Guimarães has fewer hours of sunshine and temperatures can drop below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). However, the city still experiences occasional sunny spells, particularly during the afternoon hours.

History of the Moon in Guimarães, Portugal

The first written record of the Moon’s presence in Guimarães, Portugal dates back to the 12th century. In a charter from 1128, Count Henry of Burgundy granted the town of Guimarães the right to use the Moon as its symbol. The Moon was likely chosen as a symbol of Guimarães because of its association with the Virgin Mary, who is the patron saint of the town. The Moon is often depicted in conjunction with the Virgin Mary in Christian art, and it is thought that the association between the two began in the early days of the Church, when the Moon was seen as a symbol of the Church’s purity and virginity.

Moon in Guimarães Today

The Moon continues to be an important symbol of Guimarães today. It is depicted on the town’s coat of arms and flag, and it is used in a variety of other ways to represent the town. The Moon is also a popular tourist destination in Guimarães. Visitors can see the Moon depicted in a variety of places throughout the town, including on the walls of the castle, in the town square, and in the churches. The Moon is a reminder of Guimarães’ long and rich history, and it is a symbol of the town’s pride and identity.

Annual Humidity in Guimarães, Portugal

Guimarães, a historic city in northern Portugal, experiences significant variation in humidity throughout the year. The annual average relative humidity is around 80%, with higher levels during the cooler months and lower levels during the summer. The highest humidity levels typically occur in January and February, when the average relative humidity can reach up to 90%. Conversely, the lowest humidity levels are typically observed in July and August, when the average relative humidity drops to around 60-70%.

Seasonal Humidity Variations in Guimarães, Portugal

During the spring months of March to May, the humidity levels in Guimarães gradually decrease as temperatures begin to rise. By June and July, the humidity reaches its lowest point, creating a more comfortable and dry climate. However, as summer progresses into August and September, the humidity levels start to increase again as temperatures cool. This trend continues into the autumn months of October and November, when the humidity levels reach their peak before slowly decreasing again in December.

Impact of Humidity on Guimarães’ Environment and Lifestyle

The high humidity levels in Guimarães can impact the local environment and lifestyle in several ways. The humid air can contribute to the growth of mold and mildew, particularly in areas with poor ventilation. Additionally, the high humidity levels can make it feel hotter and more uncomfortable during the warmer months, as the body has to work harder to cool down. On the other hand, the moisture in the air can also be beneficial for vegetation, as it helps to create a lush and green landscape. Guimarães’ historic buildings, many of which are made from stone and plaster, can be susceptible to damage from high humidity levels, which can lead to erosion and decay over time.

Seasonal Winds

Guimarães, a picturesque city in northern Portugal, experiences distinct seasonal wind patterns influenced by its geographical location. During the summer months, a predominant northwest wind prevails, carrying cool and refreshing air from the Atlantic Ocean. This wind is particularly noticeable in the coastal areas of Guimarães, where it offers welcome relief from the summer heat. In contrast, during the winter months, the wind shifts to a more northerly or northeasterly direction, often bringing with it cold and misty air from the surrounding hills and mountains. These seasonal wind patterns significantly impact Guimarães’s climate, creating a pleasant and temperate atmosphere during much of the year.

Wind Patterns and Outdoor Activities

The prevailing winds in Guimarães play a significant role in shaping the city’s outdoor pursuits. During the summer, the northwest wind provides favorable conditions for sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing along the nearby beaches. The steady and reliable wind attracts enthusiasts to these water sports, creating an ideal environment for both experienced and novice participants. Conversely, during the winter months, the strong northerly or northeasterly winds can pose challenges for these activities, making it advisable to seek sheltered areas or alternative indoor options. Despite these seasonal variations, Guimarães offers year-round opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, cycling, and exploring the city’s charming historical center, where the interplay of wind and architecture creates a unique and unforgettable experience.

Spring (March-May)

Spring is an ideal time to visit Guimaraes, Portugal, offering pleasant temperatures, fewer crowds, and vibrant landscapes. The city awakens from its winter slumber, with flowers blooming in profusion and the air filled with sweet fragrances. Explore the iconic Castle of Guimaraes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and immerse yourself in the city’s rich history. Stroll through the charming streets, admiring the medieval architecture and visiting the numerous churches and museums. Take advantage of the mild weather to embark on picturesque hikes in the surrounding Serra da Penha, enjoying panoramic views of the city and its environs.

Fall (September-November)

Fall is another excellent season to experience Guimaraes, boasting milder temperatures and fewer tourists. The city’s streets are adorned with vibrant autumn hues as the leaves of trees transform into shades of gold, orange, and red. This is an ideal time for photography and capturing the captivating beauty of the city’s architecture, churches, and public squares. Explore the Largo da Oliveira, a lively square lined with cafes and restaurants, and indulge in the local gastronomy, including traditional dishes such as bacalhau (salt cod) and arroz de sarrabulho (pork and rice stew). Take advantage of the pleasant fall weather to embark on cycling or hiking trails in the nearby mountains, enjoying breathtaking views of the region’s forests and valleys.

Potential for Solar Energy

Guimarães, Portugal, enjoys abundant sunlight throughout the year, making it an ideal location for solar energy. The average annual solar radiation in Guimarães is around 1,800 kWh/m², indicating a high potential for generating solar electricity. This favorable climate allows for efficient photovoltaic systems that can significantly reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote sustainable energy practices.

Current Solar Energy Projects

There are several ongoing solar energy projects in Guimarães. One notable example is the GuimarSolar photovoltaic plant, which became operational in 2019. With a capacity of 4.7 MW, GuimarSolar generates enough electricity to power approximately 2,500 homes. The project not only contributes to the city’s renewable energy goals but also creates local employment opportunities and fosters economic development through green technologies. Additionally, Guimarães is exploring innovative solar energy applications, such as solar thermal systems for water heating and solar-powered public lighting, further demonstrating its commitment to a sustainable future.

Monte da Penha

Monte da Penha is a granite mountain located in the Serra do Marão region of Portugal. It is the highest point in the municipality of Guimarães, with an elevation of 618 meters (2,028 feet) above sea level. The mountain is a popular destination for hikers and climbers, and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The summit of Monte da Penha is home to a 16th-century monastery, which is a popular pilgrimage site.

Salado River

The Salado River is a tributary of the Ave River in Portugal. It originates in the Serra do Marão mountains and flows through the municipalities of Guimarães and Fafe. The river is approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) long and is an important source of water for the region. The Salado River is also a popular destination for fishing, canoeing, and other recreational activities.

Porto Airport (OPO)

Porto Airport, also known as Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, is the nearest airport to Guimarães, Portugal. Located approximately 56 kilometers west of Guimarães, Porto Airport is the second-busiest airport in Portugal, handling both domestic and international flights. The airport offers a wide range of direct connections to major cities in Europe, including London, Paris, Madrid, and Amsterdam. Passengers can easily reach Guimarães from Porto Airport via bus, train, or taxi. The journey typically takes around 1-1.5 hours by bus or train, and around 45 minutes by taxi.

Alternative Airports

While Porto Airport is the nearest and most convenient option for air travel to Guimarães, there are alternative airports that may be considered depending on availability and flight routes. These include:

  • Vigo-Peinador Airport (VGO) in Spain, located approximately 120 kilometers northwest of Guimarães.
  • Lisbon Airport (LIS), located approximately 370 kilometers south of Guimarães.
  • Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ) in Spain, located approximately 200 kilometers northwest of Guimarães.

City Overview

Guimarães, nestled in the northwest of Portugal, boasts a rich tapestry of history and culture. As the “Birthplace of Portugal,” it holds profound significance in the nation’s identity. Guimarães played a pivotal role in the Reconquista, the gradual reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors during the Middle Ages. Its strategic location and the founding of the Portuguese monarchy in 1139 cemented its status as a cornerstone of the nascent nation.

Today, Guimarães stands as a testament to its storied past. The historic center of the city, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, encapsulates an evocative medieval ambiance. Visitors can wander through narrow cobblestone streets lined with traditional houses, charming shops, and historic landmarks. The centerpiece of the old town is the imposing Guimarães Castle, a 10th-century fortress that served as the residence of the first Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques. Its towering walls and imposing keep provide a glimpse into the city’s feudal origins.