Sfax Climate & Monthly Temperature Overview – Tunisia

Summer in Sfax

Sfax experiences hot and dry summers, with average temperatures ranging between 19°C (66°F) and 30°C (86°F). July and August are the hottest months, with average temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). Rainfall is scarce during the summer, with only occasional showers or thunderstorms. The sea temperature averages around 25°C (77°F), providing a refreshing respite from the heat.

Winter in Sfax

In contrast to the summer, winters in Sfax are mild and rainy, with average temperatures ranging between 8°C (46°F) and 15°C (59°F). December and January are the coldest months, with average temperatures dropping below 10°C (50°F). Rainfall is more frequent during the winter, with occasional showers or periods of drizzle. However, snowfall is extremely rare. The sea temperature during the winter drops to around 15°C (59°F), making swimming less enjoyable for most.

Summer Temperatures

Sfax, located on the eastern coast of Tunisia, experiences hot and dry summers, with average temperatures ranging from 24°C (75°F) to 32°C (90°F) between June and September. The highest temperatures occur in July and August, when they can reach a daily average of 28°C (82°F). This extreme heat is accompanied by low humidity levels, making it feel even hotter. With minimal rainfall during the summer months, the sun shines brightly for an extended period, creating an ideal climate for beachgoers and outdoor activities.

Winter Temperatures

In contrast to the scorching summer, Sfax’s winters are mild and pleasant, with average temperatures between 10°C (50°F) and 16°C (61°F) from December to February. January is typically the coldest month, with an average temperature of around 11°C (52°F). During this period, rainfall increases, bringing much-needed moisture to the region. Although not as pronounced as in the summer, the sun still makes regular appearances, contributing to the overall comfortable conditions of the winter season.

Cloud Characteristics

Clouds in Sfax, Tunisia, exhibit diverse characteristics, varying in types and coverage. Cumulus clouds, characterized by their puffy, cotton-like appearance, often appear during fair weather and can signal potential showers or thunderstorms. Stratus clouds, on the other hand, are sheet-like and cover the sky with a uniform gray blanket, typically accompanied by drizzle or light rain. Cirrus clouds, composed of ice crystals, are feathery and high in the atmosphere, indicating stable weather conditions.

Seasonal Variations

Cloud cover in Sfax experiences seasonal variations. During the summer months, the skies are predominantly clear or partly cloudy, with occasional cumulus clouds bringing isolated showers. However, as autumn approaches, cloud cover increases, and the frequency of stratus and nimbostratus clouds rises, bringing increased precipitation. The winter months witness the most significant cloud coverage, with a higher likelihood of overcast skies and rain or snow. In spring, cloud cover gradually decreases, giving way to more sunshine hours before the summer’s return.

Annual Precipitation Trends

Sfax, Tunisia is characterized by a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Annual precipitation in Sfax typically ranges between 150 to 250 millimeters, making it a semi-arid region. Rainfall is concentrated during the winter months from October to March, with January and February receiving the highest amounts. Summer months are generally dry, with little to no precipitation.

Seasonality and Variability

The seasonality of precipitation in Sfax is strongly influenced by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). During positive NAO phases, precipitation tends to be higher in the winter months, while negative NAO phases are associated with drier conditions. Interannual variability in precipitation is also influenced by other factors, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Mediterranean Oscillation (MO). These climate phenomena can modulate precipitation patterns, leading to extreme rainfall events or prolonged droughts.

Rainfall Patterns in Sfax, Tunisia

Sfax, a coastal city in southeastern Tunisia, experiences a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Rainfall in Sfax is highly seasonal, with the majority occurring during the autumn and winter months. The average annual rainfall is approximately 250 mm, significantly lower than the national average for Tunisia.

During the summer months (June to September), rainfall is sporadic and often limited to brief showers. Temperatures soar during this period, with average highs reaching over 30°C. The lack of rainfall during the summer contributes to the city’s arid environment and dry vegetation, including olive trees and palm groves. In contrast, the autumn and winter months (October to March) bring a significant increase in rainfall, notably in November and December. The average monthly rainfall during these months can exceed 50 mm, leading to occasional flooding in low-lying areas.

January 2023 Snowfall Event

In January 2023, the city of Sfax, Tunisia, experienced an unprecedented snowfall event. The city is located on the eastern coast of Tunisia and has a subtropical climate, making snowfall a rare occurrence. However, on January 24, a cold front from Europe brought heavy snowfall to the region, transforming the city into a winter wonderland.

The snowfall began in the early hours of the morning and continued for several hours, accumulating to a depth of about 5 inches (12 centimeters) by mid-afternoon. The snow covered the streets, buildings, and trees, creating a beautiful and surreal scene. The snowfall also brought with it sub-freezing temperatures, dropping down to -4 degrees Celsius (24.8 degrees Fahrenheit).


Sfax, Tunisia, experiences a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The city is located on the Gulf of Gabes, which moderates the temperatures slightly compared to inland areas. During the summer months (June to September), the average high temperature is around 28°C (82°F), and the average low temperature is around 20°C (68°F). The winters (December to February) are generally mild, with average high temperatures around 15°C (59°F) and average low temperatures around 7°C (45°F). Rainfall is infrequent and sporadic throughout the year, with an average annual precipitation of around 250 mm (10 inches).


Sfax is known for its abundant sunshine throughout the year. The city enjoys an average of over 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, with the highest levels occurring during the summer months. During the summer, the sun typically shines for 10-12 hours per day, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation. The clear skies and warm temperatures make Sfax an ideal destination for those seeking a sunny getaway. Even during the winter months, the sun often makes an appearance, providing respite from the cooler weather. The presence of sunshine throughout the year contributes to the city’s vibrant and lively atmosphere, creating a welcoming environment for both locals and visitors alike.

Moon’s Visibility in Sfax

Sfax, a coastal city in eastern Tunisia, is well-positioned for observing the Moon. The city’s clear skies and proximity to the Mediterranean Sea create optimal conditions for lunar viewing. The Moon is visible for most of the year, with the best times for observation being during the spring and summer months. During this period, the Moon’s orbit brings it closer to the celestial equator, resulting in higher positions in the sky and longer durations of visibility.

Moon Phases Visible in Sfax

As the Moon revolves around the Earth, it goes through various phases, including the new moon, crescent moon, first quarter moon, full moon, and third quarter moon. All these phases are visible in Sfax throughout the year. During the new moon phase, the Moon is not visible as it lies between the Earth and the Sun. As the Moon moves around the Earth, it becomes increasingly illuminated, appearing as a crescent moon. The first quarter moon is visible as a quarter circle, while the full moon is a complete circle illuminated by the Sun. The third quarter moon appears as another quarter circle as the Moon continues its orbit.

Seasonal Variations in Humidity

Humidity levels in Sfax, Tunisia exhibit distinct seasonal patterns. During the summer months (June to September), the air is typically hot and humid, with average relative humidity levels ranging from 60% to 75%. This is due to the influence of warm, moisture-laden winds from the Mediterranean Sea. In the shoulder months (May and October), humidity levels gradually decrease, as the temperatures become more moderate.

Annual Averages and Extremes

On an annual basis, the average relative humidity in Sfax is around 60%. However, there can be significant variations from year to year. In particularly dry years, humidity levels may drop below 50%, while in wet years, they can exceed 70%. The lowest humidity levels typically occur during the summer months, when hot, dry winds can blow in from the Sahara Desert. Conversely, the highest humidity levels are usually experienced during the winter months (December to February), when cool, moist air masses move in from the Mediterranean.

Wind Speed and Direction

Sfax, located on the eastern coast of Tunisia, experiences a moderate to strong wind throughout the year. The wind speed averages between 15 and 25 kilometers per hour (9-16 miles per hour), with higher gusts during the summer months. The prevailing wind direction is from the north-northeast, bringing cool, moist air from the Mediterranean Sea. During the summer, winds from the east and southeast, known as “blows,” can bring hot, dry air from the Sahara Desert.

Impact on Climate and Economy

The wind plays a significant role in shaping Sfax’s climate and economy. The prevailing north-northeast wind helps regulate temperatures, preventing extreme heat or cold. The strong winds also create a unique coastal environment, promoting sand dune formation and shaping the city’s coastline. Additionally, the wind has played a historical role in Sfax’s economy, particularly in the shipping and fishing industries. The natural harbor of Sfax has been a strategic port since ancient times, and the strong winds have made it an attractive location for shipbuilders and maritime trade.

Spring (March-May)

Spring in Sfax is characterized by pleasant temperatures and ample sunshine, making it an ideal time to explore the city. The average temperature ranges from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F), providing comfortable weather for outdoor activities. The skies are typically clear, with little to no rainfall, allowing for ample opportunities to soak up the Mediterranean sun. This season is particularly popular with nature enthusiasts as the surrounding countryside comes alive with blooming flowers and greenery. The Sfax National Park, located just outside the city, offers scenic hiking trails amidst a diverse array of flora and fauna.

Autumn (September-November)

Autumn in Sfax offers a vibrant display of colors as the leaves on the trees transform into shades of gold and crimson. The temperatures remain mild, ranging from 18°C (64°F) to 28°C (82°F), creating an idyllic atmosphere for leisurely walks or bike rides along the scenic corniche. The sea temperatures are also still warm enough for swimming and water sports. The beaches are less crowded during this time, providing a tranquil respite to enjoy the stunning views and gentle breezes. Additionally, the city’s vibrant markets bustle with activity as locals prepare for the upcoming winter season.

Potential and Development:

Sfax, located in southeastern Tunisia, possesses immense potential for solar energy utilization. The region enjoys abundant sunshine throughout the year, with an average of over 3,000 hours of sunlight annually. This favorable climate has attracted significant investments in solar projects, including the construction of a 100-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, one of the largest in the country. Additionally, other smaller-scale projects have been implemented, such as rooftop solar installations and solar water heaters, contributing to the city’s transition towards clean energy.

Benefits and Challenges:

Harnessing solar energy offers numerous benefits for Sfax. Firstly, it reduces reliance on fossil fuels, enhancing energy security and minimizing environmental impact. Secondly, solar power generation creates local employment opportunities, stimulates economic growth, and reduces energy costs for businesses and households. However, challenges remain, including the intermittency of solar energy and the need for efficient energy storage solutions. Additionally, ensuring grid stability and managing the variability of solar output requires innovative solutions and grid infrastructure upgrades.

General Topography

Sfax is located in central-eastern Tunisia, situated on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Gabes. The city’s topography is predominantly flat, with low-lying plains and gently undulating hills dominating its immediate surroundings. The coastal zone is characterized by sandy beaches, dunes, and salt marshes, gradually transitioning to a more arid interior landscape. Sfax is interspersed with numerous wadis (seasonal watercourses) that typically remain dry during most of the year but flood during heavy rainfall.

Distinctive Features

Two prominent topographical features characterize Sfax’s urban landscape. The old city of Medina, located in the city center, is built on a small hill overlooking the Gulf of Gabes. Its narrow streets, historic fortifications, and traditional architecture contrast with the more modern developments found in the surrounding areas. Additionally, the Punic Port, an ancient harbor built during the Carthaginian period, is situated north of Medina. Its strategic location has played a vital role in Sfax’s maritime heritage and remains an important landmark in the city’s geography.

Tunis–Carthage International Airport (TUN)

Tunis–Carthage International Airport (IATA: TUN, ICAO: DTTA) is the closest airport to Sfax, Tunisia. It is located approximately 130 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of the city. The airport is served by a number of major airlines, including Tunisair, Lufthansa, Air France, and British Airways. There are direct flights from Tunis–Carthage International Airport to cities throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

From Tunis–Carthage International Airport, there are a number of ways to get to Sfax. The most convenient option is to take a taxi. The journey takes approximately 2 hours and costs around 60 Tunisian dinars (about 20 euros). There is also a bus service from the airport to Sfax. The journey takes approximately 3 hours and costs around 15 Tunisian dinars (about 5 euros).

Culture and Heritage

Sfax is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage. Its old medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a labyrinth of narrow streets lined with traditional houses and shops. The Kasbah, a former military fortress, is now home to a historical museum and offers panoramic views of the city. Sfax is also known for its traditional pottery and ceramics, which are popular souvenirs.

Economic Hub

Sfax is a major economic center in Tunisia, particularly known for its phosphate industry and port facilities. The city is home to several large industrial zones and is a major exporter of agricultural products. In recent years, Sfax has also developed a significant tourism sector, attracting visitors with its historical sites, beaches, and cultural events.