Facts about Climate

Climatic conditions in Slovenia vary

Alpine climate in the north-west part of Slovenia. Logarska dolina. Photo: Igor Maher

There is a Continental climate in the northeast, harsh Alpine climate in the high mountain regions, and a sub-Mediterranean climate in the coastal region. Yet there is a strong interaction between these three climatic systems across most of the country. This variety is also reflected in climatic variability over time, and is an important factor determining the impact of global climate change in the country.

Continental climate in the central part of Slovenia. Photo: UKOM archive

Of course, average conditions do not reflect the variety of conditions that occur in the presence of different weather types, which are the main cause of variability. It is quite common for strong southwest winds to bring clouds and rain to the west of Slovenia, while sunny and relatively warm weather prevails in the eastern part. Alternatively, when winter low clouds and cold weather persists inland, in the Primorska region it is sunny, with a mild temperature.

Sub-mediterranean climate along the caost and its hinterland. Piran an attractive Adriatic seaside resort. Photo: STB archive

The air temperature in Slovenia has a well distinctive daily and yearly course

Sečovlje salt works. Photo: STB archive

The greatest differences between maximal and minimal rates occur in the northeast of Slovenia, where the influence of the continental climate is the strongest. The sea, which also has a certain influence on air temperature, acts like a large thermal storehouse and contributes to the narrower range of temperatures in the coastal region. The effect of the sea on temperature is also perceptible in the valley of the River Soča up to the Trenta Valley. Temperature trends clearly show there have been some changes during the last two decades: a trend of higher temperatures can be seen throughout the country.

Annual precipitation changes with years: the Julian Alps and the Dinaric-Alpine barrier receive the greatest amount; the second maximum is in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. The annual amount of precipitation declines with distance from the sea towards the northeastern part of the country, and in Prekmurje it falls to 800mm. Such a distribution is the consequence of the territory relief, but also of the fact that most of the precipitation is brought by southwest winds.

Snow – considerable differences across Slovenia

Škrlatica. Harsh Alpine climate in the high mountain regions. Photo: STB archive

The highest exposure to solar radiation is in the Primorska region, which is especially outstanding in winter, when the interior of the country is often covered with low clouds and fog. The frequency of heavy snowfall in low-lying areas reveals considerable differences across Slovenia. Snow cover is quite frequent in winter, in spite of the ever more frequent green winters. The deepest snow cover recorded in Ljubljana was in 1952, when it was 146cm thick.

Prekmurje (Over-Mura-Region). Photo: Zvone Šeruga

Slovenia is not very windy, with the exception of a strong, particularly gusty wind called the Burja (bora), and the Jugo. The Burja blows predominantly from the northeastern direction and is typical of the Vipava Valley, the Karst and the coastal region. It reaches velocities up to 45m/s. The Jugo reaches speeds up to 15m/s and blows from southwest to southeast before the cold front of a passing Mediterranean cyclone.