Whew, woke up this morning to find a distinctive chill in the air (13C/55F) and had to wear a jacket for the first time in months to make a quick run (ok, stroll :P) to the neighborhood store.
Romania has approximately three large geographic zones (see my post here) but they all have roughly the same weather. Obviously higher elevations (mountains) are going to be colder year-round and have more snow, and generally the southernmost locales are warmer.
Romania has a true four-season “continental climate” that rarely gets extremely cold or hot for long periods of time.
Generally speaking you can expect the following when planning your trip/move to Romania:
Roughly starting in September and lasting until sometime early in December, the temperatures are often quite crisp and cool at night but still fairly warm in the daytime.
Definitely too cool to go to the beach (minus a few brief warm days in early September) but snow is quite rare. The leaves begin to turn and cheeks start to redden but a far cry from the true depths of winter.
Due to the fact that Romania is at a (relatively) high latitude, the days are incredibly short and the air is often incredibly cold during winter, approximately December through February. The snowfall usually kicks in right around the end of the year and while rarely voluminous it can be quite persistent.
This and a combination of cold rain, icy rain, slush and sleet can make winter a very, very dreary and brutal experience. The only reason to come here in winter is to partake in winter sports.
Approximately running from March through May, the sun begins to lift its head and breathe life into the planet once again but warmer temperatures are a long time coming. Considering how cold and dreary winter can be, a small rise in temperatures feels good but it’s still often quite blustery and cold.
Usually there’s one last “surprise” snow storm in either the end of March or beginning of April.
Almost always serendipitously on May 1, the summer sun peeps its head out and the air truly warms up enough for T-shirts.
Nonetheless, very few locales in Romania get truly, blazingly hot until around the early part of July, with the “dog days” (Rom: canicula) of August being particularly brutal. This period usually (thankfully) lasts only a couple of short weeks.
The inverse of winter, the days of summer in Romania are usually quite sunny and long with daylight lasting over 14 hours at some points.
When to Visit
In terms of weather for visiting, anytime from May to mid-July would be absolutely perfect in terms of it being warm, the sun shining and yet not so hot as to sap your spirit.
Romania is an amazingly fertile country and this is partly a result of regular precipitation year-round. Therefore it can rain (or snow) at just about any time of year yet it is rarely onerous (albeit in June of this year it rained almost non-stop for 3 weeks, something unusual).
For current weather conditions in Romania I highly recommend Weather Underground.
If you click on a city, the site also has a nice feature called “History and Almanac” where you can find out the weather in years past, allowing you to fairly accurately gauge what to expect if you’re planning a trip here in the future.