The Weather and Climate in Sardinia

Sardinia, or Sardegna as it is called in Italian, is a large island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Being an autonomous region of Italy, it preserved its own linguistic and cultural identity. The capital of the island is Cagliari, an ancient city with the unique and colorful history. Sardinia is an ideal destination for most time of the year thanks to its welcoming atmosphere and a typical mild Mediterranean climate.

Though Sardinia weather conditions vary throughout the year, they remain warm and comfortable overall. This is explained by the geographical location of the island and the large body of water surrounding it. Sardinia has rather high year average temperatures varying from about 13 °C in the inner part of the island where the mountains have the definite effect on weather patterns, to 16 °C in the coastal part of the island. The temperature difference between winter and summer seasons is just around 15 °C. The summers in Sardinia are usually hot with almost no precipitation, while the winters are mild and wet. As a rule, July and August are the hottest months and January and February are the coolest months throughout the year.

Temperature averages for Cagliari
Temperature records for Cagliari

Sardinia is exposed to approximately 300 days of sunshine during the year, so the clear and sunny days are not a rarity even in winter. The island receives from about 140 hours of sunshine in January to 340 hours in July. The water temperature averages from 13 °C in February to 23 °C in August. The swimming season is long – the water is usually warming up from 17 °C in May to 20 °C in June °C and reaching its 23 °C maximum in August. The water remains comfortable for swimming until November with its average 18 °C. In general, the Mediterranean Sea tends to be a bit warmer in the south coast of Sardinia.

Sardinia has the rainfall pattern typical of the Mediterranean climate. With just about 70 days of precipitation on average, it receives most of its quite low yearly 430 mm rainfall in winter and autumn. There can be also some heavy showers during the spring months. On the opposite, the summer months can often pass without having any significant precipitation at all. As a rule, the weather in the south is less rainy than in the north. The thunderstorm probability is distributed quite evenly across a year with the exception of September and October usually having more thunderstorms.

Precipitation averages for Cagliari
Days with thunderstorms in Cagliari

Sardinia has rather a high relative humidity throughout the year. For instance, in Cagliari the average annual humidity is 89% in the morning and 64% in the evening hours.

The average wind speed fluctuates around 16 km/h in Sardinia. Winds may come from different directions throughout the year. Yet, one of the most consistent and powerful winds is Mistral, the north-west fresh wind prevailing in the winter season. The south-east coast is exposed to Sirocco, the warm south wind blowing from Africa. Sirocco is common during the autumn and the spring. It’s not as consistent as Mistral and can last from half a day to several days. But sometimes it can become really strong and may even cause storms in the Mediterranean Sea. Mistral and Sirocco are well-known among windsurfers, kitesurfers and sailors coming to Sardinia. The other winds that can blow in Sardinia are the south-west Libeccio common throughout the year but more persistent in the summer, the easterly Levant occasionally blowing from May to October and some other minor winds.

Historical weather data source [as of 2011]: WeatherBase (www.weatherbase.com)

Further Information

To learn the detailed current weather conditions and 7 day forecasts for different places in Sardinia please check out the extended weather reports.