Cyprus is a very sunny island enjoying a Mediterranean climate bordering on subtropical. Summers are hot while winters are very mild, especially the coastal regions. It is this kind of climate that gives the island its all year round tourism.
This general description takes no account of the variations that can occur from year to year. Summer is perhaps the most reliable season running from mid May through until mid September. It is a season of endless blue skies and over the whole of this period there is an average of 11.5 hours of sunshine each day. Rainfall is limited to occasional thunderstorms. Daytime temperatures in July and August are very high, usually in the mid 30’s but sometimes as high as 40 C. Night time temperatures too can be uncomfortably high at 22 or 23 C. Sea temperatures in the height of summer reach 27 C
Autumn is a favourite season for many with temperatures still warm and averaging 29 C in October and 23 C in November. Some rain can be expected when November is reached but there is no certainty. It is the late autumn, winter and spring when variations to the norm are experienced.
Winter is mostly described as mild and wet but the rainfall is not reliable. When it does rain much of the water is absorbed by the extremely dry soil so, even in moderately wet winters, it does not contribute enough to the island’s needs. Drought years are not uncommon and it impacts seriously on water supplies when a sequence of dry winters occurs. Equally, winters of heavy rainfall can be experienced but the trend over decades has been to a steady decrease in rainfall. Daylength on the shortest day in December is still 9.8 hours with an average of 5.5 hours of sunshine. With the sun shining and a temperature around 14 C, it is still possible to sunbathe in a sheltered spot. Sea temperatures in winter fall to 16 or 17 C.
January and February are the true winter months with the coolest temperatures, around 12 C, and the highest risk of rainfall. Even so, the spring flowers are already spurting into growth with a good number, including terrestrial orchids coming into flower. March to May are the spring months with the risk of showers still present but diminishing as the season develops. With the daylength increasing and the temperature rising, the island it at its greenest and most floriferous.