Marrakesh Morocco rainIf you haven’t taken a holiday package to Morocco before, you may have little idea of this country’s varied climate.  The Moroccan climate may differ widely depending on the region or the time of year. You can experience warmer, pleasant temperatures on the coastal regions, both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Further inland, the weather becomes hotter and more arid year round. And during the winter months of December and January, nighttime temperatures drop significantly.

During the height of summer, the heat of daytime temperatures is downright oppressive, especially in cities like Fez, Marrakesh and toward the southwest. In contrast, cities like Essaouira, Rabat and Casablanca are a bit cooler due to their exposure to ocean breezes.

The Atlas Mountains region is far less predictable, and weather depends in large part on the elevation. The winters are quite cold from November through March with plenty of snowfall, but the summers are mild but sunny. Northern Morocco may get light snow showers from time to time in the winter. The form of precipitation is often based on whether you are venturing to the High or the Middle Atlas Mountains. Rainfall is more common in the Middle Atlas between November and February.

The weather on the Atlantic coast is beautiful and warm in the summer—the perfect beach climate if you wish to lounge beneath the sun. Cooler temperatures make this region a welcome escape from the hotter interior during the summer. The water is warm and welcoming; you may enjoy both swimming and water sports.

If you are interested in venturing into the Sahara Desert, you may want to set your plans for the fall or early spring. The temperatures in the Western Sahara can be incredibly high and the climate is extremely dry during the daytime.  By night, desert temperatures plunge noticeably. If you are there in March or April, it is possible that you could encounter blinding sandstorms that can emerge out of nowhere.

Because Morocco’s weather varies from one region to the next, travelers should have a good selection of clothing appropriate to different climates if they wish to explore different parts of the country.

Lightweight cotton and linen fabrics are the best options during the summer. Heavier clothing or medium-weight wear is great for the cooler evenings, during the winter months or if you are in the mountains. Since there are wet seasons along the coastal regions of the north and west, you may want clothing that is waterproof. The same holds true for winter wear. Be prepared for inclement weather and pack accordingly.

Written by Shaun Kilgore.

Photo by Koke..