Hagia Sofia in Istanbul

All year weather in Istanbul

Istanbul is the biggest city in Turkey - but not its capital city. This is the place where you find the great Hagia Sofia.

Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey with a population reaching over 14 million, is a transcontinental city. A transcontinental city is exactly what it sounds like - a city that spans across countries. Istanbul stretches from its European, which is where its centre is located, to Asia where around one third of the city's population lives.

Annual Weather Averages for Istanbul

Temp ↓
January → 6 °C
February → 6 °C
Mars → 8 °C
April → 12 °C
May → 16 °C
June → 22 °C
July → 24 °C
August → 24 °C
September → 21 °C
October → 16 °C
November → 12 °C
December → 8 °C

Hottest and coldest months in Istanbul

Highest peak average temperatures:
28 °C in july & august

Lowest peak average temperatures:
3 °C in february

Weather Averages in Fahrenheit for Istanbul

Temp ↓
January → 43 °F
February → 42 °F
Mars → 46 °F
April → 54 °F
May → 61 °F
June → 71 °F
July → 74 °F
August → 74 °F
September → 69 °F
October → 60 °F
November → 53 °F
December → 46 °F

Hottest and coldest months in Istanbul

Highest peak average temperatures:
82 °F in july & august

Lowest peak average temperatures:
37 °F in february

Big city!

This major city is found in the Mamara region of Turkey located in the north-west side of the country. Due to the sheer size of Istanbul, it has a lot of topographic diversity, which all affect the overall climate. This is one of the reasons Istanbul displays microclimates; which are atmospheric zones where the climate can differ from the surrounding climates in the area. So, Istanbul displays a Mediterranean climate, an oceanic climate, and a humid subtropical climate. The northern section of this city experiences the oceanic and humid subtropical climates; these climates are influenced by the Black Sea. Further to the south, in the highly populated areas, the climate is more of a Mediterranean kind.


Summertime in Istanbul is a very pleasant affair. Beginning almost in May with the raising of the average temperature (which I expect tends to change from year to year) and stretches to the beginning of September. The hottest month varies between July and August, with June closely following these average temperatures. With an air temperature that can reach 30°C (and has reached as high as 45°C once) it usually doesn't feel too hot for most people.

Once winter hits this country (starts in November and lasts until January-February), Istanbul is hit with temperatures of around 10°C, and even colder nights. The lowest ever recorded temperature reached as low as -15°C. Due to the low temperatures, snow is a possibility here. However, the average temperature is usually about 3-4°C, giving this season quite a large range to the temperature. Occasionally the city receives snowfall, but it usually only lasts for a few days.

Both spring and autumn have rather similar climates, both being somewhat mild, but can be somewhat unpredictable due to the increased levels of rainfall. So far we have only really mentioned temperature and the occasional snowfall - so now it's time to look into more detail about the general rainfall patterns. The average rainfall is 787 mm a year, and this rain is quite spread out across the months. Most of it falls during the winter months (about 35% of all the rainfall) and the rest is divided up between the spring, summer and autumn - so rain all seasons is a possibility. Istanbul also has a period from about March to May where fogs can and have hit.

The regional climate; what to expect

So, we have warm summer months with relatively high humidity levels and little rain (less than the others months at least); then we have the flipside winter season that can provide Turkey with wet, cold and sometimes even snowy winter months. This weather however, is very spread across the country, so it is possible to avoid (or embrace) either the colder or warmer climates that this country provides. Since Istanbul is located in the north-west side of Turkey, it is one of those regions which experiences the milder winters within this country.

As mentioned previously, humidity also plays a role in the climate for Istanbul. When humidity is at its highest, the levels tend to reach about 80% humidity every morning. These high humidity levels also bring on the effect of fogs, which were also mentioned before. At this time, precipitation levels are small, which can make the climate feel very clammy with no relief. Imagine just going outside and having it feel like you are inhaling very moist air (well, if you have experienced high humidity climates then you know how it feels - rather difficult to describe properly), and then feeling like you cannot get away from this moist air. I mean, if it rains in regions that can experience high humidity levels, the air feels a lot 'fresher' (almost clearer from water strangely enough) after rainfall. For people un-used to high humidity, this will feel uncomfortable, more and less so depending on the actual level of humidity. During the summer months, the fogs will usually dissipate by mid-morning and the humidity levels add to the warmer feel that comes with the summer.

An interesting aspect to the summer climate is the thunderstorms. Usually, storms are followed by rainfall, but this does not have to always be the case. In fact, in Istanbul the most amount of large thunderstorms occur in the summer months, which is when the city experiences least of its rainfall. A conundrum of sorts.

When do I want to visit?

If you enjoy warm temperatures and can put up with high humidity levels, then you should visit Istanbul in its summer months. Thanks to the little-to-no amount of rainfall, it is easy to prepare what to wear on a daily basis. The only thing really to keep in mind for this season are the occasional thunderstorm and the humidity. Make sure you can escape into lower humidity buildings if it begins to become an issue - I mean, what is the point of going on holiday (or scouting out potential permanent accommodations) if you are uncomfortable?

If you prefer lower humidity levels, and can put up with lower temperatures, then winter is the season for you to visit. For this season you will have to be prepared to put up with rainfall, as most of it falls in these months. Also, due to the lower humidity levels, fogs are less likely to occur giving the chance to better see the city. Of course, rainfall can somewhat blind the sights, but not even close to as much as the annual fogs do.

If you want warmer temperatures, but do not want to feel the high humidity levels, then spring and autumn would be good for you. Sure, there will still be rain and not super high temperatures, but this may well be the more comfortable seasons to visit this city - very much dependant on what you are used to.

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