Madeira weather in January
January is the wettest and one of the coolest months in Madeira. Thanks to mild subtropical climate, the average min temperature in Funchal is 13°C (55°F) while max reaches 19°C (66°F). Rainfall is well-distributed across the islands, yet Porto Santo receives relatively less precipitation owing to its more arid climate. It snows in the mountains, especially on the elevations above 1,500 m (4,921 ft). In addition to the north-east trade winds that blow all year, the colder season can also bring the Atlantic depressions. Layers of fog and low clouds invade the inland hilly and mountainous areas. The city of Funchal is lucky to have a more sheltered location on the southern slope. The best news about January is that rainy weather alternates with sunny periods.
To stay warm and dry, pack some sweaters, a jacket, and a raincoat or umbrella. If you're into the mountains, you'll need a down jacket, hiking shoes, gloves, and a hat.
Madeira weather in February
Another winter month has a lot in common with January. It's also fairly cool, wet, and windy. February is often said to be the coldest month in Madeira. However, Funchal's lows and highs remain the same as the previous month—13°C (55°F) and 19°C (66°F) correspondingly. Despite high precipitation, rainy days alternate with sunny ones. Snowfall and frost are common in the mountains, while the inland hilly areas can have some fogs. Generally, the weather is less pleasant at the north-facing slopes affected by constant trade winds. Funchal seems to win the most convenient location on the southern slope, sheltered from the wind.
Winter visitors should pack a sweater and a jacket, along with a raincoat or an umbrella. If you plan on climbing Pico Ruivo, you'll need some warmer clothing including a down jacket, gloves, and a hat, not to mention comfy hiking shoes.
Madeira weather in March
Spring steps into Madeira, bringing a slight rise of temperatures. The average low in Funchal is still 13°C (55°F), while average max reaches 20°C (68°F). The numbers decrease up in the mountains. March still belongs to the period of abundant rains. Sunny weather alternates with the rain. Cloudy days replace the bright ones and vice versa, but sunny periods are more frequent. Winds mostly influence the north-facing slopes. In fact, you won't see much difference between winter and spring. Madeira is sometimes referred to as the island of eternal spring as the weather changes insignificantly throughout the seasons.
For a March visit to Madeira, you'll need the stable winter set of clothing—some warm sweaters and a jacket. For hiking in the mountains, bring a down jacket, a headdress, a scarf, and gloves. Trekking shoes go without saying. So does a raincoat.
Madeira weather in April
This month is a transition period between rainy and dry seasons in Madeira. The first half of April is still quite wet, with a high probability of thunderstorms on the island of Madeira. Precipitation decreases closer towards the end of the month. The average low and high temperatures in Funchal remain the same as in March—13°C (55°F) and 20°C (68°F) respectively. Windy weather prevails in the northern areas owing to the north-east trade winds.
Your luggage must include a sweater and a jacket, as well as an inevitable raincoat or umbrella. For the mountains, take some warmer clothing and hiking shoes, of course.
Madeira weather in May
The season of abundant rains has withdrawn from Madeira by the end of April, so sunny weather prevails in May. Thunderstorms are unlikely to happen. Still, short storms occur once in a while. The air and sea temperatures start rising slowly, but it's not sufficient for a comfortable beach vacation. The air in Funchal warms up to the average min of 15°C (59°F) and reaches up to 21°C (70°F). The sea warms up to 19°C (66°F) only.
If you visit Madeira in May, pack a sweater and a jacket. Long- and short-sleeves will be a reasonable decision. Don't forget your hiking gear in case you plan on conquering Pico Ruivo. An umbrella or a raincoat might still come in handy.
Madeira weather in June
The first month of summer in Madeira is somewhat tricky. On the one hand, it rains very rarely, and the temperatures rise. On the other hand, the amount of sunshine is surprisingly less than in spring months. The reason is called "capacete" which is Portuguese for "helmet." It refers to the clouds that cover Madeira in the morning and thin out only in the warmest hours of the day. Unexpectedly, June being one of the driest months here, is still extremely cloudy. Another warning is hot and dry Leste-winds that occasionally blow from Africa between June and September. They raise the air temperature to 30°C (86°F) and bring some red powder. The good news about Leste—it's rarer in Porto Santo. The sea in June is 20°C (68°F), which is still quite chilly for swimming.
If you visit Madeira in June, take light summer clothes, but also a scarf to protect yourself from the wind. A sweater or light jacket will be appropriate for the evening. For the mountains, drop sunscreen and sunglasses, a sweatshirt, and surely trekking shoes.
Madeira weather in July
July is distinguished as the driest month in Madeira. It's quite a delightful time to visit the islands as both air and sea temperatures get warm enough for comfortable swimming and sunbathing. Normally, the weather is pleasantly warm, except the periods of Leste-winds, which occasionally blow from Sahara, bringing hot temperatures and fine red powder. Porto Santo sees less of Leste-winds comparing to other Madeira islands. "Capacete" clouds observed in June, do not occur in July. However, cloud banks might form on the Atlantic Ocean even in mid-summer. Therefore, July has a decent amount of sunshine overall, but not great.
If you visit Madeira in July, the essentials will be light summer clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and also a scarf for the windy days, and a light jacket for the evenings. Mountain hikers should also bring a sweatshirt and comfy trekking shoes.
Madeira weather in August
The warmest time of the year in Madeira falls in August—the top month for a beach vacation. The sea in Funchal warms up to 23°C (73°F). Also, the month receives the largest amount of sunshine and almost no rainfall. At the same time, the island may be affected by cloud banks which can form on the Atlantic Ocean even in mid-summer. Due to that fact, the sun shines for eight hours on an average August day. Note that normally mild climate of Madeira is prone to occasional weather extremes. With moderately warm highs and lows, the air temperature can exceed 30°C (86°F) during the periods of Leste-winds that blow from African Sahara. These winds are rarer in Porto Santo.
Summer travelers must pack light linen or cotton shirts along with a scarf in case of the windy weather, and a sweater for the evenings. Sunscreen and sunglasses go without saying. Whoever plans on climbing Pico Ruivo, will need hiking shoes, as well as a jacket for the evenings.
Madeira weather in September
September is another month of warmth and sunshine, perfect for beach lovers. The average highs and lows in Funchal stick to the highest numbers—26°C (78°F) and 19°C (66°F), and the sea also stays at its warmest 23°C (73°F). The average hours of sunshine decrease a little—partially due to the cloud banks that form on the Atlantic Ocean throughout the warm period. Generally, the weather is pleasantly warm. However, hot and dry Leste-winds occasionally blow from Sahara raising the mercury above 30°C (86°F). In September, the level of precipitation starts rising a little, though rainfall is still rare.
For a visit in September, you'll need to pack light cotton and linen clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses, a sweater for the evening, and a scarf for the windy weather. For a mountain hike, bring trekking shoes and a sweatshirt or a jacket.
Madeira weather in October
This month is a transition period between dry and wet seasons. While early October is still relatively arid, rainy weather becomes much more frequent by the middle of the month. Regardless of the rainfall, October belongs to the warm period in Madeira. The air temperature is equal to that of July, while the sea is even warmer. Still, this month is less popular with beach lovers. After all, the temperatures are cooler than in August or September, and the amount of sunshine is smaller too. The good news is hot Leste-winds blow no longer. But north-east trade winds never stop, so the north-facing slopes of Madeira are always gloomier.
Packing for Madeira in October, light summer clothes will suffice, but a sweater or light jacket for the evening is also reasonable. Besides, you might need a raincoat or umbrella, especially if you travel in the second half of the month, and especially if you plan on hiking in the mountains. And don't forget a sweatshirt and trekking shoes.
Madeira weather in November
Considered to be still a part of the warm period of the year, November sees quite a dip of temperatures—the average high in the sheltered Funchal is 22°C (72°F), while low drops to 16°C (61°F). The mountains experience a significant decrease in temperatures. The sea hasn't cooled down much, but the air temperature along with abundant rains and strong winds make this month much unfavorable for a beach holiday. The highest humidity and cloudiness is observed on the north-facing slopes of Madeira affected by trade winds from the north-east. The inland hilly areas can be covered with layers of fog and clouds. But generally gloomy weather alternates with sunny periods.
While traveling in November, the most critical items of your luggage will be a raincoat or umbrella. Pack short- and long-sleeved shirts, light sweaters, and a jacket. If you aim at the mountains, you might need a down jacket and other winter hiking gear.
Madeira weather in December
This is the beginning of an extended cool season in Madeira. Air temperatures drop a little, but generally, local winter is quite mild. The only exception is the mountains where frost and snow occur in most years. In other areas, rainy weather prevails. December is one of the wettest months here. The north-facing slopes affected by the north-east trade winds tend to have a bit gloomy weather all year. However, during the winter season, Atlantic depressions affect all Madeira. The hilly inland gets covered with fog and low clouds. The good news is sunny periods alternate with the rainy ones. Also, the arid Porto Santo receives relatively less rainfall, and Funchal is comparatively less windy due to its sheltered location on the southern slope.
A sweater, sweatshirt, and a jacket will suffice to feel warm and comfy in December unless you plan on climbing Pico Ruivo. In the mountains, you'll need to wear a down jacket, gloves, a scarf, and a hat. Needless to say about hiking shoes.