The Climate of Bulgaria

This guide is an overview of the climate in Bulgaria - average temperature, rainfall, sunshine and season length. It also looks briefly at extreme weather in Bulgaria.

Although Bulgaria is not a huge country (at 110,994 square km), it does straddle several climate zones.

Temperatures depend on where you are – the southwest, by the Mediterranean sea, is mildly subtropical. The plains of the country are temperate. The mountainous regions are much colder (great for skiing).

We chose the most popular expat and tourist destinations to focus on below, but do check out weather averages for the particular city you’re interested in. If you’re having trouble finding that information online, email office@guides.global and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Data for the ‘average weather’ charts below came from Holiday-Weather.comWeather & Climate Information, and World Weather Online.

Average climate in Bulgaria

Sofia (capital)

The climate in Sofia

Sofia has distinct cold winters and warm-to-hot summers, with relatively short and volatile springs and autumns (although a Bulgarian autumn is quite dry and warm compared with a lot of Europe).

The city sees snowfall from November through to April, particularly in December and January (around 70cm per month).

Average minimum/maximum temperatures in Sofia (°C)

MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)
January-42
Febuary-34
March110
April515
May920
June1324
July1428
August1426
September1123
October616
November18
December-24

Average precipitation in Sofia

MonthPrecipitation (mm)Rainy days
January408
February407
March5011
April7017
May7017
June7014
July6011
August7010
September4010
October3011
November5011
December408

Average hours of sunshine per day in Sofia

MonthHours of sunshine
January2
February3
March4
April6
May7
June9
July10
August9
September7
October5
November3
December2

 

Bansko (mountains)

The climate in Bansko

Most visitors to Bansko want to know about snow coverage. It’s excellent – you can expect covered slopes from December to mid-April.

Those who want to stay in the city long-term will be relieved to know that spring and summer are warm and pleasant, though a rainy autumn arrives earlier than in lower parts of the country (you’ll want to start wearing a warm jumper from around mid-September).

Average minimum/maximum temperatures in Bansko (°C)

MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)
January-52
February-35
March010
April516
May1021
June1424
July1627
August1527
September1123
October716
November39
December-24

Average precipitation in Bansko

MonthMillimetres precipitationRainy days
January237
February236
March216
April309
May3211
June2710
July268
August195
September235
October326
November347
December427

Average hours of sunshine per day in Bansko

MonthHours of sunshine per day
January2
February3
March4
April6
May7
June8
July9
August8
September7
October5
November3
December2

 

Varna (Black Sea)

The climate in Varna

Varna is a warm city, positioned as it is by the Mediterranean sea, but it is a wet one – even the summer sees considerable rain volume.

The summer season is long – from May to October – and warm, which secures its popularity with holiday home owners. You will probably see snowfall in winter, but it is unlikely to settle for very long.

Average minimum/maximum temperatures in Varna

MonthMinMax
January-16
February06
March29
April715
May1220
June1625
July1827
August1827
September1424
October1018
November513
December28

Average precipitation in Varna

MonthMillimetres precipitationRainy days
January3811
Febraury417
March3410
April449
May4011
June469
July377
August326
September318
October368
November5010
December410

Average hours of sunshine per day in Varna

MonthHours of sunshine
January2
February3
March4
April6
May8
June9
July11
August10
September8
October6
November3
December2

Average sea temperature in Varna

MonthSea temp
February7.3
March7.7
April9.7
May15.8
June21.5
July24.5
August24.8
September22.7
October17.8
November13.2
December9.9
Source: SeaTemperature.org

Extreme weather and natural disasters in Bulgaria

Flooding in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is prone to flooding. Recently, there were particularly damaging floods in 2005, with 20 people dead over three months and in 2015, when 12 people died in Varna and Dobrich after flash floods.

Bulgaria is restoring flood-plains to reduce risk of flooding from the Danube, as well as working together with Turkey to find risk-decreasing strategies.

Storms in Bulgaria

Storms are a risk to people and property in Bulgaria. Hailstorms with pieces of ice measuring up to 10cm across can cause huge damage in minutes. The storms can also contibute to flooding (see above).

Excitingly, in order to minimise crop damage, parts of the country are protected by hail suppression units, which fire rockets into the storms and decrease the size of hailstones.

Earthquakes in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has seen plenty of earthquake activity, and is likely to see more – scientists have identified seven seismic spots that have the potential to cause earthquakes of 6.5 or above on the Richter scale.

The last earthquake with more than a couple of fatalities was in 1977, when over 100 people died in Svishtov after several apartment blocks collapsed. In 1802, the Vrancea earthquake (epicentre in Romania) almost completely destroying the cities of Ruse, Varna and Vidin.

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