The Weather and Climate
View subject link Spring | Summer | Autumn | Winter

Mountain weather is notoriously fickle, and the Pyrénées is no exception. However, on average, the range enjoys 300 days and 2,000 hours of sunshine a year making it one of the sunniest regions in France.

At the western end, the Atlantic is a major influence, pushing cool, moisture-laden air streams far inland, making the Basque country one of the wettest regions in France. However, the bad weather from the west often fades out before reaching the central Pyrénées.

At the other extreme, the high-pressure systems of the Mediterranean give long spells of rain-free weeks in summer, making the Eastern Pyrénées one of the driest regions in France.

Mountain weather, ominous clouds on the frontier


What weather can you expect near Velo Pyrenees?

Spring

Arrives early and quickly feels like the summer. This is a favourite season for cyclists and walkers. Between early April and the end of June, the maximum average temperatures are between 16 and 24°C. Any rain tends to occur during the night and early morning, clearing by midmorning. There is still snow on the peaks.

    February   March   April
Average Temp
  9°C   14°C   17°C
Snowline
  1,400m   1,600m   1,900m
Dawn to dusk
  8:00am to 7:00pm   7:30am to 7:30pm   7:00am to 8:00pm
Road Cycling
  Lower valley roads and lower cols are snow-free. The serious local riders begin to train now.   Good riding conditions. Most of the cols up to 1,300m are open.   Excellent conditions with most of the cols up to 2,000m open.
Mountain Biking/ Walking & Running
  Lower valley trails are good and Autumn debris begins to clear. Competitive riders switch back from road biking to Mtb.   All lower valley trails are good and some of the higher trails can be ridden. Snow shoes needed for higher trails.   Generally all trails are open. Any morning rain quickly dries off the trails with the warm weather.
Comments
  The days get longer and warmer. Midday is often good for shorts, but at altitude or on long rides, a good layering system of clothing is needed as temperature can drop quickly.   A turning point with warm, sunny and stable weather. Comfortable in shorts on most rides. The local mountain peaks begin loosing their snow and create fast flowing rivers.   A beautiful time of year. Warm and sunny. Possibility of damp mornings, but any rain soon clears leaving blue skies by the afternoons.
Other Activities
  Downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, husky dog sledging and horse riding.

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Summer

Tends to be hot with intense sunshine. During the day, maximum temperatures reach on average between 26 and 28°C, but the night air is pleasantly cool. Minimum average temperatures are quite high, approximately 14°C in the early morning. Thunderstorms tend to occur during the evening but pass quickly, ensuring the countryside remains green and helps to clear the air.

    May   June   July
Average Temp
  20°C   23°C   25°C
Snowline
  2,000m   3,000m   3,000m
Dusk
  8:30pm   9:00pm   9:30pm
Road Cycling
  All roads and cols are open and very quiet.   All roads and cols are open. Most successful time to climb the Tourmalet.   All roads and cols are open. Excellent conditions.
Mountain Biking/ Walking & Running
  All trails are open. May need snow shoes above 2,000m.   Possible to use the ski lifts with your bikes to trail heads.   Excellent conditions for all trails.
Comments
  Warm with clear skies but not too hot.   It can be quite hot in the lower valleys but it is cooler in the higher mountains. We often eat outside in the courtyard.   Beware of exposed skin at altitude due to the sun. It's a good time to enjoy the cool water of the river and visit a local Gorge to cool off.
Other Activities
  Open water swimming, rock climbing. canyoning, paragliding, kayaking and horse riding.

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Autumn

Often enjoys the warmth of an Indian summer, with beautiful blue skies. Maximum temperatures range between 21 and 25°C.

    August   September   October
Average Temp
  26°C   23°C   20°C
Snowline
  3,000m   3,000m   2,500m
Dusk
  10:00pm   9:00pm   8:00pm
Road Cycling
  All roads and cols are open. A lot of French people holiday now making it the busiest period on the cols.   All roads and cols are open. Cols become quiet again.   All roads and cols are open. Becomes cooler on long descents.
Mountain Biking/ Walking & Running
  All trails are open.       Stable weather with maximum averages varying between 16 and 19°C.
Comments
  During mid August there is a greater possibility of thunderstorms in the evenings, but these are short lived and quickly pass.   Very stable weather. Early mornings tend to be fresh and things start warming up by midmorning.   Evenings tend to be cooler as the days begin to get shorter. The colours of the forests and great sunsets on the high mountains are amazing.
Other Activities
  Open water swimming, rock climbing and horse riding.

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Winter

We rarely get snow at our altitude - in the lower valleys. However, there are several ski resorts nearby should you want snow. It is important to note that at any time of year, across the entire mountain range, a rise in elevation of 200m can mean a fall in temperature of around 1°C - even in summer!

    November   December   January
Average Temp
  15°C   10°C   5°C
Snowline
  2,000m   1,500m   1,200m
Dusk
  6:30pm   5:30pm   6:00pm
Road Cycling
  Lower valley roads and cols below 1,400m are good but the higher cols tend to be very cold.   Lower valley roads and cols below 1,200m are good.   The lower cols below 1,000m are good.
Mountain Biking/ Walking & Running
  Most trails are open with some becoming more technical with leaves and damp rocks.   All but high level trails are good but become covered in leaves.   Lots of trails available in the lower valleys and below 1,000m.
Comments
  Daily temperatures can be more variable with cooler starts but very warm during midday.   Cold early morning and temperatures drop quickly near dusk. A good layering system of clothing is essential. Ski resorts usually open mid December.  

January tends to be the coldest month. Often sunny with clear blue skies and surprisingly warm during midday. Don't choose this month for serious training but good for mtb or leisure cycling/ other activities.

Other Activities
  From mid December onwards - downhill, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, husky dog sledging.
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