Weather in Morocco
The north African country of Morocco has three main geographical features – beaches, high mountains and desert - each with its own climatic conditions and appeal for holidaymakers.
Morocco has a section of Mediterranean coastline which is opposite Spain, stretching from Tangiers to the golden sands of Saidia. The climate along this coast is typically Mediterranean, with long, hot, dry summers (May to September) and wet, mild winters.
On the long Atlantic coastline the climate starts off as typically Mediterranean in the north, but here conditions are moderated by the offshore cold Canary Current, making summers cooler and winters wetter. At the resort town of Agadir, for example, slap bang in the middle of Morocco’s Atlantic shoreline, the mercury hovers in mid-20°sC (around 65°F) throughout the year.
As one moves further south down Morocco’s Atlantic coast conditions become more arid, eventually turning into the true desert of the Western Sahara, where it is searingly hot all year, with perhaps some fog where the hot desert meets the cold ocean.
The main features of the interior of Morocco are the Rif Mountains, running across the north of the country, and the Atlas Mountain range, which forms Morocco’s backbone.
The High Atlas mountains have an alpine climate and remain snowcapped most of the year, offering skiing in Oukaimeden near Marrakech during the winter months (November to February). Late spring and summer in the mountains are cool and pleasant, great weather for trekkers.
As has been explained, summer means sunshine in Morocco and winter means rain, although the average annual rainfall is not heavy at 423 mm (16.7 in). July is the driest month, and December the wettest, across Morocco. The Rif Mountains are the wettest region, but even they receive plenty of sunshine in the summer. During mid-winter humidity is high along the coastal areas, making conditions feel cooler than the actual temperature.
When is the best time to go to Morocco?Morocco is a destination for all seasons, depending on what you plan to do during your visit. Spring is probably the best time to visit to experience the best of all the country has to offer: from late March through May the beaches are warm and sunny, the mountains crisp and cool, and conditions in the southern desert area bearable enough for a camel safari. Those who enjoy heat will revel in the Moroccan summer (June to September) when temperatures soar and the sun bakes down.
What to pack for a holiday in Morocco?
Modesty is the Moroccan dress code for both men and women (but especially women). While many tourists are accommodated even when wearing low cut tops and short skirts, or tank tops and shorts, locals are typically more hospitable when visitors are covered up; in some very rural areas, however, wearing T-shirts is the equivalent of wearing underwear outside. Women are expected to cover up from wrist to ankle in some rural areas outside of cities and when visiting mosques (bring a headscarf for the mosques). Wearing the local garb is a good way to make the most of the dress code and keep cool in the heat.
The best option is to take long loose clothing, for both men and women, and here, trousers are preferable to jeans; collared shirts to non-collared shirts. Layers of clothing is important because, while the days are hot, nights and elevated places can drop below freezing (0°C, 32°F). Pack sandals and trainers for the city and coast, and bring sturdy and breathable walking shoes or boots for mountain excursions and adventure activities. Don't forget to bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and light coverings for beaches, like a sarong.
Weather in Morocco in JanuaryAverage temperature in Morocco in January: 12C, 54°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in January: 16°C, 61°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in January: 65mm, 2.6in
Note: January is mid-winter in Morocco, meaning that the mountains are snow-capped, the coast is wet and windy with mild to cool temperatures, and in the desert of the south the weather is hot by day and exceptionally cold at night.
Weather in Morocco in FebruaryAverage temperature in Morocco in February: 13C, 55°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in February: 16°C, 61°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in February: 53mm, 2.1in
Note: Winter rains may be marring the beaches of Morocco during February, but it is an ideal time for a desert safari, with clear skies, little likelihood of a sand storm and comfortable day-time temperatures. It can be very cold at night in the desert, though, so take a warm jacket. In the high mountains, where snow is common and temperatures can be below freezing, it is not a good time for trekking – but you can try skiing instead.
Weather in Morocco in MarchAverage temperature in Morocco in March: 13C, 55°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in March: 16°C, 61°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in March: 53mm, 2.1in
Note: March is a rainy month on the Moroccan coast, but in the second half of the month there should be more blue skies than grey, and temperatures will warm up accordingly. The desert remains cool enough to visit, but there is an increased risk of sandstorms as the Sirocco winds blow. It remains very cold in the high mountains, and there is the risk of flooding as the thaw begins.
Weather in Morocco in AprilAverage temperature in Morocco in April: 16C, 60°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in April: 17°C, 63°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in April: 38mm, 1.9in
Note: Spring has sprung in Morocco, and April is a great time to visit. The snow has melted from the mountain passes, the rain dried up on the coast, the valleys are full of spring flowers, and temperatures are comfortable. Enjoy the fragrance of orange blossom and roses in the souks and medinas.
Weather in Morocco in MayAverage temperature in Morocco in May: 19C, 65°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in May: 17°C, 63°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in May: 20mm, 0.8in
Note: May constitutes late spring in Morocco, and temperatures are comfortable throughout the country, with no rain to speak of. There is a great deal of sunshine on the beaches, and the mountain region is perfect for rock-climbing and hiking, although the peaks are still snow-capped. May is probably the last chance before the sizzling summer season sets in to comfortably make a Sahara safari.
Weather in Morocco in JuneAverage temperature in Morocco in June: 20C, 68°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in June: 18°C, 64°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in June: 2mm, 0.1in
Note: There is superb holiday weather to be enjoyed in Morocco in June, with clear blue skies, hot sunshine and no rain. Temperatures rocket during June, especially in Marrakech and the south-west region close to the desert. The heat on the coast is tempered by ocean breezes.
Weather in Morocco in JulyAverage temperature in Morocco in July: 22C, 72°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in July: 21°C, 70°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in July: 0mm, 0in
Note: Dry, hot and sunny sums up the weather in Morocco in July, which is the peak of the country’s tourist season, occasioned by the northern hemisphere summer holidays which bring visitors flocking. It may be too hot for some, but there is some relief to be found in the highlands, and the north coast is slightly cooler than further south, where the desert is a fiery no-go area at this time of year.
Weather in Morocco in AugustAverage temperature in Morocco in August: 23C, 73°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in August: 22°C, 72°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in August: 1mm, 0in
Note: The average temperature mentioned above does not reflect the true situation in Morocco in August, because it is moderated by the lower overnight temperatures and cooler conditions in the high mountains. In fact, daytime temperatures of over 45°C (115°F) are common in inland areas like Marrakech (at the foot of the Atlas), and the coastal areas are only marginally cooler. It is wise to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day and take advantage of the cooler early mornings and balmy evenings.
Weather in Morocco in SeptemberAverage temperature in Morocco in September: 22C, 71°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in September: 21°C, 70°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in September: 6mm, 0.2in
Note: Morocco remains dry and hot as autumn creeps in, the drop in temperature noticed initially only in the high altitude areas of the Atlas and Rif mountains. With European and north American holidaymakers having departed, this is a good time to enjoy excellent beach weather in Morocco and outdoor pursuits in the mountains.
Weather in Morocco in OctoberAverage temperature in Morocco in October: 19C, 66°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in October: 20°C, 68°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in October: 39mm, 1.5in
Note: The Moroccan coast is mild and pleasant during October, and it is a very good month to visit the fascinating city of Marrakech for some sightseeing, now that the broiling heat of summer has begun to subside.
Weather in Morocco in NovemberAverage temperature in Morocco in November: 16C, 60°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in November: 18°C, 64°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in November: 57mm, 2.2in
Note: Central Morocco can be very chilly in November, and in the desert at night it can be literally freezing, so take along a warm jacket. There is still plenty of sunshine to be had along the coast of Morocco, with mild to warm temperatures, although towards the end of November the advent of the winter rainy season will be more obvious.
Weather in Morocco in DecemberAverage temperature in Morocco in December: 13C, 55°F
Sea temperature in Morocco in December: 17°C, 63°F
Average rainfall in Morocco in December: 87mm, 3.4in
Note: Winter is full blown in Morocco in December, meaning that most of the country is wet, cool to cold by day, and chilly to very cold at night, the exception being the Sahara desert in the south-west, which offers hot, dry heat with freezing nights. Bring a brolly and layers of warm clothing for a holiday in Morocco in December.