The Tatras lie in the temperate zone of Central Europe. They are an important barrier to the movements of air masses. Their mountainous topography causes one of the most diverse climates in that region.


The average wind speed on the summits is 6 m/s.

  • southerly winds on the northern side
  • westerly winds at the base of Tatra (Orawa-Nowy Targ Basin)
  • foehn winds (Polish: halny) most often occur between October and May. They are warm and dry and can cause extensive damage.
  • Maximum wind speed 288 km/h (6 May 1968).

On 19 November 2004, large parts of the forests in the southern Slovak part of the High Tatras were damaged by a strong wind storm. Three million cubic metres of trees were uprooted, two people died and several villages were totally cut off. Further damage was done by a subsequent forest fire, and it will take many years until the local ecology is fully recovered.[citation needed]


Temperatures range from −40 °C (−40 °F) in the winter to 33 °C (91 °F) in warmer months. Temperatures also vary depending on altitude and sun exposure of a given slope. Temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) last for 192 days on the summits.


Highest precipitation figures are recorded on the northern slopes. In June and July monthly precipitation reaches around 250 mm (10 in). Precipitation occurs from 215 to 228 days a year. Thunderstorms occur 36 days a year on average.

Snow cover

Maximum thickness on the summit amounts to:

  • in Poland – Kasprowy Wierch: 355 cm (140 in)
  • in Slovakia – Lomnicky Stit: 408 cm (161 in)

Peaks are sometimes covered with snow or ice throughout the year. Avalanches are frequent.

Source:, foto: Kristián Slimák