Madrid Has No Winter

Nueves meses de invierno, tres meses de infierno.

That sentence (Nine months of winter, three months of hell) is supposed to describe Madrid. Supposed to. Because it’s utterly untrue.false-dwight-schrute-factsDwight and I agree on this

Perhaps you grew up in sunny southern California and you would beg to disagree. But sorry, no—you’re also wrong.

Lonely Planet is also wrong when it states, “It has, they say, a climate of extremes, as summed up by the phrase nueve meses de invierno y tres de infierno (nine months of winter and three of hell).” FALSE!

I didn’t grow up in Canada’s Northwest Territory or nothern Sweden, but I’ve gotta be honest—Madrid does get very hot, but not much hotter (and sometimes cooler!) than my home state of Indiana. And the winters could be best summed up as mild.

The average daily highs in January and February hover around 50 F (10 C), which … what? This is cold to you people? I remember when, during one of the first cool days in autumn, the temperature dipped to 45 F or so, and a Madrid-based Facebook page put up a picture of someone covered in blankets and scarves, lamenting the “cold” weather.

Soon in Indiana, temperatures will reach -11 F (that’s around -24 C). Let’s not compare that with Minnesota or Alaska, but—that’s cold, people.

Madrid, where’s your “winter” now?

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17 comments

  1. I am one of those obnoxious so cal people who think Madrid does have a winter — but it did only snow once I think the entire year I lived there. The summer was HOT though and way more humid than I’m used to. (Again, spoiled).

    1. Ah, weird! I thought Madrid’s heat was “dry.” I have no idea, though; surprisingly, Indiana is super humid! My in-laws couldn’t believe it.

      The summer in Madrid is hell because if you live in a warm apartment and don’t have AC (like we do), you sleep in absurdly hot rooms.

  2. It always depends on what you’re used to. When I went home to the Canary Islands over Christmas, I was so happy to have sunshine and what I thought was warmth. I immediately jumped into a bikini and used every sunny hour to get a tan. In the meantime (and this is no joke), my family was literally inside next to the fire.

  3. It always depends on what you’re used to. When I went home to the Canary Islands over Christmas, I was so happy to have sunshine and what I thought was warmth. I immediately jumped into a bikini and used every sunny hour to get a tan. In the meantime (and this is no joke), my family was literally inside next to the fire.

  4. Well, I think part of the wintriness has to do with the fact that, despite the “mild” temperatures, calefacción still isn’t really standard in much of Spain, so it really *feels* a lot colder than the Great White North *ahem* might. Plus, you have to use your own two feet rather than a car to get around more often than in America…but that’s just me, a warm-weather-loving Texan ;)

    1. AHEM! :) Yeah, I got you. But sometimes I’m wearing my winter coat in Madrid, and as I’m walking I start sweating! I can’t wear my scarf anymore—I die on the metro! It’s not warm, but I’m also used to winter temps hovering around 20F!

      Also, living in Madrid without AC made me HATE summer.

  5. Totally 100% agree….and I’m from Southern California! Also, Madrid is a very dry heat in fact….which luckily I prefer.

    I started to get annoyed about a month and a half ago when all my co-workers were shivering and wearing down coats. GET A GRIP!

  6. I really think it is what you are accustomed too, your body adjust over time. I’m from New York so I never thought Málaga was that cold until after being there awhile; the damp sit in your bones cold took over. Although on paper it didn’t seem cold but factor in humidity and like I said how your body adjust to your surrounding over time…it was cold! Side note: I remember my first summer living in Buenos Aires sweating my tush off thinking I was going to die of heat stroke and everyone else around me on the subway(minus the one other American) was cool as a cucumber.

  7. UGH! This post made my day! I couldn’t agree more. The worst is how it becomes judgement city when you’re seen without a parka or GOD FORBID without a scarf. Ive given my suegra several heart attacks because of the inevitable horrible illness that I will soon immediately contract from not wearing a scarf but I honestly feel like the sweaty metro ride is not worth it.

  8. You should come over Barcelona then. Here we have the no-winter at all according to The Swedes (my sis living there). Obviously, for Madrid has got such terrible winter (no mention to Salamanca where you can be frozen even in summer!). But compared to you -24oC in Indiana, Spain is your paradise! ;)

  9. Haha This is what I was referring to on Twitter awhile ago. I remember when it was a bit cooler in Madrid, and my fiance and I were just wearing a sweater/cardigan while everyone was already wearing their coat and looking at us like we’re crazy.

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