Weather: Czech Republic

The mountains that encircle much of the Czech Republic help to shield it from the coldest of the air that flows west from Russia. Nonetheless, the country tends to remain on the chilly side during the winter throughout the lowlands, and colder still in the mountains. A dusting of snow may fall every 2 or 3 days in winter, although the snowpack comes and goes a bit more frequently here than it does in the heart of Poland. The spring days warm quickly, and by May most afternoons are pleasantly mild, perhaps after a nippy morning. Summer variations depend on where you are relative to the mountains. Storms often develop close to the higher peaks and march east, giving downpours in some places and leaving others high and dry. On the whole, though, temperatures are comfortable and sunshine is plentiful. A frequent downslope flow ensures that Brno averages 4°C/7°F warmer than Prague during the summer. The occasional heat wave can push readings above 30°C/86°F nationwide; most spots have record highs above 35°C/95°F. As the air stabilizes in autumn, clear and settled weather can take hold for days on end, making September and October fine times to visit.