Weather: Hungary

The open fields of the Great Hungarian Plain cultivate one of Europe's most vivid four-season climates: visitors from the American Midwest will feel at home. Summers are bathed in sunshine, with frequent afternoon and evening thunderstorms rolling across the prairie. Especially in the Danube valley, there's often enough moisture in the air for it to feel noticeably humid, though not intolerably so. It can get very hot on a few days each year, especially toward the south and east. The plains dry out quickly in early autumn – a great time for seeing the countryside – before a second peak of rainfall brings a few periods of damp chill from late October through December. Light snows are frequent in January, but Hungary's snow cover isn't as persistent as, say, the Ukraine's. Even in mid-winter, one snowfall often melts before the next arrives. The Bakony and other higher points remain a bit colder and may suffer a heavier round of snow on occasion from storms that pull up moisture from the Adriatic. By April the lowlands are warming fast in the strong Hungarian sun.