Cape Town has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with mild, moderately wet winters and dry, warm summers.
Winter, which lasts from the beginning of June to the end of August, may see large cold fronts entering for limited periods from the Atlantic Ocean with significant precipitation and strong north-westerly winds. Winter months in the city average a maximum of 18.0 °C (64 °F) and minimum of 8.5 °C (47 °F). Total annual rainfall in the city averages 515 millimetres (20.3 in).
Summer, which lasts from early December to March, is warm and dry with an average maximum of 26.0 °C (79 °F) and minimum of 16.0 °C (61 °F).
The region can get uncomfortably hot when the Berg Wind, meaning “mountain wind”, blows from the Karoo interior for a couple of weeks in February or early March.
Late spring and early summer may sometimes feature a strong wind from the south-east, known locally as the Cape Doctor, so called because it blows air pollution away. This wind is caused by a high-pressure system which sits in the South Atlantic to the west of Cape Town, known as the South Atlantic High.
Cape Town’s average amount of sunshine per year (3,100 hours) compares favourably with that of Los Angeles (3,300 hours) and exceeds that of Athens and Madrid (2,900 hours).
Water temperatures range greatly, between 10 °C (50 °F) on the Atlantic Seaboard, to 22 °C (72 °F) in False Bay. Average annual Ocean temperatures are between 13 °C (55 °F) on the Atlantic Seaboard (similar to Californian waters, such as San Francisco or Big Sur), and 17 °C (63 °F) in False Bay (similar to Northern Mediterranean temperatures, such as Nice or Monte Carlo).