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Budapest has a temperate, transitional climate - somewhere between the mild, rainy weather of Transdanubia protected by the Alps to the west and the harsh, variable climate of the flat and open Great Plain to the east.

Spring arrives in early April in Budapest and is usually quite wet. Summer can be very hot and humid. It rains for most of November and doesn't usually get cold until mid-December. Winter is relatively short, often cloudy and damp but sometimes brilliantly sunny. What little snow the city gets usually disappears after a few days.

January is the coldest month (with the temperature averaging -4°C) and July and August the hottest (average temperature 26°C during each). The number of hours of sunshine a year averages between 1900 and 2500 - among the highest in Europe. From late April to the end of September, you can expect the sun to shine for about 10 hours a day. The mean annual precipitation in the capital is 650mm.

For information on specific weather conditions in Budapest, contact the national weather forecast service(346 4600, 06-90 504 001; www.met.hu in Hungarian only).