North Sea Weather and Climate

Geographical location

The North Sea in Northern Europe has a total area of ​​around 575,000 square kilometers and is on average around 95 meters deep.

It borders on Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Norway and Denmark. In the north it is bordered by the European Arctic Sea, in the west by the English Channel and in the east there is a connection to the Baltic Sea.

There are various archipelagos in the North Sea, the most famous of which are the East Frisian and North Frisian Islands. As an example, we treat the climatic data of the two popular German travel destinations Sylt (North Friesland) and Norderney (East Friesland) on this page.

Other well-known German North Sea islands include Föhr, Amrum, Borkum, Pellworm, Langeoog, Spiekeroog and Juist.

Climate at the North Sea

Characteristics of the North Sea are quite a lot of rainy days, steady wind and a strong tide change between ebb and flow about every 12 hours. In the neighboring regions there is a maritime climate with moderate temperatures in summer and often mild temperatures in winter, as the sea stores the heat. The temperatures of the water vary depending on the region.

In the northern North Sea the water temperature is mostly around 10 degrees Celsius, in more southern areas, however, the temperature sometimes rises to 20 degrees in summer. The summer months on the German North Sea islands are comparatively fresh, but very friendly and, with 7 to 8 hours of sunshine per day, also very pleasant. In fact, Sylt, for example, is one of the sunniest regions in the north.

When to go to the North Sea?

Basically, the North Sea is worth a trip all year round. Not only is it cold between November and February, the days are also extremely short and gloomy. From mid- March onwards, things will slowly become friendlier; Easter is already a very popular travel time on Sylt, Norderney and the other islands.

The best travel time for the North Sea Islands is from May to around mid- October. In the summer months, the North Sea warms up in the south, so that you can swim on warm days. Precipitation occurs all year round, but due to the constant wind the weather changes faster than in other regions. Because of the wind, the North Sea is very popular with sailors and surfers.

Optimal travel time for the regions

In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (North Sea).

Place Best travel time
Sylt June, July, August and September
Norderney June, July, August and September

Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Sylt (North Sea)

Jan Feb March Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daytime temperature 3 ° C 3 ° C 5 ° C 9 ° C 14 ° C 17 ° C 19 ° C 19 ° C 16 ° C 12 ° C 8 ° C 5 ° C
Night temperature -1 ° C -1 ° C 1 ° C 4 ° C 8 ° C 12 ° C 13 ° C 14 ° C 12 ° C 9 ° C 4 ° C 1 ° C
Water temperature 4 ° C 3 ° C 4 ° C 6 ° C 10 ° C 13 ° C 16 ° C 17 ° C 15 ° C 13 ° C 9 ° C 6 ° C
Precipitation in mm 57 35 45 40 42 56 62 72 83 89 94 72
Rainy days 12 8 10 9 8 9 11 11 13 13 16 13
Hours of sunshine 2 3 4 6 8 8 7 7 5 3 2 1
Sunrise 8:40 7:50 6:45 6:25 5:20 4:50 5:05 6:00 7:00 7:55 7:55 8:45
Sunset 16:30 17:30 18:30 20:30 21:25 22:05 22:00 21:05 19:45 18:30 16:25 16:00


The annual average temperature in Sylt is 8.4 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is August (16.2 ° C), coldest month of February with mean values of 0.9 ° C. The maximum water temperature in Sylt is 17 ° C. Pleasant bathing is possible from temperatures of around 21 ° C. August has a water temperature of at least 17 ° C. Bathing is then possible to a limited extent.


The annual precipitation is 747 mm on 133 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. In the months of January, February, March, April, November and December snowfall is possible.


As our climate table shows, June is the sunniest month with an average of 8.2 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year the sun shines 4.7 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.

Cities nearby

The following larger towns are nearby and have a similar climate: Flensburg.

Highlights and attractions

The North Sea is one of the busiest seas in the world and there are many ports on the mainland that are well worth seeing. The numerous fishing ports in particular are particularly popular with tourists and promise exciting, maritime impressions. Most of the offers in the Dutch and German North Sea holiday resorts are aimed at sport and recreation.

Exciting sights are, for example, the seal station in Norddeich, the German Naval Museum (Wilhelmshaven), the Norderney lighthouse and the Zwischenahner Meer. On the North Frisian Islands, we recommend the Adventure Center Naturgewalten Sylt, the Amrum beach and the legendary Uwe Düne near Kampen, while in West Frisia, for example, the Drents-Friese Wold National Park is worth a visit.

North Sea weather in March, April and May

Average daily temperatures between 5 ° C and 14 ° C can be expected over the next three months. In Sylt, May is still the mildest, while March is noticeably colder..

Do you want to go on a beach holiday? The water temperatures are in March, April and May 4-17 ° C.

In March it rains on 10 (Sylt) to 12 days (Norderney), in April on 9 (Sylt) to 10 days (Norderney) and in May on 8 (Sylt) to 11 days (Norderney), depending on the region.

In the period from March to May the sun shines on average between 4 and 8 hours a day. The sunniest weather is in May in Sylt, with less sun you have to get by in March.

North Sea Weather and Climate
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