3 main elements influence the weather in the Basque Country:
• The proximity/distance from the sea
• The terrain (elevation)
The proximity/distance from the sea
The sea temperature, has a special characteristic, namely, its ability to thermoregulate. Water has greater thermal inertia than the earth, meaning, that water takes longer to warm up, but also to cool down. Consequently, it can be said that summers and winters are mild.
Furthermore, in the Urola Kosta region, its proximity to the sea adds another factor to its weather conditions: The influence of the Gulf stream. This warm sea current forms in Mexico, arriving at the west coast of Europe after crossing the entire Atlantic Ocean. This sea current has a very significant impact on Western European weather, making temperatures much milder.
The terrain is also a significant weather factor. It particularly conditions the distribution of rainfall. The Basque Country is a mountainous territory and, for this reason, this factor is very signficant in distributing rainfall. The highest mountains are located in the middle of the territory from east to west, meaning, it divides the Basque Country into two parts, the Cantabrian side and the Meditarranean side. Hence, due to the northeast winds the rain falls mainly on the Cantabrian side. The terrain structures form microclimates, making it possible, for example, for fog banks to form in the valleys.
The Basque Country is located on a northern latitude, between 42º and 43º 50′. Namely, on the mildest part of the Earth. The Earth’s tilt and our latitude makes it possible for us to have the seasons we enjoy. In winter, the sun’s rays penetrate at an angle, and in summer, in contrast, the enter vertically from top to bottom.