Photos: Dimitra Lefterova
Plovdiv is the second largest city in the country, located in Central South Bulgaria. The climate in the district is transitional continental and is generally characterized by warm summers, dry autumns and mild winters. Fogs are a frequent phenomenon in the city, and the snow cover lasts only about 20 days a year.
According to one of the statistics of the average annual temperature under the hills, the rising trend is clearly visible in recent years. And if in 1950 it gravitated around 6.5-7 degrees, then by 2020 - it had already reach 10°C, that is, we have an increase of 3.5-4 degrees over a period of 70 years.
Even without looking at the diagram, one can easily come to this conclusion, especially from the memories of Plovdiv residents. Anyone a little over 30 years of age can’t have forgotten the long snowy winters and the dozens of days spent on ice rinks on the slopes of the hills. It started to snow in December and didn’t stop until February. Minimum temperatures of the -15 to -20 degree range, which persisted during the night, were not uncommon. “Wooden” vacations due to the impossibility of heating public educational institutions were also an integral part of the learning process - a minimum of a week and sometimes up to 10 days. Nowadays, children don't remember this type of vacation for at least 6-7 years, unfortunately they have been replaced by covid or flu ones.
Seasons are increasingly shifting and the pleasant autumn weather lasts until at least the end of November, and the last few weeks are proof that then we can even enjoy a real belated Indian summer. The leaves on most of the trees haven't even turned yellow and fallen off yet.
Usually, the cold weather starts only in December, and the real winter comes rather in January, with the most suitable time for skiing sports being more often February and March. The season in winter resorts opens in mid-December.
According to a report by the Klimateka press club issued at the beginning of the year, winters are slowly but surely softening, summers are getting hotter – and at a fairly high rate. Climatic changes are felt most strongly in large cities, as there, respectively, construction and pollution are more widespread and with a higher density. The increase in average temperatures in winter is relatively small - about half a degree, while in summer it is much more noticeable - average seasonal values have jumped by nearly two units to 21-24 degrees. The intermediate seasons - spring and autumn - also show a visible rise in temperatures over 30 years - by about a degree.
This year, in November, a new temperature record was set in Plovdiv - on November 2, 2022, a total of 30.7°C was measured in the city, which is the highest temperature ever measured on November 2 in our country. It is also almost five degrees higher than the previous highest values for this period in 1956 and 1989.
All this is inevitably outlined in the amount of precipitation, which decreases inversely proportional to the increase in temperatures and leads to drought.
The best time to visit is from early April to June and then from September to the end of October. Then the freshness of the mornings and the coolness of the evenings is in pleasant contrast with the hot sun in the midday hours. The landscape is wonderful, picturesque and peaceful!