Climate of Bitola

Bitola panorama from north toward south

Bitola, the region, as well as the whole Pelagonia Valley are rather southern positioned and due to the latitude should have an altered Mediterranean climate (as Tikvesh, Valandovo, Gevgelija and Strumica do).

But, although Pelagonia Valley is at a distance of 155 kilometers from the Adriatic Sea, and at about 130 kilometers from the Aegean Sea, still the Mediterranean climate influence isn’t much felt, because of the high mountainous surrounding of the valley, and its own height above the sea level (it is between 571 and 770 meters).

That’s why the temperate-continental, continental and mountainous climate are mostly felt.

Generally speaking, if we analyze the characteristics and the appearance of the climate phenomena during a year, we will see that Bitola and Pelagonia belong to a warm continental area.  The climate in Bitola has moderate – continental characteristics with an emphasized continental component, because of the closeness of the mountainous relief, the height above the sea level, the near-by valley etc., and these facts make the climate in Bitola and Pelagonia very dynamic and non stable.

According to the Kepen’s climate classification, the climate in Bitola can be marked with CSW “ax” – a specific variant of the etezic climate with dry and very warm summer, and a rainy winter period, divided into a shorter cold and dry period, with the first maximum rainfall in autumn and the second one in spring.  This variant is called Macedonian variant of the etezic climate because it is typical for Macedonia, especially for the regions at 500-600 meters height above sea level.

Bitola is a typical representative of this variant with dry and very hot summers, and winters and springs with abundant rainfall.  This classification applied on conditions like ours, is moniphicated and marked with C1fSb, that means less rainfall and higher degree of aridity in the summer period.

At the end, we may mention that the new housing blocks of the city, especially the western parts of the city, certainly influence the changing of the microclimate conditions, bringing up some new problems with the airing out, the sunlight supply and the aeration of the whole city.  The microclimate is influenced by the air pollution caused by the great polluters (REK Bitola, the city boiler rooms, the traffic, the chimneys of the houses and the industrial zone) which release gases that represent one of the components of the thick fogs transiting into industrial smog.

bitola city park panorama

Bitola in not interesting only because of the climate, but also because of the appearance of the polar light.  Bitola and Naples lie on the 0,1 isochism (a line that connects places with an equal number of days a year with polar light), which means that the polar light appears in the sky once in ten years.

Although we tried very hard to find out when this phenomenon was last noticed, registered or published – we failed.  We can only suggest that the appearance of the polar light is closely related to the magnetic storms, or while there are maximal sunspots. We may also say that the color of the polar light is usually green – yellow, its drapery has purple and red tones.

The light has the intensity of the light of a full moon, and can be arc-shaped, ribbon-shaped, drapery-shaped, as well as vague or dispersed throughout the sky.  The polar light can appear suddenly, it can change its shape and position, and it can last from a several minutes to a few hours.  It appears in the ionosphere, 80 – 100 kilometers high, mostly in summer evenings, but it can also appear during the day.

* it is a wind that blows from north, toward the Eastern Mediterranean, and it blows from May to October. There are six types of etezia.