The climate is temperate; rapid changes in temperature are rare. Average temperatures in January, the coldest month of the year, range from 1.5° C (35° F ) in the lowlands to –6° C (21° F ) in the mountains. July is the warmest month of the year, with average temperatures between 18° C (64° F ) in low-lying areas to 20° C (68° F ) in the sheltered valleys of the south. The upper valley of the Rhine has an extremely mild climate. Upper Bavaria experiences a warm alpine wind ( Föhn) from the south. The Harz Mountains form their own climatic zone, with cool summers, cold wind, and heavy snowfalls in winter.
Precipitation occurs throughout the year: in the northern lowlands, from 51 to 71 cm (20–28 in); in the central uplands, from 69 to 152 cm (27–60 in); in the Bavarian Alps, to more than 200 cm (80 in). The higher mountains are snow covered from at least January to March.