Lake Balaton is the largest lake in our country, and as a large water surface, it creates unique weather conditions around it, which is called microclimate. The water compensates weather extremes, so the coastal environment of the autumn and winter is mild, while summers are a bit cooler than average.
The weather of the lake is strongly influenced by Mediterranean climate. The western basin of the lake is close to the southwestern portion of country, so the weather is wetter there, while the eastern basin is slightly drier than average. Besides Mediterranean, the Atlantic and Continental climate prevail strong effect as well.
The hottest month is July, but August and June also offer favorable conditions for bathing. The number of sunshine hours is 2000 around the lake which makes the weather ideal for going to the beach. The driest summer month is August, which is perhaps the most ideal month for the holiday.
Water temperature of lake Balaton
The temperature of the shallow water can even rise up to 28-35°C, but the water temperature of the lake is generally above 20°C in the summer months. During a wind storm, the deeper layers of the water can reach the surface, which makes the water cooler.
Balaton in winter
Weather of Lake Balaton is interesting not just in summer. In winter, sometimes up to 20-35 cm of ice is formed on the lake, which creates ideal conditions for ice skating.
Storm warnings at Lake Balaton
Because of the considerable longitudinal dimension of the lake, mutually disparate weather conditions may occur in different areas. While calm reigns in one basin, a violent wind rages in the other. Storms at Lake Balaton occur more frequently at the beginning of the summer.
The National Weather Service warning observatory at Siófok deals with storm warnings for the Balaton area and between 1 April and 31 October operates the storm warning system. Yellow lights indicating the meteorological conditions are displayed at 26 (+16 mobile) points along the shore.
Level I storm warning
If the wind is liable to attain a speed of 12 m/s (45km/h - 24 knots) within 3 hours, a Level I storm warning is ordered. On the approach of a storm (strong wind, medium or big waves), a yellow light flashing 45 times a minute indicates Level I, whereupon swimmers may only bathe/swim, boats and other water sports craft may only navigate within a 500m wide zone off the shore.
Level II storm warning
If the wind speed will exceed 17 m/s (65 km/h - 34 knots) immediately or within 1 - 2 hours, a Level II storm warning is ordered. On the imminent occurrence of a storm (heavy storm or hurricane), a yellow light flashing 90 times a minute indicates the Level II storm warning, whereupon a prohibition on navigation applies to small vessels of Class B under sail, on other boats and water sports craft as well as on swimming.