Local climate

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Together with the characteristics of the rocks, the climate is also fundamental in determining the quality and quantity of plant cover and soil formation.
In terms of temperature, the Sabatini basin has a temperate Mediterranean climate, warm and quite humid, with a long summer and mild winter. The average winter temperature is always higher than 5°C at all stations. The range is limited during the winter, quite high in the summer and appreciable even during spring and autumn. The absolute minimum rarely drop below 0°C. Throughout the Sabatini region, mean annual rainfall amounts to 970 mm. Of this, 55% (547 mm) is returned to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration, while the remaining 423 mm filters into the ground or flows into the sea through the watercourses).

Mean monthly rainfall figures show that November is the rainiest month in the Sabatini region, with an average of about 148 mm of rain. The driest is July with about 19 mm of rain. There is a semi-arid period from June to August, although in recent years, the eccentric behaviour of the weather has brought violent and unexpected floods and long periods of complete summer drought. In exceptional cases the tiny Mignone River can turn into a roaring monster. At Rota, the flow of the river in full flood often exceeds 100 m3/sec. During the 1981 flood, the flow at the Aurelia station was estimated to be greater than or equal to 700 m3/sec.
In the Rafanello area, part of the water from the river (about 320 l/sec) is drawn off for drinking water and enters the Civitavecchia aqueduct.

Although obviously varying according to the type of rock, the build up of water in the ground diminishes during May and June due to the lack of rainfall, ceases altogether in July, August and September, then picks up again in October. It peaks from November to April.
This type of climate favours the growth of oak woods and, in particular habitats such as the gorges, the development of even "cooler" types of woodland.

Ultimo aggiornamento: 3.09.2009 (15:15)   Stampa Stampa