Scandinavian to mediterranean
The climate of the nature park is very varied, both in terms of temperature and rainfall. In the lower regions such as the "Ortenau", a well-known sun trap around Offenburg, the average annual temperature is a mild 9 degrees Celsius (48.2 degrees Fahrenheit), whereas the average annual temperature on the Hornisgrinde, the highest mountain of the northern part (1163 metres above sea level), is only around 4 degrees Celsius (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit).
Black Forest winters are comparatively mild, with a lot of snow. In the higher regions, 100 days of snow per year are nothing unusual.
Temperature inversions in winter have the effect of bathing the mountain peaks in full sunshine while the valleys disappear under a dense blanket of fog. On these days it is much colder in the valleys than on the sunny mountain ridges.
If you compare the climatic profiles of the wine-growing regions of Baden in the west and the Hornisgrinde mountain with those of other countries, the climatic difference is the same as between southern Scandinavia and northern Italy � within a distance of only 10 kilometres.
With regard to rainfall, the nature park also shows very large regional and local variations. Rain clouds coming in from the Atlantic collide with the ridges of the northern Black Forest and discharge their first load here. This is why the highest rainfall, approx. 2,200 litres a year, a quarter of which falls as snow, is measured on the mountain range of the Hornisgrinde. This makes the higher parts of the northern Black Forest the area with the highest rainfall in Germany apart from the Alps.
Considerably less rainfall is measured in the north-east of the nature park and in the wine-growing areas of the west, the so-called promontory with a rainfall of less than 1000 litres per square metre. The vineyards of the promontory hills produce some of the best wines in Germany.