Het klimaat is te danken aan de lokale sub-mediterrane warme zomers en milde winters met weinig neerslag.
De jaarlijkse gemiddelde "winter" temperatuur is 13 - 15°C. Aan de Gardone Riviera, de zuidwestelijke oever van het meer, heerst het mildste klimaat ten noorden van de Apennijnen. De belangrijkste wind op de noordelijke meren zijn de Ora en de Peler. De Ora is een zuidelijke wind, die 's middags begint en waait tot in de vroege avonduren. (Ook bekend onder de naam Vento (italiaans voor wind))
De Pelèr is een noordenwind, die begint in de tweede helft van de nacht en doorgaat tot in de ochtend.
Met name deze wind uit het noorden, waaiend tussen Torbole en Malcesine, is erg populair bij zeilers en surfers.
It's the King of all Lake Garda winds, a "good-weather" wind. It's constant and steady in the months of June, July, August & September, and starts between midnight and 3 am.
A characteristic of the Peler are three big waves, the biggest of these three is the second that is ideal for windsurf acrobatics.
Bigger waves are to be found a little more south near Torri del Benaco and even bigger near Toscolano.
The Peler lasts about 12 hours, but if it builds up stronger than its usual 4/5 Beaufort, then it can last until 2 or 3 pm. It brings strong waves and stirs up the deep cold water from the depth of the lake bringing the water temperature down, so delaying the Ora wind to develop. In the late afternoon the water turns flat and a strong current conveys the water back north past Brenzone, Malcesine & Navene. Later in the evening the north wind builds up again.
The most famous Garda wind blows from south to north and builds itself from many smaller winds that meet between Gargnano and Brenzone to form the ora. It's quite regular in spring, summer and autumn. Stronger and most reliable in summer because it uses the strong sunrays reflected from the water and the mountains around the northern part of the lake. The Ora starts when the Peler drops between 12 and 1.30 pm. and ends, in normal conditions, at sunset. Its wind force varies considerably, for example: in Brenzone 1-2, in Campione 3-5, in Malcesine 2-4 and in Torbole 4-5 Beaufort the further up the lake it blows the stronger it gets.
It comes from the Ballino mountains over the north western valley of Riva. The Bali comes after a snowfall on the mountains or in summer after a strong temperature fall and builds up in the same area as the Peler. Stronger than the Peler, the mountains north of Navene reflect it back to the middle of the lake. It can reach between 5-8 Bf. and last even 2 or 3 days. In Summer it can fall after a storm or after a long rainfall. It can be dangerous when for example on a late afternoon, after sunset it can increase by 2 Bf. In this case you should reach the nearest harbour for shelter or if you are a windsurfer make your way back, at least until the wind gets stable. In these days the most number of accidents occurs. Being an offshore wind it's difficult to acknowledge.
When in summer an early morning light south wind picks up, the so called "bad-weather Ora" or as the local fishermen call it: "Vent de temporal" (in Torbole it can reach 6-7 Bf.) it will certainly rain before sunset. When the wind dies out the strong rainfall and low temperature can generate the Bali in the evening. When in the afternoon, in normal weather conditions or when clouds pass the northern mountains, and the Ora has calmed down, then in the shortest of time, depending on the temperature drop, the Peler or Bali can form. With low sunrays these winds become stronger and hold until 2 pm. the next day.