How Do Different Weather Conditions Affect Solar Panels?

While solar panels are designed, constructed and installed in such a way that they’re able to work effectively under a variety of conditions, some types of weather can impact their productivity.

To help you better understand how your solar system might be expected to function during certain weather conditions, here is a brief guide:

Cloudy days

On a really cloudy day, the amount of sunlight that hits the solar panels on a roof will likely be reduced, and the system may struggle to produce as much electricity as it might on a sunny day. Shade, such as that provided by trees or nearby buildings, can also reduce sunlight and make the panels less effective.

Heavy rain

Solar systems installed in regions that typically experience a lot of rain or snow (or both), may become rusted over time, or short out. Very heavy rain or snow may also damage the panels themselves, so take care to remove any build up of snow from the panels if safe to do so.

Extreme temperatures

While solar panels are designed to absorb the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity, very hot weather can cause them to expand and warp, while very cold weather may cause them to contract and crack. Ideally, solar panels should be installed on the south-facing side of a building, where they are least likely to be exposed to extreme weather conditions.

Debris and airborne particles

Anything that falls on the surface of the solar panels and remains there (such as dust, pollen or general grime), has the ability to affect their efficiency, as sunlight will be prevented from reaching the panels.


Hailstones can be incredibly powerful, and despite the fact that solar panels are constructed using tempered glass – which is designed to be stronger – they may still crack from the impact of hail.


As we all know, lightning strikes are incredibly dangerous, and if a solar panel system is struck by lightning, the panels may become damaged, as could the equipment they’re connected to, such as the grid and power lines etc. A lightning strike may also cause a power outage, and it’s highly recommended to stay away from solar panels in the event of a thunderstorm.

Tornadoes and hurricanes

Tornados and hurricanes are highly destructive weather events, and they have the ability to break a solar system, rip the panels completely off of their mounts, or damage them due to high winds and flying debris. If you live in an area of the country prone to such extreme weather events, it may be wise to invest in hurricane straps, which keep the solar panels more securely attached to their mounts.

If you’re worried about weather and how it may impact your solar panels, seek guidance from local solar panel installers. They will help make sure that your panels are placed in the most effective position on your roof, in order to maximize electricity generation, whatever the weather.


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