The climate of Antarctica
The continent of Antarctica consists of a large region surrounding the
South Pole which is the most southerly located region in the World.
Antarctica consists of the Antarctic mainland, the islands on the
continental shelf, the South Orkney Islands, the South Shetland
Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Bouvet
Islands and Heard and the McDonald Islands.
On whatstheweatherlike.org the shown climate information only applies
to the Antarctic mainland. Antarctica has an ice climate, type EF
according to the Köppen climate classification. To be classified as
this climate type average temperatures have to be below freezing
point all year round. During the coldest month it has to be colder
than -3 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit), which can hardly
ever be recorded during the coldest month here. In many ways
Antarctica has a unique climate. The lowest temperatures on earth
can be recorded here, the South Pole is extremely dry and the wind
always comes from the east. Winds blow hardest along the coast.
Climate information of places and areas in Antarctica
The climate information given on this page is only brief. Specific
information on weather and climate can be found on the pages per
region or city. The following climate information is available for
It hardly ever rains on Antarctica. Only during the warmest
months precipitation in the form of rain may fall in the coastal
regions of the continent. Further into the interior rainfall is
technically impossible because temperatures are always below
freezing point. Because of this precipitation in the interior always
falls in the form of snow. Along the coast precipitation almost
always falls in the form of snow or glazed frost. Because of air
currents on and around Antarctica depressions hardly ever reach the
interior. Precipitation figures rapidly decrease when you move
further toward the South Pole. Precipitation figures around the
South Pole are negligible. Along the coast annual precipitation
figures vary from a few hundred to 1,000 millimeters. In this case
it would be the amount of water that remains after you would melt
the snow that falls here.
It will not surprise anybody that it may get extremely cold on
Antarctica. However, large differences in temperatures can be
recorded. The seas surrounding Antarctica cause temperatures to be
higher in the coastal regions. In the center of Antarctica it is
much colder which is caused by several factors. Firstly there is the
absence of sunshine (from 21 March till 23 September it is
continuously dark here). Secondly, the center is located at an
altitude of more than 2 kilometers above sea level and finally
because of the reflection of sunlight on the thick layer of ice. In
the central part of Antarctica average 24 hour temperatures are
between -50 to -60 degrees Celsius (-58 to -76 degrees Fahrenheit).
It may even get colder, at the Vostok Station temperatures dropped
to -89.2 Celsius (-129 degrees Fahrenheit) in 1983. This is the
lowest temperature ever recorded on earth. A so-called wind chill
causes it to feel even colder. Because of these fierce winds it may
feel up to 20 degrees colder than it actually is.
Throughout Antarctica several climate figures and temperatures can
be recorded. The figures below are for the South Pole and cannot be
seen as an average. For climate figures for other places and regions
in Antarctica please, visit the individual climate pages.
More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of
the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time.
How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can
often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra
climate information per month. The figures below apply to the South
Pole. For climate figures on specific regions and places please,
visit the relevant individual climate pages
The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.