The climate of Australia
Australia is a big country in with different climate zones. The centre
of Australia which is the largest part of the island has a warm desert
climate (Type BWh according to the Köppen climate classification) and
is surrounded by a large zone of warm steppe climate (type BSh). The
northern part of Australia has a tropical savannah climate, also known
as a subtropical climate. A maritime climate can be found in the
southern and eastern parts of Australia. These are further subdivided
into CSb, Cf and Cw types of the Köppen climate classification.
Because Australia is located in the southern hemisphere seasons are
exactly opposite of ours. When winter falls in The Netherlands, summer
will start in Australia and the other way around.
Warm and relatively dry
Because Australia is close to the equator it`s a relatively warm
country. In the northern part temperatures will still be above 20
degrees Celsius during the winter. Only in some southern parts will
there be a slight chance of frost or snow. Australia is also rather
dry. Over half of the country gets less than five hundred millimetres
of rain a year. In the northern, eastern and some of the southern
parts the quantities of precipitation are comparable with those in The
Netherlands or slightly higher.
Climate information on cities and regions in Australia
The climate information given on this page is concise. Specific
information on weather and climate can be found on the pages per
region or city. The following climate information is available for
Climate information of places and areas in Australia
The climate information on this page is only brief. Specific
information about weather and climate can be found on the climate
pages per area or town. As for Australia the following climate
information is available:
Australian summers coincide with our winters. During the months of
December, January and February it can be warm to very hot. In central
Australia precipitation is scarce as it is the year round. In the
eastern and southern parts it will be drier than in winter. In the
(sub)tropical north summers are very wet. In the city of Darwin there
is a precipitation of 1000 millimeters on average during these three
months. Temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius are very common in
Australia. In some places official records state temperatures over 50
Heat-waves are also common in Australia. They can last for a very long
time. The longest heat-wave on record in Australia lasted for 161
days. This heat-wave was registered in the city of Marble Bar in the
western part of Australia. From the 30 October 1923 until the 7 April
1924 temperatures rose over 100 degrees Fahrenheit every day. (37.8
During winter months in Australia temperature and weather show great
variations. The northern part is warm, sunny and dry. In southern
parts temperatures are much colder. In the higher regions there is a
chance of frost and snow. Mount Hotham, Mount Buller and Falls Creek
can even be suitable for winter sports. Australia`s coldest state is
Tasmania. Temperatures will be around zero degrees Celsius at night
and around 10 degrees Celsius during the day. Even in the desert
temperatures are much lower. During the day temperatures will be
around 20 degrees Celsius on average. During the night temperatures
are around zero degrees Celsius. In Alice Springs a minimum
temperature of 7.5 degrees below zero was measured in July 1976.
During the summer months hurricanes can be formed. In Australia
hurricanes are also known as tropical cyclones or ‘Willy-Willy’. In
Australia the hurricane season is relatively short. It lasts only for
three months (from January till March). Hurricanes come from the
eastern direction so only the north-eastern and northern parts of
Australia are confronted with this phenomenon.
Besides the aforementioned extremes like heat, heat-waves and
hurricanes other forms of extreme weather are quite common. You might
wake up in Sidney, look out of the window and find the air red with
dust. A strange sight caused by a north-western wind that picks up the
On average the wettest place in Australia is Tully which is located in
the north-eastern part just south of Cairns. Because it is located
between mountains and the ocean this city has the most precipitation.
Mount Bellenden Ker (1593 meters high) which is located near Tully
holds the record of the highest amount of rainfall in a year 12.461 mm
in 2000) and during one month (5387 mm in January 1979).
Whoever wants to see large hail stones can best travel to the states
of New South Wales or Victoria in the south-east. Sometimes cars and
windows are battered by hail stones the size of marbles or even tennis
The figures below are based on long term weather and climate
records in Sydney. They cannot be seen as an average for Australia
because of the large differences in this country.
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 information below is an average for
Australia, but it should be noted that the chance of hurricanes for
large parts of Australia is nil. In the desert zone there is a larger
chance of sunny weather. In the northern parts there is a higher
chance of precipitation in summer than in winter. The UV index is
slightly higher in the north and slightly lower in the south than
indicated in this table.
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.