The climate in Australia

vgwortAverage daytime and nighttime temperatures

All climatic diagrams of this page are taken from the collected data from 116 measuring stations in Australia.
Weather stations at an altitude above 710m have not been included.
All data correspond to the average monthly values of the last 20 years.

Back to overview: Australia

Due to Australia's location in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed here. The coldest months are in our summer, while the warmest months are in our winter. In 7 months the average daily maximum temperatures are over 25 degrees. Pleasant water temperatures of up to 28 degrees invite you to swim in many coastal areas. Essentially, Australia can be divided into 4 climate zones:

In the north there is a tropical climate with cyclones and heavy monsoon rains between November and April. At this time of the year, the temperatures are around 30°C in many places. Even at night it only cools to around 25°C. The heaviest rainfalls and highest humidity are in the northwest of the country at the Pacific Ocean.

New South Wales and Queensland on the western coast to the Pacific Ocean lie in a subtropical climate zone. This means a high humidity almost all year round with higher temperatures and pronounced rainy seasons. The vegetation in these areas is equally attractive.

In the north of Queensland, according to rumours, the temperature of 68°C was measured sometime, but there seems to be neither a place nor a date for this. Instead, the Australian Bureau of Meteorolgy officially reports a heat record of 49.5°C on 24 December 1972. The hottest temperature ever measured throughout Australia was 50.7°C and was recorded in South Australia on 2 January 1960.

The south of Australia lies in a predominantly temperate climate zone. Even the island of Tasmania to the south lies only at the 42nd degree of latitude and is thus approximately as far away from the equator as, for example, Corsica. The air temperatures here are correspondingly warm, only the water temperatures are significantly lower due to the oceanic currents.

Almost 80% of the country and thus almost the entire interior consists of semi-arid steppes and uninhabited arid deserts. The further away one is from the coasts, the hotter it gets and the lower the precipitation. Even in the cooler seasons the temperatures are always above 20°C. The hottest areas are in the central to northern part of Western Australia. Here it is 40-45°C hot in the Australian summer and there are areas where no rain falls for years.

Duration of daylight and sunshine in Australia

hours of sunshine per day
Sunshine hours per day in Australia
rainy days per month
Rainy days per month in Australia
Precipitation in mm/day
Precipitation in Australia
Relative humidity in %
Relative humidity in Australia
Water temperature
Water temperatures in Australia
Absolute humidity in g/m³ (approx.)
Absolute humidity in Australia

Temperature records of the last 71 years

The hottest temperature measured from 1949 to October 2020 was reported by the Tarcoola Sa weather station. In January 2019 the record temperature of 49.1 °C was reported here. The hottest summer from July to September, based on all 128 weather stations in Australia below 710 metres altitude, was recorded in 1988 with an average temperature of 16.9 °C. This average temperature will normally be measured every 4 to 6 hours, thus also including the nights. Normally, this value is 15.6 degrees Celsius.

The coldest day in these 71 years was reported by the weather station Inverell Nsw. Here the temperature dropped to -8.9 °C in July 2006. Inverell Nsw lies at an altitude of 636 meters above sea level. The coldest winter (January to March) was in 2011 with an average temperature of 23.4 °C. In Australia, it is usual to have about 1.2 degrees more at 24.6 °C for this three-month period.

Long-term development of temperatures from 1974 - 2019

In contrast to single record values, a long-term development cannot simply be brought about by all weather stations in the country. Both the number and the locations are constantly changing. A simply calculated average value would give a falsified result. If several measuring stations in particularly cold mountain or coastal regions are added in one year, the average would already decrease as a result of this alone. If a station fails during the summer or winter months, it does not provide any values and falsifies the average again. The subsequent long-term development was therefore reduced to only 6 measuring points in order to have actually comparable data over as long a period as possible.

In the years 1974 to 2019 there were only these 6 weather stations in the whole country, which reported continuous temperature values. From these weather reports we have created a long-term development that shows the monthly average temperatures. The hottest month in this entire period was 2019 with 28.5 °C. 1982 was the coldest month with an average temperature of 12.9 °C.

The average annual temperature was about 20.6 °C in the years after 1974 and about 22.0 °C in the last years before 2019. So in less than 46 years it has increased by about 1.4 °C. This trend only applies to the selected 6 weather stations in Australia. A considerably more comprehensive evaluation of the global warming has been provided separately.

Long-term development of temperatures in Australia

More detailed information on global warming with a view by continent can also be found on our topic page on climate change. Data basis: German Weather Service, individual values averaged and supplemented by own elements.