The climate in Australia

Average daytime and nighttime temperatures

All climate diagrams on this page come from the collected data of 117 weather stations.
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 the European summer, while the warmest months are in the European winter. For seven 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 four 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, a temperature of 68°C was measured on occasion, but there seems to be neither a place nor a date for this. Instead, the Australian Bureau of Meteorolgy (PDF) officially reports a heat record of 49.5°C on December 24, 1972. The hottest temperature ever measured throughout Australia was 50.7°C and was recorded in South Australia on January 2, 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 ocean currents.

Almost 80 percent 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 in the Australian summer and there are areas where no rain falls for years.
Duration of daylight and sunshine in Australia
Compare climate with other regions or countries
Hours of sunshine per daySunshine hours per day in Australia
Rain days per monthRain days per month in Australia
Precipitation in mm/dayPrecipitation in Australia
Water temperatureWater temperatures in Australia
Relative humidity in %Relative humidity in Australia
Absolute humidity in g/m³Absolute humidity in Australia

Federal states in Australia

All figures per year. For detailed climate data click on the name of the region.

Federal stateTemperature
max Ø day
min Ø night
Australian Capital Territory21.0 °C6.9 °C2,920 h68 577 l
New South Wales23.9 °C11.5 °C2,957 h70 770 l
Northern Territory32.0 °C19.9 °C3,212 h65 1,029 l
Queensland29.8 °C18.0 °C2,884 h66 956 l
South Australia21.7 °C10.7 °C2,847 h79 471 l
Tasmania17.7 °C8.8 °C2,446 h89 610 l
Victoria21.3 °C10.1 °C2,738 h77 515 l
Western Australia27.2 °C14.7 °C3,212 h54 449 l

Temperature records of the last 74 years

The hottest temperature measured from 1949 to January 2023 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 meters altitude, was recorded in 1988 with an average temperature of 16.9 °C. This average temperature will normally be measured every four to six hours, thus also including the nights. Normally, this value is 15.6 degrees Celsius.

The coldest day in these 74 years was reported by the Inverell, NSW weather station. 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.

The most precipitation fell in January 1981. With 45.7 mm per day, the Cairns, QLD weather station recorded the highest monthly average of the last 74 years. Incidentally, the region with the most rainfall for the whole year is around Cairns, QLD. The driest region is near Marree, SA.

Long-term development of temperatures from 1974 - 2022

In contrast to single record values, long-term development cannot simply be brought about by all weather stations in the country. Both the number and the locations are constantly changing. An average value would give a distorted result. If several measuring stations in particularly cold mountain or coastal regions are added in one year, the average would decrease as a result of this alone. If a station fails during the summer or winter months, it does not provide any values and distorts the average again. The subsequent long-term development was therefore reduced to only 5 measuring points in order to have comparable data over as long a period as possible.

In the years 1974 to 2022, there were only these 5 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 January 2019 at 27.6 °C. July 1982 was the coldest month with an average temperature of 13.7 °C.

The average annual temperature was about 20.6 °C in the years after 1974 and about 21.8 °C in the last years before 2022. So in less than 49 years, it has increased by about 1.2 °C. This trend only applies to the selected 5 weather stations in Australia. A considerably more comprehensive evaluation of global warming has been provided separately.

Long-term development of temperatures in Australia

Data basis and methodology

The data from the individual measuring stations are based on the archives of the German Weather Service, individual values averaged and supplemented by own elements. In order to determine a representative national average, average values were first calculated for each part of the country, which were then summarized at the national level. Thus, if a disproportionate number of weather stations are located in a small area, their number does not affect the national average.
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