Due to the vast and diverse landscape covering Australia, the climate varies dramatically in different parts of the country.
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Canberra, the capital of Australia is found in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). In Canberra you would experience a continental climate as it is located away from the coast. The summers are mild and wet, with a few warm days. Winters in Canberra are quite cold with frequent frost and fog.
A lot of the high-altitude mountain ranges in the south-west get covered with snow during winter. During Spring and Summer (October – March), occasional thunderstorms could occur. Rainfall is highest during the spring and summer and lowest during winter.
Sydney, New South Wales (NSW)
More than half of the state of NSW has a semi-arid climate. In the state capital of Sydney, the climate can be described as humid subtropical, with hot and humid summers and mild winters. The eastern part of the state experiences a temperate climate, a desert climate to the west, and an oceanic climate to the south. In the Snowy Mountains region of NSW in the South-East, the weather tends to be either subpolar oceanic or alpine, with extremely cold weather all year round, and snowfall during winter.
Sydney has one of the best weather conditions, averaging 15-17 degrees year-round. The city experiences mild and cool winters, and warm and hot summers. The highest rainfall is recorded during the first half of the year. Sydney also experiences around 20 thunderstorms per year on average. Sunshine is plentiful in the months of January and August. Spring is quite dry in Sydney, and during summer, the temperatures could rise well above 35 degrees.
Darwin, Northern Territory (NT)
The Northern Territory (NT) has two distinct climate zones. In Darwin, the climate is a tropical wet and dry climate, and experiences very high levels of humidity, and two seasons; the wet season (October – April) and the dry season (May – September). During the dry season, almost every day is warm and sunny with a humidity level of 30% in the afternoons. May and September months have mild rainfall, and June and July are the coolest months; the weather can go down to as low as 14 degrees Celsius. The wet season brings monsoon rains and tropical cyclones, with maximum rainfall during December – March, accompanied by frequent thunderstorms. The temperature remains approximately around 30 degrees Celsius for most of the year. However, certain parts of the Northern Territory experience monsoon weather including hurricanes and typhoons.
A majority of the State experiences two distinct seasons; winter which is accompanied by warm temperatures and low rainfall and Summer, which can get very hot, sticky and high rainfall levels. Parts of Queensland also experience monsoon weather including hurricanes and typhoons. Brisbane, the capital of Queensland experiences a subtropical climate, where most of the year is warm and humid, and residents enjoy around 2,800 hours of sunshine annually. Most rainfall occurs during the summertime and can be accompanied by thunderstorms including torrential rain. Winter is generally dry, with clear, blue skies. The hottest months are during summer (December – February) and the weather can get very sticky and humid.
Adelaide, South Australia
The climate in Adelaide is Mediterranean, with cool, mild winters and a fair amount of rainfall. Summers are generally dry and hot; Adelaide is the driest of all Australian capital cities. In recent years, Adelaide has experienced spikes in heatwaves, droughts and extremely high temperatures, which could be attributed to global warming and climate change. In winter, Adelaide experiences substantial wind chills, and makes the temperature seem cooler than it actually is. In summer, rain is infrequent and light, and in winter there are heavy periods of rain, with June being the wettest month of the year.
Tasmania experiences a cool, temperate climate and has four seasons. Summer is the warmest (December – February), with average temperatures ranging from 17 to 23 degrees Celsius. Winter is a lot colder, and averages around 3 to 11 degrees Celsius. Rainfall in different parts of the island varies, and the capital; Hobart gets very little rainfall and is the second driest capital city after Adelaide. In Tasmania, Australians experience the harshest and coldest conditions during winter, with hail and snow. Summers are generally mild, with a low of mid-twenties. The weather in Tasmania is quite unpredictable, so you should always be prepared, and carry an umbrella and a raincoat/jacket for extra measure.
Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, has a temperate oceanic climate, and is known for its extremely unpredictable weather patterns. This is largely due to its geographical location. During spring and summer, Melbourne faces strong cold fronts, with severe weather patterns, including thunderstorms, gales, heavy rain, and even on occasion; hail. Melbourne is known to experience all four seasons in one day, with sudden formation of isolated showers, which are heavy and include hail and strong gusts of wind. These temperature changes could sometimes last only several minutes before it passes on, and the weather clears to a more sunny, calmer state. This could happen several times in a single day. Summers in Melbourne are known for their extreme heat, especially in the months of January and February. Winters can get quite cold, with moderate rainfall, accompanied by occasional frost and fog, especially during the months of June and July. Winter averages at about 10-12 degrees, and during summer it averages around 25 degrees Celsius, but has been known to rise over 40 degrees Celsius on occasion. October is known to be the wettest month in Melbourne.
Perth, Western Australia
Perth has a Mediterranean climate and experiences hot and dry summers through December- March, with sporadic showers, and thunderstorms, and the occasional tropical cyclone. Winters are quite mild, but wet, with a significant amount of rainfall. Perth experiences several days of sunshine and is known as the sunniest capital city in Australia.