Australia experiences temperate weather for most of the year but the climate can vary due to the size of our continent.
The northern states typically experience warm weather much of the time, with the southern states experiencing cooler winters. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring.
Sydney enjoys a sunny, Mediterranean-style climate all year round with more than 340 sunny days per year. Summers are warm to hot and winters are mild, with rainfall spread fairly evenly throughout the year. In summer (December-February), average maximum temperatures are around 26°C/79°F It can also be humid at this time with an average humidity of 65 per cent. Average maximum temperatures in the winter months (June-August) are around 16°C/61°F. Sydney’s rainfall is highest between March and June.
Like the rest of Queensland, Cairns experiences two distinct weather seasons, the ‘wet' season and the ‘dry' season. Tropical Cairns has hot and humid summers and mild, dry winters. The average annual rainfall is around 1992 mm, mostly falling between January and March. The wet season begins building up around December, resulting in humid days and stormy nights. Typical daytime temperatures in Cairns are 23-31°C/73°F-88°F in mid-summer and 18 °C/64°F in mid-winter. Tropical cyclones sometimes occur from November through May.
Tasmania and Hobart experience four distinct seasons. Its climate is described as mild temperate maritime. The warmest months are December, January, February and March with average temperatures of around 21°C/70°F With an annual average of 626 millimetres of rainfall, Hobart is Australia's second-driest capital city. Rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the year, although the winter months are the wettest. During winter the island feels the southerly winds from the Antarctic and experiences some of Australia’s coolest temperatures.
Canberra has a mostly dry climate with warm to hot summers and cool winters. Canberra has around nine hours a day of sunshine in summer, dropping to around five hours in winter. January is the hottest month with average maximum temperatures of 28°C/82 °F. The average annual rainfall is 629 mm with October the wettest month. During winter snow falls in the nearby Australian Alps. Average daily temperatures in the city in winter are around 11°C/52°F; dropping below 0°C/32°F at night.
The climate of Alice Springs in Australia's Red Centre is one of extremes. Unlike the Top End of the Northern Territory which has a tropical climate, the Red Centre has a semi-arid climate. In summer (December-February), average temperatures range between 20°C/68°F and 35°C/95°F. In winter (June-August), the average temperature range is 3°C/37°F to 20°C/68°F. Spring and autumn have warm days and cool evenings. Rainfall varies dramatically from year to year, but the annual average is around 286mm.
Victoria's climate is marked by a range of different climate zones, from the hot, dry regions of the northwest to the alpine snowfields in the northeast. Melbourne has a reputation for its changeable weather, often referred to as having ‘four seasons in one day'. Generally the city enjoys a temperate climate with warm to hot summers; mild, temperate springs and autumns; and cool winters. Temperatures average 25°C/77°F in summer and 14°C/57°F in winter. Rainfall is highest from May to October.
Brisbane has a subtropical climate with warm or hot weather for most of the year. In summer (December-February), maximum temperatures average around 30°C/86°F. The city experiences its highest rainfall in summer which sometimes brings thunderstorms and occasional floods. This is also the most humid time of the year in Brisbane. Winter time is generally dry and mild. Most winter days are sunny with average temperatures of around 17°C/63°F. The average monthly rainfall over the year is around 96 mm.
Broome has a tropical climate with hot and humid summers and warm winters. From October to April temperatures average around 33°C/91°F. Winters (June-August) are mild, with average daily July temperatures around 27°C/81°F. Overnight temperatures rarely fall below 5°C/41°F at any time of year. The average annual rainfall is 532 mm but sometimes no rain falls for months. January to March is the wettest time of year. Tropical cyclones can occur from November to April, most commonly in January and February.
South Australia's climate varies from hot and dry in the interior, to mild and wet in the south and coastal regions. Adelaide generally has mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. It is the driest of all the Australian capital cities. The average annual rainfall is 553 mm. June is the wettest month, averaging around 80 mm. The average rainfall in summer is around 20 mm. The average maximum temperature is 29°C/84°F in summer and 15-16°C/59°F-61°F in winter.
Western Australia has a number of climate zones due to its enormous size. The southwest has mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Perth has more sunny days annually than any other Australian capital city. Rainfall is highest between May and September. February is usually the hottest month of the year, with temperatures averaging 31°C/88°F. A sea breeze called ‘The Fremantle Doctor' provides some relief from the heat. Winters are relatively cool and wet with daytime temperatures ranging from 18-21°C/64-70°F.