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Weather and Climate in Australia 

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An Australian Climate and Weather Oveview

The weather in Australia is as variable as the climate, with spring being the time of frequent changes and autumn usually being the most stable. Some parts of Australia - Melbourne and Canberra, for instance - experience all four seasons in one day, with a very cold, frosty start rapidly warming up to soaring, humid heat, only to cool off rapidly with hail or a big thunderstorm in the afternoon.

The top end of Australia is up near the equator, so you can expect tropical weather there. It is rarely cold - they don’t know what the word means. The two seasons around Darwin and other centres in that area are hot and wet for summer or hot and dry in the winter. The hot, wet summers are times of flooding, so tourist activities are limited. Tourists prefer to go in winter when they are sure of getting to their destinations.

The centre of Australia is more arid desert climate than anything else. While there is some rain, it falls sparsely, so the visitor can forget about taking an umbrella. A sunhat and a bottle of water are certainly needed though. In fact, anyone travelling to the red centre should take extra water as a matter of precaution. Cars sometimes break down and you don’t want to be caught without water.

Queensland is said to have the best weather, but even that is variable. Snow has been found falling 15 stories up in Brisbane. Mostly the weather is fine, hot and sunny, with not many rainy days to spoil the tourist’s pleasure.

The mid north coast of NSW has great weather with not too many days at either end of the spectrum. Winter weather is anywhere between -7C and 20C, while in the summer the temperatures can get up around 38C but rarely any more. Summer nights vary between 6C and 20C. Inland the nights can get cold enough for frosts, but with all that flat land the days warm up very quickly. Up on plateau regions you can get frosts at Christmas. There the temperatures are hot and dry in the summer with little humidity, but cold in the winter.

But if you head up to the higher regions such as the Blue Mountains, there is even colder weather to cope with. Summers are not hot - you hardly ever want to swim up there. Winter brings snow and cold, raw days that make you huddle in front of the fire. Once snow falls, people flock to places such as Thredbo for the skiing.

The southern part of Australia has a short, warm to hot summer and a long, cold winter. Not cold as in English cold weather, but cold for those people who have grown up with milder stuff. Adelaide can have summer temperatures up to 37C, when bushfires whip through the countryside destroying everything in their wake. Other times the summers don’t exceed 27C.

So the temperatures and climatic conditions in Australia vary tremendously from state to state and even within the state. A lot depends on the height above sea level - the highest being the coldest. No matter where you go, you’ll probably experience this variation; so throw a jumper in with your bikini.