Weather Overview for Melbourne
Melbourne, technically the metropolitan area of Greater Melbourne, has a maritime temperate climate prone to drastic, unpredictable changes in short spaces of time. This changeability has seen the assimilation of the phrase ‘four seasons in one day’ into Melbourne’s local culture. The city sees all four seasons with hot summers and mild winters. The city is in the southeast of Australia, on Victoria’s northern coast. The city wraps around Port Phillip Bay which opens into the Bass Straight, separating Australia from Tasmania and the surrounding islands.
Summer in Melbourne lasts from December till February and average highs of 24°C rise marginally to 26°C in January and February. December still experiences quite changeable conditions but by the end of the month Melbourne summer launches into full swing. Rainfall does not vary much throughout the year in Melbourne and is generally low. This season is sometimes affected by droughts which combined with the heat can sometimes lead to grass and forest fires. Heat waves sometimes torment the city as in January (2009) with temperatures getting up to a stifling 41°C. The heat is almost always tempered by a cooling sea breeze. The sun is usually out but again, weather in Melbourne is unreliable from moment to moment.
Autumn, from March till May, sees temperatures falling to around 20°C, and with less chance of freak hot weather this period is often considered the nicest in Melbourne. However, towards the end of the season it begins to get quite cool, and rainfall increases; May is the wettest month of the year. Generally cool night times begin to be truly cold at 10°C.
Winter is very mild with the average high temperature never falling below 14°C from June till August. Night times are very chilly around 6°C but it very rarely gets down to freezing. Melbourne sees the occasional frost and fog can often comes in from the bay, but snow is pretty much unheard of. Rain falls regularly but in the form of drizzle rather than heavy showers. Out of the city in the alpine regions temperatures regularly drop down to -5°C and snow does fall.
Spring, from September till November, is the most indecisive season of the year. Days of sunshine, heating up into the 20s, can be interrupted by periods of cold and blustery showers. Melbourne usually experiences quite strong winds at this time of year, and uncharacteristically hot spells are often followed by a cold north wind.
Melbourne City, Australia.
Melbourne’s fickle weather can be attributed to its flat topography, proximity to the Dandenong Ranges, ridges and deep-cut streams, and also to the protective structure of the bay. Weather systems created out to sea and by the Dandenong Ranges get trapped in the bay and flit uninhibited about Melbourne. The bay is a fantastic destination for water sport lovers and Victoria’s diverse landscape, on Melbourne’s doorstep, opens up the whole range of outdoor activities from gentle strolling to rock climbing.