Cairns: Live Weather

Live weather in Cairns

The latest and today's weather in Cairns, Australia updated regularly

Wednesday 20 June
00:00 GMT | 10:00 AEST

Last updated:

19 Jun
UK Time: 00:25 BST
Local Time: 09:25 AEST
64°F (18°C)
12mph (20kmh)
  • Sunrise 06:45
  • Sunset 17:52
Temp feels like: 64°F (18°C)
Length of Day: 11h 7m
Pressure: 30.15" (1021 hpa)
Visiblity: 10 miles (16 km)
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Historic Temperatures for 20th June in Cairns

Average High 75°F (24°C)
Record High 81°F (27°C) (2005)
Average Low 64°F (18°C)
Record Low 54°F (12°C) (2004)

Weather in Cairns

The town of Cairns has a warm tropical climate all year round. For most of the year the weather in Cairns in purely wonderful; calm breezes, blue skies and generally just striking warm temperatures. Although given the towns location at the peak of Australia; rather than having four unique seasons there are really only two - the wet and the dry. This truly tropical climate assures tourists and residents a great opportunity for relaxation and outdoor activities - a perfect holiday destination during the town's dry season. In actual fact, numerous visitors and tourists to Cairns believe the town's climate to be very similar to the Hawaiian Islands.

However, despite the warm temperatures throughout the year, summers are very hot and humid especially from November to March. Cairns average annual temperature ranges between 28°C (82˚F) to 22°C (72˚F). Humidity on the other hand has a huge difference and fluctuates between 14% during mild winter to 98%- 99% during hot summer months. Cairns' hottest months are November, December, January, February and March.

The coldest months in Cairns are June, July and August with a low of 18°C (64˚F). Cairns' humidity levels is at the peak in December with a range of 92%-99% for the month, while July has the lowest humidity ranging between 14%-22%. Cairns receives the highest the highest rainfall in the year during the month of February with an average of 380mm (15 inches) for the month and a high of up to 460mm (18 inches). Rainfall is lowest in the month of August at an average of 20mm (0.8 inches). The amount of daylight in Cairns varies according to the month. The least amount of sunshine hours is in January to May and July which have 7 hours of sunshine per day. The sun shines the longest in October to December with 9 hours of sunshine per day. December has the longest days in Cairns with an average of about 13 hours of daylight. June has the shortest days with approximately 11 hours of daylight.

The best time to visit Cairns is during the winter months between June and August where temperatures are favourable. At this time, it's also the dry season so there's no too much rainfall. During this time, average length of sunshine is 7-8 hours per day. Many visitors love coming to Cairns at this time because it is not too hot and there's very little rain so you can comfortably be up and about during the day and have fun at night. This is the high season and many hotels and other accommodation facilities are booked to capacity. Take note, Cairns only experiences mild winters which are equivalent to summer in Sydney, Melbourne and other Australian cities.

The "wet season" which begins in November to late March is associated with torrential rains and extremely high humidity. The number of guests drop making it the "low season" for Cairns. This is an excellent time to visit Cairns especially if you're interested in discounted offers from both hotels and tour operators. Spring is also an ideal time to visit as the temperatures are just beginning to go up and the rainfall is still moderate.

Winter weather in Cairns

During winter (the dry season) Cairns is pleasant and the town experiences little rainfall. Temperatures average from 18°C to 26°C and will generally be days filled of dry sunlight and hesitant winds. Whatever the time of the year, it is difficult to say that it actually gets cold in Cairns. Nevertheless in July and August residents and locals of the town are known to complain about the crack in the warm weather as it can get down to 10°C overnight. Each year, the dry season commences approximately at the end of May and carries on until October. Rainfall during this time will average at approximately 35mm per month.

For both residents and visitors, this is the best time of the year since temperature, humidity and rainfall are all within manageable levels. During winter, it is dry and so visitors can extend their time outdoors late in the evening and continue having fun. Winter is an amazing time to visit as you will be able to have your dinner outdoors without having to worry about downpours. Humidity is at an all-time low with May having a significant drop in humidity from 75%-47%, June 47%-20% and July 20%-14%.

During winter months, the highest rainfall is received in June with an average of 50mm (2 inches) followed by July with 30mm (1.2 inches). The month with the lowest rainfall in winter is August with an average of 20mm (0.8 inches) which coincidentally, is the month with the lowest rainfall in the entire year. During winter months, there is still plenty of sunshine with an average of 7.5 hours each day.

Summer weather in Cairns 

Otherwise known as the rainy season; summertime in Cairns lasts a lot longer than winter. Extending from mid-October right through to May, some instances even June. Although this is the region's warmest period, it's almost certainly not the best time to vacation. The regions favourable beaches throughout this period are left untouched because of very dangerous box jellyfish. Temperatures over this point in time have been known to climb to 41°C but will generally average out between 28°C and 34°C. Some months over the summer will average in over 400 mm of rainfall; this is extremely severe comparing it to the dry season.

Throughout the rainy season it is common for tropical cyclones to dictate the typical weather, Cairns however, was constructed to endure through these storms and the town has survived many in the past. Babinda; a small town situated 10 minutes to Cairns south, was violently hit by Cyclone Larry in March 2006. The cyclone was rated as category five on the Australian scale and the storm damaged 80 percent of the town's structure, including the village's historic movie theatre and mostly all tourist attractions. On the other hand on a more positive note, the wet season around this region can also be somewhat amazing as this is the time the rivers, creeks and waterfalls are in their prime and the rainforest comes alive.

During summer, humidity is extremely high reaching a high of 98% in December and 99% in February. Humid conditions begin to rapidly increase in November from 76%-91% and on to 98% in December. In January the humidity remains constant at 98% and rises to 99% in February. On the other hand, there is a steady increase in rainfall as summer approaches with a significant increase in rainfall in November 130mm (5 inches).

Torrential rains are prevalent during the entire summer season with February leading with average of 380mm (15 inches), January 320mm (12.5 inches), December 130mm (5 inches) and November 130mm (5 inches). JanuaryFebruary and March have the highest sea temperature with an average of 29°C (84°F) for each month. During summer, there are extended hours of sunshine with November and December having 9 hours of sunshine while January-March have 7 hours of sunshine per day.

There are no major changes in weather patterns in autumn and spring. For this reason, they're not considered major seasons in Cairns. Emphasis is placed on summer and winter which have sharp differences in weather patterns.

Autumn weather in Cairns

This township shows to experience very little climate change during the months of autumn and spring. During April and May, whilst autumn would usually be well underway, the surroundings of the district are usually still recovering from the wet season.

During Autumn, average temperatures are 25°C (77°F) with highs of 28°C (82°F) and lows of 22°C (72°F). Humidity also drops significantly from 94% at the beginning of April to 47% in the course of May. In preparation of the dry winter season, rainfall begins to drop significantly from 190mm in April (7 inches) to 110mm (4 inches) in May. Sunshine hours remain constant at 7 hours per day.

Yet in September and October, known as Australia's best time of travel, Cairns is again preparing for monsoons and mass downfalls of rain. Cairns has a typical annual maximum temperature of 29°C and 62 percent precipitation, it's known as one of the most temperamental but most eye-catching towns in Australia

Spring Weather in Cairns

Summer and winter are the two distinct seasons in Cairns. Spring is not easily noticeable because the changes in weather are quite minimal as it serves as the transition from winter to summer. Spring in Cairns also witnesses a slight but steady increase in rainfall amounts as summer rains quickly approach. Between September and October, rainfall increases from a monthly average of 40mm (1.5 inches) in September to 50mm (2 inches) in October. There is a drastic increase in humidity levels from 26% at the beginning of September to 76% in the course of October.

The average temperature in spring begins to increase signaling summer is just around the corner. September has an average temperature of 23°C (73°F) which increases to 25°C (77°F) in October and 27°C (81°F) in November. There is a slight increase in the number of sunshine hours per day; from 8 hours to 9 hours daily.

Cairns Weather Hazards

Just like any other destination, Cairns also experiences its own share of bad weather. Even though major weather catastrophes haven't been reported in the recent times, it's still wise to understand Cairns weather hazards in order to adequately plan for holidays.


From past incidences, a majority of bad weather incidences happen during the long summer season between November and March. During this time, Cairns experiences heavy torrential rainfall that exposes the entire region to flooding. When it rains heavily, the topography in Cairns is unable to sustain increased water levels. Water levels in Cairns rise very fast especially when it rains heavily in the Tablelands causing rivers to swell and carry large water volumes downwards towards Cairns. Water levels can also increase due to continuous high tides especially in the course of heavy rains. The Bureau of Meteorology usually issues a flood warning if general weather forecasts point to the same. However, it's wise to be on the lookout as unexpected flash floods can also occur.


Cairns experiences cyclones considering it is the tropics which are usually prone to cyclones. Most cyclones which have been reported occur during summer i.e. November and March. There is a cyclone watch center and authorities issue a warning whenever a prediction is made.


Cairns has not been spared from landslides because of its sloping topography. During the heavy rains season in summer, there is a risk of landslides occurring and caution is needed especially on hill slopes. The largest landslide reported in Cairns was in 1951 in Ellis Beach where debris flowed from uphill and buried a section of the Captain Cook Highway. Even though no cases have been reported in recent times, smaller landslides do occur once in a while.


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