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Climate - Melbourne

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go

See also the US version (°F - inches - feet)

Flag - Australia

Melbourne, where it is
In Melbourne, city of South Australia and capital of the State of Victoria, the climate is subtropical oceanic, with mild winters and pleasantly warm summers, and an often variable weather. The city is in fact located enough to the south to be affected by the flow of westerly winds, which bring low pressure systems for several months a year.
Rainfall is not very abundant, since it amounts to 650 millimetres, but it is well distributed throughout the year, so that there is not a real dry season. However, the least rainy season is summer.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation Melbourne
Melbourne J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 50 45 55 60 55 55 50 50 60 70 60 60 670
Days 6 5 6 9 10 10 11 12 11 10 10 8 108

Although it has a mild climate, Melbourne is subject to temperature changes, because it can be reached either by cold air masses from the sea surrounding Antarctica, or by hot and dry air masses from the Australian desert.
The wind is quite frequent, since the westerlies blow regularly for most of the year, while in summer, when the weather is sunny, afternoon breezes blow from the sea. Not coincidentally, around Melbourne there are several beaches where people surf.
Here are the average temperatures.
Melbourne average temperatures
Melbourne J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) 14 14 13 11 8 7 6 6 8 9 11 12
Max (°C) 26 26 24 20 17 14 13 15 17 19 22 24

Winter, from late May to August, is mild, but also quite windy (the wind can increase the feeling of cold), and with quite frequent rains. Very cold days are rare: at night the temperature can drop to the freezing point. However, between a disturbance and the other there may also be some sunny days. The average temperature of the coldest month, July, is 9.5 °C.

Spring, from September to November, is initially cool, and becomes progressively milder. Thanks to the clashes between air masses, it's a windy and quite rainy season.

Summer, from December to mid-March, is pleasantly warm, since the maximum temperature is usually about 24/26 °C. The nights are still cool, indeed sometimes they are a bit cold, since lows can drop to 8/10 °C. The sun often shines, the wind blows frequently, and although it is the least rainy season, low pressure systems can still pass, associated with rains, besides some short thunderstorms can break out.
Although normally the summer is not very hot, and sometimes can be cool, at times there may be heatwaves, when the winds blow from the north, ie from the red-hot Australian desert. At best the temperature remains about 30/35 °C, but occasionally it can exceed 40 °C. For example, in January 2014, the temperature exceeded 40 °C for 5 days, of which 4 days in a row, with a maximum of 44 °C, but few days before the heat wave the minimum temperature was 8 °C, and a few days later is dropped down again to 10 °C, confirming the fact that these heat waves are torrid breaks in a climate which for the rest is mild.

Autumn, from mid-March to late May is mild, and becomes progressively cooler and rainier over the weeks. The wind blows as usual, and at night it can get a little cold, since the temperature can drop below 5 °C.

The amount of sunshine in Melbourne is better in summer, from December to February, when sunny days are quite frequent, while in the rest of the year is just okay, because as we said, the weather is often variable or bad. In winter there can also be a bit of fog.


The sea is never warm, actually it's cold for most of the year: at most it touches 18/19 °C from January to March. In the closed and sheltered Port Philip Bay, however, in summer the sea is slightly warmer.
Here are the average sea temperatures.
Sea temperature - Melbourne
Melbourne J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°C) 18 19 18 17 16 15 13 13 13 14 15 16

When to go

The best periods to visit Melbourne are spring and autumn, namely the months of April-May and September-October: in this way you will avoid the hot summer periods, which however hit the city a few days per year. It must be said that spring and autumn are quite rainy and windy. If it was not for the risk of scorching heat, summer would be preferable, from December to March. November can be an interesting month, at the end of spring: it's pleasantly warm, mostly sunny, with a lower risk of heat waves than in summer. However, even in summer there can be a bit of cool, or even cold, in the evening and at night, so it will be useful to bring a sweatshirt and a light jacket.

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