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Brisbane Weather Hazards - Know The Best Time To Travel


Brisbane weather conditions are nice and warm for most of the year. In fact, probably the only time you'll need to wear warm clothing is from June to August if you plan to go out at night and during the early hours of the morning.

Many people from the colder southern states of Australia like visiting the Gold Coast and Brisbane during the cooler months of the year since the temperatures vary little from day-to-day. You too may find that the best time to travel to Brisbane is when there's sunny skies, minimal humidity and warm (not hot) daytime maximum temperatures.

They choose these months because from May to October, Brisbane on average receives more sunshine than any other capital city besides Darwin. Furthermore, these months have the least amount of rain.


By comparison, December through to March is officially the Brisbane wet season and normally has the cloudiest weather (although the cloud doesn't make it cooler).


Map of eastern AustraliaDid you know Brisbane city records 1150mm (45.3 inches) a year which is nearly twice the amount that both Melbourne and Hobart receive annually? The eastern suburbs normally receive 200mm (~8 inches) more rain than the city.




Find out what the Brisbane weather is normally like month-by-month

January February March
April May June
July August September
October November December



Additional Topics covered on this page







Brisbane weather in winter (June, July and August)

Brisbane weather in the winter time is fantastic. The mornings are cool (around 9°C) and the daytime maximum temperatures rise to between 20 - 23°C. Overnight temperatures are warmest in the eastern suburbs of Brisbane. However, overnight temperatures in the western suburbs do occasionally drop below 0°C (32°F).

This is probably the only time of year that you'll need to wear some warm clothing. Thankfully, most days are warm and sunny and so most people find that they only need a light jacket in areas out of the wind.

Strong westerly winds begin to occur in Brisbane from mid-July and into early September. As a consequence, the humidity levels are extremely low and so you'll find that your skin will feel quite dry during these months.


Brisbane weather in June

The Brisbane weather conditions in June are normally cool with low levels of humidity. You can expect overnight temperatures in the city to drop down to about 12°C near the start of June and 11°C by mid-June. The surrounding suburbs are cooler (particularly the inland suburbs) than the city due the urban heat island effect. You may need to bring a light jacket with you if you plan to go out at night since the low humidity levels does it make it feel colder than it really is.

By day, temperatures rise quickly after sunrise and reach about 21°C over most areas of Brisbane. Of course, there will be some days when the maximum temperature reaches 26°C or after a cooler air mass passes through, down to as low as 17°C, but such days aren't common. Given that Brisbane is located in the sub-tropics, the daytime maximum temperatures in June are always higher than most other capital cities in Australia (besides Darwin).


Climatological information for Brisbane in June
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
71.2 10.9 21.2 28.3
(Recorded on the 1st June 1950)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
88.9 9.7 21.0 25.9
(Recorded on the 3rd June 2004)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
66.5 9.5 21.0 27.2
(Recorded on the 1st June 1965)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
67.8 10.9 20.9 31.6
(Recorded on the 19th June 1918)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
67.2 9.2 21.4 28.9
(Recorded on the 16th June 2002)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
46.6 7.0 21.6 29.1
(Recorded on the 16th June 2002)

Most days in Brisbane during June will be sunny. Although, there will be the occassional cloudy day due to the arrival of the cloud coming in from the north-west. Generally Brisbane weather conditions in June are excellent for anyone hoping to pursue outdoor activities.

Even though June is officially part of the dry season, it still rains in Brisbane on and off throughout the month. The most frequent rainfall occurs over the eastern suburbs since the rain over this part of Brisbane comes from showers that have moved in from off the ocean. You can be sure that most other parts of Brisbane tend to miss out since these passing showers do not penetrate more than 20km inland from the coast.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during June
Risk
Humidity levels
Windy afternoons
Flooding
Thunderstorms
High temperatures
Rating Low Moderate on some days Low Low Low

Brisbane receives the bulk of its rainfall in June over a couple of days due either to the arrival of the north-west cloud band when it progresses eastwards that combines with an upper cold pool, or from the intensification of a low pressure system just off the southern Queensland coastline. No matter what manner what causes this rain, it shouldn't be of concern since the rain (normally) doesn't last for more than 48 hours. This rain quickly moves out to sea and with that you should see the return of sunny skies.

You shouldn't be concerned by the wind in Brisbane during June even though it can get a little windy at times during the end of June since it's generally not a nuisance.



Brisbane weather in July

July is the coldest month of the year in Brisbane. The lowest overnight temperatures in Brisbane occur in the flat south-western suburbs (around Ipswich). You may surprised to learn that the lowest ever recorded minimum temperature in Ipswich during the month of July is -4.8°C. The lower-lying parts of the south-western suburbs are suspectible to frosts (and thus the lowest temperatures) more so than any other part of Brisbane. By comparison, Brisbane city has never dropped below freezing at night. The lowest ever recorded temperature in the city is 2.3°C.

During July, while the Brisbane weather at night can be surprisingly chilly, overnight temperatures normally don't drop below 6°C in the city. However, one in every three years in Brisbane city records overnight temperatures below 9°C lasting up to seven days. Having said that, it's far more common to see minimum temperatures drop down between 8-11°C in the city at night during July.


Climatological information for Brisbane in July
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
62.6 9.5 20.6 29.6
(Recorded on the 29th July 1958)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
62.1 8.1 20.5 27.4
(Recorded on the 23rd July 1978)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
56.2 7.9 20.4 25.5
(Recorded on the 13th July 1975)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
56.5 9.5 20.4 29.2
(Recorded on the 23rd July 1946)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
49.7 7.4 21.1 28.3
(Recorded on the 21st July 1998)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
39.5 5.3 21.2 29.6
(Recorded on the 29th July 1958)

During the day, maximum temperatures reach between 20-21°C everywhere across Brisbane. There will be of course days when the cloud cover prevents the daytime maximum rising above 17°C, but this only occurs on 1-2 days during the month. If there is tropical air pushing in from the north-west, then expect daytime temperatures to rise to at least 25°C, but such days are nearly always followed by cooler than normal temperatures.

If you're planning to visit Brisbane in July, then you've chosen a beautiful month to do so. Brisbane weather conditons in July are cool in the mornings with occasional fog in low-lying areas but this quickly disperses before about 10am. The rest of the day is sunny and warm with light to moderate westerly winds (winds coming from the west). The winds generally weaken considerably after sunset and are usually calm around midnight. During the day, a weak sea-breeze is initiated along the coastal parts of Brisbane on the warmest days but it's too weak to progress further inland.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during July
Risk Humidity levels Windy afternoons Flooding Thunderstorms High temperatures
Rating Low Occasionally high when there's a low pressure system off the coast and towards the end of the month Low Low Low

While the Brisbane weather conditions in July are suitable for holiday makers, you're still advised to be prepared for the one or two days when the weather may be cold (maximum temperature not exceeding 16°C) and wet. Such days are accompanied by strong and gusty winds and are typically due to a low pressure system that has formed off the southern Queensland coastline. Although in July 2009, there was very little rain across any part of Brisbane due to unseasonal dry weather.



Brisbane weather in August

August is generally known as the second driest month of the year. Most parts of Brisbane record between 30-40 millimetres of rain throughout this month. However, the south-eastern coastal suburbs of Cleveland through to Redland Bay still record between 45-52 millimetres. It's quite rare to see a day in August when it rains all day and so if you're planning to pursue outdoor activities then this might be one of the better months to do so.


Climatological information for Brisbane in August
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
42.7 10.0 21.7 28.7
(Recorded on the 10th August 1993)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
51.3 8.3 21.5 31.6
(Recorded on the 25th August 2009)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
40.4 8.2 21.3 28.0
(Recorded on the 27th August 1975)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
45.9 10.3 21.8 32.8
(Recorded on the 14th August 1946)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
36.8 8.0 22.5 35.7
(Recorded on the 24th August 2009)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
28.5 6.3 22.7 36.4
(Recorded on the 24th August 2009)

Another reason why August is an okay time of year (not the best time to visit Brisbane if you don't mind the windy weather) is because this month records the least number of cloudy days. Although, if you plan to go to the beach on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, you may find that the wind feels too cool to go swimming. You see, the coastal areas can be up to 5°C cooler than Ipswich in August, so it's better to go to the beach from mid-September to April, when the weather is much warmer.

Brisbane weather conditions in August are quite mild and about a degree warmer than what they were like in July. You can expect to see overnight temperatures vary between 6-11°C depending upon where you stay in Brisbane. The coolest overnight temperatures occur over the south-western suburbs and the warmest spot is usually within the centre of Brisbane city. The warmest nights normally occur near the end of August.

During the daytime, maximum temperatures typically range from 21 to 22°C over the coastal areas and 22 to 23°C over the inland suburbs of Brisbane. There's normally at least 4-5 days when the temperature rises above 25°C so if you're planning to stay in Brisbane most of August, then you'll experience a small number of warm days.

Back in August 2009, the maximum daytime temperatures were between 2-4°C above the long-term average. In fact, Amberley recorded five consecutive days when the temperature rose above 30°C and one of those days reached a sizzling 36.4°C. (Of course, everyone went to the beach then.) So as you now know, there is much variation in temperature across Brisbane during August from year-to-year.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during August
Risk Humidity levels Windy afternoons Flooding Thunderstorms High temperatures
Rating Low High on some days Low Low Low

As I've already mentioned, Brisbane weather conditions in August can get quite windy at times. Generally, the sunniest days in August are also the windiest and on such days, the wind blows in from the west or south-west. What does that mean for you? Probably not much unless you're planning to go boating/fishing or other activities on the water.



Brisbane weather in spring (September, October and November)

Brisbane weather conditions in Spring can be quite changeable at times, but not nearly changeable as the weather is in the southern parts of Australia (i.e. Melbourne.) Having said that, the early part of Spring is normally dry, sunny and quite windy. This is the time of the westerlies.

However, by mid-Spring, westerly winds occur less often since the high pressure systems responsible for their arrival are now beginning to migrate southwards off the Australian mainland. This southward migration completely changes the weather patterns over Brisbane and allows bursts of tropical air and its associated higher levels of moisture to gradually progress southwards over southern Queensland. As a result, there is much more frequent cloud and higher humidity levels than what occurred during early Spring.

As each week approaches summer, the daytime temperatures gradually become higher and reach between 27-29°C on most days. By late-Spring, afternoon thunderstorm activity occurs nearly every second day together with an afternoon sea-breeze.



Brisbane weather in September

In September, Brisbane weather conditions are subject to gusty south-westerly winds during daylight hours and then a sudden drop in windspeed a couple of hours after the sunsets. Even though it's windy, you'll be happy to know that such days are sunny.

If you're planning to visit Brisbane during September, then you should still bring a light jacket for use at night-time. Overnight temperatures usually drop down to between 11-14°C on most mornings across Brisbane. The coldest part of the day occurs about 15-30 minutes after the sun rises (i.e. between 5:30am-6:00am).


Climatological information for Brisbane in September
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
34.9 12.5 23.8 33.8
(Recorded on the 14th September 1974)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
38.5 11.0 23.6 33.4
(Recorded on the 9th September 1980)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
45.3 10.9 23.1 32.8
(Recorded on the 15th September 1974)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
45.7 12.9 24.0 38.3
(Recorded on the 22nd September 1943)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
35.8 10.9 25.1 37.8
(Recorded on the 22nd September 1943)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
33.0 9.5 25.5 39.2
(Recorded on the 22nd September 1943)

By comparison, the maximum daytime temperature reach a comfortable 23-24°C along the coastal areas and close to 24-26°C over the inland suburbs. But remember, with the wind blowing, the temperature feels cooler than what it really is.

September is normally considered the driest month of the year over most parts of Brisbane. However, over the northern coastal suburbs of Brisbane as well as around the Ipswich area, their driest month occurs in August.

Brisbane city together with the northern suburbs typically record about 10mm more rain than other regions across Brisbane during September. Throughout September, brief heavy showers may occur on at least one or two afternoons but these are not widespread. You normally won't have to worry about wet Brisbane weather during September since it's quite rare for rain-bearing weather systems to move into south-eastern Queensland at this time of the year.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during September
Risk Humidity levels Windy afternoons Flooding Thunderstorms High temperatures
Rating Low High on some days Low Low Low

If you're after sunshine, then that's exactly what you'll see in September. In fact, it's nearly as sunny as it is in August. But remember, as I previously mentioned, the sunniest days are normally the windiest.



Brisbane weather in October

Brisbane weather conditions during October start changing since the winds during the day begin to come in predominately from off the ocean. As a consequence, October is slightly more humid but nevertheless, still very comfortable. During the afternoon on the warmest days, weak sea breezes form along the coast reducing the temperature marginally over these areas. The western suburbs by comparison, are too far inland to feel the cooling effects of these sea breezes.


Climatological information for Brisbane in October
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
94.4 15.6 25.6 39.1
(Recorded on the 11th October 1957)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
81.0 14.2 25.3 35.1
(Recorded on the 10th October 2004)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
81.8 14.3 25.2 32.1
(Recorded on the 5th October 1965)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
75.4 15.8 26.1 40.7
(Recorded on the 30th October 1958)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
77.2 14.3 27.0 39.4
(Recorded on the 6th October 2005)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
73.7 13.4 27.7 41.1
(Recorded on the 30th October 1958)

While there's still plenty of sunshine during October, you'll have to contend with some cloud cover during the afternoons, particularly towards the end of October. The sun's rays are quite intense even at this time of the year, so it's wise to put on sunscreen if you're planning to stay out in the sun for extended periods of time.

If you're visiting Brisbane during October, the most obvious thing you'll notice about the Brisbane weather is that afternoon thunderstorms will start to become more frequent in the latter part of the month. These storms can be severe and normally arrive between 2-5pm and move in from south-west.

In fact, by the end of October, a small number of thunderstorms are accompanied by hail of varying sizes which, as you know, can do considerable damage to your car. Although, the vast majority of these storms are accompanied by heavy rain, so don't panic if you do see a storm approaching.

Brisbane weather conditions at night in October are quite pleasant. The overnight temperature in the city drops down to about 14°C near the start of October and 16-17°C by the end of the month, so you won't feel like you're going to freeze when you go out at night. Also, I wouldn't be too concerned about thunderstorms at night. Most thunderstorm activity has moved off the coast by 8pm, so it's safe to drive around at night.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during October
Risk Humidity levels Windy afternoons Flooding Thunderstorms High temperatures
Rating Low-to-moderate Moderate Low Moderate Moderate

During the daytime, maximum temperatures in the city reach about 25°C near the beginning of the month and 27°C by month's end. You will rarely need to pack warm clothes in your luggage if you're travelling to Brisbane during October.



Brisbane weather in November

In November, Brisbane weather conditions are becoming quite warm and humid but I wouldn't say that they're uncomfortable. The hottest days are quickly cooled by the arrival of the afternoon sea breeze as it advances inland across the eastern suburbs. If you travel to Brisbane during November, you can expect overnight temperatures in the city to vary from 17°C during the first week of November and by the end of the month, 19°C.


Climatological information for Brisbane in November
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
96.5 18.0 27.3 39.4
(Recorded on the 19th November 1968)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
105.3 16.7 26.9 36.6
(Recorded on the 19th November 1968)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
103.5 16.8 26.7 35.6
(Recorded on the 27th November 1969)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
97.0 18.1 27.8 41.2
(Recorded on the 18th November 1913)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
100.8 17.0 28.3 40.5
(Recorded on the 17th November 1990)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
82.2 16.3 29.5 42.1
(Recorded on the 19th November 1968)

By comparison, daytime temperatures range between 27-28°C in the city and only slightly cooler over the coastal suburbs. You will not feel cold at anytime during your stay in Brisbane if you come here in November, so pack summer clothing together with insect repellent to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

Most mornings will start out sunny, but by the afternoon, there will be some cloud about. As I've just mentioned earlier, if you plan to go to the beach, just be aware that it can get quite windy on the coast due to the afternoon sea breeze. Furthermore, remember to protect your skin at the beach since it's very easy to get sunburnt during November (even if it's cloudy).

You can also expect that in November you'll see an afternoon thunderstorm occurring almost every second day. Whatever you do, make sure you get yourself and your car under cover when a storm approaches as some these storms are accompanied by large hail.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during November
Risk Humidity levels Windy afternoons Flooding Thunderstorms High temperatures
Rating Moderate Moderate Moderate High Moderate

Even though most of the monthly rainfall totals during November are due to thunderstorm activity, you can be assured that there will be large variations in rainfall from year-to-year. For this reason, you may read differing opinions regarding the Brisbane weather during November on online internet forums. Don't be swayed too much by what people say about the Brisbane weather in November or for any other month for that matter.

The highest ever rainfall total in Australia over a period of one hour was 107mm (4.2 inches). This was recorded at Brisbane Airport during November back in 1966. Now if you compare this to what happened back in November 2009, most regions across Brisbane recorded very low rainfall totals since thunderstorm activity did not occur over the metropolitan area. Although, Amberley (on the outskirts of the south-western suburbs) recorded rainfall totals that were well above average mainly due to two slow moving thunderstorms crossing that area.




Brisbane weather in summer

A view of Brisbane River and surrounding suburbsThe rainfall dramatically increases during the summer and with it comes an increase in humidity levels. January is the month that most people start complaining about the heat and humidity. It's quite uncomfortable at times especially if there's very little wind. And the most common time when there's very little wind is near sunrise.

I should point out here that Brisbane has the highest relative humidity of the Australian capital cities, except Darwin and Sydney. But that doesn't mean that Sydney has more moisture in the air, since Brisbane has a higher mixing ratio.

The summer months are the best times to go to the beach since the water temperatures are a warm 23-25°C. However, just be aware that the windiest time of day is normally from 1pm-3pm due to the sea breeze, which also corresponds with the highest risk of sunburn. Furthermore, the arrival of the sea breeze generally drops the temperature by 1-2°C but that doesn't mean that your risk of getting sunburnt is decreased, so it's wise to wear sunscreen even on the so-called cooler days.

Your day at the beach is less likely to be spoilt by an afternoon thunderstorm during February since thunderstorms are far more likely to occur in December. However, that doesn't mean that thunderstorms don't occur during February. Most of the heavier rain will occur near the coast so if you're on the beach just keep checking to see if there's any storm clouds approaching from the south-west.

The western suburbs of Brisbane are 3-4°C warmer than the eastern suburbs during the day. In the city, the temperatures drop down to about 20°C at night before rising to a maximum of 29°C during the daytime.



Brisbane weather in December

Brisbane weather in December is probably best described as very warm to hot and humid although not quite as humid as it is in January and February. You should expect to see overnight temperatures dropping down to a minimum of between 18 to 20°C across Brisbane before rising to a maximum daytime temperature of 28-29°C over the eastern suburbs and 30-31°C further inland. Just be aware that there's normally at least 4-5 days when the maximum temperature exceeds 32°C in Brisbane city during December.

Interestingly, it's more common for daytime temperatures in Brisbane to exceed 32°C during December than in any other month of the year (including January and February). The main reason for this is the humidity levels are lower and there's less cloud cover in December than there is in January and February, so the sun's rays can effectively heat the ground surface for longer periods and then re-radiate this heat back into the lower atmosphere.


Climatological information for Brisbane in December
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
126.2 19.8 28.6 39.6
(Recorded on the 7th December 1981)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
137.6 18.7 28.2 36.6
(Recorded on the 25th December 2001)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
130.3 18.7 28.0 37.2
(Recorded on the 26th December 1973)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
133.3 19.8 29.1 41.2
(Recorded on the 7th December 1981)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
125.8 19.0 29.6 39.8
(Recorded on the 11th December 1944)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
119.7 18.4 30.9 43.8
(Recorded on the 25th December 1972)

If you're wondering what clothes to pack for December, you certainly don't have to bring warm clothing. On the contrary, Brisbane weather conditions are unlikely to drop below 25°C during the day and 15°C at night. The nights are usually very warm and balmy since Brisbane is located in the sub-tropics so it's fine to wear loose fitting cotton clothing. Don't bring heavier clothes unless you plan to go to a formal occassion.

Brisbane humidity levels continue to rise throughout December and so you may need air conditioning at night on some nights towards the end of the month. This humidity won't be unbearable for you if you wear summer clothing and don't plan to perform strenuous outdoor activities (well that depends upon what temperatures and humidity levels you're used to). However, there will be a couple of days and nights when the wind is light that you may require air conditioning to stay cool.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during December
Risk Humidity levels Windy afternoons Flooding Thunderstorms High temperatures
Rating Moderate Moderate Moderate High High

There's normally still plenty of sunshine about at this time of the year and certainly enough of it for you to get sunburnt. You definitely need to protect your skin if you go to the beach during December since most light-coloured skin begins to burn after 10 minutes of exposure to sunlight at this time of the year. Of course you won't feel that your sunburnt until at least 4-5 hours after it's happened and by then it's too late.

Rain is quite common during the afternoons right across Brisbane in December and occurs as a result of afternoon thunderstorm activity and so the rain is quite intense for 15-60 minutes (depending upon the size of the storm). Just be aware that thunderstorms that occur during December can produce hail and gusty winds and so you should take cover (definitely not under a tree) to minimise the likelihood of being injured. If you're planning to arrive in Brisbane during December, I wouldn't be too alarmed by the storms. You normally have plenty of warning of their arrival if you watch the sky or pay attention to the weather forecasts.

Of course, it won't rain everyday in December but there's a tendency that there will be more rain towards the end of December than at the start of the month.



Brisbane weather in January

The Brisbane weather conditions can be quite uncomfortable in January since the heat and more so the humidity can be stiffling at times. Of course, if you're visiting Brisbane and live close to the equator you won't feel that the Brisbane weather is anymore humid than where you already live, but if you're arriving from regions of the world that are far from the equator (i.e. high latitude countries such as Canada, UK, Russia etc...) then you may be in for a bit of a shock.

It's quite unusual for overnight temperatures during January to drop below 15°C at night, so if you're planning to stay in Brisbane during January, then you're going to experience some warm-to-hot nights. You can expect to see overnight minimum temperatures only going down to between 20-23°C and during this time, the relative humidity levels are between 80-90%. So, it's definitely wise to make sure you obtain accommodation that has air conditioning or else you'll have a terrible time trying to sleep on some nights (especially from mid-January).


Climatological information for Brisbane in January
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
157.7 20.9 29.1 39.1
(Recorded on the 20th January 2000)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
151.3 19.9 28.9 37.5
(Recorded on the 3rd January 1985)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
161.6 19.9 28.4 35.6
(Recorded on the 4th January 1971)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
159.6 20.7 29.4 43.2
(Recorded on the 26th January 1940)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
133.3 20.2 30.4 43.3
(Recorded on the 26th January 1940)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
110.5 19.6 31.1 44.3
(Recorded on the 6th January 1994)

During the day, maximum temperatures reach between 29-32°C on most days. Like in other months of the year, the coastal regions of Brisbane are at least 3-5°C cooler than the inland suburbs due to the early arrival of the sea breeze. It's very uncommon for the temperatures to fluctuate by more than 2-3°C on an hour-by-hour basis throughout the daytime during the warmer months. However, if or when it does occur, it normally coincides with the arrival of a thunderstorm. The largest fall in temperature was 12°C, which was registered during a severe thunderstorm that occurred at around 4:15pm on the 26th January 1965.

If you're planning to visit Brisbane during January, just remember that heavy rain can occur during the afternoons. In fact, January is the wettest month of the year in the city and second-wettest in the surrounding suburbs. The heavier rain leading to localised flooding is associated with the arrival of afternoon thunderstorms although they don't occur as frequently as they do in December.

You can be assurred that you'll still be able to enjoy outdoor activities in January as long as they're not too strenuous. The high humidity will be your guide as to what you can or can't do outside, that's for sure. I personally don't like the Brisbane weather in January since I find it too humid.

Brisbane weather conditions in January aren't normally too windy if you're located in the city or further west. However, if you're planning to visit the beach, the sea breeeze can be particularly gusty from 2-6pm on some days and so the ocean waves can get a little choppy at times. If you want to avoid the wind, why don't you arrive early in the morning before it gets too hot. The sunrises around 5am and sets around 6:45pm in January, so you have plenty of time to spend in the sun.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during January
Risk Humidity levels Windy afternoons Flooding Thunderstorms High temperatures
Rating High Moderate High Moderate High

You definitely need to bring only summer clothing if you're visiting Brisbane in January. Brisbane weather conditions are simply too hot to wear anything other than shorts/skirt and other loose fitting cotton tops in January. Of course, some shops tend to have their air conditioning on too high, so the only time may need to bring additional clothing is for use when walking inside the shops.

Don't be too alarmed that Brisbane is located in the zone where tropical cyclones may influence the area. Tropical cyclones rarely move into south-eastern Queensland although the remnants of a ex-tropical cyclone may produce torrential rain over a couple of days once ever 5 years or so.



Brisbane weather in February

If you're planning to visit Brisbane during February, it's important that you realise that many locals complain that the Brisbane weather is too hot and humid for outdoor activities. If you don't like the humidity, then you should avoid travelling to Brisbane in February. Of course, if you do travel to Brisbane during February, it's critical that you obtain accommodation that has air conditioning since it's normally too hot to sleep without it.


Climatological information for Brisbane in February
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
174.6 20.8 28.9 35.8
(Recorded on the 2nd February 1958)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
162.2 20.0 28.6 38.2
(Recorded on the 24th February 2008)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
174.5 20.0 28.3 32.3
(Recorded on the 20th February 1974)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
158.3 20.6 29.0 40.9
(Recorded on the 21st February 1925)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
153.0 20.0 29.7 41.8
(Recorded on the 22nd February 2004)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
122.2 19.5 30.4 42.6
(Recorded on the 1st February 1952)

As I've just mentioned, night-time in February is particularly uncomfortable for sleeping if you don't have access to air conditioning. You can expect to see overnight temperatures ranging from 21-23°C. Even at 10pm, the outdoor temperature will still be above 25°C. It's quite common for the temperature not to drop below 22°C for three or more consecutive nights in February. Accompanying this is the very humid conditions, so you see why I say that you need air conditioning.

During the day, the temperature quickly rises to between 29-32°C across most parts of Brisbane. This occurs whether there is cloud cover or not. In fact, February is the cloudiest month of the year across Brisbane. If it's raining all day, the daytime temperature will still rise to about 27°C. The western suburbs will record at least 3-4 days when the maximum temperature rises to 33°C or above.

It's common to see very heavy rain lasting for more than 3-4 hours on at least three occassions throughout February. During this time, more than 50mm may fall, which will result in localised flooding in the streets and rapid stream rises. Thunderstorms do occur in February but they are not nearly as frequent as they are in November and December so you may have less to worry about in terms of being impacted by a severe storm.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during February
Risk Humidity levels Windy afternoons Flooding Thunderstorms High temperatures
Rating High High High Moderate High

It can get quite windy at times during the afternoons along most parts of the exposed coasts due to the frequent occurrence of the sea breeze after 12pm. The sea breeze takes a couple of hours to advance 20 kilometres or so inland, so most western suburbs record much higher temperatures for longer periods of time throughout the day.

Even though February is the middle of the cyclone season, there's only a small chance that Brisbane will be hit by one, so there's no need for alarm. The closest encounter Brisbane has had in recent years with a tropical cyclone occurred back on the evening of the 2nd February 1990 when category 1 Tropical Cyclone Nancy meandered not far off the coast from Brisbane. This tropical cyclone brought destructive winds and torrential rain to most parts of south-eastern Queensland and later to north-east New South Wales. Five people drowned in flood waters as a direct result of Tropical Cyclone Nancy.




Brisbane weather in Autumn (March, April and May)

View of Brisbane city from Mt Cootha in April 2008

Brisbane weather remains quite hot and humid throughout March. Throughout Brisbane the temperatures range from 19-28°C. Brisbane weather in March is still quite wet and during this time the city receives around 140mm of rain, but towards the end of the month thunderstorm activity begins to decrease and so you should have good weather if you time it right.

By April, nearly all of the afternoon thunderstorms have gone. You can expect fine days although you may see occasional showers pass by if the winds come from the south-east. Also, the temperatures begin to become cooler and so if you're planning a day at the beach, you'll realise that the beach is quiet since the locals don't like to go swimming if the temperature drops below 25°C (77°F). If you're coming to Brisbane from a cold country, the most obvious thing you'll probably notice is there will be no leaves changing colour in the autumn in Brisbane as most of this area doesn't have deciduous trees.

In May, the maximum temperature reaches around 23-24°C but overnight you can expect around 12-14°C. During most of the days in May, the Brisbane weather conditions will be sunny and if you can handle the cooler temperatures, you'll find that there's even less people going to the beach than there was during April.

A weather tip for you:   If there's no south-easterly winds in the cooler months then you shouldn't see any rain in Brisbane.



Brisbane weather in March


If you're planning to visit Brisbane during March then expect to see night-time temperatures dropping down to about 19°C over the eastern suburbs as well as the city and 18°C further west. However, by the end of March, you'll notice a slight chill to the air since overnight temperatures are up to 2°C cooler than what were at the start of March. During the daytime, maximum temperatures will reach about 28°C across most regions of Brisbane but it will be 1°C warmer again in the western suburbs. There will be days when the daytime rises to between 30-32°C but this occurs when there north-westerly winds. Higher than normal daytime temperatures indicate that cooler weather will follow in a couple of days.


Climatological information for Brisbane in March
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
138.5 19.5 28.1 38.3
(Recorded on the 13th March 1965)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
162.8 18.6 27.7 35.6
(Recorded on the 1st March 1993)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
149.0 18.7 27.6 34.4
(Recorded on the 5th March 1972)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
140.7 19.4 28.0 38.8
(Recorded on the 13th March 1965)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
124.5 18.2 28.7 38.7
(Recorded on the 11th March 2007)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
82.3 17.7 29.4 38.9
(Recorded on the 11th March 2007)

You will find that Brisbane humidity levels during the early part of March are still high due to frequent incursions of tropical air masses into the region. However, by late March, the humidity levels begin to decrease. Of course, there is much year-to-year variability in the humidity levels in March.

March is the wettest month of the year in the southern bayside suburbs of Brisbane. In contrast, all other regions across Brisbane in March record similar rainfall totals to what occurred during December. The lowest rainfall totals occur in the south-western suburbs (around Ipswich). Back in March 2010, most regions across Brisbane recorded well above normal rainfall totals which resulted in local flash flooding. The majority of this rain fell at the beginning of March due to the formation of deep low pressure system just off the southern Queensland coast.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during March
Risk Humidity levels Windy afternoons Flooding Thunderstorms High temperatures
Rating High grading to moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate grading to low High

If you want to go to the beach then just be aware that it still can get windy at times during the afternoons in early March over the bayside suburbs due to the arrival of the seabreeze. However, the winds are generally not too much of a nuisance since they help to lower the daytime temperatures. The only time they are bothersome is during a thunderstorm or if there's a low pressure system near Brisbane.

Generally, the beginning of March has more cloud cover than the end of March over Brisbane city and the eastern suburbs. That doesn't mean however that you won't see much sunshine if you come to Brisbane in early March. Many days start out cloud free but normally clouds begin to move over Brisbane by 10am onwards. Remember, if you do plan to go out in the sun, make sure you wear some sunscreen since it's highly likely that you'll get sunburnt if you have pale coloured skin. People with darker skin pigmentation can handle longer durations of sun exposure before being sunburnt.



Brisbane weather in April

Brisbane weather conditions during April are generally cooler with lower humidity levels than the summer months. There's generally ample sunshine with light to moderate winds on most days. You will find that on most days the Brisbane weather is warm enough to walk around in short sleeved clothing but at night, you may need a light jacket.


Climatological information for Brisbane in April
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
90.4 16.9 26.3 34.3
(Recorded on the 1st April 1996)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
103.4 15.7 25.9 32.7
(Recorded on the 1st April 1996)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
93.6 15.4 25.9 35.5
(Recorded on the 25th April 1973)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
92.5 16.6 26.1 36.1
(Recorded on the 19th April 1973)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
80.4 15.0 26.4 34.9
(Recorded on the 1st April 1996)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
55.6 14.0 27.2 36.8
(Recorded on the 19th April 1973)

The daytime maximum temperatures in Brisbane in April ranges from about 27°C near the start of the month and about 25°C by the end of April over most parts of Brisbane. As usual, the suburbs located furthest from the ocean record slightly higher daytime temperatures.

At night, overnight temperatures are cool but by no means cold. At the beginning of April over Brisbane city, the temperatures drop down to 17-18°C but by the end of April, 15-17°C. In comparison with Brisbane city, the bayside suburbs are about 1°C warmer at night and the western suburbs can be up to 4-5 °C cooler on some nights in the same time period.

If you're planning to go to the beach in April then just be aware that the windiest time of day is from noon to about 3pm. April is not as windy as March, so this might be a better month to spend time at the beach. In addition to this, the sun's rays aren't as intense in April so you won't get as burnt as quickly in the sun.

You're likely to see more sunshine in April compared with January, February and March. However, the bayside suburbs of Brisbane tend to see more cloud cover than the western suburbs since the south-easterly winds at this time of the year are moisture-bearing and tend to initiate cloud formation along the coastal areas. Generally, Brisbane weather conditions becomes sunnier by late April due to gradual increase in frequency of the south-westerly winds during the daytime. These south-westerly winds mark the approach of winter.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during April
Risk Humidity levels Windy afternoons Flooding Thunderstorms High temperatures
Rating Moderate grading to low Moderate Low Low Moderate grading to low

There's no need to worry too much about wet Brisbane weather during April since the majority of the thunderstorm activity has stopped by March and most rain-bearing weather systems tend to be weak at that time of the year. Of course, if you spend the majority of your time on the coast, then you'll see some showery weather on some days but they are not really a nuisance.

In fact, if you decide to travel inland, then you'll notice that the showers disappear. So the main point I'm trying to express here is that the rain is not nearly as heavy and persistent in April as it is during summer.



Brisbane weather in May

Brisbane weather conditions during May are ideal if you're planning to enjoy yourself outdoors. The weather is quite sunny and humidity remains low.

You may find you'll need some warmer clothing to wear at night since it does cool down quite quickly once the sun sets. During the day, a light jacket may be needed towards the end of May but near the start of the month, you can normally get around in loose fitting short sleeved clothing. If you come to Brisbane from tropical regions of the world, you might find that the Brisbane weather is quite cold for you so dress according to what you're used to.


Climatological information for Brisbane in May
Location Rainfall (mm) Temperature Highest recorded maximum temperature
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
Brisbane Airport
(on coast north-east of city
98.8 13.8 23.5 30.1
(Recorded on the 13th May 1953)
Redlands HRS
(near coast south-east of city
113.5 12.5 23.2 29.3
(Recorded on the 12th May 1980)
Sandgate Post Office
(on coast north of Brisbane Airport)
84.8 12.0 23.3 29.5
(Recorded on the 4th May 1966)
Brisbane Regional Office
(in city)
73.7 13.3 23.2 32.4
(Recorded on the 21st May 1923)
Archerfield Airport
(south-west of city)
75.7 11.9 23.9 31.3
(Recorded on the 5th May 2007)
Amberley Airport
(west-south-west of Archerfield Airport)
53.9 10.1 24.0 33.3
(Recorded on the 5th May 2007)

It's far less likely to see people going to the beach in May since the lower daytime temperatures tend to scare people away. Of course, if you don't mind 23-26°C during the day, then by all means enjoy yourself since it's not crowded. Remember, the start of May is usually warmer than the end of May so factor that in when going to the beach.

There will be a couple of days in May when the maximum daytime temperature reaches 27°C in all areas across Brisbane but such warm days indicate that cooler weather is approaching. The highest ever recorded maximum temperature in the month of May was 33.3°C back in 2007. This was recorded at Amberley RAAF base.

In contrast, low daytime temperatures occur in conjuction with an upper cold pool or cold front. Such days are windy, overcast and normally see temperatures of between 19-21°C. Thankfully, such days aren't common in May.

Overnight temperatures in Brisbane city near the beginning of May normally drop down to between 15-16°C but by month's end, 12-14°C. Most nights are wind free but you'll certainly notice a chill to the air by the end of May, so you're advised to pack something warm for use at night-time. The eastern suburbs are slightly warmer than the city at night, but the western suburbs can be 3-5°C cooler.


Risk of thermal discomfort and severe Brisbane weather during May
Risk Humidity levels Windy afternoons Flooding Thunderstorms High temperatures
Rating Low Moderate on a few days Low Low Low

Brisbane weather conditions during the mornings in May are usually sunny with light south-westerly winds. There's always a slight chill to the air in the mornings in May so dress accordingly. You may see some cloud about near the bayside suburbs of Brisbane from 11am onwards since the wind direction switches back to south-east (i.e. moisture bearing) for a few hours and then again flicks back to the south-west towards sunset. For most of the time, the winds are light near the beginning of May and moderate by the end of May (on some days, not all).

There's a higher chance that it will rain more frequently towards the end of May (mainly on the coast) than at the beginning of the month since low pressure systems have a tendency to form off the southern Queensland coast near the beginning of winter. Should that worry you? No not really. This rain normally doesn't hang around for more than 2-3 days, after which the clouds disperse and sunshine ensues. The western suburbs of Brisbane tend to miss out on this rain since the clouds evaporate as they progress inland.




When is the best time of year to visit Brisbane?

Generally, the best time of year to travel to Brisbane is is during April and May since the humidity levels are now much lower than what they were in summer. These months are very comfortable weather wise since you can enjoy much of the time outdoors without the heat and there's minimal thunderstorm activity and that time of year. It's a great time to go on bushwalks or camping since the mosquitos are starting to disappear due to the cooler Brisbane weather.

Another good time to travel to Brisbane is from mid-September into October since the Brisbane weather is nice (except for the thunderstorms), sunny and warm. In fact, if you plan to come to Brisbane during October, then you'll be fortunate enough to see the jacaranda trees bursting into colour. It's quite a sight to see.

Of course, if you don't mind the cool overnight temperatures, then why not try and visit here during June to September. You certainly won't have to worry about storms or frequent rain. It's generally the sunniest time of the year and has the lowest humidity levels. Although it can get quite windy on some days, but it is generally not a problem. The Brisbane weather is hardly ever cold during the winter, so that explains why so many people from southern (cooler) parts of Australia visit Brisbane and the surrounding beaches during winter time.




Facts about Brisbane weather and thunderstorms

So what do I mean by severe? These thunderstorms are accompanied by large hail (>2cm), strong winds (>90km/hr), and flash flooding. Not all these features occur in the same storm but at least one of these conditions must be met for the thunderstorm to be known as severe.


Here's some facts about severe thunderstorms in Brisbane:

  • The majority of the severe thunderstorms occur from November through to January.
  • They develop very quickly and generally move in from the south-west towards the north-east.
  • These storms can travel up to 50km/hr so you won't have much time to prepare for their arrival.
  • They begin to form by 1pm and generally reach their maximum intensity at around 4pm.
  • You are least likely to see these types of storms in the morning.
  • Most of these storms are followed by a strong and gusty south-easterly (i.e. winds coming from the south-east) wind change.
  • In the days leading up to the severe storms, the Brisbane weather would have been very humid and quite hot.
  • Golf ball size hail is quite common. However, hail the size of tennis balls occurs once every three years or so.
  • There is a narrow severe thunderstorm belt that runs from around Ipswich (40km west of Brisbane city) through Greenbank and onto Beenleigh and then out to sea.



Do you want to see a video of a decent thunderstorm?

Then check out this footage of a severe thunderstorm that moved through the inner western suburbs of Brisbane on the afternoon of the 16th November 2008.

Contrary to what the people were saying on the video, this was not a cyclone!




Flooding in Brisbane

Most of the flooding that occurs in Brisbane is the result of torrential rain associated with thunderstorms.

However, there are occasions when the rain lasts for days as has occurred over the last week in Brisbane. Brisbane experienced widespread flooding over most lying suburbs from floodwaters flowing downstream from the Bremer and Lockyer catchments combined with releases from the Wivenhoe dam particularly during thursday 14th January.

This type of flooding occurs if there's a stationary low pressure system just north-east of Brisbane. Weeks and weeks of heavy rain north-west of Brisbane increased both the Somerset and Wivenhoe dam levels to such an extent that all five flood gates had to be opened to prevent the water from spilling over the Wivenhow dam wall. This was a totally different type of flood to what occurred back in 1974 in Brisbane

Another dangerous type of flood in Brisbane occurs during the summer months when a tropical cyclone wanders down the eastern coastline of Queensland, finally weakening north of Sunshine Coast and turns into a rain depression. This is what led to the infamous 1974 Brisbane floods.

It is quite rare for a tropical cyclone to travel as far south as Brisbane, so don't be too alarmed.



Is the Brisbane weather too hot during the summer months?

Brisbane doesn't normally experience temperatures above 38°C (100°F) during the summer months. Like all regions near the coast in the sub-tropics, the temperatures don't vary too much. Only the southern parts of Australia experience intense heat waves.

However, you should realise that the humidity in the summer in Brisbane is quite high and due to this the daytime temperatures won't normally rise above 34°C.

Make sure that you put on some sunscreen to prevent getting sunburnt. The Queensland sun will burn your skin in about 7 minutes if you don't cover your skin during the summer months.



Should you travel to Brisbane during summer? Isn't the high humidity levels a problem?

This is one of the biggest complaints about Brisbane weather during the summer months. If you're planning to stay in Brisbane during January and February and even into the early part of March, just beware that the high humidity levels can make your stay extremely uncomfortable at times.

The highest humidity levels in Brisbane occur between 9pm and 3am in February. So it will be in your best interests to make sure that you have an air conditioned room at night.




Detailed Brisbane weather information - City of Brisbane
Month Rainfall (mm) Temperature Humidity levels
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
January 159.6 20.7 29.4 Unpleasant. Especially if there's no sea breeze. You'll need air conditioning.
February 158.3 20.6 29.0 Very humid and unpleasant. Especially if there's no wind at all. You'll need air conditioning.
March 140.7 19.4 28.0 High humidity at the start of the month. Bearable near the end of the March
April 92.5 16.6 26.1 Humidity levels considerably lower now. Great time to visit.
May 73.7 13.3 23.2 Not noticeable. Great weather.
June 67.8 10.9 20.9 Quite low. Your skin may start to feel dry.
July 56.5 9.5 20.4 Very low. Your skin will dry out rapidly during this time of the year.
August 45.9 10.3 21.8 Very low. It may be windy and this will dry your skin further.
September 45.7 12.9 24.0 Still moderately low. The windy weather will cause your skin to dry out.
October 75.4 15.8 26.1 Humidity levels beginning to rise. Very comfortable outdoors.
November 97.0 18.1 27.8 Becoming a little humid. Quite comfortable to be outdoors throughout this month.
December 133.3 19.8 29.1 Can get quite muggy near the end of December. May need air conditioning at night.




References

  1. Bureau of Meteorology (Australia) - Brisbane

  2. Yeo CS. Severe thunderstorms in the Brisbane region and a relationship to the El Nino Southern Oscillation. Australian Meteorological Magazine 2005;54(3):197-202.

  3. Bureau of Meteorology (Australia). The Climate of Brisbane, Queensland. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra. 1983;92 pp.



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