Spring And Summer Weather In Melbourne - It Can Get Hot
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What's the weather in Melbourne like in Spring
The weather in Melbourne during Spring is subject to rapidly changing weather conditions. This is particularly true for September and October when quick wind changes send the maximum temperatures plummeting back into the low teens (°C).
Spring is generally considered the wettest time of the year in Melbourne. However, you needn't be alarmed since the wet weather in Melbourne doesn't last for more than a 3-4 hours and rarely does it last more than 24 hours. Generally, on most days, particularly towards the end of Spring, there will be ample sunshine.
Weather in Melbourne in September
You'll still need to bring your winter clothing if you want to spend time walking the streets of Melbourne during the late afternoon or evening in September. Even though it's the start of Spring, the cold winds of winter regularly make their appearance when a fast moving cold front decides to cross the coast and pass through Melbourne.
Even though it can be cloudy at times on many days in September, it doesn't always mean you'll see drizzle or rain. Most of the rain occurs in conjunction with the passage of a quickly moving cold front, which means that the wet weather in Melbourne doesn't last long especially in the western suburbs. The far eastern suburbs, by comparison, are normally quite overcast and have higher rainfall totals.
The weather in Melbourne in early September is generally still quite cool. Overnight minimum temperatures drop down to between 6-7°C across most of Melbourne and by the end of September, you can expect to see 7-8°C depending upon your location. Remember, the warmest place to stay at night in Melbourne is the city due to the urban heat island effect.
During the day, average maximum temperatures reach about 16°C near the start of September and 18°C by the end of the month. There is of course large fluctuations in day-to-day temperature. For example, if a significant cooler air mass has passes through Melbourne, maximum temperatures will not rise above 13°C for a number of days. As soon as the wind changes direction, the temperature can quickly rise above 21°C in less than 24 hours.
On the 19th September 2011, the maximum daytime temperature in the city reached 28.3°C. It was also incredibly windy (which is normally the case when warm weather is about to be replaced by much colder conditions in Melbourne. That evening, a cold front pushed through Melbourne accompanied by scattered thunderstorms. The following day, daytime temperatures in the city dropped back to the September monthly average of 16°C.
These sudden changes are quite common during September, so that's why you have to pack for all types of weather conditions. Whatever you do, make sure you bring an umbrella and a wind proof jacket with you since the cold weather in Melbourne can frequently hit with a vengeance.
Weather in Melbourne in October
October is generally the wettest month of the year in Melbourne but this doesn't mean you should avoid travelling here. Typically, Melbourne records only 14 days of rain throughout this month, but it doesn't normally last the whole day. The majority of the rain is associated with the arrival of a cold front as it sweeps through Melbourne.
On rare occasions it can rain all day as it did on the 31st October 2010. This particular date was the wettest October day in Melbourne in over 30 years. Between 50 to 70mm of rain fell across the eastern suburbs with higher rainfall totals occurring over north-eastern Victoria. Such a rain event occurred due to the intensification of the north-west cloud band.
You can expect to see overnight minimum temperatures dropping down to 8-9°C near the beginning of October and rising to about 9-10°C by the month's end. Some nights can get quite cool (5-7°C), particularly on clear nights following a cold front. In comparison, Melbourne is likely to experience at least one night when the temperature doesn't drop below 16°C.
During the daylight hours, maximum temperatures are normally much warmer than what is experienced in September. You should see maximum temperatures rising to 19°C at the start of October and approaching 21°C by the end of October. There will be some days when the daytime temperature fluctuates in response to different air masses passing through Melbourne. When there's a northerly wind (i.e. wind coming from the north), maximum temperatures can soar to 30°C. If you arrive in Melbourne following the passage of a cooler air mass, then you should expect to see maximum temperatures rising to only about 16-17°C.
As occurs in September, it only becomes windy in October with the approach of a cooler air mass. These warm winds become quite gusty 3-4 hours before the arrival of a cool change. As the cooler air moves across Melbourne the wind swiftly changes direction from the north-west to the south-west with equal strength. You'll notice many people being caught by surprise by the colder windy conditions on such days. You won't be of course, since you know that it's wise to carry additional clothing. Having said that, even though the windy weather in Melbourne is quite common on a number of days in October, it's not really a nuisance.
Even though I've mentioned that October is the wettest month of the year in Melbourne, it doesn't mean you won't see any sun. On the contrary, sunny days with passing clouds are usually more frequent than totally cloudy days, so don't despair.
Weather in Melbourne in November
During November, the weather in Melbourne is generally sunny and warm on at least five days out of seven. The days when it's not is related to the arrival of a cooler air mass that has moved in from the Southern Ocean. Cloudy weather typically occurs during the early morning but the rest of the day has occasional cloud interspersed with frequent sunshine.
November is also a good time to visit Melbourne since the sunny days combined with daylight savings provides you with ample time to sight see Melbourne.
With regards to the temperature, you can expect to see overnight temperatures dropping down to about 10°C near the start of November and 11°C by the end of the month. As usual, some nights may be significantly warmer/cooler than previously nights simply due to the rapid movement of air masses passing through Melbourne. It's unlikely you'll see overnight minimum temperatures dropping below 7°C or rising above 20°C at any time during your stay in Melbourne during November (but it has happened before).
During the day, maximum temperatures near the beginning of November rise to about 21°C and by the end of the month, 23°C. However, maximum temperatures can vary by as much as 10°C on previous days maximum temperature so it's best if you pack clothing for all seasons just in case. It's common to see maximum temperatures rising to 31-33°C once or twice during November before plummeting back to the low twenties (°C) the following day.
November is one of the wetter months of the year. The rain can get heavy at times if there's a local thunderstorm passing over Melbourne or some other rain bearing weather system is impacting the region like a cloud band interacting with a prefrontal trough. Generally though, the rain is short-lived and is not a nuisance. For information on actual rainfall totals, please refer to the table above for more information.
It still can get windy at anytime during November, although the ferocity of the cooler air masses have weakened considerably. You should always be on the look out for northerly winds in the early morning since this indicates that the maximum temperature will soar above 30°C. If you're planning to venture to the beach on such a day, then make sure you bring plenty of water and sun screen to avoid dehydration and sunburn.
Summer weather in Melbourne
You need to make sure that you're prepared for the very hot weather in Melbourne during the mid-to-late summer months. During these times, it can be quite windy so make sure you find accommodation that has air conditioning and also drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
At this time of year, one day could be hot, the next quite cool. Such rapid temperature changes are associated with the arrival of a cold front, which at times can drop the temperature by 20°C in 30 minutes.
So if you're visiting Melbourne in summer, you still need to take every type of clothing with you since much cooler conditions always follow hot days. The majority of these hot days occur in January and February, so for this reason many people prefer to visit Melbourne in late Spring or early Autumn.
While it does rain in summer, you won't really have to worry about being stuck indoors for days on end as the weather in Melbourne becomes drier with each passing month from December through to February. So far this year, 2011 has proven to be much wetter than usual due to the strong La Niña conditions influencing eastern Australia.
Weather in Melbourne in December
Normally, the weather in Melbourne during December is quite pleasant with very few hot days (>35°C). The hotter days are reserved for January and February and so you should definitely try and visit Melbourne during December before the summer heat really kicks in. (What I mean by hot is temperatures rising up to 46°C.)
The majority of the days will be sunny with light winds and an afternoon sea breeze. Although on some days when there's an approaching cold front, the weather in Melbourne can get quite windy. So you may get the occasional bad hair day in Melbourne during December.
Normally, the temperatures in December are quite nice. Overnight temperatures in the city typically hovers between 12-14°C and by day, the maximum temperature reaches around 23-26°C. Of course, given that Melbourne is located in a region that is affected by the frequent passage of cool air masses from the south west, some days may only reach 17-18°C. Whereas on other days, when the wind is coming in from the north, then watch out for hotter weather. It's quite common for the daytime temperature to rise into the low 30's°C by the end of the month.
It does rain in December but usually the rain doesn't last long. It certainly won't prevent you from doing anything outdoors in Melbourne. There may be some afternoon thunderstorm or shower activity about but it shouldn't lead to flooding or anything of that nature.
Weather in Melbourne in January
If you're planning to visit Melbourne during January, then be prepared for some extremely hot days by the end of the month. If you suffer from any health related problems it may be wise to postpone your trip to Melbourne to end of March or beyond that since the hot weather in Melbourne can really ruin your holiday.
Back in January 2009, Melbourne recorded three consecutive days when the daytime maximum exceeded 43°C. As a result, everyone rushed to their air conditioning to remain cool. This put a great deal of strain on Victoria's electrical grid and consequently initiated a power spike followed by an explosion of one Melbourne's major electrical substations. This led to widespread blackouts (i.e. power cuts) across Melbourne and many people were left without power for days on end.
Normally though, the weather in Melbourne is not as extreme as this. Typically, the overnight minimum temperatures near the beginning of January hover between 12-13°C and there's normally one night when the temperatures drops as low as 9°C. However, by the end of January, overnight temperatures average between 14-16°C. There may be at least three nights when the temperature doesn't drop below 22°C so that's when you'll need your air conditioning.
The temperatures will vary considerably from day-to-day. Normally you'll get two or three days when the temperatures won't rise above 20°C and this will be followed by three to four days when the temperature will hover between 21-25°C. This normally is the lead up to heat wave like conditions. You can be sure that you'll see temperatures exceed 35°C on at least 5-6 days during January. This heat will last for 3-4 days before the cooler weather returns. This alternating cycle of hot and cold weather is quite normal in January for Melbourne. As the locals say, it's typical Melbourne weather.
The rain will be the least of your concerns in January. Most locals look forward to an afternoon shower of rain that accompanies the arrival of cool change that pushes the hot weather out of Melbourne. Wet weather in Melbourne is quite unusual in January. For most of the time all you'll see is blue sunny skies.
It can get very windy in January but this only normally occurs during heat wave conditions. The windy weather is a useful predictor of future weather in Melbourne since it indicates that colder conditions will soon return.
Weather in Melbourne in February
February is typically the hottest month of the year in Melbourne. In fact, February 2009 recorded an average daytime maximum temperatures of 28°C, which is 2°C above February's long term average.
Of course, just like January, the daytime maximum temperature can fluctuate considerably from day-to-day. For this reason if you're planning to arrive in Melbourne in February, don't forget to bring some warm clothes with you as the maximum temperature may only rise to 20°C on a number of occasions throughout February, particularly after heat wave conditions.
You should expect at least five days in February when the daytime temperature rises to 33°C or above and at least two days when the temperature exceeds 40°C. There may be some years in February when the temperatures does not rise above 40°C but this is quite rare.
The main problem locals complain about is the hot nights after such high daytime temperatures. So whatever you do please ensure that you obtain some accommodation with air conditioning if you plan to come to Melbourne in February. Typically, the overnight temperatures near the beginning of February range between 16-20°C and by the end of the month 13-15°C. There might be a couple of nights when the temperature dips as low as 11-12°C but during heat wave conditions, expect the temperature to stay above 21°C for most of the night.
For most of the time in February, there will be plenty of sunshine with very few clouds. Many of Melbourne's beaches will become crowded on the weekend if it's particular hot. You will find most days will be cooled by a late afternoon sea breeze but on days when the temperature rises above 40°C, the sea breeze won't arrive in Melbourne.
You won't see many days at all when there's rain but when does occur, it does so in conjunction with a cool change. The temperature during periods of rain will hover around 16°C so you'll need to rug up to prevent yourself getting a chill. Such rapid temperature changes are quite common in Melbourne during February and so you should be prepared for this.
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