The weather and climate in Melbourne

Are you visiting or thinking of planning a trip? Do you know how unpredictable the Melbourne climate is? Discover what the weather is like so you can plan the perfect trip!

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Melbourne is known as the city with four seasons in one day. While this isn't true for every day of the year, it applies often enough for the city to deserve this title!

Entrance to Luna Park, St.Kilda, Melbourne.
Melbourne comes alive over summer!
Especially St.Kilda and the beaches!
Follow the link for the full high quality
Luna Park image

Due to its location, it tends to averages a lot of rain all year round for a non-tropical city (although due to the nature of Melbourne's climate, you cannot expect anything from one year to the next).

During a hot summer day it can cloud over in a matter of minutes going from very hot to very brisk. Chilling summer thunder storms are not an unusual event.

That said, it can get hot in Melbourne, really hot. Looking at the table below, you can see that the hottest day on record, is a scorching 46.4°C. That's hotter than the hottest recorded temperature in Alice Springs, in the middle of the outback desert!


One of the best example of the crazy weather that can happen in Melbourne is Christmas day, 2011. It was a beautiful day, with temperatures in the mid-high twenties, when suddenly one part of the city was hit with a violent summer thunder storm.

It unleashed gale force winds, torrential rain, and golf ball sized hail stones that wrecked cars, blew trees and power poles over, and caused flash flooding.

People on the other side of the Melbourne didn't get anything apart from a few extra gusts of wind and had no idea that such extreme weather conditions were being experienced only 50 kms away. Melbourne truly is a city of weather extremes.

Average Temperatures and rainfall of Melbourne:

 
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec

Avg. Max Temp:
26
26
24
20
17
14
14
15
17
20
22
24

Avg. Min Temp:
14
15
13
11
9
7
6
7
8
10
11
13

Avg. Rain (mm):
48
48
51
58
56
49
48
50
58
67
61
60


Hottest 3 months:
December, January, February
Coldest 3 months:
June, July, August
Wettest 3 months:
October, November, December
Hottest ever:
46.4°C in February (2009).
Coldest ever:
-2.8°C in July (1869).


If you're planning on when to come to Melbourne all around the weather, I recommend coming over the summer months from December - February, especially if you like it hot enough to go swimming in some of the local beaches.

The ocean waters of Victoria come up from the Antarctic, and any other part of the year generally makes them too cold to swim in with any comfort unless you are a seasoned surfboarder and have a good wetsuit!

Entrance to Luna Park, St.Kilda, Melbourne.
The trendy Docklands district!
Follow the link for the full high quality
Docklands image

If possible, try to avoid Melbourne during the winter months of May - August, it can be very cold, windy, and wet! Most people will be getting around with jackets and umbrellas, it is not much fun at all unless you like sitting inside watching grey clouds and rain!

The months of April, September and October can be a good time to visit, but they can also have very wet and cold days. Unfortunately, when it comes to Melbourne weather, expect the unexpected!

But what else happens in Melbourne?

There is so much happening in and around Melbourne that weather may not be the only deciding factor in when you decide to visit. With some of the nation's biggest sporting events, and other festivals, there could be another factors that influence your final decision!

Melbourne is host to a wealth of national and international sporting events all year around. Here are just some of the biggest:

  • January: Tennis - Australian Open, Asia/Pacific Grand Slam tournament (Melbourne)
  • January: Boating - Festival of Sails (Geelong)
  • March: Formula 1 - Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne)
  • March - April: Surfing - The Rip Curl Pro (Torquay / Bells Beach)
  • Sept: AFL - The AFL (Australian Football League) grand final.
  • Sept - Nov: Horse Racing - Spring Racing Carnival (Melbourne)
  • October: MotoGP - Motorcycle Grand Prix (Philip Island)
  • November: Horse Racing - Melbourne Cup Carnival (Melbourne)
  • November: Golf - Australian Masters (Melbourne)
  • December: Cricket - The Boxing Day Test match (Melbourne)

And I couldn't even begin to list all the festivals that take place all year long. For a fully comprehensive look at what else Melbourne has to offer, check out the official Melbourne website: www.thatsmelbourne.com.au for more details!

Conclusion:

If you are looking for hot weather and a chance to swim in or around Melbourne, come during Dec-Feb. If you're lucky you could get a hot spell in November, and March - April can still have some very hot weather. There is also a huge amount of sporting and other events/festivals happening as well.

But all other parts of the year also has a huge range of activities, festival, and events to keep anyone happy any time of the year. But try to avoid the winter months unless you like it grey, wet, and windy!



Note: While this page gives a quick guide as to what to expect in Melbourne, if you plan on visiting other parts of the state I recommend you have a look at the climate and weather in Victoria page for more details. Australia is a land of extremes with anything ranging from bushfires to flooding. While the chances of these are minimal, it pays to be safe!

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