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Australian Seasons

Australian Seasons Are the Opposite of Those in the Northern Hemisphere

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A woman hiking on Giant's Walk, on Magnetic Island
Josie Elias/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

For those who live in the northern hemisphere, it is best to remember that the Australian seasons are the opposite of those in the north; so in the northern winter, pack summer clothes for a visit to Sydney.

In a simplified, easy-to-remember seasons calendar each season begins on the first day of the season's starting month, so summer is from December 1 to the end of February, autumn from March to May, winter from June to August, and spring from September to November.

So each season in Australia comprises three full calendar months, rather than, say, starting on the 20th or 21st day of the first month and ending on the 20th or 21st of the fourth month as is the case in many places in the northern hemisphere.

While there are four official seasons in the Australian calendar, people in northern Australia consider themselves as having two well-defined, climate-based seasons: the wet (roughly from November to April) and the dry (April to November) with temperatures remaining tropical.

For day-to-day conditions in different areas, it is best to check what the weather will be like.

More rain in autumn

As far as the Australian seasons go, there are more rainy days in autumn in Sydney — an average of a little over 12 days each in the months of March, April and May — and between seven and eight the rest of the year. The rainfall is generally light — from 2.8 inches per month in spring to 5.3 inches in autumn.

Umbrellas are fine for rain and a coat or jacket may suffice for light drizzles.

For unusual weather conditions — such as storms or cyclones — it is always a good idea to check with the Bureau of Meteorology.

Next page: Casual Wear Is Fine

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