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temperatures, rain

Australia is a huge continent, and has extremes of temperature. Like 45ºC or -5ºC.

In summer many inland areas have temperatures in the high 30ºs and in some areas mid 40ºCs. Alice Springs’ average January maximum temperature is 36.4ºC.

In winter the temperature can plunge. Alice’s average July minimum temperature is 4ºC. When you are camping out in your tent that makes for a cold start.

If you are on the Gibb River Road in November it is possible to have a maximum temperature of 38º or more every day. That’s pretty unpleasant to bike in if you take the high humidity into consideration.

Each of the 550+ weather stations across Australia record key data: temperature, rainfall and windspeed. This can be handy to consult to avoid the sometimes hellish conditions that can prevail.

Check out the data at the Bureau of Meteorology website to get a sense of what the temperatures are likely to be where you are heading.

Temperature

Forecasts

During the Wet Season in the tropics, November to April, the rain buckets down. Darwin gets 1500mm average in those wettest 6 months, 200mm for the rest of the year.

Outside the tropics rain might be less of an issue. You can go for months in Central Australia with only a few occasional drops. Then again it’s possible to be unlucky, it’s rain after all.

Looks like the 10 years of drought in the eastern states of Australia has broken and rain has started to fall again. A lot of rain.

When clay based roads and rain combine you, of course, get mud. Mucky, sticky mud that clogs the tyres and makes travel not a whole bunch of fun.

Rainfall data

Here’s something else to think about. There can be flash floods in Central Australia where rainfall falls in an area 20 or 30km away and the creeks go from being completely dry to a raging flood in minutes even though no rain fell in the immediate vicinity.

Moral of that story: don’t camp in dry creek beds if there’s any possibility of rain on the horizon.