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The climate of Antarctica
The continent of Antarctica consists of a large region surrounding the South Pole which is the most southerly located region in the World. Antarctica consists of the Antarctic mainland, the islands on the continental shelf, the South Orkney Islands, the South Shetland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Bouvet Islands and Heard and the McDonald Islands.
On the shown climate information only applies to the Antarctic mainland. Antarctica has an ice climate, type EF according to the Köppen climate classification. To be classified as this climate type average temperatures have to be below freezing point all year round. During the coldest month it has to be colder than -3 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit), which can hardly ever be recorded during the coldest month here. In many ways Antarctica has a unique climate. The lowest temperatures on earth can be recorded here, the South Pole is extremely dry and the wind always comes from the east. Winds blow hardest along the coast.


Climate information of places and areas in Antarctica
The climate information given on this page is only brief. Specific information on weather and climate can be found on the pages per region or city. The following climate information is available for Antarctica:

South Pole

It hardly ever rains on Antarctica. Only during the warmest months precipitation in the form of rain may fall in the coastal regions of the continent. Further into the interior rainfall is technically impossible because temperatures are always below freezing point. Because of this precipitation in the interior always falls in the form of snow. Along the coast precipitation almost always falls in the form of snow or glazed frost. Because of air currents on and around Antarctica depressions hardly ever reach the interior. Precipitation figures rapidly decrease when you move further toward the South Pole. Precipitation figures around the South Pole are negligible. Along the coast annual precipitation figures vary from a few hundred to 1,000 millimeters. In this case it would be the amount of water that remains after you would melt the snow that falls here.

It will not surprise anybody that it may get extremely cold on Antarctica. However, large differences in temperatures can be recorded. The seas surrounding Antarctica cause temperatures to be higher in the coastal regions. In the center of Antarctica it is much colder which is caused by several factors. Firstly there is the absence of sunshine (from 21 March till 23 September it is continuously dark here). Secondly, the center is located at an altitude of more than 2 kilometers above sea level and finally because of the reflection of sunlight on the thick layer of ice. In the central part of Antarctica average 24 hour temperatures are between -50 to -60 degrees Celsius (-58 to -76 degrees Fahrenheit). It may even get colder, at the Vostok Station temperatures dropped to -89.2 Celsius (-129 degrees Fahrenheit) in 1983. This is the lowest temperature ever recorded on earth. A so-called wind chill causes it to feel even colder. Because of these fierce winds it may feel up to 20 degrees colder than it actually is.


Climate figures
Throughout Antarctica several climate figures and temperatures can be recorded. The figures below are for the South Pole and cannot be seen as an average. For climate figures for other places and regions in Antarctica please, visit the individual climate pages.

temperature (°C)


temperature (°C)
hours of sunshine

average days with precipitation
per month
per month
temperature (°C)
January -26 -29 18 0 3
February -38 -43 17 0 2
March -51 -57 7 0 3
April -53 -61 0 0 5
May -53 -62 0 0 10
June -54 -62 0 0 15
July -56 -63 0 0 17
August -56 -63 0 0 18
September -56 -63 2 0 16
October -48 -54 14 0 13
November -37 -40 20 0 9
December -26 -29 19 0 5
= 0-5 mm ● = 6-30 mm ● = 31-60 mm ● = 61-100 mm ● = 101-200 mm ● = over 200 mm
= 0-2 inches ● = 2-12 inches ● = 12-24 inches ● = 25-40 inches ● = 41-80 inches ● = over 80 inches

More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time. How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra climate information per month. The figures below apply to the South Pole. For climate figures on specific regions and places please, visit the relevant individual climate pages

chance of
(very) hot


chance of
(very) cool
chance of

chance of
chance of
sunny days


click here for the explanation of the symbols


The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.


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