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Australia is intersected by the Tropic of Capricorn and much of Australia is closer to the equator, hence the northern Australia enjoys a tropical climate, and southern Australia a temperate one.
Australia is a continent that experiences a variety of climates due to its huge size. The weather can range from below zero temperatures in the Snowy Mountains to intolerable heat in the northwest. It is considered to be one of the driest continents on earth.
The temperate south has cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. In the north, a tropical climate prevails with a warm, dry season and a hot, wet season. The extreme northwest experiences the ends of the monsoon systems, while the mountains of the southeast attract seasonal snow to form the Alpine snowfields. The temperatures vary from an average 30 degrees C in midsummer in the Red Centre, to an average of 6 degrees C in the highlands in winter.
The inland deserts can remain totally dry for years whilst rains can produce floods.
Snow can fall in the mountains of Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Tasmania. There is a regular snow season in several areas which have seasonal ski tourism industries. Sometimes snow has even been reported in the mountains of South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland though this is very rare.
Being in the Southern Hemisphere its seasons are in reverse to Europe and America. The ideal time to visit the north, particularly the Northern Territory`s Kakadu National Park is early in the dry season (around May.) The Dry Season, April – October, is also a good time to visit northern Queensland`s beaches and rain forests. You can swim off the coast without fear of dangerous stinging box jellyfish, which infest ocean waters between November and March. In the rain forests, heat and humidity are lower than later in the year and crocodile viewing is at its prime, as the creatures tend to bask on the riverbanks rather than submerge in the colder water.
The tropical states Queensland and the Northern Territory have highly predictable weather. In “winter“, typical daily maximums are from 20 to 24 degrees Celsius (68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit) and rain is rare. The beaches and tropical islands of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef are perhaps at their most pleasant at this time of year. Further south, the weather is less dependable; in Melbourne in August maximums as low as 13 (56F) degrees are possible, but can reach as high as 23 (72F) degrees.
In summer, the northern states are hotter and wetter, while the southern states are simply hotter, with temperatures up to 41 (105F) in Sydney, Adelaide, and Melbourne but generally between 25 and 33 – very pleasant indeed.
Australia recognizes that climate change is a global challenge with adverse long-term implications. Australia is party to the UN framework convention on climate change. The government has decided not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to that Convention and is working toward a fair and effective global framework that includes all major greenhouse gas emitters.