Weather in Alice Springs

West MacDonnell Ranges, Alice Springs, NT. © Tourism NT

Weather in Alice Springs

The climate of Alice Springs in Australia’s Red Centre is one of extremes. Unlike the Top End of the Northern Territory which has a tropical climate, the Red Centre has a semi-arid climate. In summer (December–February), average temperatures range between 20°C and 35°C. In winter (June–August), the average temperature range is 3°C –20°C. Spring and autumn have warm days and cool evenings. Rainfall varies dramatically from year to year, but the annual average is around 286mm. Here you will find some information on temperature, rainfall and seasonal activities to help you plan your holiday in Alice Springs.

Not only does Alice Springs have hot summers and cold winters, but the temperature can sometimes change as much as 28°C in one day. Rainfall varies from year to year, but overall the climate is dry most of the time.

Autumn is one of the best times to visit the Red Centre, with warm days and cool nights and not much variation. April and May has some of the best weather in Alice Springs, and is one of the best times to visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. In the summer months it can be too hot during the day to hike or walk around the park.

During winter, night time temperatures can fall below 0°C. Sometimes thick frost on the ground in the morning can look like a carpet of snow. These mornings are usually followed by pleasant afternoon temperatures in the low 20s. When it rains, daytime maximums can be as low as 8°C to 10°C with clouds covering the ranges. The cooler months from May to September are the best time to walk the Larapinta Trail. Warm clothing is also essential at this time of the year.

Spring is one of the most exciting seasons, with big changes in temperature from day to day, spectacular thunderstorms, hail and dust storms. It is also the wild flower season, which reaches its peak in September and early October. In Alice Springs, stunning scenery is not only found outdoors. Visit the Araluen Cultural Precinct and you’ll encounter an array of galleries, museums, sculptures and sacred sites offering a unique experience of Aboriginal art, culture and heritage. Central Australia's premier arts and cultural event, the Alice Desert Festival is held every year in September.

Spring is a great time to join a four wheel drive tour or camel trek across the rolling dunes of the Simpson Desert. Float over the MacDonnell Ranges in a hot air balloon for a bird's eye view of the majestic landscapes and wildlife that makes this region so inspiring.

The Red Centre Way, from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon, is one of the best ways to experience the natural wonders of this vast ancient red landscape.

Hats and sunscreen are essential outdoors in summer. Be sure to check the weather before you venture outdoors and make sure you are prepared for changes in temperature. Guard against dehydration by drinking lots of water no matter what the season.


Climate Chart

Temperature

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual

Mean maximum temperature (°C)

36.4

35

32.6

28.2

23

19.8

19.7

22.6

27.2

30.9

33.6

35.4

28.7

Mean minimum temperature (°C)

21.5

20.7

17.5

12.6

8.2

5

4

6

10.3

14.8

17.8

20.2

13.2

Source: Bureau of Meteorology, 2013

Precipitation Chart

Rainfall

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual

Mean rainfall (mm)

38.6

43.8

32.4

16.5

18.5

13.8

15

9.2

8.5

21.4

29.1

36.9

284.4 

Decile 5 (median) rainfall (mm)

16

15.6

10.9

1.5

6.4

4

2.6

2.1

1.5

17.8

20.2

24.6

237.6

Mean number of days of rain ≥ 1 (mm)

3.3

3.5

2.4

1.5

2.1

1.7

1.8

1.3

1.5

2.9

3.8

4

29.8

Source: Bureau of Meteorology, 2013

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