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Melbourne’s weather is generally pleasant, with seasons that not dissimilar to NZ. With cool winters and warm-to-hot summers, Melbourne’s weather offers a great lifestyle.

When in Australia, the general perception is of hot sunlight, endless shimmering beaches and 24/7 summer. This is definitely part of the climate especially up north, but Melbourne has its share of seasons. If you are planning to visit or move to Melbourne, then it would be a good idea to understand its climate. Don’t go throwing out your winter jackets just yet.

Not unlike NZ, Melbourne is well known for having all four seasons manifesting in a single day on some occasions, and is quite notorious for seasons making their official presence much later than anticipated. For example, summer in the city officially starts on the 1st of December. However, most Melbourne residents will tell you that it doesn’t really feel like summer till you are a good way into January. It’s the summer months though that are most loved thanks to all the outdoor activities that you can indulge in. The beaches are extremely popular with visitors as well as the locals.

Melbourne is affected by temperature swings thanks to cold air masses moving in from the sea, particularly from Antarctica. Additionally, hot and dry air masses arising from the Australian desert cause sudden changes in temperature. Melbourne’s location in the west is directly in the path of the flow of westerly winds from the south which brings in low pressure systems for many months in a year.

Overall, Melbourne has a temperate climate which is pleasant the whole year round. The winters are mild and the summers pleasantly warm. There is also plenty of sunshine. It’s a misconception that Melbourne tends to experience heavy rain. In fact, the rain levels here are far less then Brisbane or Sydney.

Summer in Melbourne (December – February)

The summers are warm in Melbourne with average temperatures ranging from 14 - 25.3°C. Summers are usually dry and there some hot spells that you will have to contend with, sometime rising up to 40oC. The good thing is that these heat waves generally don’t last for more than three days at a stretch. The peak of summer is usually in the months of January and February. But here too, you will not normally see temperatures rising past the 30°C mark.

Autumn (March – May)

Autumn is a great time when the weather begins to cool down and the trees don their orange leaves. At this time, the temperatures range between 10.9 – 20.3°C. You may wake up to foggy mornings, but this tends to clear up soon enough giving way to sunny skies. As autumn draws to a close you may find that there are spells of light, cool winds.

Winter (June – August)

Winter brings in some cold days, though it’s not going to be a white Christmas by a long shot. Temperatures vary from 6.5 - 14.2°C. Snow fall occurs around the north-east of Victoria, with the nearest ski field being three hours’ drive from the city. During these months, the weather is predominantly cloudy and dull. Some nights may experience frosts. While there may be some rainfall, it is not heavy at all.

Spring (September – November)

Spring is when the weather in Melbourne tends to vary a lot. It can go from warm and sunny to cold and windy in a matter of hours. These are months when packing an umbrella, as well as windcheater, and your sunhat is a good idea. October is usually the wettest month in Melbourne, when the city gets around ten days of heavy showers. The temperatures at this time vary between 9.6 - 19.6°C.

Some important things to remember about Melbourne’s weather

Now that you have a good idea of what to expect from Melbourne’s weather, here are other important things that you may want to keep in mind.

Daylight saving in Melbourne: This begins on the first Sunday of October each year, at 2 AM, Eastern Standard Time. You wind your clocks back an hour in spring, and then roll forward an hour  on the first Sunday of April at 3am.

When is sunrise and sunset in Melbourne? The longest periods of daylight are in the month of December, during summer months. The sun usually rises at around 6AM during this time and sets close to 9PM. June is when the city has the least hours of daylight. The sun comes up around 7:30AM and sets as early as 5PM.

What is the sea temperature in Melbourne? With the massive coastline and the number of people keen on spending time at the beach, it is natural to want to know sea temperatures—but it’s not tropical, although it is warmer than in NZ. During the summer months the temperature of the sea hovers between 17.4 - 18.8°C. It’s a great time of year to spend the long evenings surfing.

Does Melbourne get snow? It is very rare to see snow in Melbourne. Snowfall happens mostly in the Victorian High Country. All those wanting to dust off those skies and snowboards, the best slopes to head to are located at Hotham, Mount Buller as well as Falls Creek, a few hours’ drive away.

What are wardrobe essentials for Melbourne’s weather: Considering Melbourne weather’s ability to change at the drop of a hat, it’s always a good idea to be dressed in layers. This way, hot or cold, you are well prepared when you spend time outdoors. A windproof jacket can always come in handy. Carrying an umbrella is a smart thing to do.

What about the Ultraviolet (UV) Index in Melbourne: It is important to track the UV Index in Melbourne. You can do this by checking local weather reports which gives you the latest updates on intensity. It is best to be prepared with sunscreens that have a strong Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Those that are SPF30 and above are the safest bets. These are easily available at supermarkets. Using hats and sunglasses is also recommended. Melbourne can reach dangerously high levels of UV, so be prepared to slip, slop, slap and wrap.

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