Climate & weather

Expeditoners with packs on plateau in misty weather
Expeditioners heading out in the field in typical damp Macquarie Island weather. Photo M. Woolridge
Expeditioner walking along plateau

Macquarie has an extreme oceanic climate with heavy cloud, strong westerly winds and a rainfall of 900 mm a year.

Temperatures are much milder than the continental stations with the average above freezing and ranging between 3°C and 7°C. The ocean temperature of between 3°C and 5°C moderates the air temperature, with extremes recorded on the island being +13°C in January and -9°C in July and August.

Rain and snow are frequent, with only a few days each year with no precipitation.

It can be quite sunny in December and January but the winter months are cloudy.

During summer there are only about four hours of darkness.

The wind is constant on the island, averaging around 25 km/h throughout the year. Low pressure systems passing the island produce winds that gust to over 170 km/h.

This page was last modified on 17 February 2011.