Sydney Australia Weather

Will the Sydney Australia weather be kind for your visit? And what time of the year is the best - weather-wise?

The heat of summer ... Bondi Beach on a Sydney sizzler.

Sydney's temperate climate is an enjoyable one. Lots of wonderful warm sun on more than 100 cloudless days. Officially there are more than 300 sunny days a year.

So your chances of having good weather for your holiday are pretty good. But we're talking weather here - a brolly might be needed!

In Sydney rain falls throughout the year, more so in the summer. When it does come, it can be heavy.

In denial ... in our thongs!

It's not always warm, of course, although we Sydneysiders tend to deny the winter cold and shiver in inappropriate attire. (Tough blokes with goose-bumps in shorts, T-shirts and thongs come to mind).

We think "cold" is when the white flakes come down, and we don't experience winter like that in Sydney, do we? (Well, actually there was a very cold year in 1836 - with snow falling four times in what's now central Sydney!)

Sydney has since then grown hugely into the Greater Sydney metropolis which includes the Upper Blue Mountains. At their elevation it does snow each year - on an average of five days.

But down in Sydney's coastal suburbs and CBD the winters are quite mild. Find a sunny spot sheltered from wind and you can often enjoy hours of real warmth.

Wild storm about to break over Sydney's CBD. 

Those wonderful Southerly Busters

Sydney Australia weather brings wild storms in summer.  Mother Nature mixes inland heat with vigorous cold fronts pushing up the coast.

In just a few minutes, what Sydneysiders call "Southerly Busters" drop high temperatures. They often bring thunderstorms and strong winds - and great relief from oppressive conditions.

Occasionally the most violent of storms does the unexpected and hits out of season. (Read on for the time 500,000 tonnes of ice dropped from Sydney skies!)

I've lived in Sydney for many years and write from my own experience and from researching Bureau Of Meteorology data.

Sea breezes cool the coast

Unlike most Sydney folk I prefer the cooler months and find some of the muggy summer days hard to take. But that's just me ... I grew up in New Zealand!

It doesn't help that the cooling sea breezes that make our beach-side suburbs so enjoyable unfortunately don't reach inland to my suburb of Kings Langley - about 45km from the coast.

But hey, this is my Sydney - I'm happy to be here, enjoying, whatever the weather.

Sydney Australia Weather

Season by Season

Temperatures mentioned below are typical for suburbs near the coast. If you're staying inland in Sydney's western suburbs add about 2-5deg C (4-9deg F) to the summer highs, and reduce winter lows by about 2deg C (4deg F).

Signs that Spring has arrived in Sydney ... the flowering of beautiful magnolias, and the return of spectacular kites to Bondi Beach for The Festival of the Winds in September. (Beach photo by Marina Naidion).

Spring: A season you've got to love in this city. From September through to the end of November there's a gradual change from cool to pretty warm Sydney Australia weather.

It's time to get out and about more ... to walk through scented gardens and enjoy the spring flowers and lush new leaves on so many trees.

On fine weekends Sydney's many public parks and reserves are now busy with family picnics and barbeques. 

In the middle of spring average temperatures reach about 22deg C (72deg F) in the day and drop at night to 13deg C (55deg F).

Rainfall is at its lowest in Sydney's spring.

Note: I'm adding this note on Sydney Australia weather with just a few official days of spring left. It's November 20, 2014. And it's warm ... very warm. Tomorrow (Friday) the Bondi Beach forecast is for temperatures to hit 36deg C.

That's hot for the beachside. The reason is that the cooling onshore breezes aren't expected to kick in because a heatwave's moving in from inland.

Out here in Western Sydney I'm sweating! Maximum temperature tomorrow is going to be around 40deg C. And forecasters are expecting 42deg C on Sunday (Nov 23).

To give you an idea of what spring can mean in some parts of western Sydney, here's a quick look at Penrith, nestled beneath the Blue Mountains.

Two months ago, in September (the first month of spring here) Penrith recorded one day with a max temperature of over 35deg C. In October it had 11 days with maximums over 30deg C, the highest being 37deg C. And this month (November) the max hit 40deg C on Nov 14. 

Footnote: Bondi and coastal Sydney achieved 34deg C today (Friday Nov 21, 2014). In Western Sydney it reached 40-41deg C. Then a southerly change came about 6pm bringing great relief. It will stay milder tomorrow before the heat returns Sunday with possibly 39deg C for eastern Sydney and up to 43deg C out west at Penrith. That's just a little taste of Sydney Australia weather - in spring!

Crowds pack Bondi Beach on a perfect summer's day.

Summer: Sydney Australia weather really heats up for December, January and February with average temperatures ranging from about 19-26deg C (66-79deg F).

Those are averages - so expect plenty of heat. Quite likely you will experience some heatwave conditions if you're here in these months.

On 15 days a year Sydney has temperatures over 30deg C (86deg F). That might seem pretty easy to take, but there can be some amazing highs.

For instance, on January 18 2013, it reached 45.8deg C (114.4deg F) - the highest recorded maximum temperature at Observatory Hill (that's at Millers Point, close to the Harbour Bridge).

As a coastal city, sea breezes kick in during the afternoon to bring refreshing relief from summer humidity (so long as you're not too far inland!).

Hot windy days can mean there's a great risk of bushfire. On days of severe risk national parks and walking trails may be closed for safety. Total fire bans are common. Listen to Sydney Australia weather reports, check out the Rural Fire Service website and look for warning signs at the entrance to national parks.

Autumn comes to Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

Autumn: Through March, April and May the humidity drops and for me these are some of the best months of Sydney Australia weather.

The sunshine stays pretty warm, especially in March, cooling noticeably into May.

In mid-autumn average Sydney temperatures should be about 22deg C (72deg F) during the day and cooling to 15deg C (59deg F) at night.

It's likely to be the wettest in March. Most months of autumn experience from 120mm to 135mm of rain.

Rock 'n roll ride ... sometimes the Harbour Ferry meets big swells and bad weather on the way to Manly and back.

Winter: Sydney weather in June, July and August is pretty mild. I find winters are short and the often cloudless blue skies make them quite pleasant. Mid-winter average temperatures during the day are 15.5deg C (60deg F), dropping to 8deg C (46deg F) at night. 

That minimum's a bit chilly, isn't it? But this is mid-winter! What's it like where you're from in the coldest months? You're probably knee deep in snow.

Sydney Australia weather in winter can be quite wonderfully warm. Highest recorded June daytime maximum is 26.9deg C (80.4deg F). Isn't that nearly as good as it gets in the height of summer in much of the UK?

Anyway, winter's by no means cold here! And we're actually blessed with more sunny days in winter than in summer. So, Sydney weather in winter is a walk in the park for anyone coming from, say, London.

Not much winter clothing needed

Go easy on packing the heavy winter clothing. You really won't need more extras than a warm winter coat and a fleecy windbreaker jacket. Bring some light summer gear so you can enjoy the mild to warm days.

Warning: If you also plan some time up the Blue Mountains, or in Canberra or Melbourne, then that's different. Pack your woolies!

There's not a lot of central heating in Sydney homes or shops. This can sometimes mean visitors from Europe feel the cold when they're indoors. So plan to meet that need.

Temperatures can drop to lows of almost 2deg C (35deg F). But you're unlikely to feel a frost unless well inland, away from the sea.

Bring some warm clothes, like jumpers, and you'll cope well with a windy day, or the wind chill of a Sydney Harbour ferry ride.

Wow! What a crazy hail storm ...

Smashed car windows - an example of the damage Sydney Australia weather can inflict when a super storm cell drops hail.

Sometimes Sydney weather is very angry. Violent storms with amazing thunder and lightning are generated. Great spectacle - the sheer power and beauty of nature. But they can be very destructive.

On April 14, 1999, Mother Nature dropped an estimated 500,000 tonnes of ice on Sydney's coastal suburbs. Worst hit by the "mother of all hailstorms" were the eastern suburbs and CBD.

These weren't just your normal little bits of hail. These hailstones really hurt! Some produced by the storm super cell were tennis ball sized (as the photo shows).

They did huge damage - estimated at $2.3 billion - to homes, shops, cars and planes. It was the most expensive natural disaster in Australian history.

It's estimated the hailstones were travelling at 200km/h (120mph) when they struck, tearing holes in 24,000 house roofs and denting 70,000 motor vehicles. Twenty-three aircraft and helicopters were damaged at Sydney Airport.

The storm came in off the sea unexpectedly and was followed by a second storm cell which dropped lots of rain on broken roofs, compounding the damage.

In this example of extraordinary Sydney Australia weather there was one death from lightning and 50 people were injured in the pelting.

Want to know heaps more about Sydney weather and weather throughout Australia? Here's the Bureau Of Meteorology website.

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Extreme Weather

The Mother of all Hail Storms ... see bottom of page

Warm and wonderful!

Manly Beach ... nowhere better to be on a warm summer's day.

Too much of a good thing

Oh Dear! The ravages of our harsh sun.

Where rainy days are fun

Humour in bones - at the Australian Museum.