The dry, sinking air of the subtropical high pressure belt that moves north and south across Australia with the seasons dominates Australia's climate and defines the main climate regions.
Rainfall in Australia:
Australia has an annual rainfall variability greater than any other continent and is in fact the driest inhabited continent. The interior of Australia has one of the lowest rainfalls in the world and approximately three-quarters of its land mass is arid or semi-arid.
Rainfall varies across Australia from arid i.e. low rainfall in the centre to west coast to winter dominant i.e. marked wet winter and dry summer on the south west coast to summer dominant i.e. marked wet summer and dry winter across the northern part of Australia.
Yearly rainfalls have varied from 274 at Alice Springs in the Northern Territory to 7936mm at Bellenden Ker Top Station in Far North Queensland.
Across the capital cities of Australia, annual rainfall varies as can be seen from the following example:
Adelaide (South Australia) 553mm
Alice Springs (Northern Territory arid centre) 274mm
Brisbane (Queensland) 1189mm
Canberra (Australian Capital Territory) 631mm
Darwin (Northern Territory tropical north) 1666mm
Hobart (Tasmania) 624mm
Melbourne (Victoria) 661mm
Perth (Western Australia) 869mm
Sydney (New South Wales) 1220mm
Temperatures in Australia:
Extreme temperatures can be experienced but this is the exception rather than the rule. Examples of extreme temperatures are 48.6 degrees Celsius at Hyden in the south eastern wheat-belt district of Western Australia to -17 degrees Celsius at Charlotte Pass which is the highest village in Australia located in the heart of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales.
Average temperatures are far less varied across the capital cities as can be seen from the following:
Whilst there is not a substantial difference in average temperatures, northern winters are consistently warmer than southern winters which means that many people from the southern states take the opportunity to holiday in Queensland during the winter months. Conversely the southern states often have great snow seasons which can mean an influx of visitors from the northern and western states for the purpose of skiing.
Australia's climate really does have something for everyone.