Average Weather in Cairns Australia
In Cairns, the temperature typically varies from 63°F to 88°F over the course of the year, and is rarely below 56°F or above 91°F.
The hot season lasts for 4.4 months, from November 8 to March 20, with an average daily high temperature above 86°F. The hottest day of the year is January 18, with an average high of 88°F and low of 76°F.
The cool season lasts for 2.7 months, from June 1 to August 24, with an average daily high temperature below 79°F. The coldest day of the year is July 30, with an average low of 63°F and high of 77°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
The length of the day in Cairns varies over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is June 21, with 11 hours, 7 minutes of daylight; the longest day is December 21, with 13 hours, 9 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:33 AM on November 24, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 14 minutes later at 6:47 AM on July 8. The earliest sunset is at 5:50 PM on June 4, and the latest sunset is 1 hour, 7 minutes later at 6:57 PM on January 19.
Daylight saving time (DST) is not observed in Cairns during 2017.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight
In Cairns, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Cairns begins around April 2 and lasts for 7.8 months, ending around November 26. On September 11, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 64% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 36% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around November 26 and lasts for 4.2 months, ending around April 2. On January 24, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 81% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 19% of the time.
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Cairns varies very significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 4.6 months, from December 18 to May 6, with a greater than 40% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 67% on February 18.
The drier season lasts 7.4 months, from May 6 to December 18. The smallest chance of a wet day is 12% on September 22.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 67% on February 18.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day in the year. Cairns experiences very significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in Cairns. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around February 24, with an average total accumulation of 16.3 inches.
The least rain falls around September 16, with and average total accumulation of 1.1 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
Cairns experiences very significant seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 8.7 months, from September 21 to June 11, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 35% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is February 23, with muggy conditions 99% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is August 7, with muggy conditions 13% of the time.
Humidity Comfort Levels
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Cairns experiences mildly seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 7.4 months, from March 13 to October 24, with average wind speeds of more than 4.1 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is April 23, with an average hourly wind speed of 4.7 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 4.6 months, from October 24 to March 13. The calmest day of the year is February 8, with an average hourly wind speed of 3.6 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Cairns is from the east throughout the year.
Cairns is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.
The average water temperature experiences some seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The time of year with warmer water lasts for 3.9 months, from December 1 to March 30, with an average temperature above 82°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is February 8, with an average temperature of 84°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 3.1 months, from June 10 to September 13, with an average temperature below 76°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is July 30, with an average temperature of 74°F.
Average Water Temperature
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences some seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 2.9 months, from September 21 to December 19, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.8 kWh. The brightest day of the year is November 1, with an average of 7.4 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 2.8 months, from May 6 to July 31, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 5.2 kWh. The darkest day of the year is June 11, with an average of 4.6 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Cairns are -16.923 deg latitude, 145.766 deg longitude, and 23 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Cairns is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 79 feet, and an average elevation above sea level of 18 feet. Within 10 miles contains extreme variations in elevation (3,638 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (5,282 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Cairns is covered by artificial surfaces (39%), trees (22%), sparse vegetation (17%), and water (17%), within 10 miles by trees (57%) and water (24%), and within 50 miles by water (50%) and trees (31%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Cairns, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There is only a single weather station, Cairns International Airport, in our network suitable to be used as a proxy for the historical temperature and dew point records of Cairns.
At a distance of 4 kilometers from Cairns, closer than our threshold of 150 kilometers, this station is deemed sufficiently nearby to be relied upon as our primary source for temperature and dew point records.
The station records are corrected for the elevation difference between the station and Cairns according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
Please note that the station records themselves may additionally have been back-filled using other nearby stations or the MERRA-2 reanalysis.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .