Melbourne is situated in the south-eastern Australia. The city lies on the confluence of Quaternary lava flows to the west, Silurian mudstones to the east and Holocene sand accumulation to the southeast along Port Phillip. The suburbs spread along the Yarra Valley toward the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges to the east, down towards the Mornington Peninsula and the city of Frankston, along the Maribyrnong River and its tributaries north towards the foothills of the Macedon Ranges, and along the flat volcanic plain country towards Werribee and Geelong to the south-west.
Melbourne is notorious for its changeable weather conditions. It is known by the phrase “four seasons in one day” by the locals. Due to its flat topography, Port Phillip Bay and the presence of the Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne has a moderate oceanic climate. It is characterized by warm-hot summers, balmy and mild springs and autumns and cool winters. It rarely gets unbearably cold or unbearably hot in the city. Because it lies within the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed to those in Europe, North America and most of Asia.
The seasons are known for starting late. For example, summer officially starts on 21st December but it actually doesn’t feel like summer until mid January and sometimes even later.
Although the weather can be a little unpredictable, Melbourne enjoys a comfortable environment in whatever the season. The season changes are so clearly defined and visual, making the city a great place to watch it in its many parks and gardens, especially during spring and autumn.
Melbourne is a host of many sports activities and festivals. You can track these events and see what to expect from the weather those days (or maybe not ).
January & February
A typical day in Melbourne during the high summer is warm and sunny with the afternoon sea breeze coming from the south. A few days can be cool and cloudy, temperature getting below 20ºC. Hot days can be sometimes accompanied by the unpleasant north wind. Occasionally hot weather may continue for three or more days but most of the time there are only one or two hot days in a row. The summer season also has the year’s warmest nights. Hot weather is usually abrupt by a cool change with either dry days or showers and thunderstorms.
Australian Open – The Grand Slam of Asia
Where the world’s best tennis players are showcased at Melbourne Park for the first Grand Slam of the year. Australian Open 2008 was the biggest and best in the tournament’s history, setting an all-time attendance record of 605,735 fans but the 2009 Grand Slam will be even bigger, with the world’s biggest stage with top tennis elite battling for the Grand Slam title.
Phillip Island Superbike World Championship
in Cowes, 142 kilometres south of Melbourne. This Superbike World Championship provides the best competition racing in the world and brings together the major motorcycle manufacturers and high-profile international riders. An up-close viewing from all aspects of the Circuit is possible.
Skandia Geelong Week
in Geelong, 75 kilometres south-west of Melbourne, is Australia’s largest sailing regatta. Over 100,000 visitors will enjoy the free three-day shoreside program featuring more than 60 live performances on two waterfront stages, art exhibitions, aerobatic displays, fireworks, gourmet food and wine, children’s entertainment and activities, a marine trade show and art and craft markets.
March is transitional between summer and autumn. There is hot weather in the first fortnight, which can be accompanied by a strong northerly wind during the day. Sharp wind then leads to a rapid fall in temperature. March is characterized by mild and sunny days as well as cool and cloudy. Nights get noticeably cooler than in the previous two months.
The FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix brings together the country’s premier motor sport event and a carnival atmosphere to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
April is a pleasant month. Sunny weather can last for several days. The nights are quite cool with temperatures falling below 10ºC several times a week. Fog occurs during the early morning on a few occasions but clears to a sunny day. A several days of strong wind may occur and occasionally heavy rain falls.
May is a cooler month. This late autumn, early winter period is notable for extended periods of very light winds in Melbourne, although there are a few days of strong wind, Cloudy and showery weather may persist for some days at a time, but prolonged heavy rain is rare.
No major events are occurring during autumn and winter season.
June to August
Melbourne has Australia’s coldest weather in winter, with some nights producing frost. Snow doesn’t fall in the city itself, but on the outlying hills. The average daily temperature is approximately 14°C, although it can fall below 4°C.
September is the first month of spring. Within a few days, you can experience a full range of weather – from warm, calm and sunny to cold, windy and showery. It is also a windy month. The temperature usually reaches the mid-20s for the first time since April. Nights are cool.
Australian Football League Finals Series, East Melbourne
From March to September Australian Rules Football (AFL) teams fight it out to make the top eight and qualify for the final series. This titanic contest is between two teams with one emerging as the premier side for the year.
In October, the changeable weather continues with a greater contrast between the warmer and colder days. The maximum temperature exceeds 25ºC once a week. A few cloudy to overcast days and many days are windy. Warm windy weather may be followed by a sudden change to colder conditions with showers. Rain falls on almost one day in two, some of it can be heavy.
Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix
On the Phillip Island, Australia’s home of motorcycle racing for the annual MotoGP World Championship. The three-day event showcases the world’s best racing in three Grand Prix classes, plus national racing categories and other entertainment on and off the track
Changeable and windy weather continues further in November. The month is famous for warm to hot and sunny days and cold and showery days that may follow each other in rapid succession. There are also some cloudy to overcast days. Nights are usually mild. Many days are windy.
Melbourne Cup Carnival
It’s more than just a horse race. It represents a 145-year old social and cultural tradition. This race draws competitors from all over the world making it a truly international event. The Melbourne Cup Carnival creates a party atmosphere unparalleled at any other Australian sporting event.
Equitana Asia Pacific
At Equitana Asia Pacific you will experience a world of horses, showcasing the very best of competition, education and exhibition.
Since 1999, Equitana Asia Pacific has been held in Melbourne biennially, attracting more than 70,000 visitors per event.
There are some hot days, temperatures going over 30ºC on certain occasions, but it does not often last for more than two days at a time. Cool and cloudy weather can also prevail for some days when the temperature stays below 20ºC.
Warm weather is sometimes accompanied by an unpleasant north wind, high humidity and even thunderstorms in the late afternoons. Hot weather is often abrupt with a cool change when the temperature falls by 10ºC in twenty minutes time.
Nights are mild most of the time not falling bellow 20ºC during hot weather.
Melbourne Boxing Day Test
Test match involving Australian cricket team and the opposition national team touring Australia that summer. It is more than just a cricket match; it’s a sporting and cultural event that Melbourne is proud to showcase to the world. It begins annually on Boxing Day (December 26), and is played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
As you can see, Melbourne is full of great events especially in the spring and summer. However, if you decide to come in the wintertime I am sure you will find some great things to do!