The climate of McMurdo
As classified by the Köppen climate classification, McMurdo
's predominant climate falls under category EF: Ice Cap. Located in the northernmost part of Antarctica
, McMurdo experiences one of the most extreme climates on Earth. The weather is predominantly cold with temperatures rarely exceeding -0.2°C and dipping to as low as -31.8°C.
Throughout the year, temperature fluctuates significantly, with lows reaching peak severity in July
. The humidity ranges from 55.8% in September
to as high as 67% in December
, making the air somewhat drier compared to other regions.
The precipitation pattern in McMurdo is unique, with not just a substantial amount of snow but also a small amount of rainfall. On average, rainfall ranges from 10mm to 25mm per month, while snowfall is more abundant, spanning 66mm to 224mm monthly. The month of February
overserves the highest snowfall at about 224mm.
In terms of daylight, McMurdo experiences extremes. From May
through July, there is no daylight, while in contrast, December and January
enjoy 24 hours of daylight.
The best time to visit McMurdo
Choosing the best time to visit McMurdo
depends greatly on the preference and endurance of the individual. However, considering the overall climate conditions, the relatively warmer and brighter months from November
could be seen as the best time. Although temperatures are still low, ranging from -0.8°C to -6.7°C, the presence of continuous daylight might offer some comfort for visitors, not to mention, the unique experience of a sun that never sets.
The worst time to visit McMurdo
The worst time to visit McMurdo
could be considered the month of July
. With the lowest average temperatures, ranging from -21.7°C to -30.1°C, alongside zero daylight hours, the bleak and extremely cold conditions make this month particularly inhospitable. Add the potential for considerable snowfall, and it demonstrates that this period is least suitable for travel.
Spring weather in McMurdo
Spring weather in McMurdo
, covering September
, is marked by a gradual increase in temperature and daylight hours. Despite this, temperatures remain frigid, moving from -20.8°C in September to -6.7°C in November, and the climate remains under the firm grip of winter. Snowfall remains common in these months, particularly in November with 84mm reported on average.
Summer weather in McMurdo
's version of summer, encompassing December
, is still cold compared to most summer standards worldwide. Yet, with temperatures ranging from -0.2°C to -6.3°C, it is significantly warmer than other seasons. The unique phenomenon of 24 hours of daylight occurs in December and January
, lending an enchanting aura to the icy landscape.
Autumn weather in McMurdo
During autumn, from March
witnesses a sharp drop in temperatures—falling from -14°C in March to -19.1°C in May. Moreover, the available daylight dwindles drastically. Starting from 13.8 hours in March, it shrinks to absolute darkness in May.
Winter weather in McMurdo
Winter in McMurdo
, spanning June
, is characterized by extreme sub-zero temperatures and perpetual night. The temperatures can vary between -21.7°C to -31.8°C, making it the coldest season. Complete absence of daylight from June to July
further enhances the intensity of the winter season.
Weather in January
begins the new year with noteworthy January
lows, reaching an average of -5.5°C. The weather this month is rather humid, with higher humidity levels compared to later winter months. Skies are open for 24 hours per day, allowing the cold tundra some exposure to sunlight. Weather in January »
Weather in February
Weather in March
continues to experience a decrease in temperature moving into March
, coupled with a further decrease in daylight hours to 13.8 hours. The city becomes more conducive to snowfall, often resulting in an increased layer of snow on the ground. Weather in March »
Weather in April
features the coldest average high and low temperatures yet, dropping to -14°C and -24.9°C respectively. Still, McMurdo
maintains a consistent level of rainfall, and a further reduction in daylight hours can be observed. April’s frigid conditions contrast with the beginnings of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Weather in April »
Weather in May
experiences a significant decrease in overall daylight to zero hours per day, plunging the city into a month-long night. A slight increase in rainfall to 24mm sharpens the contrast between the accumulating snow and the barren Antarctic landscape. Weather in May »
Weather in June
maintains the absolute lack of daylight characteristic of May
. Even though the amount of rainfall corresponds to that of the spring months, it is tyipically transformed into snow on contact with the icy ground. Weather in June »
Weather in July
, being the mid-winter month, sees the coldest average high temperature of the year in McMurdo
with -21.7°C. A drop in rainfall is noted, standing in contrast to the consistent snowfall which doesn't appear to be affected as much. Weather in July »
Weather in August
with a slight warmth improvement, with the average high reaching -22.8°C. Despite the increased relative humidity, the rainfall levels fall to 11mm. Along with the decrease in rainfall, a slight increase in daylight hours is welcome relief to the long-winter months. Weather in August »
Weather in September
sees a notable increase in daylight hours to 10.7 hours, marking a return to periods of light in McMurdo
. An increase in snowfall occurs, adding to the extensive snow cover from previous months. Despite te shift in daylight and snowfall, rainfall levels remain relatively steady. Weather in September »
Weather in October
The transformation of weather continues in October
, with McMurdo
experiencing further increases in both daylight and temperature. With 19.5 hours of sunlight, the landscape begins to look vastly different than in the peak winter months. Weather in October »
Weather in November
brings another increase in temperature, with the city of McMurdo
seeing highs of -6.7°C. Despite the improved temperature, the rainfall remains consistent with previous months. The number of daylight hours reaches its maximum value accordingly, bathing the city in 24 hours of sun. Weather in November »
Weather in December
marks the completion of the annual weather cycle in McMurdo
, with similar conditions to January
. The city experiences daily high temperatures of -0.8°C, coupled with consistent rainfall levels. The return to around-the-clock sunlight signals a new beginning for McMurdo's weather pattern. Weather in December »