Climate and monthly weather forecast
McMurdo, Antarctica


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 and August. 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 to January 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 to November, 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

McMurdo's version of summer, encompassing December to February, 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 to May, McMurdo 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 through August, 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

McMurdo, Antarctica 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

February brings a noticeable decline in temperature from January in McMurdo, Antarctica, with an average low dipping to -11.6°C. A modest increase in rainfall can be observed, along with a slight reduction in overall daylight hours. Weather in February »

Weather in March

McMurdo, Antarctica 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

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

In May, McMurdo, Antarctica 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

June maintains the absolute lack of daylight characteristic of May in McMurdo, Antarctica. 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

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

McMurdo, Antarctica greets 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

September sees a notable increase in daylight hours to 10.7 hours, marking a return to periods of light in McMurdo, Antarctica. 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, Antarctica 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

November brings another increase in temperature, with the city of McMurdo, Antarctica 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

December marks the completion of the annual weather cycle in McMurdo, Antarctica, 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 »


What part of the year is the hottest in McMurdo?

McMurdo's January weather, with an average high temperature of -0.2°C and an average low temperature of -5.5°C, tends to be the warmest of the year.

How much does it rain in McMurdo?

Throughout the year, in McMurdo, Antarctica, there are 46.1 rainfall days, and 201mm of precipitation is accumulated.

When does it snow in McMurdo?

Months with snowfall are January through December.

When it does not snow in McMurdo?

January and August are months with the least snowfall. The snow falls for 12.8 days and typically aggregates up to 66mm of snow.

How much does it snow in McMurdo?

Throughout the year, in McMurdo, Antarctica, there are 181.3 snowfall days, and 1484mm of snow is accumulated.

What are the months with the shortest days in McMurdo?

The months with the shortest days are January, May through July, November and December, with an average of 0h and 0min of daylight.

When does it snow the most in McMurdo?

The month with the most snowfall is February, when snow falls for 17.6 days and typically aggregates up to 224mm of snow.

When are the longest days in McMurdo?

The month with the longest days in McMurdo, Antarctica, is March, with an average of 13h and 48min of daylight.

What is the rainiest month in McMurdo?

The month with the most rainfall in McMurdo, Antarctica, is June, when the rain falls for 5.7 days and typically aggregates up to 25mm of precipitation.

What time of the year is the coldest in McMurdo?

August, with its high-temperature average of -22.8°C and a low-temperature average of -31.8°C, is the coldest month in McMurdo.

What is the least humid month in McMurdo?

September is the least humid month in McMurdo, Antarctica, with an average relative humidity of 55.8%.

When is Daylight Saving Time (DST) in McMurdo?

On Sunday, 24. September 2023, at 02:00, Daylight Saving Time starts in McMurdo, and the time zone changes from NZST to NZDT. Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, 07. April 2024, at 03:00, and the time zone reverts from NZDT to NZST.

What is the driest month in McMurdo?

November is the month with the least rainfall in McMurdo, Antarctica. Rain falls for 2.4 days and accumulates 10mm of precipitation.

What is the most humid month in McMurdo?

December is the most humid month in McMurdo, Antarctica, with an average relative humidity of 67%.

Average temperature
McMurdo, Antarctica

Average temperature - McMurdo, Antarctica

The warmest month (with the highest average high temperature) is January (-0.2°C).
The month with the lowest average high temperature is August (-22.8°C).

The month with the highest average low temperature is January (-5.5°C).
The coldest month (with the lowest average low temperature) is August (-31.8°C).


Average humidity
McMurdo, Antarctica

Average humidity - McMurdo, Antarctica

The month with the highest relative humidity is December (67%).
The month with the lowest relative humidity is September (55.8%).


Average rainfall
McMurdo, Antarctica

Average rainfall - McMurdo, Antarctica

The wettest month (with the highest rainfall) is June (24.9mm).
The driest month (with the least rainfall) is November (9.5mm).


Average rainfall days
McMurdo, Antarctica

Average rainfall days - McMurdo, Antarctica

The month with the highest number of rainy days is June (5.7 days).
The month with the least rainy days is November (2.4 days).


Average snowfall
McMurdo, Antarctica

Average snowfall - McMurdo, Antarctica

The month with the highest snowfall is February (224mm).
The months with the least snowfall are January and August (66mm).


Average snowfall days
McMurdo, Antarctica

Average snowfall days - McMurdo, Antarctica

The month with the highest number of snowfall days is March (17.8 days).
The month with the least snowfall days is January (12.8 days).


Average daylight
McMurdo, Antarctica

Average daylight - McMurdo, Antarctica

The month with the longest days is March (Average daylight: 13h and 48min).
The months with the shortest days are January, May, June, July, November and December (Average daylight: 0h and 0min).


McMurdo, Antarctica

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