The best times to visit Antarctica for ideal weather are
Late December and early January
based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Read below for more weather and travel details.
Antarctica Travel Guide
Weather in Antarctica
Average temperatures in Antarctica vary somewhat and are too cold to be considered temperate by most. The area is in the bottom 4 percent of tourist destinations for pleasant weather. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Antarctica, the hottest months are January, December, and then February. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally early January where highs are regularly around 23.6°F (-4.7°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 13.7°F (-10.2°C) at night.
Antarctica Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Antarctica Temperatures (Celsius)
The way we experience weather isn’t all about temperature. Higher temperatures affect us much more at higher humidity, and colder temperatures feel piercing with high winds. Our perceived temperatures factor in humidity and wind chill to better represent how hot or cold the day feels to a person.
Antarctica Perceived Temperature (F)
Antarctica Perceived Temperature (C)
Average Antarctica Temperatures by Month
Daily highs (averaged for the month) usually give the best indication of the weather. A significantly lower mean and low generally just means it gets colder at night.
|Month||Avg. High (°F)||Avg. Mean (°F)||Avg. Low (°F)|
|Month||Avg. High (°C)||Avg. Mean (°C)||Avg. Low (°C)|
Precipitation (Rain or Snow)
If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of precipitation in Antarctica are March, October, and then May. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around early January. For example, on the week of January 1st there are only 0.3 days of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in late January with an average of 0.5 days with significant precipitation the week of January 22nd.
When can you find snow in Antarctica? Weather stations report far greater snow than most tourist destinations snow through the year likely to be deepest around September, especially close to late October. Powder (new snow) is most often falls around November 19th. Please note that a value of 0 for snow in the graph below may either mean there was no snow, or that snow is unreported.
Chance of Precipitation
The graph below shows the % chance of rainy and snowy days in Antarctica.
Snow on the Ground
The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in Antarctica (in).
Average Rain and Snow by Month
|Month||Daily Chance of Rain||Average Snow Depth (in)||Total Precipitation (in)|
|Month||Daily Chance of Rain||Average Snow Depth (cm)||Total Precipitation (cm)|
Humidity and Wind
Antarctica has slightly high to average humidity compared to most tourist destinations. The least humid month is July (60.8% relative humidity), and the most humid month is January (67.7%).
Wind in Antarctica is usually stronger than usual. The windiest month is June, followed by April and May. June’s average wind speed of around 14.3 knots (16.5 MPH or 26.5 KPH) is considered “moderate breeze.” Maximum sustained winds (the highest speed for the day lasting more than a few moments) are at their highest in early June where average top sustained speeds reach 23.8 knots, which is considered a strong breeze.
Relative Humidity (%)
The graph below shows the average % humidity by month in Antarctica.
The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.
Average Wind Speeds
Show Wind Speeds
All wind speeds are in knots.
|Month||Avg. Wind||Meaning (Beaufort)||Avg. Maximum Sustained Wind||Meaning (Beufort)|
|Jan||10.1||a gentle breeze||16.1||a moderate breeze|
|Feb||11.9||a moderate breeze||18.4||a fresh breeze|
|Mar||12.9||a moderate breeze||19.8||a moderate breeze|
|Apr||13.6||a moderate breeze||21||a fresh breeze|
|May||13.4||a moderate breeze||21.3||a moderate breeze|
|Jun||14.3||a moderate breeze||22.8||a strong breeze|
|Jul||13.1||a moderate breeze||21.9||a moderate breeze|
|Aug||12.9||a moderate breeze||21.4||a fresh breeze|
|Sep||13.1||a moderate breeze||21.7||a moderate breeze|
|Oct||12.7||a moderate breeze||21.2||a fresh breeze|
|Nov||12||a moderate breeze||19.1||a moderate breeze|
|Dec||10.2||a gentle breeze||16.5||a moderate breeze|
Show Relative Humidity by Month
|Month||Avg. Relative Humidity|
Is it Safe to Travel to Antarctica?
As of 5/2/2017 there are no travel advisories or warnings for Antarctica; exercise normal security precautions. Check this page for any recent changes or regions to avoid: Travel Advice and Advisories.
The Busiest and Least Crowded Months
The busiest month for tourism in Antarctica is December, followed by July and February. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit Antarctica in November. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.
Estimated Tourism by Month
Most Popular Months to Visit
Overall Antarctica Travel Experience by Season
Fall (March through May)
Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel very cold. Highs range from 7.4°F (-13.7°C) and -10.1°F (-23.4°C) with colder temperatures in the later months. Rain is rare with roughly 2 days of precipitation per month. Fall is fairly slow for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for deals.
Winter (June through August)
The middle-year months have freezing weather with high temperatures that are still very cold. These months see moderate precipitation with about 2 days of precipitation per month. June – August is busy season for tourism in Antarctica, so lodging and other accommodations may cost slightly more.
Spring (September through November)
Spring daily highs range from 16.5°F (-8.6°C) and -12.3°F (-24.6°C), which will feel very chilly given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a small amount: approximately 2 days per month. Tourism is the slowest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be lower priced.
Summer (December through February)
Weather is far too cold this time of year in Antarctica to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 23.6°F (-4.7°C) and 9.8°F (-12.3°C). On average, it rains or snows a normal amount: consistently 2 times per month. These times of year are the busiest with tourists.