Climate of Cairns

Cairns has a Tropical climate, with generally hot and humid Summers and milder dryer Winters. The average annual rainfall is 1992mm on an average 154 days. The majority of Cairn's rainfall occurs during summer between January and March.

The monsoon trough is close to Cairns from December to March bringing with it warm to hot, humid conditions and the possibility of thunderstorms and tropical cyclones. Thunderstorms regularly develop over the ranges inland from Cairns, but seldom move off the ranges across the City. 

The months from May to October are dominated by the sub-tropical ridge, with Cairns under the influence of the south east trade stream. These moist onshore winds often produce diurnal showers, peaking overnight and morning and weakening during the afternoon..

The tropics has fairly uniform temperatures throughout the year. Typical daytime min/max temperature ranges in Cairns are 23C/31C in mid-Summer and 18C/26C in mid-Winter. 

The prevailing winds are East to Southeasterly with strongest winds (cyclones excluded) usually occuring during April and August. During the summer months, North to Northeasterly sea breezes dominate the winds along the coast.

The cyclone season is normally confined to between December and April but exceptions do occur. The most active year to date from official records was 1977, when Cairns was influenced by four tropical cyclones.