Alice Springs is situated in the middle of the central Australian arid zone.
As in other desert regions around the world, temperatures in Alice can soar to over 40o Celsius during the summer months, peaking mid to late January with an average of 36.4oC, and dropping to single digits during winter months (average minimum of 4oC in July).
Monsoon season in the far north brings rainfall to Alice Springs during the late summer months, with a peak average of 42.2mm in February, which evaporates to a negligible 1.1mm average by August. Spectacular thunderstorms in summer can send a sudden torrent along the ordinarily dry Todd River bed – a fantastic and rare opportunity for the keen photographer.
The most comfortable time for travellers to visit the red centre is from autumn to spring (April to November), when there is little chance of rain, but beautifully sunny days with few clouds and temperatures hovering around 25oC. Warm clothing for the evening is still recommended for this time of year. A hat and sunscreen is essential when outdoors at any time of the year in central Australia.
Alice Springs is a very dry place, so visitors may find it necessary to drink water more frequently – it is always a good idea to carry a water bottle with you, wherever you go. Sugary drinks and alcohol do not have the same hydrating effects as plain water, which is best – tap water in Alice is entirely safe to drink.
Alice locals generally avoid being outside for prolonged periods when it’s very hot and will gather at shopping centres, the town pool or the public library to cool off. Visitors may find the CBD quite empty of people on a 40oC day.
For current weather conditions and detailed forecasts for Alice Springs, visit the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website here.