Does it snow in Adelaide? Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and known as a popular tourist destination due to its exciting nightlife, rich history, and beautiful scenery.
The city has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. It is mainly due to its location between the placid waters of the Gulf of St. Vincent and the scenic Mount Lofty Ranges.
In spite of all the mystery surrounding Adelaide, one question remains: “Can it snow in Adelaide?”
Let’s find out now!
Yes, Adelaide occasionally gets a dusting of snow, but it is usually much lighter than in the nearby mountains where the snowfall is quite common.
More about the Climate of Adelaide
Adelaide, Australia, has a year-round climate with generally clear skies and sporadic strong winds that are warm and dry during the summer and chilly during the winter.
The city sees seasonal temperature changes, with a typical range of 45°F to 83°F, infrequently falling below 38°F or rising over 97°F.
Here is a bit about the average temperatures in the city:
The warm season, known as summer in Adelaide, lasts for about 3.3 months, from December 6 to March 15. Daily high temperatures will be persistently over 78°F during this time.
The cold season in Adelaide, on the other hand, lasts for 3.4 months, from May 25 to September 7. The coldest month at this time is July, with daily high temperatures often staying below 63°F.
Average High and Low Temperatures in Adelaide
The average low temperature and high temperature in July are 46°F and 58°F, respectively.
As a result, if you are considering a trip to Adelaide, get ready for warm, dry summers and chilly winters, with the coolest months being July and August.
Here is a bit more about the average high and low temperatures in Adelaide:
Fact: January is the warmest month of the year, with an average high temperature of 82°F and lows of about 63°F.
Does It Snow in Adelaide?
Yes, Adelaide does get snow on rare occasions. However, heavy snowfall is quite uncommon in Australia.
Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate; therefore, its winters are mild and moist while its summers are scorching and dry.
The city rarely receives snow, and there may be years where it never falls.
Frequency of Snowfall in Adelaide
Okay, so where does it snow in Adelaide? Well, it is more likely to happen outside the city.
However, about once every three to four years, you can anticipate seeing snow flurries or light dustings.
In 2018, for instance, the city saw its last significant snowfall, with about 2 centimeters falling. A substantial snowfall had not occurred since 2006.
During winter cold snaps, the city stays comparatively warm while the surrounding hills and Mount Lofty area are more likely to get light snowfall.
Snowfall totals rarely go over 5 cm even in these regions.
Fact: In the Adelaide Hills region outside of the city, snowfall is usually mild, and major snow accumulations within the city proper are rare.
More about Historical Snowfall Events in Adelaide
In Adelaide’s long history of snowfall, there have been a few truly unforgettable events.
In July 1949, newspapers reported that significant snowfall had turned South Australia into a “wonderful world of white.”
The heavy snowfall transformed large swaths of the state into a wintry wonderland, and many long-time residents said it was the snowiest they could remember.
A second snowfall occurred in Adelaide in July 1951, only two years later. This time, the Adelaide Hills received up to two inches of snow, and the city proper got a dusting as well.
Here is a bit about how often snowfall used to happen in Adelaide:
|Time Period||Snowfall Frequency|
|Present (2000-2019)||Rare, once every few years|
|Early 1900s (1900-1910)||More common|
|Historical (General)||Rare in the Adelaide plains|
Understanding the Influence of Rainfall
Adelaide receives relatively little snow because of the way rain falls there. Adelaide experiences precipitation year-round, though the amount varies by month.
The city receives an average of 2.0 inches of precipitation in June, the wettest month. This is because of the dramatic increase in rainfall that occurs throughout the winter.
However, the city receives less than an inch of precipitation on average in January, the driest month.
When it comes to snowfall, minimal snowfall in Adelaide is due to the effect of the city’s average precipitation patterns and the relatively moderate winter temperatures.
Because there is less moisture in the air, even in the colder months, snow is less likely to accumulate.
|Rainfall||0.5 inches||0.6 inches||0.7 inches||1.0 inches||1.6 inches||2.0 inches||1.9 inches||1.7 inches||1.6 inches||1.1 inches||0.8 inches||0.7 inches|
Fact: While the amount of precipitation may change with the seasons, it often is not high enough to produce and maintain high snowfall.
Factors Affecting Snowfall in Adelaide
It is quite rare to find snow in Adelaide, and it has to do a lot with its climate and location.
Here is more about it.
The Impact of Location on Rainfall
Due to its location and climate, snow is an extremely rare occurrence in Adelaide.
Firstly, Adelaide has a relatively low average elevation of roughly 50 meters (160 feet) due to its location on the plains between the Gulf St. Vincent and the Mount Lofty Ranges.
Adelaide is on the borderline of receiving snow during the coldest winters due to its low height and placement.
A little dusting of snow may fall on the Adelaide Hills and nearby mountains every once in a while, but it almost never makes it down to the city proper.
Adelaide’s seaside location considerably minimizes the possibility of snowfall events, in contrast to towns further inland or higher elevations. As a result, snowfall in the city core is extremely rare, occurring maybe once every decade.
Fact: Adelaide is located in a climate where snowfall is uncommon because of its proximity to the water and its lower elevation compared to areas more prone to winter snow.
The Impact of Weather Patterns
Several significant weather factors contribute to the rarity of snowfall in Adelaide.
Extremely cold and humid air masses from Antarctica make their way to Australia during the winter and spring seasons.
These cold fronts cause atmospheric instability as they move northward, colliding with the warmer air over southern Australia.
In the higher elevations of places like South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales, these unstable circumstances can cause a wide range of precipitation.
In Adelaide, where winter temperatures are often lower than in other Australian cities, snow can fall at lower altitudes such as atop Mount Lofty.
The Role of Southerly Winds
Further increasing the potential for snowfall are the strong southerly winds that often accompany these coming cold fronts.
The region occasionally experiences snowfall due to the interaction of cold air masses and winds carrying abundant moisture.
Fact: The maximum snow depths over Australia's alpine areas have decreased due to climate change, which has affected the frequency and intensity of snowfall episodes.
Best Time to Visit Adelaide
Ideally, you should plan your trip to Adelaide during the Shoulder seasons, from March to May in the autumn and September to November in the spring.
These times have perfect weather for travelers, with low humidity and warm daytime highs in the 60s and 70s.
This time of year is ideal for taking in the sights and sounds of Adelaide and its environs because temperatures are mild enough for sightseeing but not too cold for outdoor activities.
Does it snow in Adelaide? Even though major snowfall is rare in Adelaide, the city occasionally sees some snowfall. During colder epochs, such as the Little Ice Age, Adelaide saw more frequent snowfall.
Southerly winds, high elevations, and winter cold fronts all increase the potential for snow, but significant snowfall is still quite unusual. Nevertheless, you can still have lots of fun if you decide to plan your trip in winter.