Antarctica Weather

Tours to Antarctica only run during the summer (November to March). After that, the sun is extinguished, the ice pack spreads outward, and a kind of primeval darkness settles over the region, like an impenetrable mantle that only lifts in late September. It’s during this time that temperatures are at their most inhospitable: lows of -80 degrees Fahrenheit are common.

When the sun does reappear, the interval for nature-watching is short, but travelers to the austral region’s ice floes and end-of-the-earth beauty will experience 18- to 24-hour days and temperatures ranging from 5 to 60 degrees, depending on where they go. For those hoping to see Antarctica’s wildlife, every month brings something different, from the penguin mating season in November to the peak whale-watching weeks in late March. Note that if you book a cruise late in the season, the crowds will be smaller, but so will be your chances of seeing the animals, the majority of whom will already have set out for the open ocean.

Whatever you decide, remember that Antarctica is nature at its most savage; therefore protective gear such as waterproof outerwear, sunscreen, dark glasses, and rubber boots is absolutely essential.

Average monthly temperatures (°F) and rainfall (inches) for select locations are shown below.

Deception Island

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High373735312723212226313236
Low313129241914111217232530
Rain223200111442

McMurdo Sound

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High312160-2-2-6-9-542030
Low2211-4-12-16-16-22-25-20-9921
Rain111111110101

South Pole

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High-14-35-58-63-64-65-68-68-67-54-33-15
Low-20-44-70-76-78-79-82-81-81-64-39-20
Rain000000000000

Source: Weatherbase.

Antarctica Travel Guide

Antarctica Tours & Cruises / Antarctica FAQ / Antarctica Blog Posts

Top Antarctica Cruise Destinations

South Georgia Island / The Antarctic Peninsula / The Falkland Islands / The South Shetland Islands / The Weddell Sea

Antarctica Cruise Ships

Fram / Le Boreal / Ocean Nova / Ortelius / Plancius / Ushuaia

Top Antarctica Wildlife

Adélie Penguin / Chinstrap Penguin / Emperor Penguin / Gentoo Penguin / Macaroni Penguin / Crabeater Seal / Elephant Seal / Fur Seal / Leopard Seal / Ross Seal / Weddell Seal / Blue Whale / Fin Whale / Humpback Whale

Weather for Other Countries

Argentina Weather / Chile Weather

Have Questions? Call 1-888-268-9753 to Speak to An Expert.