The Cairns and Region Climate

Understanding the climate and the way it interacts and impacts on buildings and human comfort is a primary consideration of tropical sustainable design.

Cairns and region has a tropical climate with hot and humid summers and cooler dry winters. The average annual rainfall in the region ranges from approximately 2000mm to over 3500 mm on the coast and through some highland areas which occurs mainly during summer, November to April due to the presence of the monsoon trough. This brings thunderstorms and the possibility of a cyclone, although most of the thunderstorms remain on the tablelands west of the city of Cairns.

From October to May Cairns the region is under the influence of the south east trade winds. These moist onshore winds often produce diurnal showers, mainly overnight and in the morning.

Like the rest of the tropics Cairns and the region has a fairly uniform diurnal temperature throughout the year. Typical daytime min/max temperature ranges are 23°C/31°C in mid-Summer and 18°C/26°C in mid-Winter. The mean soil temperature ranges are 27.7°C/32.4°C in mid-Summer.

During the summer months North to Northeasterly sea breezes develop late mornings along the coast. The prevailing winds are East to Southeasterly with strongest winds usually during April and August. The cyclone season is normally confined to between December and April.

The region has micro-climates especially in highland area’s where the dry season winter temperatures can fall to under 10°C and rainfall levels reduce to under 1000mm per annum especially west of Cairns near open savannah country.

Use this handy Plan Analysis tool to help design a building to suit the tropics 

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