How cold is the Antarctic

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Antarctic climate

The Antarctic is an extreme climatic case in every respect. She is the one coldest and at the same time windiest of all continents. In the Russian station Vostok on the polar plateau, the lowest temperature ever recorded was reached on July 21, 1983 at -89.2 ° C.

The reasons for the icy temperatures are complex. At the poles, only a small amount of solar radiation reaches the earth, as it hits the ground at a very shallow angle. In addition there is the constant thick ice coverwhich means that a large part of the solar radiation is reflected back into space instead of warming the continent. This effect is reinforced by the fact that the water vapor, which also prevents heat radiation in our latitudes, is frozen in the Antarctic and is therefore ineffective as a greenhouse gas.

In addition, the Antarctic of all the continents highest average altitude having. After all, there is no sea directly at the pole that has a mitigating effect. Therefore, the Antarctic cannot benefit from warm currents that penetrate into the polar regions in the northern hemisphere, for example in the form of the Gulf Stream.

Basically, temperatures decrease from north to south. The Antarctic Peninsula is by far the "warmest" region on the continent, as it extends farthest to the north; in the Midsummer in December and January the thermometer rises during the day above freezing point. Occasionally, temperatures of up to 15 ° C are possible there during the day.

The temperature in the other coastal regions is 0 to -25 ° C. The Interior of the Antarctic is due to the greater heights and the great distance from the sea much colder. In this coldest area on the continent, the thermometer rarely rises above -20 ° C, even in southern summer. The annual average temperature here is -55 ° C. The lowest values ​​are reached in the lightless southern winter in June and July. Then the temperatures in the interior range from -40 to -70 ° C, on the coast from -15 to -35 ° C.

The air over Antarctica is usually so cold that it cannot hold water vapor. Hence there is hardly any rainfall. As a rule, the Antarctic precipitation is snow. The snowfall inside is just 200 mm. However, the amount of precipitation increases significantly towards the coast. There, 600 mm and on the offshore islands up to 1,000 mm per year are measured. So the Antarctic is basically a desert, just a desert of snow and ice that covers 97-98% of the Antarctic.

In the interior of the country are often Wind speeds measured at over 250 km / h. The Adélieland has a record of 340 storm days a year. Blizzards are therefore for the Antarctic typical. They usually blow from the polar plateau towards the coast.


Weather Antarctic

Weather at the South Pole

Weather at the South Pole: The temperatures and precipitation for the South Pole come from the website and are provided by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. The forecast is updated four times a day.


Best time to travel to Antarctica

The southern summer of December to February is the only time tourists can travel to the coastal areas of Antarctica. It is not only the warmest months of the year, but also during this time it stays light for up to 24 hours. In addition, these months are characterized longer, calmer weather sections out. But even then, the temperatures in the coastal regions are only around freezing point.

Anyone interested in the mating rituals, nest building and egg laying of the Sea birds and penguins interested, who drives best Beginning of the high season to the Antarctic. The January is the best month to watch the hatching and rearing of chicks and penguin chicks.

The ideal month for Whale watching in Antarctica is the February.



Climate table Antarctica

Climate Antarctica: southern Orkney Islands (Argentina)

more climate information about Antarctica