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Antarctica Weather



Weather in Antarctica

Antartica Weather Conditions

Antarctic Weather

-129°F (-89°C) -July 21, 1983
Warmest Temperature:
+59°F (+15°C) on Jan 5, 1974

Mean Temps:
Winter: -40 to -94°F (-40 to -70°C)
Summer: -5 to -31°F (-15 to 35°C)

With frigid average temperatures around -32 F/-37 C (with a few remote places recording wind gusts of almost 200 mph /320 kph), Antarctica is one of the coldest and windiest spots on Earth. The Antarctic region is also extremely dry, with only a few inches of precipitation (mostly coming from snow) recorded each year. In the Dry Valley region of Antarctica there is not even snow or ice -giving it an otherworldly look with it's a rocky, lunar terrain.

The snow that does fall in Antarctica is caused mainly by fierce western winds. These winds (the strongest sustained on earth) create storms over the ocean, which are then blown onto the land. The wind and blowing snow often cause whiteout (or snow blind) conditions, where everything appears to be a solid wall of white.

Many people wonder why Antarctica is so cold? Several factors combine to making the Antarctic Peninusula as frigid and uninhabitable as it is. An obvious contributing factor is Antartica's high elevation - higher than any other continent on earth. Antarctica is completely surrounded by ocean, which means the interior areas don't benefit from the influence of water (and water vapor). This causes extreme dryness in the air, and without humidity to help absorb it, any heat radiated to Antarctica's surface is lost. Also, because almost 100% of the surface area of the Antarctic continent is comprised of snow and ice, the light (and heat) generated by the sun is reflected away rather than absorbed.

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