As a large continent, there is a wide variety of climates throughout Australia. The majority of the country has more than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year. In general, the north is hot and tropical, while the south is more subtropical and temperate. Most rainfall occurs on the coast, and much of the centre is dry and semi-arid. Maximum daytime temperatures in the tropical city of Darwin rarely fall below 30 ° C, even in winter, while nighttime temperatures in winter are usually between 15 and 20 ° C. Australian winters are generally milder than in similar latitudes in the northern hemisphere, and snow never falls in most parts of the country. Temperatures at high altitudes in some southern regions can drop below freezing in winter (and sometimes even in summer), and metres of winter snow accumulate in the Snowy Mountains in the southeast. Parts of Tasmania have a temperature range very similar to England, and it is not uncommon for snow to fall in summer in some mountainous regions of the state.
As Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, winter is June to August, while December to February is summer. Winter is the dry season in the tropics and summer is the wet. The seasonal variation in temperature is greater in the southern parts of the country. Rainfall is more evenly distributed throughout the year in the southern parts of the east coast, while in the rest of the south beyond the Great Dividing Range, summers are dry and most of the rain falls in winter.