Here I provide a list of some places that go against our intuition about being surprisingly hot or cold at a certain time of the year given their latitude. Most of the places chosen are close enough to sea level so that elevation is not the cause (more likely ocean or continental influence).
- The east coast of Australia up to Sydney and Newcastle has a mid summer average maximum temperature of only 25.5°C – highly unusual for the east coast of a continent. At a corresponding latitude (33° from equator) the mid summer maximum at the east coast of Asia (Shanghai at 31°N) is 31.8°C, of South America (Buenos Aires at 34.6°S) is 30.4°C and in North America (Charleston, NC, USA) is 32.8°C.
- Walvis Bay, Namibia is in the tropics (23°S) yet has a mid summer average maximum temperature of only 22°C! Western South America is similarly cool with a mid summer average maximum of 25°C (Antofagasta, Chile). The corresponding west coast place in Australia has an average maximum of 32.4°C (Carnarvon at 25°S), in Africa 27°C (Dakhla, Western Sahara at 23.7°N), and in North America 32.4°C (Mazatlán, Mexico).
- Eureka, CA (USA) at 40.8°N has an average maximum of only 17.7°C in its warmest month. Contrast this with Fairbanks, Alaska at 65°N which still reaches an average 23°C in its warmest month with an all-time high of 37°C!
- Kyzyl, the capital of the Tuva republic in Russia, has an average maximum of 27°C in July and average minimum of -35°C in January! London is at the same latitude.
- Iceland and Ireland have very low variation between summer and winter temperatures due to ocean currents of the East Atlantic. Reykjavik, Iceland averages 2°C maximum in its coldest month up to 13°C in its warmest.
- The Turpan depression in northwest China surely has the hottest summer temperatures for a place so far from the equator. For example Turpan at 43°N has an average maximum of 40°C in July! A similar hot spot is Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (38°N) with an average maximum of 38°C in July. It has the same distance from the equator as Melbourne, Australia which only has an average maximum of 26°C in mid summer.
- Tromsø, Norway is at 69.7°N (hence beyond the arctic circle) yet in its coldest month its average temperature range is -6.5 to -2.2°C.
- Some parts of southern China are surprisingly cool for their latitude in winter. For example Guilin in Guangxi province is at 25°N and only 150m in elevation, yet has a range of 5.4 to 11.5°C in January (cooler than Tromsø’s warmest month!)
- Lima, Peru is coastal, only 12° south of the equator, yet has a maximum temperature range from 18.4° to 26.5°C from coolest to warmest months. Contrast this with Chennai, India which is also coastal and whose corresponding range is 29° to 38°C.
- The Southern Ocean shows very little variation between summer and winter temperatures. For example Bird Island in South Georgia at 54°S ranges from an average minimum of -5.4°C in its coldest month to an average maximum of 5.6°C in its warmest month.
Below is a map of showing all the places mentioned in this post.