Antarctica’s climate is very cold due to several factors coming together. First of all, thanks to its polar location and the permanent ice cover which reflects most of the sun’s radiation, the darkness during winter and its high elevations.
The coldest temperature that was ever recorded was –89.6°C and the warmest was +15°C. However, normally the temperatures in winter on the mainland range from a mean of –40°C to –70°C during the coldest months and from –15°C to –35°C during the warmer months. Along the coast the climate is warmer, the mean during coldest months is from –15°C to –31°C and during warmer months +5°C to – 5°C. Wind can be up to 320km/h at the coast, which makes the temperature appear colder. The snowfall on the plateau is very low with less then 5cm equivalent of rain, and Antarctica is therefore the driest desert.
Due to the climatic conditions, it becomes obvious why the tourist season is only very short, from late November to February, with 20 hours of sunlight during summer.