Each year, we take parties of excited people to see the Antarctic Peninsula's famous tourist attractions. Aboard our ship, the Polar Pioneer, you'll weave your way through ice fields, past historic sites and beneath gloriously beautiful mountains. But it's Antarctica – so what on Earth is Antarctica weather like?
Though the world's southern continent may have stereotypes of unending, bitter cold that never reaches positive numbers, this is untrue for South Georgia and the Peninsula. Aurora Expeditions takes people on our Antarctic voyages between the months of November to March, so here's what you can expect from these times.
As the northern-most part of the continent, the Antarctic Peninsula is warmer than the mainland, with South Georgia even more so. According to the Encyclopaedia of Earth (EA), average austral summer temperatures from the tip of the region south along its west coast regularly exceed 0 degrees Celsius. As for South Georgia, daytime figures can reach around 8 degrees Celsius.
However, wind chill sometimes makes things seem a bit colder. A gust of around 6 kilometres per hour can make your body lose up to eight times more heat than were it a still day.
Average austral summer temperatures from the tip of the region south along its west coast regularly exceed 0 degrees Celsius.
The northern locale of the Peninsula and its nearby islands makes for quite different weather to the mainland continent, too. Indeed, as wildlife flourishes on rocky, lichen-covered shores, rain can sometimes fall. This occurs mostly in summertime, with a total annual amount of only around 50 centimetres. The further north you get, the more rain falls; the sub-Antarctic islands can get around a metre per year. This may as well be monsoon season all year round compared to the interior of the continent. Readings from the Russian Vostok station (at the geomagnetic South Pole) show that this region barely gets 4.5 millimetres in a year – which constitutes it as a desert.
Westerly winds have been known to affect the peninsula as well, more so than they do the interior. Our polar expedition jackets – which you'll receive complimentary on your tour of Antarctica – are both rain and wind-resistant, so should the Antarctica weather turn worse for ware, you'll still be wrapped up and warm!
Didn't get that picture you wanted at the start of the day on an Antarctic exploration cruise? You'll be happy to know that summer here takes the concept of long days to a whole new level. During summer, there are close to 24 hours' worth of sunlight in the Antarctic Peninsula.