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Seasonal Information on the Cairns/Port Douglas - Great Barrier Reef Region

This is the English table, here's the link to the metric version.

Event Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average daily high air temp (Fahrenheit) 89 88 87 84 81 78 78 79 82 85 87 89
This is the tropics; count on warm weather year-round!
Average daily low air temp. (F) 74 73 72 69 66 63 61 61 63 67 70 73
Nighttime temperatures are a bit cooler from June to August; bring a pair of long pants and a long sleeved shirt during these months.
Average ocean water temp. (F) 84 84 82 80 79 78 72 72 74 79 80 82
Average monthly rainfall (inches) 15.7 15.2 15.4 8.9 3.6 2.2 1.3 1.2 1.0 1.3 2.7 5.0
Tropical Queensland has pronounced rainy and dry seasons, most rainfall falling during the rainy season in the afternoons and evenings
Average number of rainy days during the month. 16.7 16.1 18.3 15.3 12.5  9.1  7.6  7.7  6.3  7.0  9.3 11.6
Even the wet season is marked by brilliant days.
Visibility, Great Barrier Reef (feet) 50 - 80 50 - 80 50 - 80 50 - 80 30 - 80 30 - 80 30 - 80 30 - 80 50 - 80 50 - 80 50 - 80 50 - 80
The reef is an enormous ecosystem, and visibility at any given location on the reef changes with tides, winds, weather, currents and the seasons.  Generally the most consistently great visibility in the Northern Great Barrier Reef region is during September through November. Extreme winds, rainfall and cyclones can reduce visibility below the numbers given above. 
Visibility, Coral Sea (feet) 100+ 100+ 100+ 100+ 100+ 130+ 130+ 130+ 130+ 100+ 100+ 100+
Due to its distance form the mainland; the visibility at Coral Sea Reefs like Osprey Reef and Holmes Reef is always extraordinary.
Best months for spotting whales            x x x x           
Dwarf minke whales visit the Northern Reefs area during May, June and July, and provide for some amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities.  Humpback whales are seen during these months, but an underwater encounter with a humpback is a rare and fortunate event.
Least windy months x x x         x x x x x
Windy weather can reduce visibility underwater on dive locations near shore, less so at outer barrier reef locations, which are further from shore. Strong winds can generate waves that make the trip out to the reef bumpier.
Cyclone season x x x x               x
The chance of cyclones is rare even during the season, but when one comes diving can be severely affected.
Higher Risk Stinger season x x x x x             x
Australian tropical waters are home to two kinds of dangerous jellyfish, one of which is found only along the coast, the other can be found both on the coast and on the reef.  There are precautions you can take to greatly reduce the risk of being stung.  Be sure to follow the advice of your dive operator during your visit.
Mango season x x x x               x
Australian mangos are a treat, if you are visiting during mango season stop by the farmers market and enjoy the locally grown fruit.
Best months for outback travel         x x x x x x x   
Remote outback locations may not be accessible during the wet season, which can turn the dirt tracks in the region into mud.
Best months for white water rafting x x x x x x x x x x x x
The Tully and Barron rivers, the two most popular whitewater rafting attractions, both have reservoirs far upstream, daily water release to generate electricity makes for a year round rafting season.  Best rafting on other rivers (North Johnstone and Russell Rivers) is dependent on rainfall, and is best between February and May.

 Weather Maps, Images and Information

Name Purpose
Australian Bureau of Meteorology Current local rainfall map
Australian Bureau of Meteorology Current coastal waters forecast
James Cook University Current satellite weather images
Australian Bureau of Meteorology Current Tropical Queensland Forecast
Australian Bureau of Meteorology Archive of climate and weather information.
Weather Underground Current weather and forecasts at Norman Reef, off Cairns.
National Tidal Facility Australia This week's tide charts.

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