Climate of British Antarctic Territory

Climate of British Antarctic Territory

Part of Antarctica belongs to the United Kingdom, although Argentina and Chile also claim parts of the territory that belong to the United Kingdom. The uniqueness of the British Antarctic Territory is that the northernmost part falls outside the Arctic Circle. This is the only piece of land in Antarctica that does not actually belong to the South Pole. The South Shetland Islands also fall within the British zone.

The Antarctic Peninsula (or Palmers Peninsula) is not permanently inhabited, but there are always temporary residents present in this area. The main reason for this is the somewhat moderate polar climate, which makes it unbearable even in the winter months. Hence, many research stations are located in this region. The peninsula and surrounding islands make a great base for South Pole expeditions.

Climate figures

The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).

Maximum temperature Minimum temperature Hours of sunshine per day Days of rainfall per month Water temperature
January 3℃ -2℃ 10 11 0℃
February 3℃ -3℃ 8 10 0℃
March 0℃ -6℃ 6 11 0℃
April -3℃ -11℃ 4 11 -1℃
May -6℃ -13℃ 3 10 -1℃
June -7℃ -15℃ 1 9 -1℃
July -7℃ -15℃ 1 10 -1℃
August -6℃ -15℃ 2 10 -1℃
September -3℃ -11℃ 4 11 -1℃
October 0℃ -7℃ 6 10 -1℃
November 1℃ -5℃ 8 11 -1℃
December 3℃ -2℃ 9 11 0℃

Best time to visit the British Antarctic Territory

Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to the British Antarctic Territory? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. If you’re traveling to the continent of Antarctica, chances are you’ll be traveling to the part that the British have claimed since the year 1908 and have since considered an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The British Antarctic Territory includes the Antarctic Peninsula, which lies partly outside the Antarctic Circle. The now uninhabited South Shetland Islands are also located here. Thanks to the relatively mild polar climate that prevails on the Antarctic Peninsula, you could go here almost all year round.

Best months

The best travel period, partly because of the navigability of the sailing routes, is from the beginning of November to about the end of March. Since the British Antarctic Territory is in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the summer period in this cool area. During the day it is often just slightly warmer than the freezing point, while the minimum temperature is a few degrees below. It can get a bit colder and sometimes moderate to severe freezing.

Because the British Antarctic Territory has no commercial international airport, you travel there by boat. You do that with an expedition boat. These boats are designed to take an x ​​number of tourists as passengers. For them it is a welcome way to partly pay for the rather expensive expeditions. The boats depart from Argentina, from Ushuaia to be precise. This is the southernmost city in the world. Ushuaia is considered the gateway to Antarctica and several South Atlantic islands.

British Antarctic Territory