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Land and Resources, Climate

Owen Stanley Range, Huon Peninsula, Fly River, Annual rainfall totals, lowlands

The climate of Papua New Guinea differs from place to place and from season to season, and is moderated by the mountains and seasonal monsoons. The lowland areas are generally hot and damp, while temperatures are cooler in mountainous areas. Temperatures average 27°C (81°F) in the lowlands and 20°C (68°F) in the highlands. Precipitation is generally heavy. Annual rainfall totals nearly 5,080 mm (200 in) in the Milne Bay region and about 5,840 mm (about 230 in) at the mouth of the Fly River. Port Moresby, which lies between these two points, is sheltered by the Owen Stanley Range and receives only about 1,145 mm (about 45 in) of rain annually.

Seasonal and regional climatic differences are partly caused by monsoons. Between May and August, during the country’s coolest season, the southeast monsoon brings rain to mainland areas and to New Britain’s southern coast. The rainiest areas on the mainland are the Gulf of Papua coast, the southern slopes of the central highlands, and the eastern tip of the Huon Peninsula north of Lae. Other mainland areas—including the coast near Port Moresby, the southwest coast, and the interior central highlands—are dry in these months. From January to April the northwest monsoon dominates the weather and climate, and the winds blow from the opposite direction. This is the wettest season in some northern areas. September to December is a period of variable weather. In the mountains of the central highlands, the normal wind and rain patterns change, giving certain valleys distinct climates of their own.

Article key phrases:

Owen Stanley Range, Huon Peninsula, Fly River, Annual rainfall totals, lowlands, southwest coast, Lae, Port Moresby, northern areas, monsoons, mountainous areas, Precipitation, highlands, damp, mountains, opposite direction, winds, points, mouth, place, months


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