Are Southern Hemispheric winters as cold as ours? This very interesting question came into the weather office this week. The Southern Hemisphere has very little land mass compared to the Northern Hemisphere. The part of the globe south of the equator is mostly ocean. The moderating influence of all that water keeps temperatures across most of the Southern Hemisphere quite a bit milder than the Northern Hemisphere. Except for mountainous locations, the southern parts of Australia, Africa, and South America get very little snow and virtually no subzero cold like what we get in winter.
However, there is one notable exception. Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth and is far colder than the North Pole. Whereas the Arctic is mostly ocean, Antarctica is quite mountainous, with an average elevation of over 10,000 feet above sea-level. At the South Pole, winter temperatures around 100 below are common and the highest temperature ever recorded at the South Pole in summer was seven degrees Fahrenheit.