We have our own names for the seasons at Uluru. In our culture there are five seasons. The best time to visit Uluru is from April to October. The summer months bring extreme weather, with temperatures often soaring above 36 degrees Celsius.
Piriyakutu/piriya piriya (usually August to September)
This is when the piriya comes - our name for the warm steady wind that arrives from the north and west. Animals breed, food plants flower, fruit and seed. Hibernating reptiles come out and the honey grevillea is in bloom. This is a good time for hunting kangaroo.
Mai wiyaringkupai/kuli (around December)
There is not much food around at this time. This is the hottest season. There are storm clouds and lightning, but little rain. Lightning strikes can start fires.
Itjanu/inuntji (usually January to March)
This is when overcast clouds usually bring rain. During this season the food plants flower. If the rains are good there is plenty of fruit and seed. The general flow of the weather is from west to east, though storms can come in from other directions, frequently steering from the northwest with an approaching change. Puffy stratocumulus clouds appear on the western horizon and move east quickly covering the sky. About ten minutes before a storm hits, the wind picks up and the temperature drops.
Wanitjunkupai (usually April to May)
Cold weather starts. This is when the park's reptiles hibernate. Tjuntalpa (clouds) start around April but usually don't bring rain. They come from the south, mainly by westerly winds. Tjuntalpa sit low over the hills until late in the day.
Wari (late May, June and July)
This is the cold time, when there is nyinnga (frost) and kulyar-kulyarpa (mist or dew) every morning but little rain. Frosts are common during winter when high pressure systems move through the area combining cooler dry air with nocturnal radiation. The frosts cure the grasses, drying and preserving them and this dry fuel feeds fires ignited during the early summer.