Remote Islands and Antarctica in 2018

The Australian annual climate statement provides a comprehensive summary of Australia's climate during 2018. Information about changes and long-term trends in Australia's climate can be found in State of the Climate 2018.

Australia's Indian Ocean islands

  • Temperatures on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands were a little above average overall, having been above average in most months (especially June) but cooler than average in August
  • After a wet start to the year, monthly rainfall at Cocos Islands Airport was below average from April, with totals in September and October particularly low
  • The annual total rainfall at Cocos Islands Airport was 1764 mm, about 89% of the long-term average
  • Problems with the automated observing equipment at Christmas Island Airport mean annual temperature and rainfall figures cannot be reliably established for 2018
  • Sea surface temperatures around Christmas and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands were above average from March to May, but below average in the second half of the year

Australia's Pacific Ocean islands

  • Daytime temperatures on Lord Howe Island were above average in most months except June, with April especially warm (related to the warm spell that affected much of Australia (which was detailed in a Special Climate Statement: Persistent summer-like heat sets many April records)
  • Minimum temperatures were below average on Lord Howe Island from May to September, and especially cool in July and August
  • Overall, Lord Howe Island's mean maximum temperature for the year was about half a degree warmer than average, and its mean minimum temperature just slightly above average
  • Rainfall on Lord Howe Island was below average in all months apart from November: only one-third of average in October and the driest December on record
  • Lord Howe Island Airport had its driest year on record with 984 mm of rainfall only two-thirds of the annual average
  • After a wet January, every month on Norfolk Island from February to September had less than average rain; a wet November was followed by the second-driest December on record
  • Daytime temperatures on Norfolk Island were above average in every month apart from November, with March, April, July and August much warmer than average
  • Minimum temperatures were above average on Norfolk Island in every month apart from September, and much warmer than average from January to April and again in October
  • The temperature at Norfolk Island Airport did not drop below 24.4 °C on 19 February, the highest daily minimum temperature in 79 years of record; on the 18th the minimum was a near-record 24.2 °C and on the 20th it was 24.0 °C
  • Norfolk Island Airport had 1055 mm of rainfall for the year, about 82% of the long-term average
  • Sea surface temperatures around Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands were well above average throughout the year

Australia's Antarctic and sub-Antarctic territories

  • Temperatures at Mawson were above average from April to August (with some monthly records broken), but below average in November
  • Mawson's annual mean temperature was almost a degree warmer than average
  • Most months at Davis were warmer than average, especially April and August and the months between, with some monthly records broken, but below average in November
  • The annual mean temperature at Davis was more than a degree above the long-term average
  • Casey was warmer than average in most months, but had a cold August and September
  • The annual mean temperature at Casey was a little warmer than average
  • On Macquarie Island, every month apart from April was warmer than average, with the months from June to December especially warm; various monthly records were broken through the year
  • Macquarie Island equalled its annual records for highest mean daily maximum temperature, highest mean daily minimum temperature and highest mean temperature
  • Total rainfall of 1129 mm at Macquarie Island was 114% of the long-term average
  • Sea surface temperatures around Macquarie Island were warmer than average in all months, and record warm in January (related to the condition detailed in the Special Climate Statement Record warmth in the Tasman Sea, New Zealand and Tasmania) and record warm again in December

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Record lowest annual total precipitation
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Lord Howe Island Aero 984.2 991.0 in 1997 30 1478.6



Record highest annual mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Macquarie Island 7.4 = 7.4 in 1989 68 6.6



Record highest daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Norfolk Island Aero 24.4 on 19 Feb 24.3 on 20 Feb 2009 80 16.4



Record highest annual mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Macquarie Island 3.9 = 3.9 in 1971 68 3.1



Record highest annual mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Macquarie Island 5.6 = 5.6 in 1989 68 4.8



Summary statistics for 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Precipitation
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2018
Mean
for
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2018
Total
for
2018
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2018
Fraction
of annual
average
Offshore Islands (district 200)
Cocos Island Airport 29.2 +0.1 32.1 9 Feb 24.8 +0.2 20.4 27 Dec 1764.4 1981.2 average 89%
Lord Howe Island Aero 22.6 +0.4 29.0 17 Feb 17.2 +0.1 6.1 23 Jul 984.2 1478.6 lowest 67%
Norfolk Island Aero 22.1 +0.6 28.3 27 Feb 17.0 +0.6 9.8 27 Sep 1055.0 1289.2 low 82%
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Casey -5.8 +0.1 6.1 10 Jan -12.4 +0.2 -33.5 24 Sep
Davis -6.2 +1.1 8.3 5 Jan -11.9 +1.2 -29.2 7 Sep
Macquarie Island 7.4 +0.8 11.6 12 Dec 3.9 +0.8 -3.5 26 Sep 1129.2 990.4 high 114%
Mawson -7.3 +1.0 6.0 13 Jan -13.5 +0.8 -33.9 10 Jul
Note: Precipitation values from Casey and Davis should be used with caution.

Map of the areas covered by this summary

Notes

The Annual climate summary lists the main features of the weather in Remote Islands and Antarctica using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.
The Australian annual climate statement provides a comprehensive summary of Australia's climate during 2018. Information about changes and long-term trends in Australia's climate can be found in State of the Climate 2018.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 4 pm on Tuesday 8 January 2019. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the precipitation is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites are long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 10 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average precipitation.

The Rank indicates how precipitation this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low precipitation is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of average shows how much precipitation has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries