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Thursday, 3 January 2008 - Annual Climate Summary for Western Australia - Product code IDCKGC31R0

Annual Western Australia Climate Summary 2007
A warm year for WA

Summary

  • Sixth warmest year on record for WA in terms of mean maximum temperature(0.82°C above normal).
  • Above average mean minimum temperature for WA.
  • WA statewide annual rainfall near average.

 

Rainfall

The average annual rainfall total, for WA as a whole, was near average with 381.9 mm. Across the state, above to very much above average totals were recorded in northern and eastern parts, whilst below to very much below average totals were recorded in western parts of WA(see annual rainfall decile map).

2007 began with above average rainfall in large areas of WA including the Southwest Land Division (SWLD) and Eucla, while Esperance and surrounding areas received their highest January rainfall on record. A quiet cyclone season in February resulted in a very dry month across the northern half of the state, being the 4th driest February on record since 1900.

It was a dry autumn season for the SWLD and neighbouring parts of the Gascoyne and Goldfields with some locations receiving their lowest autumn rainfall on record, contrasting with the above average falls in the north due to an active cyclone season in March.

Dry conditions occurred across much of the state in winter, apart from unseasonal rainfall in the Kimberley, and persisted into spring. It was the second consecutive poor growing season in much of the SWLD, but especially in northern agricultural regions.

Generally above average rainfall was observed in December, with some locations in the Central West and Central Wheat Belt recording highest on record totals.

Temperature

2007 was generally a warm year in WA with above average maximum temperatures recorded across a large proportion of the state, while record high mean maximum temperatures occurred in the eastern Eucla. Averaged across the state, the annual mean maximum temperature was 30.1°C, which is 0.82°C above the long term (1961-1990) average,and the sixth warmest year on record, since comparable records commenced in 1950 (see annual mean maximum temperature anomaly map).

In the first month of 2007, WA had cooler than normal maximum and minimum temperatures, however, February came out at the other end of scale, being the hottest February in WA on record.

The statewide mean maximum and minimum temperatures in autumn were near average, despite some record high March temperatures registered in west coast districts in early March ( the 47.8ºC in Carnarvon was the equal highest March temperature for Australia), and some record high temperatures in the Kimberley in the first week of May.

Winter 2007 had a chilly start with some locations in the Kimberley registering record low maximum temperatures for June, and the state average maximum and minimum temperature being below normal. This contrasted with the third warmest July and a warmer than normal August. Above average temperatures continued as it was the third warmest spring on record in terms of mean maximum temperature. December was cooler than normal despite a hot spell in the last week in the south. Many locations registered their highest December temperatures on record.

The statewide annual mean minimum temperature was above average, and was dominated by very much above average mean minima in the Eucla and neighbouring districts. Averaged across the state, the annual mean minimum temperature was 15.9°C, 0.28°C above the 1961-90 average (see annual mean minimum temperature anomaly map). During the year, WA saw record hot overnight temperatures in February and its fourth hottest overnight temperatures in July on record.

Notable events

  • The "once in a generation" storm in early January that produced heavy rainfall across the Goldfields, Southeast Coastal and Eucla districts, causing flooding, many sheep deaths and cutting off roads, and producing many January rainfall and lowest maximum temperature records.
  • Significant fires in SW WA in early February, responsible for one fatality and a number of houses destroyed. Record high temperatures were registered in the Central Wheat Belt and Great Southern.
  • The passage of Tropical Cyclone George across the Pilbara coast in early March, the most destructive Tropical Cyclone to affect Port Hedland in over 30 years, causing the loss of three lives.
  • A wild bushfire west of Coolgardie on the last days of 2007 claimed three lives.

Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
48.6 °C at Hyden on 3 Feb
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
36.6 °C at Fitzroy Crossing Aero
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
19.7 °C at Albany
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
10.6 °C at Manjimup on 27 Oct
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
-5.1 °C at Eyre on 7 Jul &16 Jul
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
8.2 °C at Collie East
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
25.6 °C at Troughton Island
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
33.8 °C at Wittenoom on 27 Jan
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
1867.9 mm at Kuri Bay
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
285.0 mm at Pardoo Station on 27 Mar
Highest wind gust
135 km/h at Wyndham Aero on 14 Nov

Records


Record lowest total annual rainfall
Total rainfall
for 2007 (mm)
Previous annual
lowest
Years of
record
Normal
annual
Carnamah 200.8 204.2 in 1969 118 382.5
Perenjori 119.0 164.7 in 1922 86 330.4
Coolangatta 149.8 173.4 in 1976 52 328.6



Record highest annual temperature
Highest temperature
in 2007 (°C)
Previous annual
highest
Years of
record
Normal
annual
Northam 48.1 on 3 Feb 46.7 on 1 Feb 1956 101 25.3
Kellerberrin 47.5 on 3 Feb 46.7 on 10 Feb 1933 96 25.1
Narrogin 44.7 on 3 Feb 43.7 on 30 Jan 1930 93 22.3
Carnarvon Airport 47.8 on 6 Mar 47.7 on 23 Jan 1953 63 27.1
Corrigin 46.5 on 3 Feb 45.2 on 1 Feb 1991 60 23.6
Cunderdin 48.0 on 3 Feb 47.8 on 23 Feb 1991 58 25.1
Meekatharra Airport 45.5 on 4 Feb 45.4 on 1 Jan 1995 58 28.9
Lake Grace Comparison 46.1 on 3 Feb 45.4 on 1 Feb 1991 51 23.3
Brookton 46.2 on 3 Feb 45.0 on 23 Feb 1991 42 24.2
Narembeen 47.1 on 3 Feb 45.6 on 1 Feb 1991 40 25.1
Hyden 48.6 on 3 Feb 48.2 on 1 Feb 1991 36 24.9
Pingelly 46.2 on 3 Feb 44.1 on 3 Jan 1997 36 23.2
Kalbarri 47.2 on 6 Mar 46.3 on 20 Feb 1985 35 27.5



Record lowest annual daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in 2007 (°C)
Previous annual
lowest
Years of
record
Normal
annual
Warmun 15.3 on 20 Jun 16.8 on 14 Jun 1993 45 35.1
Wyndham 17.7 on 20 Jun 17.9 on 12 Jul 1968 39 35.6



Record highest annual mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for 2007 (°C)
Previous annual
highest
Years of
record
Normal
annual
Eyre 24.3 24.2 in 2002 41 22.7
Onslow Airport 33.1 32.8 in 1944 38 31.8



Record highest annual daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in 2007 (°C)
Previous annual
highest
Years of
record
Normal
annual
Ravensthorpe 28.6 on 27 Dec 28.0 on 23 Nov 1996 45 10.4




Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Wednesday 2 January 2008. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Normals 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 30 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of "normal" rain.

Further information

Yanhui Blockley or Glenn Cook
Western Australia Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (08) 9263 2222
Email climate.wa@bom.gov.au