Australian Monthly Climate Summary: June 2006

Monday 3 July, 2006

In Brief

In similar fashion to May, June was a dry and cold month, although there were some exceptions, most notably in northeast Queensland. The were many new records established for low June monthly rainfall, low June mean minimum, all-month absolute minimum temperature and absolute June minimum temperature.



Taken over the country as a whole, this June was the second coldest June on record for minimum temperatures, with June 1982 holding the record. The national anomalies for 2006 and 1982 were −1.65°C and −2.02°C respectively. Over most of the northern two-thirds of Queensland, minima were above average, with anomalies reaching somewhat over +2°C, but over nearly all other areas they were below average. Large patches with anomalies of −3 to −5°C occurred in the NT, SA, and WA, with some smaller areas of NSW and Victoria also affected.

Minima within the coolest 10% of the post−1950 record covered most of the NT, WA, SA, NSW and Victoria. Record low minima occurred over much of SA and adjacent parts of the southern NT and eastern WA, parts of western WA, western NSW and northwest Victoria.

For the high-quality records dating from 1950, spatially averaged minima were the lowest on record for June in South Australia and Western Australia, and the second lowest on record for June over Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

The record June minimum temperature for anywhere in WA was broken during the month and then broken again. The old record of −5.7°C at Wandering on 1st June 1964 was exceeded with −5.9°C at Eyre on the 14th, and then again with −6.0°C at Collie East on the 17th. Furthermore, the old record was equalled twice; at Salmon Gums Research Station on the 15th and at Bridgetown on the 17th.

Maximum temperatures were closer to normal with a national rank of 19 out of 57. They were above average in the western half of WA and in a band extending from central to eastern Queensland to northern Victoria. Anomalies neared +3°C on the central-west coast of WA. Elsewhere, maximum temperatures were generally below normal, particularly in the NT, SA and the far north of WA. For the nation as a whole, maxima were the coolest for June since 2000.

June mean temperatures were the lowest on record in SA, and the third lowest in New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Table 1: Spatial Temperature Summary

Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature
(out of 57)
Anomaly *
Comment Rank
(out of 57)
Anomaly *
Australia19−0.42lowest since 2000 2−1.652nd lowest, record −2.02 in 1982
NSW23−0.17lowest since 2000 2−1.742nd lowest, record −2.11 in 1982
NT7−1.42lowest since 2000 2−2.252nd lowest, record −2.30 in 1976
Qld22−0.20lowest since 2000 32+0.24 
SA12−0.92lowest since 1993 1−2.77previous record −2.13 in 1982
Tas27−0.06lowest since 1998 15−0.55lowest since 1995
Vic28−0.05lowest since 1998 2−2.132nd lowest, record −2.26 in 1972
WA29+0.02  1−2.25previous record −1.54 in 2000

* Anomaly is the difference from the long-term average

Maximum Temperature Maps
Mean (Average) | Departures from Long-Term Average (Anomalies) | Deciles (Historical Ranking)

Minimum Temperature Maps
Mean (Average) | Departures from Long-Term Average (Anomalies) | Deciles (Historical Ranking)


It was a very dry month through most of the country as well, with a complete absence of the 'northwest cloudband' activity that is common in June. The national average of 49% below normal was the 5th lowest for June out of 107 years, and the driest since 1984.

The southwest of WA was especially hard hit with most areas west of a line running from Carnarvon to Kalgoorlie, to Perth and to Albany having their driest June on record. June, on average, is the wettest month in this part of the country. In many locations the previous long-standing records were been broken by large margins. Other parts of the country with a driest June on record were the far southeast of SA, parts of southern Victoria, and parts of northern and southeast Tasmania. To underline how dry it was in southwest WA, Perth had a complete absence of rain for the first 19 days of the month!

As a consequence of the low June rainfall, rainfall deficiencies intensified across areas of central New South Wales and southwest Western Australia, and spread into Victoria. More information is available in the drought statement issued on 4th July 2006.

The only significant areas that recorded rainfall within the highest three decile ranges were eastern Queensland, and a zone extending from the far southwest of Queensland across western New South Wales. The state-average rainfall was 21% above average in Queensland and only 3% below average in New South Wales. However, the figures for southwest WA, South Australia and Victoria were −73%, −63% and −61% respectively.

As is common with the dry season in the north of the country, little or no rain was recorded across the NT, northern WA, northern SA and the far west of Queensland.

Table 2: Spatial Rainfall Summary

(out of 107)
Average (mm)Comment
Australia511.7lowest since 1984
New South Wales4834.7 
Northern Territory60.1lowest since 2002
South Australia127.0lowest since 1983
Tasmania648.1lowest since 1951
Victoria322.0lowest since 1944
Western Australia13.9previous record 5.9 in 1976

Rainfall Maps
Totals | Deciles (Historical Ranking) | Percentages | Departures from Long-Term Average (Anomalies)