Australian Monthly Climate Summary: November 2006
Tuesday 5th December, 2006
November was another warm and dry month through most of Australia, continuing the drought conditions which have prevailed in many areas. Mean maximum temperatures were the highest on record, with a national anomaly of +2.11°C, breaking the previous record of +2.08 set in 1990. It was particularly warm in Western Australia where both maximum and minimum temperatures set November record highs. Whilst it was not as acutely dry as October, rainfall was still well below normal in many areas and the Australian average was 45% below normal, ranking 20th lowest since 1900. p>
Maximum temperatures were above normal almost throughout mainland Australia, except for a few patches along the Queensland and northern coasts. In most of these areas, except for south-east Queensland, north-east New South Wales and southern Victoria, it was at least 1°C above normal.
Most of Western Australia, except for the north, was at least 2°C above normal, reaching 4°C above average in a belt of the southern inland running from Laverton through Kalgoorlie to Katanning. Records were set in the south-eastern interior.
Most of New South Wales west of the Great Dividing Range was at least 3°C above normal (reaching +4°C locally), as were north-eastern and western Victoria, while much of southern inland Queensland and the southern Northern Territory were 2−3°C above normal. This region, as well as much of inland New South Wales, was affected by an extended heatwave in the second half of the month, culminating in a temperature of 48.5°C at Birdsville on the 30th. This fell 0.2 degrees short of the Australian record for November (also set at Birdsville, in 1990). Many locations set records for the most consecutive days above thresholds in November, including Canberra (11 days over 30°C) and Alice Springs (12 days over 37.8°C/100°F).
In contrast to the mainland situation, maximum temperatures in Tasmania in November were generally below normal. Anomalies reached −1°C in the south.
As in most recent months, minimum temperatures were less extreme than maxima, except in Western Australia, but were mostly above normal. The national anomaly of +1.00°C was the fourth highest on record.
In most of Western Australia south of Broome, except the south coast and the Gascoyne region, mean minima were 2−4°C above normal, exceeding +4°C around Telfer (east of Port Hedland). Record highs were set in most of the southeast of the state, as well as on parts of the south coast and around Geraldton and Port Hedland.
Minima were also warm (1°C or more above average) in most of South Australia north and west of Port Augusta, the southwestern Northern Territory, and in patches scattered through inland New South Wales and southern Queensland.
The southeast of the country again saw generally below-normal minimum temperatures, although anomalies were weaker than in October, only locally reaching −1°C, and were mostly confined to Victoria, Tasmania and the southeast of South Australia.
Below-normal minima also covered eastern and northern Queensland and most of the northern half of the Northern Territory, and were in the coolest 10% of all years in parts of Queensland north of Townsville, and along the NT Gulf coast.
A marked interruption to the generally warm conditions in November occurred when a severe, but short-lived, cold outbreak affected the southeast on 15−16 November. It was generally the most extensive low-level snowfall of 2006 (a year when such events have been largely absent). Snow fell to near sea level in southern Tasmania and above 400 metres around Melbourne, while further north it fell in Canberra and the NSW Northern Tablelands, as well as the highest parts of the Granite Belt in extreme southern Queensland. Sydney’s minimum of 8.3°C on the 16th was its coldest in November since 1905.
* Anomaly is the difference from the long-term average
Early November rainfall brought some relief to the north-east of New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland, with a few favoured areas reaching the wettest 10% of all years. Areas in the driest 10% of all years in southern Australia were much less extensive than they had been in October (although most areas were still below normal), and only a few stations set records.
The most substantial regions in the lowest decile were the southeast of South Australia and southwestern Victoria, Kangaroo Island, and the northern half of Tasmania. Large areas of the Northern Territory, away from the Top End, and western Queensland had little or no rain, although a rainless month in most of this area in November is not an exceptional event.