Australia in November 2010

In Brief

November 2010 was a month of contrast between east and west. The eastern mainland states recorded their wettest November for at least 10 years while it was much drier in the west. Australia recorded an area average of 55.71 mm, 71% above normal. Maximum temperatures were cooler than usual over much of the northeast, minimum temperatures were cooler than usual in the north, and both maximum and minimum temperatures were warmer than normal on the western coast of WA.


November was a cooler than normal month across much of northern and eastern Australia. Nationally averaged maximum temperatures were 1.23°C below normal, the lowest since 1999 and 7th lowest on record. Daytime temperatures were at least 1°C cooler than usual over the eastern two thirds of the mainland (excluding the southeast corner of NSW and eastern Victoria), an area around Mount Gambier on the SA-Victoria border and the coastal fringes of the Top End. Cool anomalies of more than 2°C were widespread, covering most of Queensland (excluding coastal regions in the southeast, Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf), northern NSW, northern SA and the southeast half of the NT. Maximum temperatures were up to 6°C cooler than usual over central Queensland. Warm anomalies of more than 1°C were recorded on Victoria’s eastern coast and in the western half of WA. Maximum temperatures were more than 4°C warmer than usual on the central coast of WA.

The western coast of WA between Shark Bay and Pemberton, and a small area around Kuri Bay on the Kimberley coast, experienced highest on record November maximum temperatures. An area around Alice Springs in the south of the NT and another in Queensland, stretching from the central coast inland to around Longreach and Charleville, had their coldest daytime November temperatures on record. These record cold inland temperatures were partly due to the high rainfall in these regions.

Minimum temperatures were cooler than usual in the central north and northern inland but warmer than usual across much of western WA, Cape York Peninsula and in the southeast: including southeast Queensland, the eastern half of NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, and a small area at the southeast corner of SA. Nationally averaged minimum temperatures were 0.32°C cooler than usual for November. Minima at least 1°C cooler than usual were recorded across most of the NT and adjoining areas of WA and SA as well as extending into much of inland Queensland and the northwest corner of NSW. A large area of the southern NT experienced overnight temperatures more than 3°C cooler than usual. Record low minimum temperatures were recorded in this area as well as in a region of the northern NT around Elliot and a smaller region of WA in the northern Kimberley.

Warm anomalies of more than 1°C were recorded in north-eastern Tasmania, in the southeast of NSW extending through the eastern half of Victoria, and in much of western WA. Minimum temperatures were more than 3°C warmer than usual in parts of the Pilbara and Gascoyne in WA. Record warm overnight temperatures were recorded in the Gascoyne region of WA around Shark Bay.

Areal average temperatures
  Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature
(out of 61)
Comment Rank
(out of 61)
Australia 7 −1.23 Lowest since 1999 20 −0.32
Queensland 1 −3.26 Lowest on record; previous record was −2.97 (1999) Equal 10th −0.84 Lowest since 1996
New South Wales 10 −1.79 Lowest since 1999 41 +0.60
Victoria 34 +0.10 Equal 57th +1.47 Equal 4th highest; record is +3.81 (2009)
Tasmania 53 +1.25 50 +0.59
South Australia 8 −1.92 25 −0.27
Western Australia 48 +0.90 45 +0.54
Northern Territory 3 −2.02 3rd lowest; record is −2.52 (1981) 2 −2.22 2nd lowest; record is −2.30 (1974)

*Anomaly is the departure from the long-term (1961-1990) average.

Temperature maps
Map of mean daily maximum temperature Map of mean daily maximum temperature anomalies Map of mean daily maximum temperature deciles
Map of mean daily minimum temperature Map of mean daily minimum temperature anomalies Map of mean daily minimum temperature deciles


November was very wet across the eastern states; Queensland and NSW recorded their wettest November since 2000 (107.6 and 102.6 mm respectively) and Victoria the wettest since 1992 (89.3 mm). The Murray Darling Basin had its wettest November since 2000, at 129% above normal this was the 5th wettest on record. Nationally averaged rainfall was 55.7 mm, 71% above normal. WA was the only state to record below average rainfall with 13.7 mm, the lowest November rainfall since 1997.

Above average rainfall was widespread across eastern Australia and in parts of central Australia as well as around the Pilbara and Gascoyne in WA. November rainfall was in the top 10% of records in a broad band throughout most of Queensland (excluding the southeast, far northern coasts and far west), most of NSW extending over the SA border (excluding the northeast and becoming more patchy in the east of the state) and reaching into northern and central Victoria. Rainfall exceeded 400% of the November mean in the centre of this band. Rainfall in the top 10% of records was also received in parts of eastern Tasmania, northern SA, several areas across the NT and in the Pilbara and Gascoyne districts of WA. More than 400% of usual rainfall was received in WA in the Pilbara-Gascoyne region, and in the NT around Elliot and a small area near Alice Springs. For the regions near Elliot and the Pilbara-Gascoyne November rainfall was highest on record, largely because inland Australia and much of WA is seasonally dry at this time of the year. Scattered areas of highest on record rainfall also occurred throughout the eastern mainland at many sites in the band of high rainfall.

Areas of below to very much below average rainfall were observed in large parts of WA (particularly in the south and far north), southern SA, southeast Queensland and small areas of central Australia and the northern NT.

Areal average rainfall
(out of 111)
from mean*
Australia 104 55.7 +71%
Queensland 106 107.6 +135% Highest since 2000
New South Wales 107 102.6 +129% 5th highest; highest since 2000
Victoria 101 89.3 +73% Highest since 1992
Tasmania 82 128.0 +24%
South Australia 84 24.1 +56%
Western Australia 47 13.7 −23% Lowest since 1997
Northern Territory 84 52.6 +26%
Murray-Darling Basin 107 92.1 +129% 5th highest; highest since 2000

*The mean is calculated for the 1961-1990 reference period.

Rainfall maps
Map of total rainfall Map of percentage of normal rain Map of rainfall deciles

Australian weather extremes in November 2010
Hottest day 46.9 °C at Roebourne (WA) on the 10th
Coldest day 0.0 °C at Thredbo AWS (NSW) on the 4th
Coldest night −3.5 °C at Mount Wellington (Tas) on the 4th
Warmest night 31.9 °C at Telfer Aero (WA) on the 24th
Wettest day 215.0 mm at Mount Sophia (Qld) on the 27th


The Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Australia using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 12 noon on Wednesday 1 December 2010. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available, especially for rainfall where much more data becomes available as returns are received from volunteers.

Long-term averages in this statement and associated tables are for the period 1961 to 1990 unless otherwise specified.

In the tables, fractional ranks denote tied values.

A new area-averaging method was adopted for rainfall in May 2009. Current and historical totals for Tasmania are substantially higher than under the old scheme, but differences for other states, and nationally, are negligible. The rankings and departures from mean shown here use the new method.

Further information

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