Australia in November 2011

In Brief

A cooler than normal month over the northwest of the country, with the southeast of the country generally warmer than normal. Minimum temperatures were particularly warm in the eastern to southeastern parts of the country, while maximum temperatures were particularly cool in the northwest.

Most of the Australia received well above average November falls, with the eastern coast of Queensland being the main exception to this. Large parts of southeast Queensland received very much below average rainfall for the month.


Overall, the area-averaged Australian maximum temperature for November was close to normal, with an anomaly of −0.08 °C (29th coolest of 62 years). Notable state values include Tasmania, which observed its 5th highest November maxima on record, and Victoria its 8th. This ends a warm past 6 months for Tasmania, which recorded its warmest June to November period for maximum temperatures. Another above average month in southwest WA (19th warmest of 62 years) contributed to making it the warmest January to November period for maximum temperatures on record for the region. The NT on the other hand, had its 5th coolest November average maximum temperature on record.

Below average maximum temperatures were recorded across the northwestern half of the continent, with anomalies cooler than −3 °C in the Kimberley region of WA extending into the NT, as well as an area just south of the Gulf of Carpentaria in the NT. Areas with maximum temperatures in the lowest decile (bottom 10% of records) were observed across much of northern WA and the northern NT, with small parts within this area recording their lowest daytime temperatures on record (see map below). Above average maximum temperatures were recorded across the southeastern half of the continent, with much of this area in excess of 1 °C above normal. Maximum temperatures exceeded 2 °C above normal across southeast SA and western Victoria, as well as in other small isolated pockets. Coastal regions of southern Australia, particularly the southeast, as well as the tip of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland recorded maxima in the top 10% of records.

Minimum temperatures for Australia as a whole were on the warm side of normal, with an anomaly of 0.32 °C, the equal 23rd warmest November of 62 years. State-wise, Victoria had its 4th warmest November on record for minimum temperatures, while NSW had its 6th and both Queensland and Tasmania their 7th. The Murray Darling Basin had its 4th warmest overnight temperatures. As was the case with the maximum temperatures, southwest WA (an area southwest of a line joining Jurien Bay and Bremer Bay) also observed its warmest January to November minimum temperature on record.

The general pattern of minimum temperature anomalies was similar to that of the maximum temperatures, with negative anomalies generally across the northwestern half of Australia. Anomalies cooler than −1 °C were generally confined to the WA interior and central to southern parts of the NT, with much of this area in decile 1. Areas of above average minimum temperatures were generally in the southeastern half of Australia. Anomalies exceeded +2 °C in southern Queensland, southern and eastern NSW, and central to eastern Victoria. Most of southeastern Australia and southern Queensland were in decile 10 (the warmest 10% of records).

Areal average temperatures
  Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature
(out of 62)
Comment Rank
(out of 62)
Australia 29 −0.08 39.5 +0.32
Queensland 40 +0.50 56 +1.01
New South Wales 50 +1.20 57 +2.02
Victoria 55 +1.78 59 +2.15 4th highest; record is +3.81 (2009)
Tasmania 58 +1.67 56 +1.09
South Australia 47.5 +0.95 52 +1.10
Western Australia 17 −0.64 19.5 −0.50
Northern Territory 5 −1.78 8 −1.04

*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


Rainfall averaged over Australia was 75% above normal (8th wettest of 112 years of record). Generally, most of the continent received above average falls, with the main exception being the Queensland east coast. All states received above average falls for the month, with the NT recording its 4th wettest November, WA its 5th and NSW its 7th. The Murray Darling Basin also had a wet month, coming in at 10th wettest on record. These wetter than normal conditions are broadly in line with the La Niña conditions presently in place in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

Above average rainfall was widespread across most of the country, except for the east coast of Queensland and parts of the southern mainland (see map below). November rainfall was in the top 10% of records over large areas of WA, particularly in the northern half, as well as most of the NT, an area covering the SA-NT border, western Queensland, the eastern halves of NSW and Victoria, and northern Tasmania. Small isolated areas within this area had their highest falls on record, particularly towards the northwest part of the country.

Below average falls were mostly confined to the eastern coast of Queensland, parts of the southeast of WA, and southern SA. A large area of southeast Queensland recorded falls in the lowest decile, with isolated areas ranking lowest on record.

Areal average rainfall
(out of 112)
from mean*
Australia 105 57.0 +75%
Queensland 79 51.7 +13%
New South Wales 106 92.7 +107%
Victoria 96 78.5 +52%
Tasmania 91 136.4 +32% Highest since 1994
South Australia 99 29.3 +90%
Western Australia 108 40.0 +125%
Northern Territory 109 87.5 +109% 4th highest; highest since 1981
Murray-Darling Basin 103 77.3 +92%

*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 2011
Hottest day 44.1 °C at Birdsville Airport (QLD) on the 15th and 29th
Coldest day 3.4 °C at Mount Read (TAS) on the 2nd
Coldest night −3.4 °C at Liawenee (TAS) on the 15th
Warmest night 29.6 °C at Birdsville Airport (QLD) on the 8th
Wettest day 273.0 mm at Tully Sugar Mill (QLD) on the 25th


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 2pm EST on Thursday 1 December 2011. 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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