Australia in July 2012

In Brief

Rainfall was generally above average in eastern Australia during July. Most of Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania, and small areas of the east coast from Victoria to southeast Queensland received below-average July rainfall. For Western Australia as a whole, it was the third-driest July since records began in 1900. The July mean maximum temperature was below average across much of northern Australia. Maxima were above average for far northern Queensland, the western Top End, southeastern Australia, and much of western Western Australia. Minimum temperatures were above average for most of mainland coastal eastern Australia and Tasmania's western coast. Minima were below average for July for Western Australia, South Australia, and lowest on record for a large part of central Australia.


Averaged over July, maximum temperatures were near average for Australia as a whole. The national anomaly was +0.07 °C. Queensland recorded its coolest July-averaged maximum temperature since 1989, and with the Northern Territory, were the only regions to record below-average monthly maximum temperatures. Tasmania recorded its sixth-warmest July for maximum temperatures (records commence in 1950), with an anomaly of +1.36 °C. Victorian average maximum temperatures were also notable; 0.86 °C above average for the ninth-warmest July on record. Maximum temperatures were below average across much of northern Australia, with a large part of the central Queensland coast recorded decile 1 (in the lowest 10% of records) maxima for July. However, in far northern Queensland and the Northern Territory's western Top End maximum temperatures were above average, as they also were for Tasmania, Victoria and southern and central New South Wales, and western and southern Western Australia.

For Australia as a whole, the July mean minimum was the eight-coolest on record. The national anomaly was −0.96 °C, the coolest July since 1982. South Australia also recorded its eight-coolest July, the Northern Territory its third-coolest, and Western Australia it's coolest July on record (anomalies of −1.32 °C, −1.81 °C, and −1.71 °C, respectively). Minimum temperatures averaged over July were below average for Western Australia, the most of the Northern Territory, South Australia, and adjacent parts of New South Wales and southwestern Queensland. For a large part of central Australia minima were lowest on record for July; parts of central Australia recorded minima 4 to 5 °C below average. Minimum temperatures were above average for far northern Queensland, southeast Queensland and northeast New South Wales, coastal western Tasmania, and most of southern Victoria and adjacent parts of southeastern South Australia.

Areal average temperatures
  Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature
(out of 63)
Comment Rank
(out of 63)
Australia 25 +0.07 8 −0.96 lowest since 1982
Queensland 17 −0.28 lowest since 1989 37 +0.31
New South Wales 45.5 +0.77 28.5 +0.02
Victoria 55 +0.86 33.5 +0.24
Tasmania 58 +1.36 39.5 +0.39
South Australia 29 +0.10 8 −1.32 lowest since 1997
Western Australia 33 +0.23 1 −1.71 lowest on record
Northern Territory 21 −0.43 3 −1.81 3rd lowest; record is −2.03 °C (1977)

*Anomaly is the departure from the long-term (1961–1990) average.
A fractional rank indicates that the value is tied for that rank.

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


July rainfall was above average across most of Queensland and adjacent parts of the Northern Territory and the eastern Top End. Rainfall was also above average for most of northern and western New South Wales, adjacent parts of South Australia, as well as small areas of western and central Victoria, southeast South Australia, and the southern coast of Western Australia. Averaged over Australia, July rainfall was 17% below average, ranking as the 45th-driest year in 113 years of record. For Western Australia, it was the third-driest July on record (record commenced in 1900); averaged across the state, rainfall was 71% below average. It was the driest July on record for southwest Western Australia. Perth Metro received a record 34.6 mm of rain during July, beating the previous July record-low of 61.5 mm, set in 1876. Tasmania also experienced a notably dry July, with the state average the tenth-driest on record and 42% below average.

Most of northern and central Australia received little or no rainfall during July, which is typical of the northern dry season. Notably, although July is typically also dry for northern Queensland, most of this area recorded above to very much above average July rainfall, with some small parts receiving highest-on-record rainfall. For Queensland as a whole, July rainfall was 84% above average.

Area-average rainfall
(out of 113)
from mean*
Australia 45 18.4 −17%
Queensland 96 35.1 +84%
New South Wales 66 41.3 +5%
Victoria 52 63.5 −9%
Tasmania 10 91.7 −42% lowest since 2001
South Australia 24 9.9 −47%
Western Australia 3 5.8 −71% 3rd lowest; record is 4.1 mm (1937)
Northern Territory 54 1.1 −84%
Murray-Darling Basin 75 42.3 +6%

*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 July 2012
Hottest day      36.4 °C at Ngukurr (NT) on 13 July
Coldest day      −3.9 °C at Thredbo Top Station (NSW) on 6 July
Coldest night    −14.0 °C at Charlotte Pass (Kosciusko Chalet) (NSW) on 6 July
Warmest night      25.9 °C at Coconut Island (Qld) on 15 July
Wettest day 180.4 mm at Daradgee (Qld) on 10 July


The Seasonal 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 EST on Wednesday 1 August 2012. 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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