Australia in October 2013

In Brief

October maximum and mean temperatures were well above average, third and seventh warmest on record respectively, while minimum temperatures were also warmer than average, but by a smaller margin. Monthly temperature anomalies were: maxima, +2.06 °C; minima, +0.76 °C; mean temperature, +1.41 °C. Daytime temperatures were above average across Australia, except for Tasmania and Victoria where they were near average and the Lower South East District of South Australia where a small area recorded cooler-than-average maxima. Parts of the tropical north recorded their warmest October on record. Night-time temperatures were below average for eastern South Australia and the southeast of the Alice Springs District and for much of southeastern New South Wales, extending across the Victorian border west of the Alps. Minima were near average for remaining parts of central Australia, most of eastern South Australia, southeast Queensland, New South Wales and the northern half of Victoria. Elsewhere, minima were generally above average.

October rainfall was below the long-term average nationally (51% below average). Tasmania was the only state to record above-average rainfall, although totals were also above average for southwestern Victoria and the adjacent corner of South Australia, along the northwestern coast between Carnarvon in Western Australia and the Victoria River region in the eastern Top End, as well as other small areas of the tropical north. Elsewhere, rainfall was generally below average.


October was the fifteenth consecutive warmer-than-average month since August 2012, with national area-averaged October maximum temperatures the third-warmest on record (anomaly of +2.10 °C) and mean temperatures the seventh-warmest on record (anomaly of +1.43 °C). Minimum temperatures were also above average, but did not place in the top ten records (anomaly of +0.76 °C, for fourteenth-warmest on record). October saw the Australian 12-month mean temperature record broken for a third time in as many months (see the October Climate Update for further detail).

Tasmania was the only state to record a below-average monthly anomaly for maximum temperatures, while Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia each recorded anomalies in excess of two degrees above the long-term average and along with the Northern Territory ranked at least tenth-warmest on record for October. Maxima were near average for Tasmania and most of Victoria and the adjacent southeast of South Australia, with a small area of the Lower South East District of South Australia the only region to record cooler-than-average maxima for the month. Maxima were above to very much above average for the remainder of Australia, with 61% of the continent in the highest 10% of records. Areas of northern Australia in the Top End, western Kimberley and northwestern Queensland recorded their warmest October monthly maximum temperatures.

New South Wales and Victoria recorded below-average monthly minimum temperatures, while area-averaged anomalies for minima in Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania ranked equal-tenth highest, ninth highest and seventh highest respectively. Anomalies for both Queensland and Western Australia exceeded one degree above the long-term average. Minima were below average for a region extending from central Australia to the Adelaide and Riverland regions of South Australia and for a region in the southeast covering central northern Victoria and most of the southeastern quarter of New South Wales. Minima were above average for most of Western Australia, extending into South Australia around the top of the Bight and across the northern half of the Northern Territory, most of Queensland excluding the inland southeast, and along coastal Victoria and the adjacent southeast of South Australia as well as across the north and east of Tasmania. Small areas of highest-on-record monthly minima were recorded in Queensland's Lower Carpentaria District.

In addition to localities which recorded their warmest October-averaged maxima, a number of stations set records for highest October daily maximum temperature, around the South West Land Division of Western Australia on the 30th and across western New South Wales on the 21st. A number of record-high minima were also recorded in New South Wales on the following night, during the hours to 9 am on the morning of the 22nd. Station records are summarised in the individual regional Climate Summaries.

Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank* Anomaly#
Comment Rank* Anomaly#
Comment Rank* Anomaly#
Australia 102 +2.10 3rd highest 91 +0.76 98 +1.43 7th highest
Queensland 103 +2.38 2nd highest 94.5 +1.12 equal 10th highest 102 +1.75 3rd highest
New South Wales 95 +2.48 10th highest 54 −0.22 85 +1.13
Victoria 71 +0.61 50 −0.17 66 +0.22
Tasmania 37 −0.45 98 +0.71 7th highest 71.5 +0.13
South Australia 92 +1.78 55.5 +0.08 87 +0.93
Western Australia 103 +2.31 2nd highest 96 +1.23 9th highest 99 +1.77 6th highest
Northern Territory 97 +1.75 8th highest 77.5 +0.69 94 +1.22

*A fractional rank indicates that the value is tied for that rank, ranks range from 1 (low) to 104 (high). #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
Map of mean daily temperature Map of mean daily temperature anomalies Map of mean daily temperature deciles


Nationally-averaged rainfall was 51% below the long-term average (area-average rainfall of 11.4 mm). Tasmania, southwestern Victoria and the Lower South East District of South Australia, and the coastal regions of northwestern Western Australia and far eastern Top End recorded above-average monthly rainfall, reaching twice the October average in western Tasmania and more than triple the average in parts of the Pilbara and Kimberley. Tasmania was the only region to record an above-average monthly total; 54% above the long-term mean.

Area-averaged monthly totals were 62% to 72% below average for the Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Rainfall was below average for most of the mainland, covering the south of the Interior District of Western Australia, South Australia east of the Spencer Gulf and along the northern and eastern border, the Alice Springs District of the Northern Territory, Queensland south of Townsville, and nearly all of New South Wales. In total, rainfall was in decile 1 (the lowest 10% of records) for 17% of Australia.

Area-average rainfall
(out of 114)
from mean*
Australia 14 11.4 −51%
Queensland 17 8.5 −67%
New South Wales 8 12.4 −72%
Victoria 50 56.5 −12%
Tasmania 102 190.0 +54%
South Australia 19 5.3 −71%
Western Australia 52 8.9 −30%
Northern Territory 34 7.1 −62%
Murray–Darling Basin 10 14.6 −64% 10th lowest on record

*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 during October 2013
Hottest day   44.8 °C at Fitzroy Crossing Aero (WA) on 18 October
Coldest day   −1.9 °C at Mount Baw Baw (Vic.) on 24 October
Coldest night   −8.7 °C at Perisher Valley AWS (NSW) on 18 October
Warmest night   30.6 °C at Argyle Aerodrome (WA) on 10 October
Wettest day 109.0 mm at Narembeen (WA) on 20 October


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 EST on Friday 1 November 2013. 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.

The new ACORN-SAT temperature dataset has been used for calculation of State and national temperature area averages in summaries from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.

Further information

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