Australia in July 2021

In brief

  • Mean maximum temperatures for July were above average for most of Australia, and warmest on record for parts of the northern tropics
  • Mean minimum temperatures for July were warmer than average for most of Australia
  • July rainfall was above average for the south-west of Australia and parts of the south-east through to eastern Queensland, but below average for east coast Tasmania, eastern Victoria, and coastal south-east New South Wales
  • For Australia as a whole, rainfall was 3% below average

Temperatures

The national mean temperature for July was 1.77 °C warmer than the 1961–1990 average for Australia as a whole, making it the fourth-warmest July on record. It was amongst the three warmest Julys on record for South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory, and the seventh-warmest on record for Queensland.

The mean maximum temperature for July was the equal-fifth-warmest on record for Australia as a whole, at +1.95 °C. The mean minimum temperature for July was the sixth-warmest on record for Australia as a whole, at +1.58 °C.

Mean maximum temperatures for July were warmer than average for most of Australia and particularly warm for the north, with mean maxima more than three degrees warmer than average for much of the Northern Territory, and broadly two to three degrees warmer than average across the remainder of northern Australia. Mean maximum temperatures were warmest on record for Queensland's Cape York Peninsula extending south to around the Whitsundays, large parts of the central Northern Territory and the Top End, and part of the Kimberley in Western Australia. Maximum temperatures were close to average for the south-west of the country and large parts of the south-eastern mainland.

Mean minimum temperatures for July were warmer than average for most of Australia, with mean minima very much warmer than average for the month (highest 10% of historical observations) for Cape York Peninsula, most of Western Australia south of the Kimberley, and the western half of South Australia. Mean minimum temperatures for July were close to average for some areas of the inland south-east and north-western New South Wales, and parts of northern Australia.

New July records for highest daily temperature were set across large areas of mainland Australia, except Victoria, particularly in central and northern Australia at the end of the month. New state records were set in the Northern Territory and New South Wales.

A number of sites in Western Australia observed record high temperatures for July between the 20th and the end of the month. A daily maximum temperature of 38.1 °C was observed twice at Wyndham and once at Kalumburu in the north Kimberley in Western Australia, equalling the second-highest July temperature on record for Australia. Only a few sites observed record high daily minimum temperatures. Several sites in south-west Western Australia observed their highest July mean daily minimum temperature on record, or for at least 20 years.

In Queensland a number of sites observed record high temperatures for July during the second half of the month. Some sites had their highest July mean daily maximum temperature on record.

There was a final spike of heat to end the month, with a particularly warm day across the Northern Territory and Queensland on the 31st, with daily temperature records for July extending into north-west and inland New South Wales and north-eastern South Australia.

Warmer than average temperatures across northern Australia are more likely during a negative Indian Ocean Dipole event. In addition, recent warm winters across northern Australia have occurred against the background of a warming Australian climate.

South Australia experienced a particularly cold day on the 22nd, with a number of sites reporting their lowest July daily maximum temperature on record.

Some sites in the Northern Territory had their highest July minimum temperature on record on the 23rd or 24th.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 112)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 112)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 112)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia = 107 +1.95 equal 5th highest 107 +1.58 6th highest 109 +1.77 4th highest (record +2.02 °C in 1973)
Queensland 110 +2.19 3rd highest (record +3.18 °C in 2017) 100 +2.18 106 +2.19 7th highest
New South Wales 79 +0.61 = 88 +1.08 = 93 +0.85
Victoria 76 +0.44 97 +1.00 96 +0.72
Tasmania 95 +0.65 83 +0.81 = 92 +0.73
South Australia 106 +1.97 7th highest 107 +1.39 6th highest; highest since 2009 111 +1.68 2nd highest (record +2.30 °C in 1975)
Western Australia = 104 +1.67 equal 8th highest 109 +1.52 4th highest (record +2.84 °C in 1973) 110 +1.60 3rd highest (record +1.89 °C in 1973)
Northern Territory = 111 +3.32 equal highest (with 2017) 90 +1.52 110 +2.42 3rd highest (record +2.79 °C in 2017)

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 112 (highest). A rank marked with ’=‘ indicates the value is tied for that rank. Anomaly is the departure from the long-term (1961–1990) average.


Temperature maps
MeanAnomalyDeciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of mean daily maximum temperature Map of mean daily maximum temperature anomalies Map of mean daily maximum temperature deciles
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of mean daily minimum temperature Map of mean daily minimum temperature anomalies Map of mean daily minimum temperature deciles
Mean
daily
temperatures
Map of mean daily temperature Map of mean daily temperature anomalies Map of mean daily temperature deciles

Rainfall

July rainfall was 3% below average for Australia as a whole. Rainfall for the month was above average for the south-west of Australia, south-east South Australia, and along the ranges from north-east Victoria through New South Wales and eastern Queensland. Rainfall was below average for east coast Tasmania, eastern Victoria, and coastal south-east New South Wales.

It was particularly wet in south-west Western Australia from frequent passage of cold fronts, making it the wettest July since 1996.

A surface trough and moist onshore flow brought rainfall to parts of Queensland in the first days of July, with a few sites having their highest July daily rainfall on record on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

The south-west of Western Australia experienced severe weather and heavy rain associated with the passage of strong cold fronts several times during July. Flash flooding occurred in Perth several times earlier during the month, but a pair of strong cold fronts towards the end of the month brought the largest event, with damaging winds, heavy rainfall and flooding on 26 and 27 July. Some sites observed daily rainfall records for July on the 21st or 27th, and a very large number of sites reached record high totals for July as a whole or highest total for at least 20 years.

In South Australia many sites had their highest total July rainfall on record or their highest total July rainfall for at least 20 years. Tornados were reported in the vicinity of Adelaide on the 20th and 24th, causing some damage to properties.

A moderate number of sites in New South Wales and Victoria observed record high total rainfall for July, or their highest total rainfall for at least 20 years. A number of sites in Queensland had their highest July rainfall total for at least 20 years.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 122)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 71 21.6 −3%
Queensland 76 16.6 −10%
New South Wales 78 41.1 +8%
Victoria 77 73.0 +2%
Tasmania 88 166.9 +8%
South Australia 70 18.4 −5%
Western Australia 78 22.3 +7%
Northern Territory 40 0.8 −88%
Murray-Darling Basin 94 46.2 +19%

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 122 (highest). A rank marked with ’=‘ indicates the value is tied for that rank. Departure from mean is relative to the long-term (1961–1990) average.


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


Australian weather extremes during July 2021
Hottest day 38.1 °C    at Wyndham Aero (WA) on the 29th and 30th
and Kalumburu (WA) on the 24h
Coldest day −4.1 °C    at Mount Hotham (Vic.) on the 3rd
Coldest night −10.0 °C    at Perisher Valley AWS (NSW) on the 7th
Warmest night 26.0 °C    at Coconut Island (Qld.) on the 17th
Wettest day 134.0 mm at Corsis Alert (Qld.) on the 1st


Notes

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. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review, usually published in the fourth week of the following month.

Climate Summaries are usually published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 1:00 pm EDST on Monday 2 August 2021. 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. Temperature area averages are derived from the ACORN-SAT version 2 dataset. Rainfall area averages, along with rainfall and temperature maps, are derived from the AWAP dataset.


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