Australia in January 2015

In Brief

Day-time temperatures, when averaged nationally, were cooler than average for January while overnight minimum temperatures were warmer than average. Australian maximum temperatures were 0.41 °C below average and minimum temperatures 0.44 °C above average. The mean temperature anomaly was +0.02 °C. Maximum temperatures were above average for the south and west of Western Australia and small parts of the east coast, but cooler than average for much of the central north through to the inland southeast. Minimum temperatures were generally above average, particularly across the eastern seaboard and central Western Australia, but below average throughout the central interior of the Northern Territory. Elsewhere minimum temperatures tended near average.

January rainfall was below average for most of the Cape York Peninsula and parts of the west of Western Australia, particularly in the central south. Rainfall was above average in a broad band extending from the Kimberley in Western Australia, through the Northern Territory and covering most of southeastern Australia as well as smaller parts of eastern and western Queensland. Rainfall was 34% above average nationally.


Temperatures

The national January maximum temperature anomaly was −0.41 °C with only Western Australia recording warmer-than-average days. January maxima were the eleventh-coolest on record for January in the Northern Territory, with an anomaly of −2.49 °C.

Maximum temperatures were warmer than average across most of the southern half of Western Australia with much of the Gascoyne and southwest experiencing days in the warmest ten per cent of historical observations. Maximum temperatures were also warmer than average for much of the east of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland and along the coastal margin as far south as the Hunter district in New South Wales. Above-average rainfall extending from the northwest to the southeast brought cooler-than-average daytime temperatures for a large region covering the Kimberley and adjacent parts of the interior of Western Australia, most of the Northern Territory, western Queensland, South Australia away from the west and southeast and part of New South Wales extending from the west to central inland. Maxima were in the coolest ten per cent of historical observations for much of the Northern Territory south of the Top End and parts of the adjacent Kimberley.

The January minimum temperature anomaly for Australia nationally was +0.44 °C with the Northern Territory the only region to observe cooler-than-average nights.

Minimum temperatures were above average across most of the Top End, across northern, central and east coast Queensland, coastal and southern New South Wales, all of Victoria, southeast South Australia and eastern Tasmania. Minimum temperatures were also warmer than average across most of Western Australia south of the Pilbara, extending into southwestern South Australia. Minima were in the warmest ten per cent of historical observations for much of the inland south of Western Australia, the Cape York Peninsula and in areas along the mainland east coast. Minimum temperatures were cooler than average for a small area of the Kimberley around Derby and for a larger area stretching east from Halls Creek in the western Kimberley to cover most of the central Northern Territory.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 106)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 106)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 106)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia 30 −0.41 78 +0.44 63 +0.02
Queensland 50 −0.06 88 +0.67 68 +0.31
New South Wales 35 −0.39 77 +0.82 = 61 +0.22
Victoria 57 −0.11 82 +1.25 71 +0.57
Tasmania 53 −0.08 = 79 +0.49 = 66 +0.20
South Australia 21 −1.05 67 +0.29 = 46 −0.38
Western Australia = 73 +0.65 94 +0.62 = 89 +0.63
Northern Territory 11 −2.49 32 −0.46 13 −1.48

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 106 (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

Nationally-averaged rainfall during January was 34% above the long-term average. Monthly rainfall was above average for most of the Kimberley and adjacent parts of inland Western Australia, across nearly all of the Northern Territory, the eastern half of South Australia, western Queensland and smaller areas along the east coast and across most of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. January rainfall was in the highest ten per cent of historical observations for much of the inland of the Northern Territory extending through to southeast South Australia as well as scattered small areas in eastern Australia, the Top End and the Kimberley. A scattering of locations recorded their wettest January on record or wettest January day on record. Daily records were most common in southeast Tasmania on the 14th in a moist east-to-northeasterly airstream. See individual regional summaries for details of records.

Rainfall was below average across much of the Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland and also below average for a large area extending inland from the south coast of Western Australia as well as small areas in the coastal southwest of Western Australia, the Pilbara, west coast South Australia and a few areas in inland Queensland.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 116)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 102 106.7 +34%
Queensland 65 124.7 −2%
New South Wales 97 81.7 +25%
Victoria 101 60.2 +52%
Tasmania 97 107.5 +42%
South Australia 109 49.0 +101% 8th highest
Western Australia 81 64.3 +13%
Northern Territory 111 230.6 +92% 6th highest
Murray-Darling Basin 89 65.9 +20%

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 116 (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 January 2015
Hottest day   49.0 °C at Marble Bar on 23 January (WA)
Coldest day     4.1 °C at Mount Wellington (Tas.) on 28 January
Coldest night   −2.5 °C at Liawenee (Tas.) on 27 January
Warmest night   33.3 °C at Paraburdoo Aero (WA) on 7 January
Wettest day at least 400.0 mm at Cape Leveque (WA) on 8 January (the true total is unknown as the gauge overflowed)


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 month.

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

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 12 noon EST on Monday 2 February 2015. 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.

The system used for calculating areal averages of rainfall was changed in May 2009; the main effect was that current and historical values for Tasmania were increased. Since January 2012, ACORN-SAT has been used for calculating areal averages of temperature; the major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.


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