Australia in November 2015

In brief

  • National mean temperatures third warmest on record for November
  • Maximum and minimum temperatures respectively fifth and equal-first warmest for November
  • Both maximum and minimum temperatures above to very much above average across Australia
  • Rainfall near-average for Australia as a whole
  • Surface troughs producing cloud and embedded showers dominated the month, despite a period of high pressure following mid-month
  • Heavy rainfall at the beginning of the month, affecting areas of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales
  • Bushfires in Western Australia near Esperance during 15th to 18th, and north of Adelaide in South Australia on the 25th
  • Damaging winds in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania ahead of cold fronts crossing the southeast on the 25th and 30th
  • Several thunderstorms producing large and damaging hail in Queensland during the month

November was again a very warm month for Australia, concluding Australia's second-warmest spring on record. For the month, both maximum and minimum temperatures were very much above average over much of Australia. Nationally, maximum temperatures were the fifth warmest on record for November (anomaly +1.98 °C) and minimum temperatures were the equal-first warmest on record (anomaly +1.74 °C). For mean temperatures, November ranked as the third warmest on record for Australia (anomaly +1.86 °C). November's exceptional warmth was unusual in that the month saw a general lack of cool conditions, rather than being marked by periods of extreme warmth.

November rainfall was near average for Australia nationally. Rainfall was above average for large areas of Western Australia, central and eastern South Australia, and New South Wales. Rainfall was below average for southwest Western Australia, southern Victoria, Tasmania, the Top End, and other pockets of northern Australia.


The national November mean temperature was 1.86 °C above the long-term mean, third warmest on record for the month. Maximum and minimum temperatures were also well above average; fifth warmest and equal-first warmest on record for the month respectively (anomalies of +1.98 °C for maxima, and +1.74 °C for minima). November mean temperatures were the second warmest on record for Queensland and Western Australia, the fourth warmest for the Northern Territory, and the seventh warmest for South Australia.

Maximum temperatures were above average for very nearly all of Australia, and in the warmest 10% of historical observations (decile 10) for the southwest of Western Australia, the western half of the Kimberley and adjacent interior, most of the Northern Territory, the western half of South Australia, most of Queensland except some parts of the east and along the southern border, and for northeastern Tasmania. Maximum temperatures were the warmest on record for November for an area of the Northern Territory around the Gulf Coast, extending just into Queensland's Gulf Country. Some stations in the Northern Territory observed their warmest November days on record.

Minimum temperatures were above average for most of Australia, except for an area of the eastern Kimberley and a few other isolated pockets. Night-time temperatures were in the highest 10% of historical observations (decile 10) for most of the remainder of Western Australia, except for part of the northern interior; most of the eastern half of the Northern Territory; most of South Australia, except for an area extending from the southeast to around Oodnadatta; both the western and eastern thirds of New South Wales; East Gippsland and part of northeastern Victoria; nearly all of Tasmania; and the majority of Queensland. An area of southeastern Western Australia observed record-warm minima for the month, as did isolated pockets along the western and northwestern coast of Western Australia.

The first week of the month brought cooler-than-average days across much of the country and generally warmer-than-average nights, as a cold front passed to the south of Australia. Northerly winds ahead of a low pressure centre located over the south of Western Australia brought above-average daytime temperatures to the south coast of Western Australia on the 5th. As the system travelled eastward along the southern coast over the following days, maximum temperatures more than 10 degrees above average were reported on the 9th over the Eyre Peninsula and greater southeast in South Australia, northwestern and southern Victoria, and most of the southern half of Tasmania.

The passage of a high pressure system across the Great Australian Bight on the 10th was followed by a second high, bringing generally warmer-than-average days and nights from the 10th to the 13th. Southern parts of Western Australia experienced a warm spell around mid-month. Northerly air flow on the western flank of the high brought maximum temperatures more than 12 degrees above average to a broad area of the South West Land Division on the 14th. Several large bushfires occurred near Esperance in Western Australia from the 15th, escalating in dangerous fire conditions including wind gusts up to 100 km/h and temperatures exceeding 40 degrees at Esperance on the 17th. A number of sites in the Gascoyne and Goldfields recorded their highest November temperature on record on the 15th or 16th, while a few other sites observed their warmest night on the 13th. The warmth spread eastward across the southern mainland coastline over the following days, with maximum temperature anomalies in excess of 12 degrees observed over areas of the south coast of Western Australia, southern South Australia, western Victoria, and southern New South Wales between the 17th and 20th. Overnight temperatures were generally warm during this period but with smaller anomalies, although some areas did see nights more than 8 or 10 degrees warmer than average.

Days remained warmer than average across northern Australia before another pulse of warmth travelled eastward from southern Western Australia from the 23rd, with widespread maximum temperature anomalies of 8 to 12 degrees over the southeastern mainland extending through most of South Australia on the 25th, and parts of southern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales on the 26th. Nights were also warmer than average, but with smaller anomalies, although a few Western Australian sites observed their warmest November night on the 22nd or 23rd. A strong cool change crossed the southeast on the afternoon of the 25th, seeing a rapid drop in temperatures and a short-lived cold outbreak across much of the southeast and South Australia on the 26th and 27th. A number of serious fires burnt in cropping land north of Adelaide in hot and windy conditions on the 25th, with high temperatures and low humidity followed by the strong cool change creating very challenging conditions for firefighters.

The last days of the month were again warmer than average over most of the country.

Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
(of 106)
Comment Rank
(of 106)
Comment Rank
(of 106)
Australia 102 +1.98 5th highest = 105 +1.74 equal highest (with 1914) 104 +1.86 3rd highest (record +1.88 °C in 2014)
Queensland 104 +2.06 3rd highest (record +2.83 °C in 2014) 105 +1.87 2nd highest (record +2.33 °C in 2014) 105 +1.96 2nd highest (record +2.58 °C in 2014)
New South Wales 91 +2.32 98 +2.12 9th highest = 96 +2.22 equal 10th highest
Victoria 94 +2.09 93 +1.23 96 +1.66
Tasmania 92 +1.05 95 +0.66 94 +0.86
South Australia 95 +2.14 = 101 +1.92 equal 5th highest 100 +2.03 7th highest
Western Australia 103 +1.77 4th highest (record +2.36 °C in 1957) = 105 +1.79 equal highest (with 2006) 105 +1.78 2nd highest (record +2.03 °C in 2006)
Northern Territory 103 +1.98 4th highest (record +2.84 °C in 1990) 99 +1.26 8th highest 103 +1.62 4th highest (record +2.49 °C in 1990)

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
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


November rainfall was near average for Australia as a whole during November, coming in at 4% above the long-term (1961–1990) average. Rainfall was below average for southern Victoria and the lower southeast of South Australia, Tasmania, southwest Western Australia, an area of western Central Australia, the Top End, and other pockets of northern Australia, including scattered areas throughout Queensland. In northern Australia below-average rainfall was largely a result of less seasonal thunderstorm activity than typical for November.

Rainfall was above average for much of Western Australia, excluding areas of the northwest, the interior, and southwest; an area of the western Northern Territory; the eastern half of South Australia and adjacent areas of central Australia, excluding the southeast; most of New South Wales and some areas of southeast Queensland. Area-averaged monthly rainfall was 43% above average for Western Australia, although anomalies away from the eastern border of the State were generally small. Nationally, areas which recorded more than 25 mm above average rainfall were mostly restricted to the east of Western Australia, particularly parts of the northeast, central to eastern New South Wales, and southeastern Queensland.

A broad low pressure trough extending from the northwest through the eastern mainland States produced showers and thunderstorms over large areas of the eastern mainland States at the start of the month as the system drew warm and humid air down from the tropics. Meanwhile, a low pressure centre located on an approaching surface trough connected with the western extension of the trough present over Australia, bringing showers to southern Western Australia.

As the low deepened and tracked towards South Australia, a broad cloudband with embedded thunderstorms developed north of the trough system, extending showers from the Kimberley in the northwest, through central Australia, and into large parts of South Australia. Daily rainfall records for November were set at a large number of stations in the agricultural districts of South Australia for the 24 hours to 9 am on either the 4th or 5th, with daily totals ranging from 30 to 80 mm over large areas. Widespread moderate rainfall occurred across the mainland southeast in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 5th as the trough and low centres tracked eastward. Showers extended along nearly all of the east coast on the following day. Areas of rain continued over northeastern New South Wales and eastern Queensland during the following days.

A cloud mass associated with a weakening cold front brought rainfall to southern areas of Western Australia during the 5th and 6th, with a number of daily rainfall records set for stations in the north of the South West Land Division for the 24 hours to 9 am on either the 6th and 7th. An area of convective cloud with embedded thunderstorms developed over the northwest, with areas of rain recorded over the Kimberley and western Top End during the 48 hours to 9 am on the 8th, and over areas of the eastern interior of Western Australia and adjacent Northern Territory over the following day as the cloud mass extended southward along the path of a broad area of low pressure extending from the northwest to the Great Australian Bight.

Areas of cloud and associated showers developed from the 11th along a broad surface trough extending from the northwest through the Top End and inland areas of the eastern States. Rainfall continued along much of the mainland east coast and areas of northwestern Australia, until around mid-month, with widespread rainfall over southeastern Queensland during the 24 hours to 9 am on the 17th.

A generally dry period followed, between the 18th and 25th as high pressure dominated the weather, although onshore flow resulted in moderate falls in parts of the North Tropical Queensland coast.

A cold front brought rainfall to western Tasmania between the 25th and 27th, with strong and damaging winds over areas of Tasmania and Victoria.

Showers also occurred along a trough extending across northern Australia from the 25th, with generally light rain falling over areas between the Pilbara, Top End, and Queensland's Gulf Country, moderate falls in the western interior of Western Australia and western Top End in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 27th, and in areas between the southern Top End and southeastern Queensland until the end of the month.

Area-average rainfall
(of 116)
from mean
Australia 72 33.8 +4%
Queensland 61 39.3 −14%
New South Wales 92 62.4 +39%
Victoria 46 42.9 −17%
Tasmania 24 71.6 −31%
South Australia 69 18.7 +21%
Western Australia 94 25.3 +43%
Northern Territory 54 33.0 −21%
Murray-Darling Basin 78 48.4 +21%

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
Map of total rainfall Map of percentage of normal rain Map of rainfall deciles

Australian weather extremes during November 2015
Hottest day   46.8 °C at Roebourne Aero (WA) on 15 November
Coldest day   −0.1 °C at Mount Baw Baw (Vic.) on 26 November
Coldest night   −5.6 °C at Dinner Plain (Mount Hotham Airport) (Vic.) on 27 November
Warmest night   33.2 °C at Telfer Aero (WA) on 23 November
Wettest day 127.0 mm at Marodian TM (Qld.) on 15 November


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 10 am EST on Tuesday 1 December 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 August 2009; the main effect was that current and historical values for Tasmania were increased. Since August 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.

Further information

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