Australia in October 2014

In Brief

October was a very warm, and generally dry, month for Australia. Maximum temperatures during October were warmer than average across nearly the entire continent and highest on record across parts of the southern mainland. All States and the Northern Territory, except Tasmania, observed monthly maxima in the top ten records for October. Minimum temperatures were cooler than average for large parts of northern Australia, especially in the Top End, and warmer than average elsewhere; with a large area of southeastern Western Australia recording its warmest October monthly minima. The national maximum temperature anomaly of +2.76 °C was the highest on record for October (previous record +2.63 °C in 1988), while minimum temperatures were the eighth-warmest on record at 1.06 °C warmer than average. This yielded Australia's second-warmest October on record in terms of mean temperatures, with an anomaly of +2.13 °C.

Rainfall was below average over all mainland States except Western Australia and also below average for parts of Tasmania. Nationally, it was the seventh-driest October on record (area-averaged rainfall 59% below mean). It was especially dry across South Australia, which recorded its driest October on record, while large areas of central Australia and the southeastern mainland recorded October rainfall in the lowest 10% of records.


Temperatures

After commencing with temperatures generally near average, October developed into an unusually warm month with well-above-average temperatures recorded across nearly all of Australia, except for parts of the far north. The warmth was notable more for the area of Australia affected and the persistence of above-average temperatures rather than for absolute values, although a number of records were set during the month for individual daily temperature records for the month of October, monthly temperatures, earliest warm days, runs of warm days and the warmest October day on record for Australia as a whole. Please see the individual regional summaries for tables of station records.

Maximum temperatures for October were very much warmer than average across all of Australia, except for the north and central coast of Queensland where maxima were near-average. For 81% of Australia maxima were in the highest 10% of records (decile 1), with 23% of Australia recording its warmest October days since at least 1911. October maxima were the warmest on record for Australia nationally (+2.76 °C), highest on record for New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, second-highest on record for Victoria and the Northern Territory, and seventh-highest on record for Queensland.

Minimum temperatures were below average for the eastern Kimberley in Western Australia and the Victoria River district of the Northern Territory, and also along the coast from the Top End through far northern Queensland to the Capricornia coast. Minima were in the lowest 10% of record for the Top End and areas of and the central coast of Queensland north and inland of Rockhampton. Minima were above average across the remainder of Western Australia, South Australia, southern and western Queensland, most of Tasmania, and the remaining mainland southeast, except for an area inland of the Great Dividing Range where temperatures were near-average. Minima were in decile 1 to highest on record for 38% of Australia, primarily in Western Australia south of the Kimberley, western South Australia and southern Victoria. Western Australia recorded the largest departure from mean with nights on average 2.05 °C warmer than average for their warmest October on record. Minimum temperatures were the third-warmest on record for October for South Australia.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 105)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 105)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 105)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia 105 +2.76 highest (was +2.63 °C in 1988) 98 +1.06 8th highest 104 +1.91 2nd highest (record +2.13 °C in 1988)
Queensland 99 +1.77 7th highest = 72 +0.34 94 +1.05
New South Wales 105 +4.03 highest (was +3.36 °C in 2006) 90 +1.09 105 +2.56 highest (was +2.28 °C in 2006)
Victoria 104 +3.38 2nd highest (record +4.98 °C in 1914) 89 +0.58 104 +1.98 2nd highest (record +2.98 °C in 1914)
Tasmania 82 +0.59 = 88 +0.45 92 +0.52
South Australia 105 +4.13 highest (was +3.23 °C in 1988) 103 +1.47 3rd highest (record +1.92 °C in 1940) 105 +2.80 highest (was +2.38 °C in 1940)
Western Australia 105 +2.87 highest (was +2.47 °C in 2004) 105 +2.05 highest (was +1.92 °C in 1991) 105 +2.46 highest (was +2.14 °C in 2004)
Northern Territory 104 +2.02 2nd highest (record +2.58 °C in 1988) = 56 −0.09 89 +0.96

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 105 (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 October was 59% below the long-term mean for Australia's seventh-driest October on record. Western Australia was the only State to record a positive anomaly; 7% above mean area-averaged rainfall for October. The Northern Territory and South Australia recorded the largest anomalies at 94% and 92% below average respectively. It was South Australia's driest October on record, the Northern Territory's fourth-driest and Queensland's ninth-driest. Rainfall was below-average across the eastern mainland States, the Northern Territory, South Australia, areas of Western Australia along the eastern border and the coast of the South West Land Division, and also in parts of eastern and northwestern Tasmania. Rainfall was in the lowest 10% of records (decile 1) for most of the Top End, central Australia, southern and eastern South Australia, the west of both Victoria and New South Wales, extending along northern New South Wales into southeastern Queensland. In total, October rainfall over 32% of Australia was in decile 1, with small areas of lowest-on-record October rainfall. Please see the individual regional summaries for tables of records.

October rainfall was above average for large parts of Western Australia away from the west coast and eastern border. Some parts of the interior recorded more than twice their monthly average rainfall for October with 19% of Western Australia recording rainfall totals in the highest 10% of records for October.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 115)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 7 9.6 −59% 7th lowest; lowest since 2002
Queensland 9 6.0 −77% 9th lowest
New South Wales 12 15.3 −66%
Victoria 12 27.7 −57%
Tasmania 52 115.3 −7%
South Australia 1 1.5 −92% lowest
Western Australia 78 13.6 +7%
Northern Territory 4 1.1 −94% 4th lowest (record 0.8 mm in 1946)
Murray-Darling Basin 8 12.1 −70% 8th lowest

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 115 (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 October 2014
Hottest day   45.2 °C at Bidyadanga on 9 October (WA)
Coldest day   −0.1 °C at Mount Baw Baw (Vic.) on 1 October
Coldest night   −5.9 °C at Thredbo AWS (NSW) on 1 October
Warmest night   30.3 °C at Telfer Aero (WA) on 31 October
Wettest day  146.8 mm at Ulladulla AWS (Vic.) on 15 October


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 pm EST on Monday 3 November 2014. 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 December 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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