Australia in July 2017

In brief

  • Record warmth in northern Australia, dry in much of the south
  • Warmest July maximum temperatures on record nationally, and for Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia
  • Minimum temperatures warm in the north, but a frosty month in the southeast and Tasmania
  • Dry in southern mainland Australia away from the south coast; near average rainfall in southern coastal areas and in Tasmania
  • Above-average rains in parts of the northern interior

Temperatures

Daytime temperatures during July were above to very much above average over almost all of mainland Australia. The mean maximum temperature for Australia as a whole was clearly the highest on record for July, at 2.62 °C above average, 0.66 °C above the previous record set in 1975.

The warmth was especially pronounced in the northern half of Australia. Average maximum temperatures were the highest on record for July over large parts of Queensland, Northern Territory and the northern half of Western Australia, with all three regions recording their warmest July days on record as a whole. Queensland and the Northern Territory also had their highest monthly mean temperatures on record for July. Most of tropical Australia, except for Cape York Peninsula and the east coast of Queensland, had average maximum temperatures at least 2 °C above average, reaching 4 °C above average in parts of western Queensland and the southern Northern Territory. Records were set at numerous long-term stations in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Maximum temperatures were not as far above average in the southern half of mainland Australia, but were still at least 1 °C above average almost everywhere except for southwestern Western Australia, and most of Victoria away from the northwest. They were 2 °C to 3 °C above average over most of inland New South Wales and northern South Australia, with both States narrowly missing out on their warmest July on record. Records were set locally along the northern borders of both States, and in the Hunter and Central West regions of New South Wales. The only mainland region where maximum temperatures were slightly below average was in the far south of Western Australia. Maximum temperatures in Tasmania were close to average.

The warmth in Queensland and the Northern Territory was marked by consistently above average temperatures rather than individual extreme events. However, an episode late in the month saw July record high temperatures set at various locations in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

Minimum temperatures nationally were 1.00 °C above average, the equal 13th highest value on record (although lower than 2016). The warmth was largely concentrated in Queensland and the Northern Territory. Large parts of both States, except near southern borders, were at least 2 °C above average, locally reaching 4 °C above average in the central west and northwest of Queensland, and the Victoria River District of the Northern Territory, although records for warm minimum temperatures were only set in a few places.

In contrast, minimum temperatures were generally below average in the southeast quarter of the mainland, and in Tasmania, reaching 1 °C to 2 °C below average in a belt stretching from northwest to southeast across New South Wales and the ACT. The first half of July was especially frosty, with a number of stations in southern New South Wales and Victoria having their coldest nights on record in the month's first few days, but conditions moderated somewhat later in the month. In South Australia minimum temperatures were generally close to average, whilst in Western Australia it was a mixed bag, with above-average minimum temperatures in the Kimberley and in an area centred on Perth, but below average in the Gascoyne, west Pilbara and the State's southeast.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 108)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 108)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 108)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia 108 +2.62 Highest on record; previous record +1.96 (1975) =95 +1.00 106 +1.81 3rd highest; highest since 1975
Queensland 108 +3.03 Highest on record; previous record +2.42 (1915) 99 +2.27 10th highest 108 +2.65 Highest on record; previous record +2.56 (1993)
New South Wales =106 +2.28 Equal 2nd highest; highest since 2002 34 −0.44 Lowest since 2002 94 +0.92
Victoria 103 +1.14 6th highest 32 −0.38 76 +0.38
Tasmania =48 −0.11 =20 −0.59 =29 −0.34
South Australia 106 +2.65 3rd highest; highest since 2002 66 +0.38 106 +1.52 3rd highest; highest since 1975
Western Australia 108 +2.32 Highest on record; previous record +2.11 (2002) =71 +0.38 104 +1.35 5th highest
Northern Territory 108 +3.24 Highest on record; previous record +2.60 (1975) 102 +2.22 7th highest 108 +2.73 Highest on record; previous record +2.57 (1975)

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 108 (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

Rainfall in July was below average over most of the southern half of mainland Australia away from the southern coastal fringe, although most areas were less dry than they had been in June. Southern coastal areas, and Tasmania, mostly saw near-average rainfall for the month, whilst parts of the northern interior were wetter than average, especially in the central third of the Northern Territory and northwestern Queensland.

Dry conditions persisted over most of New South Wales, with the State having its driest July since 2002. Unlike June, the dry conditions in July extended to the coast, and were in general most significant in the State's east, with rainfall 80% or more below average over most of the coast and adjacent ranges. These dry conditions also extended to East Gippsland in Victoria, and parts of the east coast of Tasmania. Seasonally dry conditions extended further south than usual in both South Australia and Western Australia, with little or no rain north of Port Augusta in South Australia, or north of Laverton and Carnarvon in Western Australia.

Rainfall was close to average over most southern coastal areas, including southwest Western Australia from the Perth area southwards, most of the agricultural areas of South Australia, and the southwest quarter of Victoria. It was also close to average over, and on the northwest side of, the Great Dividing Range in Victoria and far southern New South Wales, and in most of Tasmania away from the east coast. However, most of these areas had experienced a very dry June, and rainfall for the winter to date remains well below average across most of these regions and across much of southern Australia more generally.

An event during the second week of July brought out-of-season rains to parts of interior northern Australia, particularly the middle third of the Northern Territory. This event was sufficient to lift monthly totals well above average in that region. Above-average rainfall also extended to northwest Queensland, although totals there were mostly light (less than 25 millimetres). Most other tropical areas were seasonally dry, whilst southern Queensland had near-average rainfall.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 118)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 20 13.5 −39%
Queensland 58 11.3 −41%
New South Wales 8 11.5 −71% 8th lowest; lowest since 2002
Victoria 34 51.4 −27%
Tasmania 48 139.0 −13%
South Australia 21 9.4 −50%
Western Australia 13 10.1 −50%
Northern Territory 105 14.7 +113%
Murray-Darling Basin 17 18.4 −54%

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 118 (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 2017
Hottest day 36.3 °C    at Bidyadanga (WA) on the 27th
Coldest day −4.1 °C    at Thredbo AWS (NSW) on the 20th
Coldest night −12.1 °C    at Perisher Valley AWS (NSW) on the 16th
Warmest night 25.7 °C    at McCluer Island (NT) on the 5th
Wettest day 71.6 mm at Bingil Bay (Qld) on the 3rd


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 1 pm EST on Tuesday 1 August 2017. 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 October 2009; the main effect was that current and historical values for Tasmania were increased. Since October 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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