Australia in August 2019

In brief

  • Warmer than average August for Australia
  • Mean maximum temperature above average for much of the west, east, and north of the country
  • Mean minimum temperature below average for large areas, particularly the southeastern mainland and Central Australia
  • August rainfall below to very much below average for very large areas, including most of New South Wales, southern Queensland, northern and far eastern Victoria, South Australia, the southern half of the Northern Territory, and a large part of the west of Western Australia
  • Rainfall only above average for small areas; including western Tasmania, parts of northern Queensland and the Gulf Coast
  • It has been the second-warmest January–August on record for Australia (spanning 110 years), with rainfall also below to very much below average over most of the country, and fifth-lowest on record for Australia as a whole (spanning 120 years)

Temperatures

August was warmer than average for Australia as a whole, with the national mean temperature 0.26 °C above average. The mean maximum temperature for the month was warmer than average for August, at +0.75 °C, while the mean minimum temperature was cooler than average, at −0.23 °C.

No State nor the Northern Territory placed amongst the ten warmest on record for either August mean maximum temperature, or August mean minimum temperature.

The eight months of the year to date has been very warm for the country as a whole; Australia observed its second-warmest mean temperature on record for January–August. The mean maximum and mean minimum temperature have also been very warm; respectively they were the highest and equal-sixth-highest on record for Australia over the same period.

Maximum temperatures for August were above to very much above average for most of Western Australia except the northern interior and inland northeast; the Top End in the Northern Territory; parts of Queensland's Peninsula, and from the Central Coast to southeast and central southern Queensland; and the northeastern half of Nww South Wales. The mean maximum temperature for the month was very much above average (decile 10, in the highest 10% of historical observations) along the west coast of Western Australia and the western Kimberley, a pocket of the central Top End coast, and for northeastern New South Wales, extending into adjacent southeast Queensland.

Daytime temperatures were cooler than average for most of western and central Victoria, extending into far southeastern South Australia and just across the New South Wales border in the Riverina. Mean maxima for the month were also cooler than average in areas of the central and southeastern Northern Territory and adjacent western Queensland.

The mean minimum temperature for the month was cooler than average for large parts of Australia, including northern Victoria; most of New South Wales away from the coast and the northeast; northern Tasmania; the eastern half of South Australia away from the far southeastern coast; most of the southern half of the Northern Territory, extending into adjacent western Queensland and the northern Interior of Western Australia; much of the northern and western Kimberley; and small pockets of the northern Northern Territory and south coast of Western Australia.

Warmer than average mean minimum temperatures were observed in much of the Pilbara in Western Australia, extending into southern inland regions, around the Gulf Coast and parts of Queensland's Cape York Peninsula, and a pocket of Queensland's Central Highlands.

A very warm day late in the month was observed in Western Australia under the influence of warm northeasterly winds. Many sites in the west of the South West Land Division observed record-high daily temperatures for August or for winter on the 28th.

Conversely, several sites in northern and central Victoria and a few in New South Wales observed their lowest monthly mean minimum, monthly mean maximum, or monthly mean temperature for August, or for at least 20 years.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 110)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 110)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 110)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia = 84 +0.75 51 −0.23 = 71 +0.26
Queensland 74 +0.69 = 70 +0.24 76 +0.47
New South Wales = 88 +1.09 35 −0.55 = 65 +0.27
Victoria = 37 −0.36 42 −0.53 31 −0.44
Tasmania 62 +0.06 = 27 −0.52 = 40 −0.22
South Australia = 61 +0.37 20 −1.08 34 −0.35
Western Australia 96 +1.52 65 +0.23 93 +0.88
Northern Territory = 52 −0.35 = 34 −0.80 43 −0.57

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 110 (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, August rainfall was very much below average, ranking sixth-driest out of 120 Augusts. Rainfall for the month was the fifth-lowest on record for August for New South Wales, and the eighth-lowest on record for August for the Murray-Darling Basin as a whole.

Rainfall was below to very much below average across nearly all of New South Wales, extending into much of southern and western Queensland, northern and far eastern Victoria, and nearly all of South Australia. Rainfall for the month was also below average for the southern half of the Norther Territory. However, much of northern and Central Australia typically receives very little rainfall at this time of year.

Some sites in New South Wales, and Western Australia had their lowest August total rainfall on record, or for at least 20 years.

Rainfall for August was above average for parts of western and southern Tasmania, a small area of Victoria focused on South Gippsland, and areas of Queensland's northern Peninsula and around the Gulf Coast, including the eastern Top End, and of the western Top End and Tiwi Islands.

For the year to date (January–August), rainfall has been below to very much below average over much of Australia. For Australia as a whole, it was the fifth-driest January–August on record, and amongst the ten driest on record for New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 120)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 6 8.6 −54% 6th lowest; lowest since 2006
Queensland 17 2.8 −80%
New South Wales 5 8.5 −77% 5th lowest; lowest since 1995
Victoria 28 52.5 −29%
Tasmania 55 147.0 −3%
South Australia 12 6.2 −66%
Western Australia 27 10.5 −31%
Northern Territory 17 0.0 −99%
Murray-Darling Basin 8 11.0 −71% 8th lowest; lowest since 2006

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 120 (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 August 2019
Hottest day 37.9 °C    at Kalumburu (WA) on the 19th
Coldest day −5.0 °C    at Thredbo AWS (NSW) on the 10th
Coldest night −12.0 °C    at Perisher Valley AWS (NSW) on the 30th
Warmest night 24.8 °C    at Charles Point and Mount Bundey South (Defence) (both NT) on the 19th
Wettest day 81.2 mm at Mount Read (Tas.) on the 20th


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 pm EST on Monday 2 September 2019. 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.


Further information

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