Australia in October 2020

In brief

  • Daytime temperatures during October were warmer than average for most of the west, north, and east of the mainland; with the national mean maximum temperature warmer than average overall
  • Mean minimum temperatures were above to very much above average across most of Australia; with the national mean minimum temperature well above average overall
  • Rainfall was above average for Australia overall, despite below to very much below average rainfall in south-west Western Australia

Temperatures

The national mean temperature for October was above average for Australia as a whole, at 1.05 °C warmer than average.

Both mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures were above average for October at 0.92 °C and 1.18 °C above average, respectively.

For Victoria, the mean minimum temperature for the month was the third highest on record for October. No other state nor the Northern Territory placed amongst the ten warmest on record for either mean maximum or mean minimum October temperatures.

Maximum temperatures for October were above or very much above average across much of Western Australia, the far northern tropics, and most of the eastern halves of both Queensland and New South Wales, extending into parts of bordering Victoria.

The mean minimum temperature for the month was above or very much above average for most of Australia, although much of Central Australia, parts of north-west Western Australia, the south-western half of Tasmania, and some pockets of east coast Queensland were close to average. A few sites in New South Wales had their highest October mean daily minimum temperature on record for October.

A small pocket on the coast of the western Kimberley in Western Australia observed a cooler than average mean minimum temperature for the month. Some stations in the north had record low October daily maximum temperatures, while others scattered across the state had their coolest October night on record.

A large number of stations in South Australia and a few in the Northern Territory observed record low October daily maximum temperatures during the first week of the month, but some also recorded their highest October daily minimum temperature on record on the 3rd.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 111)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 111)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 111)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia 87 +0.92 99 +1.18 97 +1.05
Queensland 84 +1.00 100 +1.28 94 +1.14
New South Wales 81 +1.31 99 +1.45 90 +1.38
Victoria 73 +0.60 109 +1.62 3rd highest (record +2.45 °C in 2015) 93 +1.11
Tasmania 45 −0.32 89 +0.38 63 +0.03
South Australia 56 +0.05 94 +1.15 = 81 +0.60
Western Australia 95 +1.46 95 +0.97 = 94 +1.22
Northern Territory 69 +0.31 100 +1.27 87 +0.79

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 111 (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

October rainfall was 35% above average for Australia as a whole.

Rainfall for the month was above average across much of the country, and very much above average (decile 10) for October in large parts of South Australia, and areas of the Northern Territory, south-west New South Wales, eastern Victoria and New South Wales, and the east coast of Tasmania.

Rainfall was below to very much below average for the south-west of Western Australia. A large number of stations had their lowest October total rainfall on record, or lowest for at least 20 years. Rainfall for the month was also below average for an area of the Warrego and Maranoa in Queensland.

A cold front extending from the Tasman Sea south-east of Tasmania to the eastern interior of Western Australia brought a wet start to the month for much of south-eastern Australia. The southern end of the front stalled near Tasmania on the 4th and the 5th as the northern part tracked across the southern mainland during that and the following day. An inland low pressure system developed over Victoria on the following day, also bringing moderate to heavy rainfall in parts of the state, while tropical moisture flowed south along an inland trough extending from the low in Victoria to another in the Top End of the Northern Territory with associated rainfall along the path of the trough.

Between the 4th and the 9th a large number of stations in Tasmania, Victoria, the Northern Territory, and South Australia observed daily rainfall records for October, with some stations in each state observing their wettest October overall.

The month also had a wet end in the southeast of Australia as cold fronts and troughs combined with moist, warm air and brought stormy weather, including some severe thunderstorms and heavy rain. A large number of stations on the central and mid-north coast of New South Wales had their wettest October day on record during the last week of the month, while a large number of stations in the state also had either their highest October total rainfall on record, or highest for at least 20 years.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 121)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 96 31.5 +35%
Queensland 77 27.3 +6%
New South Wales 102 65.0 +35%
Victoria 99 86.7 +34%
Tasmania 89 146.2 +23%
South Australia 113 39.9 +120% 9th highest
Western Australia 60 9.3 −20%
Northern Territory 105 36.7 +96%
Murray-Darling Basin 91 54.6 +26%

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 121 (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 2020
Hottest day 43.6 °C    at Roebourne Aero (WA) on the 14th
Coldest day −0.1 °C    at both Thredbo AWS (NSW) on the 26th
and at Mount Baw Baw (Vic.) on the 25th
Coldest night −5.5 °C    at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) (Tas.) on the 25th
Warmest night 30.1 °C    at Bradshaw - Angallari Valley (Defence) (NT) on the 10th
Wettest day 209.8 mm at Smiths Lake (Patsys Flat Road) (NSW) on the 27th


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 10 am EST on Monday 2 November 2020. 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.


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