Australia in August 2014

In Brief

Maximum temperatures during August were warmer than average across the southwestern half of Western Australia through to Victoria and Tasmania. Maxima were cooler than average for most on inland northern Australia. Minimum temperatures were warmer than average for the west of Western Australia and the east coast from central Queensland to the Illawarra District of New South Wales. Minima were cooler than average for the Northern Territory and northwestern Western Australia through to southern New South Wales and northern and western Victoria. The national maximum temperature anomaly of +0.63 °C and minimum temperature anomaly of −0.50 °C combined to give a mean temperature anomaly of +0.06 °C.

August rainfall was above average for the east coast of Australia from far eastern Victoria north across northern New South Wales and adjacent border regions of South Australia, across most of Queensland and in an area south of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Rainfall for the month was below average for Tasmania and from southern New South Wales and Victoria through to central Australia and across most of Western Australia. For Australia as a whole, rainfall was 22% below average for August.


Temperatures

August was a mixed month for Australia; particularly warm in the west, cool through the north and centre and warm for the southeast during the days but cool at night while on the east coast nights were warm. The national area-averaged maximum temperature anomaly was +0.89 °C and the minimum temperature anomaly −0.50 °C.

Maximum temperatures during August were above average for the southern half of Western Australia and highest on record for a region along the west coast (representing 15% of the State). Maxima were also warm for west coast South Australia, the far coastal north of Australia, across the southeast of South Australia, most of Victoria and southern inland New South Wales. In Tasmania maxima were in the highest 10% of records for August (decile 10). For Tasmania it was the fourth-warmest August on record in terms of maximum temperatures, and the fifth-warmest for Western Australia. Daytime temperatures were cooler than average for much of inland northern Australia extending from the Kimberley, through the Northern Territory south of the Top End, and into western Queensland. For an area of the central Northern Territory days were in the coolest 10% of records (decile 1) thanks to a strong sub-tropical ridge and persistent strong high pressure systems over the Great Australian Bight directing cool southerly breezes over much of the Territory.

Minimum temperatures were warm in the west and far east and cool through the centre. Below-average minima were recorded in the northeast of Western Australia, through most of the Northern Territory and South Australia, southern New South Wales and northern and western Victoria. Lowest-on-record minima were recorded in a broad region spanning the lower Eyre Peninsula and Flinders Ranges in South Australia, Victoria's Mallee and adjacent border regions of New South Wales. In total, minimum temperatures were lowest on record for 4% of Australia, including 18% of Victoria and 15% of South Australia. For the Northern Territory as a whole August nights were the fourth-coolest on record, for an area-averaged anomaly of −2.55 °C.

Minimum temperatures were above average along the east coast from around Rockhampton in Queensland to just south of Wollongong in New South Wales as well as smaller areas of inland and far northern Queensland. Minima were also warmer than average in Western Australia from the coastal Pilbara to the Southeast Coastal District, with an area of warmest-on-record minimum temperatures recorded on the west coast (representing six and a half per cent of the State).


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 79 +0.63 36 −0.50 60 +0.06
Queensland = 37 −0.40 66 +0.24 57 −0.08
New South Wales 76 +0.81 55 +0.01 68 +0.41
Victoria = 81 +0.86 10 −1.26 10th lowest; lowest since 1994 = 48 −0.20
Tasmania 102 +1.44 4th highest (record +1.77 °C in 1982) = 27 −0.44 = 82 +0.50
South Australia 76 +1.03 13 −0.99 44 +0.02
Western Australia 101 +2.21 5th highest = 61 +0.15 96 +1.18 10th highest
Northern Territory 17 −1.51 4 −2.55 4th lowest (record +2.76 °C in 1945) 4 −2.03 4th lowest (record +3.01 °C in 2009)

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 August was 22% below the long-term mean. Most of Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and southern New South Wales inland of the Great Dividing Range recorded below-average monthly rainfall. Conversely, August rainfall was very much above average along the coast of New South Wales and southeastern Queensland and above to very much above average more broadly across northern New South Wales, adjacent parts of South Australia, most of Queensland and in an area south of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Much of the rain along the east coast fell in two events, one just after mid-month and another in the last week of the month. Despite numerous stations in the coastal band receiving near their average monthly total for August in either or both of the events, a lack of significant rain over the rest of the month meant that August rainfall has had only moderate impact on long-term rainfall deficiencies across eastern Australia. Queensland recorded the largest positive departure from mean rainfall at 51% above average.

The Northern Territory recorded the largest anomaly at 87% below average, although it is typically a dry part of the year there. Western Australia and South Australia recorded the next largest departure, both at 61% below average (Western Australia's sixth-driest August). For Tasmania it was the ninth-driest August and for southern coastal Australia as a whole it was the direst August on record outside of an El Niño year. The area of below-average rainfall on the inland side of the Great Dividing Range is particularly significant are this region represents the area over which more than half the typical total inflows into the Murray system are derived.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 115)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 44 14.6 −22%
Queensland 98 20.5 +51%
New South Wales 98 50.1 +33%
Victoria 13 31.6 −57%
Tasmania 9 83.0 −45% 9th lowest; lowest since 1998
South Australia 15 7.1 −61%
Western Australia 6 6.0 −61% 6th lowest; lowest since 1995
Northern Territory = 50 0.6 −87%
Murray-Darling Basin 53 32.3 −15%

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 August 2014
Hottest day   36.3 °C at Wyndham Aero (WA) on 2 August
Coldest day   −5.7 °C at Thredbo AWS (NSW) on 1 August
Coldest night −13.0 °C at Perisher Valley AWS (NSW) on 3 August
Warmest night   25.0 °C at Troughton Island (WA) on 4 August
Wettest day 181.4 mm at Beaumont (The Cedars) (NSW) on 18 August


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 1 September 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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