Western Australia in January: Second hottest on record

  • Second highest mean temperature for WA.
  • Third highest mean maximum temperature for WA.
  • Second highest mean minimum temperature for WA.
  • Average rainfall for WA, below average for lower southwest.

Rainfall

January rainfall was near average across much of WA from the Kimberley to the Eucla, whilst the western parts of the Southwest Land Division (SWLD) and parts of the adjacent southern Gascoyne, inland Pilbara,Goldfields and southeast Interior saw below to very much below average rainfall. Averaged across the state, the rainfall for January 2010 was near average (see January rainfall decile map).

Monsoon bursts in the first half of January and Tropical Cyclone Magda on the 22nd and 23rd produced widespread moderate to heavy rainfall in the Kimberley. Persistent strong high pressure systems south of the state prevented any meaningful rainfall in the western SWLD. For some locations in the Lower West district, January was the continuation of the dry spell stretching from late November last year. There were 72 rainless days for Perth city, the second longest dry spell on record (check the Perth Monthly Climate Summary for January for more detail).

Some sites had their highest January daily rainfall on record.

Temperature

The first month of 2010 is ranked as the second warmest January on record in terms of mean temperature (note: daily mean temperature is the average of daily maximum temperature and daily minimum temperature). The average mean temperature for WA was 29.9C, which is 1.2C above the long term average of 28.7C.

Maximum temperature

Above to very much above average maximum temperatures were recorded across large areas of WA, including parts of Pilbara, inland Gascoyne, much of the SWLD, Goldfields and Eucla, with up to 4°C warmer than normal maxima in the inland Gascoyne, Central Wheatbelt, and eastern Eucla (see January maximum temperature anomaly map). When averaged over the whole state, it was the third hottest January on record.

Several January temperature records were broken in the southern Pilbara on the first two days of January. Many sites in eastern parts of the SWLD experienced their hottest January day as well as hottest ever day on record. Hopetoun North in the Southeast Coastal district recorded a maximum temperature of 48.0°C, which was the second hottest ever January day on record for the South West Land Division.

Some sites had their highest January temperature on record. Some sites had their coldest January day (lowest maximum temperature) on record. Some sites had their highest January mean daily maximum temperature on record.

Minimum temperature

The pattern of mean minimum temperatures in January 2010 was comparable to that of mean maximum temperatures, as large areas of WA saw above to very much above average minima, including Pilbara, inland Gascoyne, much of the SWLD, Goldfields and Eucla, with up to 3°C above average minima in the northern Goldfields and eastern Eucla (see January minimum temperature anomaly map). When averaged over the whole state, it was the second hottest January on record.

Some sites had their warmest January night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record. Some sites had their highest January mean daily minimum temperature on record.

Further information

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Extremes in January 2010
Hottest day 49.2 °C at Onslow on the 1st
Warmest days on average 43.3 °C at Paraburdoo Aero
Coolest days on average 22.7 °C at Windy Harbour
Coldest day 16.4 °C at Rocky Gully on the 20th
Coldest night 4.1 °C at Eyre on the 3rd & 14th
Coolest nights on average 11.8 °C at Rocky Gully
Warmest nights on average 27.4 °C at Paraburdoo Aero
Warmest night 34.6 °C at Paraburdoo Aero on the 2nd
Wettest overall 387.0 mm at Kununurra Checkpoint
Wettest day 142.0 mm at Camballin on the 23rd
Highest wind gust 124 km/h at Wyndham Aero on the 31st

Record highest January daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in January 2010 (mm)
Previous highest
for January
Years of
record
Moola Bulla 139.0 on the 11th 136.5 on the 30th in 1993 95



Record highest January temperature
Highest temperature
in January 2010 (°C)
Previous highest
for January
Years of
record
Average for
January
Mardie 49.0 on the 1st 48.9 on the 4th in 1963 54 38.0
Ravensthorpe 45.4 on the 6th 45.0 on the 3rd in 1997 49 28.9
Esperance 46.9 on the 6th 44.7 on the 22nd in 1990 41 26.1
Emu Creek Station 49.1 on the 2nd 49.0 on the 10th in 2009 38 41.3
Eneabba 47.3 on the 18th 47.0 on the 31st in 1991 37 36.0
Hyden 47.0 on the 9th 46.4 on the 3rd in 2008 36 33.5
Learmonth Airport 48.9 on the 2nd 48.2 on the 21st in 2003 35 38.1



Record highest January mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for January 2010 (°C)
Previous highest
for January
Years of
record
Average for
January
Eucla 30.1 30.0 in 1985 74 25.8
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport 36.6 36.1 in 1993 68 33.6
Bencubbin 37.6 37.0 in 1993 56 34.5
Dalwallinu Comparison 37.8 37.5 in 1980 53 35.2
Eyre 30.7 29.2 in 2007 50 26.3
Merredin 37.4 36.1 in 2009 44 33.7
Wongan Hills 37.7 36.9 in 2009 42 34.5
Narembeen 37.0 36.7 in 1993 41 33.9
Beverley 36.9 36.4 in 1997 39 34.1
Pingelly 34.3 34.0 in 2009 38 31.7
Hyden 36.6 36.3 in 1993 35 33.5
Wagin 32.9 32.8 in 1997 35 30.9

Record highest January daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in January 2010 (°C)
Previous highest
for January
Years of
record
Average for
January
Balladonia 27.8 on the 10th 24.9 on the 14th in 1999 45 14.6





Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Western 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.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Monday 1 February 2010. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages are long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 30 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average rain.

The Rank indicates how rainfall this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low rainfall is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of average shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries