Western Australia in May 2010: North wet and warm, but dry and cool in southwest

  • Above average rainfall for WA, but below average for southwest WA
  • Near average mean maximum temperature for WA
  • Near average mean minimum temperature for WA but below average for the southwest

Rainfall

The Kimberley, adjacent northern Interior and inland Pilbara experienced an unseasonally wet May, whilst most of the Southeast Coastal district also registered above to very much above average rainfall. A few sites in the Kimberley and one in the Southeast Coastal registered their wettest May on record. Rainfall totals for May were below to very much below average in some western and northern parts of the Southwest Land Division (SWLD), as well as in parts of the west Pilbara, Gascoyne, Goldfields and Eucla. Averaged across the state, the rainfall for May 2010 was near average (see May rainfall totals & decile maps).

An active monsoon trough helped produce moderate to heavy rainfall in the Kimberley district in the second half of May. Sites in the west Kimberley recorded daily rainfall totals over 100 mm to 9am on the 16th, and Napier Downs and Derby recorded their highest daily rainfall for May on record. The highest daily rainfall in WA for May 2010 of 215.6 mm on the 19th at Cape Leveque was its wettest day for any month for 61 years, since the 286.5 mm on the 25th May 1949, and also the wettest May day for WA for 11 years, since the 224.4 mm at Barrow Island Airport on the 13th May 1999.

In the south, the passage of a cold front and an associated severe thunderstorm brought very heavy rainfall to sites in the eastern Great Southern and western Southeast Coastal districts. Newdegate Research Station recorded 84.0 mm in the 24 hours to 9am on the 14th, with 82 mm falling in only 3 hours, an event having an annual exceedence probability of less than 1%. A wind gust to 91 km/h was also recorded at the research station in the afternoon as a result of the severe storm.

A low pressure system brought the opening season rainfall to most of the SWLD on the 22nd and 23rd May, with rainfall of generally 40 to 50 mm in western parts to 10 to 20 mm further inland, which for many Central Wheat Belt farms was the best break of season rainfall for 5 years.

Some sites had their highest May daily rainfall on record. Some sites had their highest May rainfall on record.

Maximum temperature

Above to very much above average mean maximum temperatures were recorded in the Pilbara, inland Gascoyne and Eucla, with pockets of up to 3 °C above normal mean maxima in the Pilbara. Below average mean maximum temperatures were recorded in the north and east Kimberley and the adjacent northern Interior, where up to 2 °C cooler than normal maxima occurred in the east Kimberley (see May maximum temperature decile & anomaly maps). When averaged over the whole state, May 2010 was near average for maximum temperature.

During the first week of May, northwest WA experienced exceptionally hot days for May. Roebourne in the Pilbara recorded a maximum temperature of 39.0 °C on the 4th, which was its second highest daily maximum temperature for May in 52 years of record. Carnarvon Airport in the Gascoyne registered three consecutive days with daily maximum temperatures over 35 °C (36.9 °C on the 5th, 37.1 °C on the 6th and 35.3 °C on the 7th ), which was its equal longest hot spell for May in 63 years of record. The daily maximum temperature of 37.1 °C on the 6th set a new highest temperature record for May for Carnarvon Airport. Onslow Airport also recorded its highest May temperature in 45 years of record with 38.4 °C on the 1st.

Some sites had their highest May temperature on record.

Minimum temperature

Above to very much above average mean minimum temperatures were recorded in the Kimberley and adjacent parts of the Pilbara and northern Interior, as well as the Eucla and adjacent Goldfields and southern Interior. Up to 5 °C above normal mean minima occurred in the inland plateau of the Kimberley (see May minimum temperature decile &anomaly maps). Western parts of WA saw below to very much below average mean minima, with up to 2 °C below normal mean minima in the Lower West and parts of neighbouring districts, as well as in the southeast Pilbara and northeast Gascoyne. When averaged over the whole state, the mean minimum for May 2010 was near average, however southwest WA was below average.

Troughton Island in the far north Kimberley recorded 21 days with minima over 26.0 °C in May, setting the highest mean minimum for the state of 26.7°C. Warmun in the east Kimberley registered its highest May mean daily minimum with 21.0 °C.

Some sites had their highest May mean minimum temperature on record.

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Extremes in May 2010
Hottest day 39.0 °C at Bidyadanga on the 4th
39.0 °C at Roebourne on the 4th
Warmest days on average 33.5 °C at Bidyadanga
Coolest days on average 17.6 °C at Shannon
Coldest day 11.1 °C at Katanning on the 13th
Coldest night -1.7 °C at Eyre on the 30th
Coolest nights on average 4.5 °C at Wandering
Warmest nights on average 26.7 °C at Troughton Island
23.4°C at Truscott (mainland)
Warmest night 28.6 °C at Troughton Island on the 5th & 6th
26.1°C at Wyndham aero (mainland) on the 27th & 28th
Wettest overall 320.4 mm at Cape Leveque
Wettest day 215.6 mm at Cape Leveque on the 19th
Highest wind gust 98 km/h at Cape Naturaliste on the 27th

Record highest May daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in May 2010 (mm)
Previous highest
for May
Years of
record
Napier Downs 190.0 on the 16th 82.3 on the 25th in 1941 78
Newdegate Research Station 84.0 on the 14th 40.6 on the 11th in 1974 56
Derby Aero 70.6 on the 16th 66.5 on the 29th in 1964 52



Record highest total May rainfall
Total rainfall
for May 2010 (mm)
Previous highest
for May
Years of
record
Average for
May
Theda 157.8 134.6 in 1968 43 18.8
Lort River 99.0 80.8 in 2003 41 37.3
Lake Argyle Resort 85.5 66.6 in 1993 39 7.5
Kununurra Aero 72.4 67.2 in 1979 36 7.5




Record highest May temperature
Highest temperature
in May 2010 (°C)
Previous highest
for May
Years of
record
Average for
May
Carnarvon Airport 37.1 on the 6th 36.9 on the 2nd in 1994 63 26.2
Onslow Airport 38.4 on the 1st 38.0 on the 3rd in 1998 45 29.1




Record highest May mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for May 2010 (°C)
Previous highest
for May
Years of
record
Average for
May
Warmun 21.0 20.6 in 1988 47 17.2





Summary statistics for May 2010
Maximum temperatures
for May
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for May
(°C)
Rainfall
for May
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2010
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2010
Mean for
May
2010
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2010
Total for
May
2010
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2010
Fraction of
May
average
North Kimberley (district 01)
Doongan 30.0 -1.3 33.8 3rd     11.0 9th 66.0 12.3 v high 537%
Kalumburu 32.4 -1.2 35.2 3rd 20.7 +4.1 14.0 10th 175.8 21.1 v high 833%
Mount Elizabeth 29.2 -0.9 32.8 2nd 17.3 +5.4 8.3 9th 49.8 14.1 high 353%
Troughton Island 31.5 +0.4 34.6 1st 26.7 +1.4 24.9 28th 169.8 43.7 v high 389%
Truscott 31.5   34.0 3rd 23.4   20.0 9th 169.2
Wyndham 32.6 -1.0 36.5 3rd 22.3 +1.6 16.8 10th 76.6 8.8 v high 870%
Wyndham Aero 33.0   37.1 3rd 22.1   15.9 11th 49.2 11.8 v high 417%
East Kimberley (district 02)
Argyle Aerodrome 31.0 -1.0 35.7 3rd 21.6 +2.7 17.1 8th 102.6 9.4 v high 1091%
Halls Creek Airport 28.5 -1.5 33.4 2nd 18.6 +1.9 14.9 8th 71.0 13.1 v high 542%
Kununurra Aero 31.3 -1.7 35.9 3rd 21.2 +2.3 14.7 9th 72.4 7.5 highest 965%
Warmun 30.6 -1.7 36.0 3rd 21.0 +3.8 16.0 8th 109.6 10.6 v high 1034%
West Kimberley (district 03)
Bidyadanga 33.5 +1.1 39.0 4th 20.7 +2.3 15.8 10th 24.8 25.4 high 98%
Broome Airport 31.9 +0.3 36.4 4th 20.4 +2.2 14.1 12th 24.8 26.7 average 93%
Curtin Aero 32.5 -0.8 38.1 3rd 21.0 +1.9 16.1 10th 73.2 13.6 high 538%
Derby Aero 32.2 -0.6 37.2 3rd 21.3 +2.4 15.6 12th 101.2 18.4 v high 550%
Fitzroy Crossing Aero 32.4 -1.0 37.1 3rd 19.1 +3.5 13.1 9th 42.8 8.5 high 504%
West Roebuck 33.0 -0.2 37.8 4th 19.5 +3.2 13.2 9th 49.0 11.9 high 412%
De Grey (district 04)
Karratha Aero 31.1 +1.0 36.7 3rd 18.3 +0.1 13.1 30th 24.6 22.2 average 111%
Mandora 33.0 +0.9 37.8 3rd 18.6 +1.8 13.0 26th 14.8 25.1 average 59%
Marble Bar 31.5   37.0 4th 17.9   12.7 30th 26.2 8.0 v high 328%
Pardoo Station 32.2 +0.5 37.1 4th 17.9 +0.7 13.0 10th 7.2 24.6 average 29%
Port Hedland Airport 32.2 +1.6 37.5 5th 18.2 +1.0 11.9 31st 19.6 27.2 average 72%
Roebourne 33.0 +2.6 39.0 4th 17.5 -0.8 14.1 25th 13.6 27.5 average 49%
Roebourne Aero 32.5   38.4 4th 16.7   11.8 26th 14.2
Fortescue (district 05)
Barrow Island Airport 27.9 +0.3 33.8 4th 21.3 0.0 16.4 29th 31.0 58.3 average 53%
Learmonth Airport 30.3 +1.8 37.3 1st 15.5 -0.7 9.1 29th 3.6 41.3 low 9%
Mardie 32.4 +0.9 38.7 5th 17.1 +0.2 12.3 28th 19.0 36.8 average 52%
Onslow 31.2 +2.3 37.5 1st 17.9 +1.6 13.2 25th 3.4 46.1 low 7%
Onslow Airport 31.5 +2.4 38.4 1st 17.5 +0.3 13.0 25th 3.6 52.7 low 7%
Tom Price 27.4 -0.2 33.9 1st 11.0   4.5 26th 8.0 20.4 average 39%
Wittenoom 29.8 +2.1 35.5 1st 15.9 -0.2 9.3 16th 3.2 27.4 low 12%
West Gascoyne (district 06)
Carnarvon Airport 26.4 +0.2 37.1 6th 14.4 -0.5 8.9 17th 15.2 36.0 average 42%
Denham 25.6 -0.2 36.5 6th 17.2 +0.8 12.5 15th 13.6 38.0 low 36%
Emu Creek Station 30.9 +1.1 38.3 4th 16.0 0.0 10.5 25th 2.7 35.9 low 8%
Gascoyne Junction 28.6 +0.9 36.8 6th 13.8 0.0 7.0 26th 3.4 27.4 low 12%
Shark Bay Airport 27.5   37.0 5th 14.6   9.2 17th 21.0 25.8 average 81%
East Gascoyne (district 07)
Newman Aero 27.5 +0.2 33.5 3rd 11.3 -0.3 6.0 30th 4.8 18.1 average 27%
Paraburdoo Aero 29.3 0.0 36.3 1st 14.2 -0.4 8.3 27th 9.4 17.3 average 54%
Murchison (district 07A)
Meekatharra Airport 25.1 +1.4 32.9 3rd 11.7 -0.4 5.2 15th 6.0 23.2 low 26%
Mount Magnet Aero 23.8 -0.2 30.6 6th 11.1 -0.8 4.0 16th 7.6 18.0 average 42%
North Coast (district 08)
Dalwallinu 21.9 -0.4 29.9 8th 8.4 -1.9 2.2 15th 32.4 37.7 average 86%
Dalwallinu Comparison 22.3 +0.5 30.5 8th 9.7 -0.5 3.9 16th 34.2 45.8 average 75%
Geraldton Airport 24.2 +0.2 32.3 5th 11.1 -1.8 7.0 16th 57.4 69.7 average 82%
Kalbarri 26.2 +0.3 35.1 5th 12.2 -1.1 5.5 15th 23.0 57.8 low 40%
Morawa Airport 24.7 +0.5 32.0 6th 9.3 -1.5 4.1 25th 26.4      
Mullewa 24.5 +0.8 33.1 6th 10.8 -0.3 4.5 15th 29.9 47.0 average 64%
North Island 23.3   26.1 21st 17.6   10.5 26th 30.6
Wongan Hills 22.1 +0.6 30.5 8th 8.4 -1.6 2.7 15th 32.2 52.8 average 61%
Central Coast (district 09)
Badgingarra Research Stn 21.8 -0.8 30.0 7th 10.2 -0.4 5.4 15th 71.2 70.7 average 101%
Bickley 19.2 -0.2 26.5 7th 9.4 -0.9 5.5 14th 117.4 130.9 average 90%
Champion Lakes 21.4   28.8 7th 10.9   5.2 15th 74.2
Garden Island HSF 20.1   23.1 11th 12.7   8.9 8th 63.2
Gingin Aero 22.4 -0.6 30.7 7th 6.0 -3.5 -1.2 15th 76.4 78.5 average 97%
Gosnells City 22.6 -0.2 29.0 7th 9.8 -2.3 4.0 15th 93.3 105.5 average 88%
Jandakot Aero 21.9 -0.1 28.5 7th 6.8 -2.7 -0.1 15th 91.0 108.3 average 84%
Jurien Bay                 76.7 78.4 average 98%
Karnet 19.7 +0.5 27.0 8th 7.9 -1.2 2.5 15th 83.6 141.1 low 59%
Lancelin 22.8 +0.2 28.0 20th 10.3 -2.2 6.5 16th 82.0 85.3 average 96%
Medina Research Centre 21.8 -0.2 28.0 20th 8.7 -1.8 2.1 15th 89.8 98.1 average 92%
Pearce RAAF 22.5 +0.6 30.4 7th 8.0 -2.9 0.9 15th 61.4 86.4 low 71%
Perth Airport 22.2 +0.5 29.5 7th 8.3 -2.2 1.1 15th 86.0 100.7 average 85%
Perth Metro 21.7 -0.7 27.5 7th 8.9 -1.8 2.5 15th 88.6 117.7 average 75%
Rottnest Island 20.0 -1.2 23.2 8th 14.4 -0.9 9.5 27th 81.8 70.0 high 117%
Swanbourne 21.5 -0.7 27.9 20th 11.1 -1.6 6.3 15th 106.2 89.2 high 119%
South Coast (district 09A)
Albany 18.7 +0.1 25.8 21st 11.3 +0.6 7.1 5th 50.8 117.6 v low 43%
Albany Airport 18.7 -0.2 25.6 21st 9.3 -0.5 4.3 12th 49.8 91.6 low 54%
Bridgetown 19.4 -0.5 25.6 20th 6.1 -0.9 0.2 12th 71.6 102.4 average 70%
Bridgetown Comparison 19.8 +0.6 25.9 20th 6.2 -0.3 0.4 12th 61.3 110.0 low 56%
Bunbury 20.7 -0.4 25.9 20th 8.4 -1.1 3.2 12th 74.2 93.4 average 79%
Busselton 20.2 -0.3 23.9 21st 9.8 -0.7 3.8 11th 85.6 97.5 average 88%
Busselton Aero 20.2 -0.5 25.4 7th 8.4 -1.0 3.7 12th 65.6 104.1 low 63%
Cape Leeuwin 19.3 +0.2 25.7 21st 13.9 +0.2 9.6 11th 97.8 138.6 low 71%
Cape Naturaliste 19.6 +0.4 22.9 20th 12.5 -0.1 9.0 11th 106.6 116.0 average 92%
Collie East 20.5   26.2 7th 5.5   -0.3 11th 44.2
Donnybrook 20.6 +0.6 26.5 20th 7.9 -0.3 1.8 14th 70.8 134.4 low 53%
Dwellingup 19.5 +1.1 25.9 7th 6.5 -1.2 2.4 15th 65.6 157.9 low 42%
Esperance 20.8 +0.3 30.3 8th 10.9 -0.1 6.5 29th 88.2 71.7 high 123%
Esperance Aero 20.2 0.0 29.3 8th 10.1 -0.5 5.3 5th 115.2 67.4 high 171%
Harvey 21.3   28.0 7th 9.1   2.0 14th 67.0 110.7 low 61%
Hopetoun North 20.2 -1.4 29.6 12th 10.1 -0.4 5.9 12th 90.0 40.6 v high 222%
Jarrahwood 19.9 0.0 26.0 7th 6.3 -0.6 0.2 11th 103.9 126.4 average 82%
Mandurah 20.8   26.6 7th 12.3   7.9 15th 76.4
Manjimup 18.0 +0.4 25.1 21st 9.0 +0.1 5.0 11th 88.2 131.7 low 67%
North Walpole 18.7   25.8 21st 10.8   6.6 5th 86.8
Pemberton 18.4 +0.3 25.0 21st 9.4 0.0 4.5 5th 101.1 151.1 low 67%
Rocky Gully 18.0 -0.8 24.6 21st 8.3 -1.2 3.3 5th 42.4 73.8 low 57%
Shannon 17.6 -1.0 24.4 21st 8.5 -0.8 3.9 5th 91.8 127.9 low 72%
Windy Harbour 19.0 -0.9 26.3 21st 9.8 -1.0 5.9 10th 107.0 140.3 low 76%
Witchcliffe 19.2 -0.8 23.9 21st 8.8 -1.2 1.0 11th 162.2 130.3 average 124%
North Central (district 10)
Bencubbin 21.4 +0.6 29.0 8th 8.8 -0.3 1.8 16th 24.0 37.2 average 65%
Cunderdin Airfield 21.8 -0.1 30.6 8th 6.0 -2.6 1.3 17th 21.4 31.3 average 68%
Merredin 21.4 +0.8 29.4 8th 8.4 -0.5 2.6 15th 45.6 41.2 average 111%
Northam 22.3 +1.1 31.3 8th 6.2 -2.2 2.2 15th 31.6 55.6 low 57%
York 22.0 +0.1 30.8 8th 5.1 -2.0 1.2 30th 37.5 44.2 average 85%
South Central (district 10A)
Beverley 21.8 +0.4 30.4 8th 6.3 -1.6 2.4 26th 34.6 53.9 average 64%
Brookton 20.7 +0.3 29.2 8th 7.1 -0.6 2.5 26th 36.9 57.4 average 64%
Corrigin 20.3 +0.7 28.7 8th 6.7 -0.9 1.8 17th 21.8 47.7 low 46%
Hyden 21.9 +1.2 29.9 8th 6.3 -1.3 1.2 17th 22.3 39.5 low 56%
Jacup 19.4 -0.4 27.4 8th 8.0 -0.6 4.8 2nd 40.0 31.3 high 128%
Katanning 19.1 -0.4 26.4 8th 8.3 -0.6 3.9 5th 28.6 45.3 average 63%
Katanning Comparison 19.7 +1.2 26.2 8th 7.3 -0.6 1.9 5th 26.4 59.9 low 44%
Lake Grace 19.8 -0.6 28.1 8th 7.8 -1.1 3.7 5th 44.4 26.8 high 166%
Lake Grace Comparison 19.9 +0.2 28.5 8th 8.1 -0.5 4.3 6th 40.0 43.2 average 93%
Narembeen 21.3 +0.4 29.6 8th 7.4 -0.8 3.3 4th        
Narrogin 19.6 +1.1 28.2 8th 6.8 -1.1 3.1 25th 36.0 63.1 low 57%
Newdegate Research Station 19.7 -0.5 27.9 8th 6.3 -1.1 1.6 5th 84.0 43.8 v high 192%
Ongerup 19.2 +0.4 25.6 8th 8.0 -0.7 2.5 5th 35.0 44.0 average 80%
Pingelly 20.3 +0.7 28.8 8th 8.0 -0.8 3.4 26th 42.4 58.0 average 73%
Ravensthorpe 19.9 -0.2 28.0 8th 9.5 -0.1 3.9 5th 100.0 44.2 v high 226%
Wagin 19.7 +0.2 26.9 8th 7.1 -0.9 3.0 5th 34.2 54.5 low 63%
Wandering 20.5 +0.3 29.8 8th 4.5 -2.0 0.4 4th 44.2 48.5 average 91%
Eucla (district 11)
Balladonia 21.8 +0.9 29.9 9th 8.2 +0.2 2.7 11th 31.3 26.5 average 118%
Eucla 21.7 +0.6 28.9 3rd 11.3 +0.8 6.5 31st 46.2 30.9 high 150%
Eyre 22.8 +1.5 31.4 9th 8.4 -0.8 -1.7 30th 19.6 38.5 low 51%
Forrest 22.1 -0.3 29.1 3rd 9.7 +0.9 3.9 31st 29.0 18.1 high 160%
Red Rocks Point 21.8   30.3 9th 11.2   6.3 31st 30.6
South East (district 12)
Bulga Downs 24.2   33.0 12th 9.1   1.6 16th 10.4 25.5 average 41%
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport 21.2 +0.6 28.4 9th 9.5 +0.8 3.7 16th 14.8 26.3 average 56%
Laverton Aero 22.2 +0.1 29.1 3rd 10.7 +0.1 2.4 16th 18.0 13.9 high 129%
Leinster Aero 23.0 -0.2 30.7 3rd 10.5 -0.2 3.9 29th 3.4 16.8 average 20%
Leonora 22.9 +0.1 30.5 3rd 10.7 +0.5 3.6 16th 15.0 24.2 average 62%
Leonora Aero 23.1   30.3 3rd 10.7   3.2 16th 10.4
Munglinup West 20.0   29.2 8th 9.4   5.5 5th 111.2
Norseman 21.0 +0.6 29.2 9th 8.2 -0.3 1.8 31st 43.9 30.5 high 144%
Norseman Aero 20.7 -0.6 29.0 9th 6.8 -0.3 0.2 29th 32.0 17.6 high 182%
Southern Cross Airfield 21.3 -0.2 29.1 12th 6.4 -1.2 0.2 16th 34.6 32.2 average 107%
Yeelirrie 24.0 +0.5 32.4 3rd 8.3 0.0 1.7 29th 9.3 25.1 average 37%
North East (district 13)
Balgo Hills 27.9 -1.5 33.9 3rd 17.1 +1.2 11.3 29th 53.4 15.7 high 340%
Carnegie 25.2 -0.2 33.4 3rd 10.9 +0.2 5.1 30th 9.8 15.9 average 62%
Giles Meteorological Office 23.7 0.0 31.2 4th 11.7 +0.4 6.0 29th 17.0 19.8 average 86%
Telfer Aero 29.9 +0.8 35.9 4th 16.2 +0.9 10.6 11th 39.6 19.3 high 205%
Warburton Airfield 24.6 +0.3 32.3 3rd 11.3 +0.9 4.5 16th 11.4 15.7 average 73%
Wiluna 25.1 +1.3 33.1 3rd     3.9 30th 11.3 25.4 average 44%

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 10 am on Tuesday 1 June 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 10 years of record.
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