Western Australia in January 2020: very wet in central WA; dry in the west

A broad area of Western Australia saw above average rainfall, from the west Kimberley coast and east Pilbara through central regions to southeast, although it was dry for much of the west and inland south Kimberley. Tropical cyclone Blake produced heavy rainfall in the west Kimberley coast, east Pilbara, Northern Interior and Southern Interior districts in early January. The State's mean maximum and minimum temperature were less than half a degree above average.

Very wet in the cantral WA, dry in the west

  • Rainfall was 59 % above average for WA
  • Tropical cyclone Blake produced moderate to heavy rainfall with daily falls over 100 mm on the west Kimberley coast, east Pilbara and Northern Interior between 7th and 10th; several sites had their highest January daily rainfall on record
  • A trough across the inland north produced thunderstorms and showers with moderate to heavy rainfall, including a number of January records in the inland Pilbara and Gascoyne on the 15th and 16th
  • Carnegie in the Southern Interior recorded 270 mm on the 10th, which was its wettest day for any month in 65 years of record, and its monthly rainfall total of 341 mm was about nine times of January average and an all-time wettest month on record

Below average maximum temperatures in the Northern Interior

  • The State's mean maximum temperature was 0.41 °C above average, though it was much cooler than January 2019 (record hot with 2.28 °C above average)
  • Much of WA observed near average maximum temperatures, apart from warmer days in the northwest and southeast coast and cooler days in the east Pilbara and State's central regions
  • Extreme heat with temperatures in the mid–to–high 40s were observed in inland northwest WA on the 1st then in the southeast on the 2nd; Eyre had the State's highest temperature of the month with 48.2 °C on the 2nd
  • In the last week of January, a hot spell with temperatures in the mid–40s originated in inland southern Pilbara and Gascoyne spread to the eastern South West Land Division and southern Goldfields and then to the Eucla coast; Murchison (in the Gascoyne) equalled its January highest temperature record on the 27th
  • The State's mean minimum temperature was 0.40 °C above average
  • Minimum temperatures were above average along the northwest coast and the State's northeast and southeast quarters, with minima near average or below average elsewhere
  • South to southeasterly winds overnight led to a cold morning with temperatures dipping below 10 °C in the southwest WA on the 4th, including some January low temperature records
  • Both Broome Airport and Wyndham Aero recorded a minimum temperature of 30.5 °C on the 2nd, equalling their highest January minimum temperature on record
  • Port Hedland Airport and several other sites in the north had their warmest January on record in terms of mean minimum temperatures

Tropical cyclone Blake

  • Tropical cyclone Blake was named in the morning on the 6th, about 120 km northwest of Cape Leveque in the Kimberley coast
  • TC Blake travelled southward and briefly crossed over the Dampier Peninsula in the evening of the 6th, before moving southwest back to water in early morning next day, travelling parallel to the west Kimberley coast and making landfall a second time east of Wallal Downs in late evening on the 7th
  • Ex-TC Blake moved through the east Pilbara and State's interiors and dissipated on the 10th, resulting in heavy rainfall and flooding
  • Moderate to major flooding was recorded in the De Grey river catchment and causing extensive road closures; the Coolgan River level was at its highest since 1988

Further information

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Extremes in January 2020
Hottest day 48.2 °C at Eyre on the 2nd
Warmest days on average 40.5 °C at Roebourne Aero
Coolest days on average 22.2 °C at Albany
Coldest day 17.0 °C at Mount Barker on the 30th
Coldest night 1.5 °C at Bridgetown on the 4th
Coolest nights on average 11.5 °C at Bridgetown
11.5 °C at Jarrahwood
11.5 °C at Rocky Gully
Warmest nights on average 28.2 °C at Bedout Island
Warmest night 32.2 °C at Paraburdoo Aero on the 29th
Warmest on average overall 34.2 °C at Roebourne Aero
Coolest on average overall 18.7 °C at Albany Airport
Wettest overall 528.4 mm at Kalumburu
Wettest day 270.0 mm at Carnegie on the 10th
Strongest wind gust 122 km/h at Norseman Aero on the 8th

Maps
ObservedAnomalyDecile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Record highest January daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Carnegie 270.0 on the 10th 114.3 on the 12th in 1969 65
Wongawol 166.4 on the 9th 153.7 on the 24th in 1973 51
Newman Aero 142.8 on the 9th 137.7 on the 23rd in 1973 45
Paraburdoo Aero 128.6 on the 15th 90.0 on the 21st in 1987 45
Prenti Downs 148.5 on the 10th 142.7 on the 24th in 1973 44
Youno Downs 126.0 on the 16th 97.4 on the 23rd in 2014 36
Marble Bar 144.2 on the 9th 105.2 on the 13th in 2018 20



Record highest January total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Carnegie 341.0 188.0 in 2017 65 39.2
Prenti Downs 235.4 221.8 in 1973 44 41.2
Tjukayirla 219.2 185.8 in 2017 22 49.8

 



Record highest January temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Murchison 47.0 on the 28th = 47.0 on the 11th in 2014 30 39.3



Highest January mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
January
Warmun 39.5 40.6 in 1996 37.1



Record lowest January mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Swanbourne 27.6 = 27.6 in 2019 26 29.8



Record highest January daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Broome Airport 30.5 on the 2nd = 30.5 on the 27th in 2013 81 26.3
Kalumburu 29.0 on the 29th = 29.0 on the 1st in 2003 22 24.6
Wyndham Aero 30.5 on the 2nd = 30.5 on the 30th in 2019 20 26.2



Record lowest January temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Manjimup 5.9 on the 4th 6.0 on the 11th in 2002 61 13.1
Hyden 5.7 on the 4th 5.9 on the 7th in 1989 46 15.6
Jacup 3.2 on the 4th 3.8 on the 11th in 2002 27 13.1
Bunbury 5.3 on the 4th 6.0 on the 13th in 2003 25 15.3
Rocky Gully 3.2 on the 4th 3.7 on the 11th in 2002 25 12.6
York 7.0 on the 4th 7.5 on the 13th in 2017 24 16.4
Lake Grace 6.9 on the 4th 8.0 on the 11th in 2002 23 15.3
Katanning 6.0 on the 4th = 6.0 on the 13th in 2003 22 13.7
Wandering 3.9 on the 4th = 3.9 on the 25th in 2019 22 14.2
Bridgetown 1.5 on the 4th 2.0 on the 11th in 2002 21 13.1



Record highest January mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Port Hedland Airport 27.4 27.2 in 2008 71 25.6
Doongan 23.7 23.6 in 2002 31 22.8
Mount Elizabeth 23.3 23.2 in 2016 24 22.1
Fitzroy Crossing Aero 26.0 25.9 in 2016 22 25.2
Kalumburu 25.5 25.1 in 2010 21 24.6



Summary statistics for January 2020
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2020
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2020
Mean for
January
2020
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2020
Total for
January
2020
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2020
Fraction of
January
average
North Kimberley (district 01)
Doongan 33.4 +0.2 36.8 28th 23.7 +0.9 21.0 24th 126.7 293.8 v low 43%
Kalumburu 34.9 +0.9 38.8 2nd 25.5 +0.9 23.2 7th 528.4 341.0 high 155%
Mount Elizabeth 33.5 +0.7 37.2 29th 23.3 +1.2 20.9 30th 265.8 252.3 average 105%
Troughton Island 32.1 +0.3 34.5 1st 27.1 +0.7 23.0 7th 364.4 276.0 average 132%
Truscott 32.8 +0.6 35.8 1st 26.3 +1.0 23.2 7th 295.2 323.2 average 91%
Wyndham Aero 37.5 +1.2 41.9 28th 26.7 +0.5 22.8 17th 164.8 199.5 average 83%
East Kimberley (district 02)
Argyle Aerodrome 38.3 +1.9 42.4 29th 26.8 +1.1 23.6 14th 100.2 158.2 low 63%
Halls Creek Airport 37.1   41.2 28th 24.9   20.8 31st 175.0
Kununurra Aero 36.9 +1.1 41.3 28th 25.6 +0.5 22.5 17th 246.4 209.2 average 118%
Warmun 39.5 +2.4 43.5 29th 24.8 +0.1 19.5 6th 81.3 180.7 low 45%
West Kimberley (district 03)
Bidyadanga 34.0 -0.4 41.5 12th 26.4 +0.4 22.0 20th 210.2 127.6 high 165%
Broome Airport 33.3 0.0 39.8 1st 27.0 +0.7 23.2 13th 325.4 192.6 high 169%
Curtin Aero 35.8 -0.5 39.7 15th 25.5 +0.5 23.0 16th 271.4 223.7 average 121%
Cygnet Bay 33.4 -0.2 36.7 1st 26.1 +0.5 21.0 7th 419.9 242.3 high 173%
Derby Aero 34.9 -0.3 38.7 28th 26.5 +0.8 24.4 5th 348.4 205.8 high 169%
Fitzroy Crossing Aero 37.7 +0.1 41.3 29th 26.0 +0.8 21.6 26th 165.0 175.9 average 94%
Yampi Sound (Defence) 34.9   39.4 1st 25.9   23.1 26th 325.8
De Grey (district 04)
Bedout Island 34.2 +0.9 36.6 26th 28.2 +1.0 24.1 20th
Karratha Aero 36.7 +0.8 43.7 30th 28.0 +1.2 24.5 5th 70.8 48.1 high 147%
Legendre Island 33.2 +0.4 35.5 8th 27.9 +1.4 25.3 5th
Mandora 36.2 +0.2 44.3 12th 26.6 +1.2 23.3 20th 179.0 88.2 high 203%
Marble Bar 39.0 -1.8 44.2 30th 25.8 -0.7 21.2 19th 311.6 114.7 high 272%
Port Hedland Airport 37.7 +1.3 44.0 26th 27.4 +1.8 23.6 19th 43.6 63.4 average 69%
Roebourne Aero 40.5 +1.8 46.2 30th 27.8 +1.5 22.9 2nd 17.6 71.1 average 25%
Fortescue (district 05)
Barrow Island Airport 34.0 +0.8 37.2 27th 26.6 +0.7 23.5 31st 5.4 23.8 low 23%
Karijini North 39.0   45.1 29th 25.7   21.8 4th 75.8
Learmonth Airport 38.8 +0.8 43.9 27th 23.7 +0.6 17.8 4th 0 30.0 lowest 0%
Mardie 38.6 +0.7 43.8 3rd 27.1 +2.0 23.7 31st 1.4 37.8 average 4%
Onslow Airport 37.7 +1.3 44.6 10th 25.8 +1.4 21.6 31st 1.0 37.7 low 3%
Thevenard Island 34.4 +1.2 38.3 23rd 26.2 +0.8 22.2 31st 5.4 28.7 average 19%
West Gascoyne (district 06)
Carnarvon Airport 32.8 +1.5 42.5 24th 23.0 +0.4 17.4 4th 0.2 11.5 average 2%
Denham 30.9 +0.2 38.8 5th 22.8 +0.7 18.2 4th 0 7.4 lowest 0%
Murchison 39.1 -0.2 47.0 28th 22.8 +0.3 16.0 4th 45.4 22.6 high 201%
Shark Bay Airport 34.4 +0.4 42.1 24th 21.6 0.0 16.6 4th 0 8.0 lowest 0%
East Gascoyne (district 07)
Newman Aero 37.4 -1.7 43.6 29th 24.4 -0.7 19.8 11th 198.2 69.8 high 284%
Paraburdoo Aero 40.2 -0.5 45.4 28th 25.9 -0.1 21.9 11th 177.0 58.3 v high 304%
Murchison (district 07A)
Meekatharra Airport 37.2 -1.1 44.6 1st 23.5 -0.9 18.5 11th 61.8 30.1 high 205%
Mount Magnet Aero 37.6 -0.4 44.8 28th 22.4 -1.1 16.0 31st 2.2 25.8 low 9%
Paynes Find 37.2 -0.2 45.4 28th 20.5 -0.5 14.0 4th 25.6 21.0 high 122%
North Coast (district 08)
Dalwallinu 35.4 +0.1 45.5 28th 17.3 -0.8 11.5 4th 0 23.0 lowest 0%
Geraldton Airport 31.4   38.6 11th 17.8   12.1 4th 0.2
Kalbarri 33.2 0.0 40.6 10th 20.1 +0.5 13.6 31st 0 5.3 lowest 0%
Morawa Airport 37.7 +0.3 45.9 27th 19.5 -0.3 12.9 31st 0.2 22.1 low 1%
Mullewa 37.2 +0.4 45.1 27th 19.7 +0.2 11.2 10th 0 13.6 lowest 0%
North Island 27.5 -0.1 32.2 11th 21.2 -0.1 19.0 4th 0.2 2.7 average 7%
Wongan Hills 35.0 +0.4 45.3 28th 17.2 -0.6 11.5 4th 0.4 15.2 average 3%
Central Coast (district 09)
Badgingarra Research Stn 34.3 -0.3 43.8 27th 17.1 0.0 10.3 31st 1.0 10.8 average 9%
Bickley 29.8 -0.7 39.2 27th 15.1 -0.3 8.2 4th 4.6 20.5 average 22%
Garden Island HSF 25.7 -1.6 34.4 15th 18.8 -0.2 12.9 4th 0.6 14.8 average 4%
Gingin Aero 32.2 -0.9 42.3 27th 14.8 -1.6 7.8 31st 1.8 15.7 average 11%
Gosnells City 31.9 -1.1 40.5 27th     11.6 31st 0.8 10.8 average 7%
Jandakot Aero 30.5 -0.9 39.2 27th 16.5 -0.3 9.4 31st 1.6 16.1 average 10%
Karnet 30.1 -0.5 39.2 27th 15.0 -0.3 8.3 5th 6.8 19.0 average 36%
Lancelin 27.5 -1.6 35.6 11th 17.5 0.0 10.0 3rd 1.4 11.0 average 13%
Millendon (Swan Valley) 32.3   42.0 27th 15.8   9.4 31st 2.2
Pearce RAAF 33.1 -0.4 43.0 27th 15.7 -1.3 10.1 31st 1.4 10.5 average 13%
Perth Airport 31.6 -0.2 40.4 27th 16.7 -0.3 9.2 31st 1.0 10.9 average 9%
Perth Metro 30.5 -0.7 39.9 27th 17.4 -0.7 12.7 4th 3.0 19.1 average 16%
Rottnest Island 25.8 -0.7 32.5 11th 18.9 -0.2 13.4 4th 0.4 16.0 low 3%
Swanbourne 27.6 -2.2 35.6 11th 18.0 -0.3 12.7 4th 0.4 19.5 low 2%
South Coast (district 09A)
Albany 22.2 -0.6 31.0 5th 15.9 +0.7 10.7 4th 21.0 23.8 average 88%
Albany Airport 24.2   33.1 27th 13.1   7.0 4th 22.4
Bridgetown 29.1 -0.9 39.4 27th 11.5 -1.6 1.5 4th 7.0 16.2 average 43%
Bunbury 28.9 -0.9 36.0 27th 14.3 -1.0 5.3 4th 1.2 11.7 average 10%
Busselton Aero 29.6 -0.6 38.3 27th 13.2 -1.0 5.7 31st 0.4 14.6 low 3%
Cape Leeuwin 23.7 +0.6 28.0 11th 17.1 +0.1 12.5 3rd 9.2 16.6 average 55%
Cape Naturaliste 26.2 +0.7 32.1 14th 14.8 -0.4 9.2 4th 6.0 10.9 average 55%
Collie East 30.9 +0.1 40.0 27th 12.4 -1.0 2.8 4th 1.2 19.8 low 6%
Dwellingup 30.1 +0.4 39.9 27th 14.3 0.0 6.1 4th 2.8 16.9 average 17%
Esperance 26.3 +0.1 39.5 7th 16.6 +0.9 11.0 5th 19.2 26.0 average 74%
Esperance Aero 27.8 -0.1 44.0 28th 15.6 +0.6 10.3 4th 23.8 27.0 average 88%
Hopetoun North 25.0 -0.3 37.3 12th 16.1 +0.8 9.2 5th 4.4 34.6 low 13%
Jarrahwood 30.4 +0.7 40.0 27th 11.5 -1.1 2.0 4th 4.6 16.9 average 27%
Mandurah 28.3 -1.1 35.9 27th 18.4 -0.5 12.0 4th 1.2 17.5 average 7%
Manjimup 27.3 +0.1 37.1 27th 12.5 -0.6 5.9 4th 23.2 20.1 high 115%
North Walpole 24.0 -0.3 32.2 11th 13.9 -0.5 7.8 4th 50.8 28.7 high 177%
Rocky Gully 27.0 -0.5 37.8 28th 11.5 -1.1 3.2 4th 27.0 19.5 high 138%
Shannon 25.9 -0.6 34.9 27th 12.0 -0.7 4.6 4th 43.0 18.3 high 235%
Witchcliffe 26.1 -0.4 34.9 27th 13.3 -0.6 5.9 4th 6.0 12.7 average 47%
North Central (district 10)
Bencubbin 34.8 +0.3 45.1 28th 18.1 -0.1 11.0 4th 0 17.1 lowest 0%
Cunderdin Airfield 35.1 +0.3 46.6 28th 16.9 -0.3 10.5 4th 1.0 24.1 average 4%
Merredin 34.6 +0.7 45.4 28th 18.1 +0.3 10.9 4th 0 14.7 lowest 0%
Northam 34.3 +0.1 44.9 28th 16.9 -0.3 10.1 4th 0.4 11.9 average 3%
York 34.6 +0.4 45.5 28th 15.6 -0.8 7.0 4th 0 30.2 lowest 0%
South Central (district 10A)
Beverley 35.0 +0.7 45.2 28th 15.9 -0.4 8.2 4th 2.2 13.0 average 17%
Brookton 33.2 +0.2 43.6 28th 15.1 -0.4 6.7 4th 0.6 13.4 low 4%
Corrigin     40.0 27th 15.2 -0.7 8.0 4th
Hyden 34.0 +0.3 46.1 28th 15.0 -0.6 5.7 4th 2.4 19.9 average 12%
Jacup 29.1 +1.2 43.4 28th 12.9 -0.2 3.2 4th 3.2 30.2 low 11%
Katanning 30.2 +0.1 41.6 28th 13.2 -0.5 6.0 4th 2.0 21.4 average 9%
Lake Grace 31.7 +0.5 44.6 28th 14.6 -0.7 6.9 4th 0.2 34.0 low 1%
Narembeen 35.3 +1.3 45.5 28th     10.8 31st 0.6 17.4 low 3%
Narrogin 31.4 +0.4 42.4 28th 14.5 +0.3 6.5 4th 0.2 13.0 low 2%
Newdegate Research Station 31.9 +0.7 44.6 28th 12.9 -0.9 5.9 4th 1.8 19.0 average 9%
Pingelly 32.2 +0.3 43.6 28th 15.1 -0.4 7.4 4th 0.4 11.3 low 4%
Ravensthorpe 28.9 -0.1 44.5 28th 14.9 +0.8 8.5 4th 4.5 24.5 low 18%
Wagin 31.2 +0.1 41.8 28th 14.1 -0.5 4.9 4th 0 12.8 lowest 0%
Wandering 32.2 +0.1 42.2 28th 13.5 -0.7 3.9 4th 0.6 15.9 low 4%
Eucla (district 11)
Eucla 29.0 +3.1 47.3 30th 16.6 -0.1 10.4 24th 25.6 15.8 high 162%
Eyre 30.2 +3.6 48.2 2nd 16.4 +1.1 7.5 12th 44.8 17.7 v high 253%
Forrest 32.9 -0.3 46.9 30th 16.4 -0.1 10.4 5th 32.4 24.6 high 132%
Red Rocks Point 28.0 +2.7 47.7 30th 17.7 -0.7 13.0 24th 22.6 24.3 average 93%
South East (district 12)
Bulga Downs 37.3 -0.6 45.2 29th 21.5 -1.0 15.8 4th
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport 34.2 +0.5 44.8 29th 19.7 +1.4 12.6 4th 18.6 27.4 average 68%
Laverton Aero 35.2 -0.4 44.9 2nd 21.9 +0.3 15.4 11th 50.0 48.9 average 102%
Leinster Aero 35.9 -1.4 44.7 1st 22.1 -1.2 17.0 10th 47.8 38.5 average 124%
Leonora Aero 35.9 -1.2 44.3 29th 22.7 -0.2 16.9 11th 56.4 48.5 average 116%
Munglinup West 28.9 -0.1 44.3 28th 14.2 -0.3 7.8 4th 15.4 38.3 average 40%
Norseman Aero 33.3 +0.7 45.5 28th 15.9 0.0 6.9 4th 15.4 35.5 low 43%
Salmon Gums Res.Stn. 31.1 +0.4 46.2 28th 13.9 0.0 4.0 4th 13.2 26.0 average 51%
Southern Cross Airfield 34.9 +0.2 45.8 28th 17.7 -0.1 10.4 4th 9.2 30.3 average 30%
North East (district 13)
Carnegie 35.3 -3.4 44.5 1st 22.8 -1.2 15.7 5th 341.0 39.2 highest 870%
Giles Meteorological Office 37.0 -0.3 41.8 2nd 24.1 +0.5 14.7 5th 68.6 33.1 high 207%
Telfer Aero 38.6 -1.7 45.9 30th 26.4 +0.3 21.3 5th 119.8 63.2 high 190%
Warburton Airfield 36.5 -1.4 44.1 2nd 23.8 +0.7 15.4 5th 54.6 30.7 high 178%
Wiluna Aero 36.3   46.7 1st 22.7   16.4 11th 72.2
Offshore Islands (district 200)
Adele Island 31.8   33.2 3rd 27.6   23.1 20th
Browse Island 30.1   32.7 3rd 27.0   24.0 12th
Varanus Island 32.3 +0.4 33.9 3rd 26.9 +0.8 24.0 31st 1.4 31.8 low 4%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists 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. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 8 am on Monday 3 February 2020. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites 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, 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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

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Climate