Product Code: IDCKGC2A00

Australian Seasonal Climate Summary: Autumn 2007 (March-May)

Monday 4th June, 2007

In Brief

Australia experienced a very warm and rather wet autumn in 2007. It was particularly warm in the east of the country, where all four eastern states had their warmest autumn on record. Near-normal conditions in Western Australia prevented the national mean temperature from setting a record, with the national mean anomaly of +1.03°C ranking fifth-highest since 1950.

Details

Temperatures:

Record high mean temperatures covered most of the south and east of the country. The statewide anomalies for the season were +1.64°C for Queensland, +1.53°C for New South Wales, +1.33°C for Victoria and +1.19°C for Tasmania, all of which were records, while South Australia’s +1.52°C ranked second.

Daytime maximum temperatures and overnight minima made similar contributions to the very high mean temperatures over the eastern two-thirds of the continent. Over Australia as a whole, maxima were 1.08°C above normal (6th highest on record). They were below normal only over the eastern part of Western Australia and in parts of the northern tropics of Queensland and the Northern Territory. They were at least 1°C above normal over almost all of a region south and east of a line running Townsville-Tennant Creek-Uluru-Port Augusta (including Tasmania), with anomalies reaching +2 to +3°C over most of the southern half of Queensland (except the coastal strip), around Alice Springs, and in scattered patches in inland New South Wales. A few locations in southern inland Queensland were more than 3°C above normal. Record high seasonal values occurred over most of Queensland except for the north and far west, southern and eastern Tasmania, and Victoria away from the north-west. The seasonal mean anomaly set a record in Queensland (+2.02°C) and equalled one in Victoria (+1.52°C).

Overnight minima were also warm in the east and cool in parts of the west, leaving a national anomaly of +0.98°C (8th highest on record). There was a statewide record in South Australia (+1.71°C). Minima were below normal in the southern half of Western Australia (anomalies of −1°C around Perth), but above normal elsewhere. The areas with large positive anomalies were broadly similar to those for maxima, with anomalies exceeding +1°C over most of Victoria, eastern Tasmania, most of South Australia (except the far west), the Northern Territory except for the Top End, and inland New South Wales and Queensland (except the far north). The largest anomalies, in the +2 to +3°C range, occurred in western Queensland, the southern Northern Territory and patches in inland New South Wales, with record highs covering an area centred on the border of Queensland, the NT and SA, extending south as far as the Eyre Peninsula.


Table 1: Spatial Temperature Summary

Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature
AreaRank
(out of 58)
Anomaly *
(°C)
Comment Rank
(out of 58)
Anomaly *
(°C)
Comment
Australia53+1.08  51+0.98 
NSW56+1.713rd highest 55+1.344th highest
NT50+1.17  53+1.33highest since 1992
Qld58+2.02highest, previous record +1.93 in 2002 55+1.264th highest
SA54+1.33  58+1.71highest, previous record +1.40 in 1973
Tas56+1.213rd highest 57+1.172nd highest, record +1.28 in 1956
Vic58+1.52equal highest with 2005 54+1.14highest since 1989
WA29+0.03  35+0.16 

* Anomaly is the difference from the long-term average

Maximum Temperature Maps
Mean (Average) | Departures from Long-Term Average (Anomalies) | Deciles (Historical Ranking)

Minimum Temperature Maps
Mean (Average) | Departures from Long-Term Average (Anomalies) | Deciles (Historical Ranking)


Rainfall:

It was a rather wet season over large parts of the continent, particularly in north-western and central areas. The national mean was 15% above normal (21st highest on record). It was particularly wet in the northern half of WA (which was affected by three tropical cyclones during March) and in most of the NT, with a few areas of record autumn rainfall east of Port Hedland and in Kakadu National Park. Western Australia (74% above normal) had its eighth-wettest autumn on record, and the Northern Territory (+48%) its ninth-wettest. It was also a rather wet season through most of SA, extending into north-western Victoria and the far west of New South Wales.

In contrast, it was another dry season in south-eastern Queensland, with most of the area south of Rockhampton in the lowest decile, continuing the severe drought conditions there, and there was a dry start to the growing season in south-western WA. Over most of the Murray-Darling Basin rainfall was near or slightly below normal, but it continued to be below normal in southern Victoria from the Melbourne area eastwards.


Table 2: Spatial Rainfall Summary

AreaRank
(out of 108)
Average (mm) % Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia88142.0+15% 
New South Wales72129.8−14% highest since 2000
Northern Territory100212.9+48% 
Queensland25101.4−39% 
South Australia8773.0+19% highest since 2000
Tasmania69288.5+1% highest since 1997
Victoria69152.4−4% highest since 2000
Western Australia101159.5+74% highest since 2000

Rainfall Maps
Totals | Deciles (Historical Ranking) | Percentages | Departures from Long-Term Average (Anomalies)