Australia in winter 2013

In Brief

Winter rainfall was below average for the vast majority of Queensland, the adjacent eastern half of the Northern Territory and for Western Australia south of a line from the Northwest Cape to the top of the Bight. Rainfall was above average for the remainder of Western Australia and much of southeast Australia, including South Australia and Tasmania.

Maximum temperatures were above average across most of Australia, with only parts of northwestern Western Australia and small areas on the south coast recording near-average maxima. Minimum temperatures were also above average for most of Australia, although larger areas recorded near-average minima, mostly across the north of Australia and in the west of Western Australia. Averaged over the season, winter anomalies were +1.42 °C for maximum temperatures (the second-highest on record) and +1.14 °C for minimum temperatures (the sixth-highest on record).


Maximum temperatures during winter were the second-warmest on record for Australia as a whole, with an anomaly of +1.42 °C. Area-averaged maxima for all States and the Northern Territory, except Tasmania, were also at least the tenth-warmest on record. Tasmania was also the only State to record a seasonal anomaly of less than +1 °C. Daytime temperatures were above average across most of Australia and in the highest 10% of records for the northeastern half of Australia and much of the western coastline and Eucla region of Western Australia (totalling 74% of the country). Near-average maxima were recorded across a large area of Western Australia extending from the Pilbara to the Interior District, partially as a result of heavy June rainfall keeping daytime temperatures lower during that month, and in a small area around the top of the Spencer Gulf in South Australia and on the Nullarbor coast in Western Australia

Winter minimum temperatures were above average for most Australia with areas in the west of Western Australia, the Kimberley, eastern Top End and central Queensland coast extending well inland between Rockhampton and Mackay recording near-average minima. A few isolated areas recorded below-average minima. Averaged nationally, minima were the sixth-highest on record for winter, with an anomaly of +1.14 °C. All States and the Northern Territory except Western Australia also scored within the highest ten records, and for Victoria winter was the fourth-warmest on record. Most of the southeast (including Tasmania), South Australia, the west of Western Australia and a broad strip extending from South Australia to the Gulf of Carpentaria recorded minimum temperature anomalies in the highest 10% of records (in total 48% of Australia).

Areal average temperatures
  Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature
(out of 104)
Comment Rank
(out of 104)
Australia 103 +1.42 second highest 99 +1.14 sixth highest
Queensland 103 +1.74 second highest 97 +1.47 eighth highest
New South Wales 103 +1.64 third highest 97 +1.29 eighth highest
Victoria 100 +1.02 fifth highest 101 +1.09 fourth highest, highest since 1991
Tasmania 94 +0.54 97 +0.94 eighth highest
South Australia 102 +1.43 third highest 98 +1.39 seventh highest
Western Australia 95 +1.04 tenth highest 87 +0.59
Northern Territory 102 +1.70 third highest 98 +1.49 seventh highest, highest since 1998

*Anomaly is the departure from the long-term (1961–1990) average.

Temperature maps
Map of mean daily maximum temperature Map of mean daily maximum temperature anomalies Map of mean daily maximum temperature deciles
Map of mean daily minimum temperature Map of mean daily minimum temperature anomalies Map of mean daily minimum temperature deciles


For Australia as a whole, area-averaged rainfall was 60.8 mm (5% below the long-term average), although this value conceals marked differences between the States. Queensland and the Northern Territory recorded totals 65% and 52% below average respectively, while for Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia totals were 24% to 28% above average. Victoria also recorded its highest winter total since 1996.

Winter rainfall during 2013 was above average across Tasmania, inland New South Wales, Victoria except in the northeast and northern Mallee, most of South Australia south of Marree and the western Kimberley, Pilbara and Interior District of Western Australia. Much of the Pilbara and adjacent Kimberley recorded winter totals in the highest 10% of records, with some areas setting new winter rainfall records. These falls were substantial, of the order of 3 to 4 times the long-term average, and included several records such as Roebourne's wettest winter day (223.6 mm on 25 June, also its second-wettest day for any month).

Much of northern Australia is typically dry during winter, but the areas receiving very low rainfall for the three months June–August extended further into southern and western Queensland than is typical. Most of Queensland, excluding the eastern coastal fringe, and the south of the Northern Territory received less than 2 mm of rainfall, which is in the lowest 10% of records for central and western Queensland. Much of the Southwest Land Division in Western Australia also recorded totals in the lowest 10% of records, while rainfall was below average across a broader region along the western coast extending to the Goldfields and Eucla districts.

Areal average rainfall
(out of 114)
from mean*
Australia 47 60.8 −5%
Queensland 14 17.9 −65%
New South Wales 60 117.3 +1%
Victoria 97 255.8 +26% highest since 1996
Tasmania 97 559.9 +28%
South Australia 81 68.8 +24%
Western Australia 71 65.6 +8%
Northern Territory 47 8.7 −52%
Murray-Darling Basin 62 111.5  0%

*The mean is calculated for the 1961–1990 reference period.

Rainfall maps
Map of total rainfall Map of percentage of normal rain Map of rainfall deciles

Australian weather extremes in winter 2013
Hottest day    39.7 °C at Timber Creek (NT) on 20 August
Coldest day    −5.4 °C at Thredbo AWS (NSW) on 21 July
Coldest night  −12.2 °C at Liawenee (Tas.) on 9 July
Warmest night    27.1 °C at Troughton Island (WA) on 1 and 6 June
Wettest day  223.6 mm at Roebourne (WA) on 25 June


The Seasonal 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.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 12 pm EST on Sunday 1 September 2013. 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.

In the tables, fractional ranks denote tied values.

A new area-averaging method was adopted for rainfall in May 2009. Current and historical totals for Tasmania are substantially higher than under the old scheme, but differences for other states, and nationally, are negligible. The rankings and departures from mean shown here use the new method.

Further information

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