Australia in autumn 2014

In Brief

Autumn 2014 was warmer than average for Australia in terms of both maximum and minimum temperatures. The national maximum temperature anomaly of +1.16 °C and minimum temperature anomaly of +1.14 °C combined to give a mean temperature anomaly of +1.15 °C. Both maximum and minimum temperatures were above average for the majority of Australia, with some areas around the coast of the mainland and adjacent hinterland recording near-average temperatures for both days and nights. Large areas of the country were in the highest 10% of records for both maximum and minimum temperatures, totalling 37% of Australia for maxima and 56% for minima.

Rainfall was 10% below the long-term mean when averaged nationally, although much of New South Wales, northern Victoria, South Australia and adjacent parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory recorded above average autumn rainfall. Inland and western Queensland, much of the Top End and parts of Western Australia recorded below-average rainfall for the season.


Temperatures

Autumn 2014 was particularly warm across Australia, continuing a string of recent warm seasons. The season concluded with a prolonged warm-spell which saw many records set for the longest run of consecutive warm days across much of the southeast of the mainland (see Special Climate Statement 49 – an exceptionally prolonged autumn warm spell over much of Australia for details).

Maximum temperatures were near-average for an area of Western Australia focused on the Goldfields District, coastal Queensland north of Bundaberg extending into the Cape York Peninsula, and much of eastern New South Wales inland of the Great Dividing Range. Elsewhere, maximum temperatures were above average and in the highest 10% of records for the Top End, western South Australia, large parts of both the west and east of Western Australia, a very large area of western and southern Queensland, crossing into adjacent parts of the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales, as well as smaller areas in southwestern New South Wales, eastern Tasmania and along the east coast from roughly Warrnambool in Victoria to Bundaberg in Queensland. Autumn maxima were the eighth-warmest on record for Western Australia. The national maximum temperature anomaly was +1.16 °C for Australia's sixth-warmest autumn on record.

Minimum temperatures were significantly above average for much of the country. Minima were in the warmest 10% of records for areas including most of mainland southeast Australia, extending into most of South Australia and adjoining areas of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, in addition to most of inland Queensland, northern and eastern Tasmania, the Top End, and the west coast of Western Australia. An area of northern South Australia and adjacent areas of Queensland and the Northern Territory recorded their warmest autumn on record in terms of minimum temperatures. Autumn minima were in the top seven warmest for Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania and were the highest on record for South Australia. The national minimum temperature anomaly was the third-highest on record for autumn at +1.14 °C.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 105)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 105)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 105)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia 100 +1.16 6th highest 103 +1.14 3rd highest (record +1.20 °C in 1992) 103 +1.15 3rd highest (record +1.64 °C in 2005)
Queensland 95 +1.20 101 +1.31 5th highest 103 +1.26 3rd highest (record +1.60 °C in 2007)
New South Wales 95 +0.94 100 +1.24 6th highest 99 +1.09 7th highest
Victoria 95 +0.89 101 +1.23 5th highest = 102 +1.06 equal 3rd highest (record +1.49 °C in 2007)
Tasmania 95 +0.71 = 98 +0.72 equal 7th highest 99 +0.71 7th highest
South Australia 95 +1.29 105 +1.86 highest (was +1.83 °C in 2013) 102 +1.58 4th highest (record +1.93 °C in 2005)
Western Australia 98 +1.13 8th highest = 93 +0.81 99 +0.97 7th highest
Northern Territory 95 +1.27 92 +0.95 94 +1.11

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 105 (highest). A rank marked with ’=‘ indicates the value is tied for that rank. Anomaly is the departure from the long-term (1961–1990) average.


Temperature maps
MeanAnomalyDeciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of mean daily maximum temperature Map of mean daily maximum temperature anomalies Map of mean daily maximum temperature deciles
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of mean daily minimum temperature Map of mean daily minimum temperature anomalies Map of mean daily minimum temperature deciles
Mean
daily
temperatures
Map of mean daily temperature Map of mean daily temperature anomalies Map of mean daily temperature deciles

Rainfall

For Australia as a whole, area-averaged rainfall was 10% below the long-term average. Rainfall was below average for a large area of inland western and southern Queensland and parts of the adjacent Northern Territory, the Top End, and on the southeast coast and the eastern parts of the Pilbara and Gascoyne in Western Australia, as well as in scattered areas elsewhere, predominantly near the coast of both the mainland and Tasmania. Western and inland southern Queensland and the greater northwest of Western Australia have received average to below-average rainfall in each of the three months of the season.

However, northern Victoria, most of New South Wales excluding the coast and parts of the northern border area, most of South Australia, southern parts of the Northern Territory and an adjacent strip along the Western Australian border recorded above average autumn rainfall. While March saw below average rainfall across much of the western half of the country and above average falls in the southeast, above average rainfall totals were widespread in April, with a band of well-above-average falls extending between eastern Western Australia, through much of South Australia, and into southern New South Wales and northern Victoria. May also saw generally average to above average rainfall across most of Western Australia and southwestern South Australia, with average to below average falls across much of eastern and northern Australia.

South Australia recorded the largest departure from the long-term mean for rainfall during the season at 52% above average, while the Northern Territory and Queensland recorded the largest negative anomalies at 25% and 22% below average respectively.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 115)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 60 108.2 −10%
Queensland 49 127.0 −22%
New South Wales 88 149.0 +4%
Victoria 83 167.6 +7%
Tasmania 40 308.0 −10%
South Australia 103 85.8 +52%
Western Australia 53 82.3 −9%
Northern Territory 50 104.0 −25%
Murray-Darling Basin 87 128.6 +8%

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 115 (highest). A rank marked with ’=‘ indicates the value is tied for that rank. Departure from mean is relative to the long-term (1961–1990) average.


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


Australian weather extremes in autumn 2014
Hottest day   44.6 °C at Roebourne Aero (WA) on 7 March
Coldest day   −1.2 °C at Thredbo AWS (NSW) on 2 May,
and Charlotte Pass (Kosciusko Chalet) (NSW) on 1 May
Coldest night   −9.4 °C at Perisher Valley AWS (NSW) on 8 May
Warmest night   31.5 °C at Warmun (WA) on 3 April
Wettest day 450.7 mm at Numinbah State Farm (Qld) on 28 March


Notes

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. 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.

Climate Summaries are usually published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 12 noon EST on Monday 2 June 2014. 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.

The system used for calculating areal averages of rainfall was changed in May 2009; the main effect was that current and historical values for Tasmania were increased. Since December 2012, ACORN-SAT has been used for calculating areal averages of temperature; the major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.


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