Australia in summer 2013–14

In Brief

Summer 2013–14 was warmer than average for Australia in terms of both maximum and minimum temperatures. Anomalies for area-averaged national maximum, minimum and mean temperatures were +0.44 °C, +0.46 °C and +0.45 °C respectively. Maximum temperatures were above average for the southern half of Australia, excluding an area of southern Western Australia between the South Australia border and the South West Land Division. Summer maxima were in the highest 10% of records for much of this area. Maxima were below average for much of the Northern Territory, extending across the Western Australian border and as far west as the Pilbara. Minimum temperatures were also above average across the southern half of Australia and much of Queensland. Areas of below-average minimum temperatures were small and restricted to the eastern Kimberley and central western Northern Territory and parts of east coast Queensland.

Rainfall was 15% above the long-term mean when averaged nationally, however this disguises a district difference between eastern and western Australia. Rainfall was above average across most of the far north, southern South Australia and the western half of Australia, excluding the southwest of Western Australia. Rainfall was below average for most of Tasmania, Victoria and the eastern halves of New South Wales and Queensland.


Temperatures

Summer 2013–14 was particularly warm across the greater southeast of Australia as a result of above- to very-much-above-average temperatures in all three months. Maximum temperatures were in the highest 10% of records for Victoria, the eastern half of South Australia, western, southern and northeastern New South Wales, an area in southeast Queensland and also across eastern Tasmania and along the west coast of Western Australia. Above-average maximum temperatures extending into most of the remainder of South Australia and New South Wales as well as southern and western Queensland. Maxima were below average for most of the Northern Territory excluding the Top End and along the Queensland border, as well as adjacent parts of Western Australia and across the top of the Interior District and the eastern Pilbara and a small area on the southern coast east of Esperance.

Summer maxima were the 3rd-warmest on record for Victoria, 5th-warmest on record for New South Wales, and 6th-warmest on record for South Australia. The national maximum temperature anomaly was +0.44 °C. The anomalies for Australian minimum and mean temperatures were similar at +0.46 °C and +0.45 °C respectively. All states except Western Australia and the Northern Territory recorded above-average maxima while only the Northern Territory recorded below-average minima for the season. Summer minima were the 10th-warmest on record for Queensland. Several periods of exceptionally hot weather were recorded during summer; details can be found in the Monthly Weather Reviews and Special Climate Statements.

Minimum temperatures were above to very much above average across the west coast and south of Western Australia, South Australia, the southeast including Tasmania, the southeast of the Northern Territory and Queensland away from the east coast. Minima were in the warmest 10% of records for summer in central and western Queensland, along the west coast of Western Australia and in an area covering central South Australia extending into western New South Wales. Below-average minima were recorded in small areas of northern east coast Queensland, near Mackay and Cairns, and in part of the Northern Territory and Western Australia covering the north of the Alice Springs District and eastern Kimberley.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 104)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 104)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 104)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia 81 +0.44 86 +0.46 90 +0.45
Queensland 85 +0.76 95 +0.67 10th highest = 90 +0.71
New South Wales 100 +2.00 5th highest 89 +1.04 97 +1.52 8th highest
Victoria 102 +2.07 3rd highest (record +2.50 °C in 2001) 91 +0.97 102 +1.52 3rd highest (record +2.18 °C in 2001)
Tasmania 94 +1.22 75 +0.26 88 +0.74
South Australia 99 +1.53 6th highest 94 +1.18 100 +1.36 5th highest
Western Australia 50 −0.08 75 +0.10 = 65 +0.01
Northern Territory = 21 −1.11 48 −0.10 = 28 −0.60

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 104 (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 15% below the long-term average, although this value conceals marked regional differences between west and east. New South Wales and Victoria recorded area-averaged totals 46% and 30% below average respectively. Rainfall was below average across eastern Australia extending from central northern Queensland, along the east coast and most of Victoria, most of Tasmania and also in the southwest of Western Australia. For the area covering northeastern New South Wales and southeastern Queensland summer rainfall was in the lowest 10% of records, with some small areas recording their lowest summer rainfall on record. Other smaller areas of Victoria, Tasmania and southwest Western Australia also recorded rainfall in the lowest 10% of records.

Rainfall was above average across the west of Queensland's Cape York Peninsula, through the north and west of the Northern Territory, through most of Western Australia and along the coast of South Australia. For a large part of this area rainfall totals were in the highest 10% of summer records. In the tropical north and eastern Western Australia the majority of rainfall for summer was recorded along the path of tropical cyclones or significant tropical lows, mostly occurring between January and early February. These individual systems are discussed in detail in the Monthly Weather Reviews.

Below-average summer rainfall on the east coast was a result of below-average rainfall in each month, although February rainfall was generally closer to average and was below average mainly in southern Victoria, northern Tasmania, southeastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales. Much of inland eastern Australia has been experiencing drought conditions for many months, as discussed in the Drought Statement.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 114)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 92 240.1 +15%
Queensland 37 280.9 −13%
New South Wales 10 91.1 −46% 10th lowest; lowest since 1985
Victoria 26 83.5 −30%
Tasmania 29 202.1 −18%
South Australia 74 63.3 +2%
Western Australia 103 241.2 +62%
Northern Territory 99 439.7 +40%
Murray-Darling Basin 17 92.4 −36%

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 114 (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 summer 2013–14
Hottest day   49.3 °C at Moomba Airport (SA) on 2 January
Coldest day     0.0 °C at Mount Hotham (Vic.) on 5 December
Coldest night   −4.6 °C at Thredbo AWS (NSW) on 6 December
Warmest night   33.6 °C at Bedourie Police Station (Qld) on 23 January
Wettest day 389.0 mm at Nerada Alert (Qld) on 3 February


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 10 am EST on Monday 3 February 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.

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.


Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries