Australia in winter 2014

In Brief

Winter 2014 was warmer than average for Australia in terms of both maximum and minimum temperatures. The national maximum temperature anomaly of +0.68 °C and minimum temperature anomaly of −0.14 °C combined to give a mean temperature anomaly of +0.27 °C. Maximum temperatures were above average for nearly all of the southern half of Australia, and particularly warm for the southwestern half of Western Australia. Minimum temperatures were above average for much of the southern coast of the mainland and Tasmania but below average for a large area of central and northwestern Australia.

Rainfall was 28% below the long-term mean when averaged nationally. Winter rainfall was very much below average across the south of Western Australia and generally below average across the southern coastline and Tasmania. Parts of northern Australia (the Kimberley and Cape York) recorded above average winter rainfall. Inland and western Queensland, much of the Top End and parts of Western Australia recorded below-average rainfall for the season.


Temperatures

Winter 2014 was again a warm season for Australia. Maximum temperatures were above to very much above average across southern Australia from the Pilbara to the central Queensland coast as well as for parts of coastal northern Australia. For Tasmania and the southwestern half of Western Australia, maxima were in the highest 10% of records for winter (decile 1). An area of the central Northern Territory recorded cooler-than-average winter days, while maximum temperatures were near-average for the remainder of central and northern Australia. Maximum temperatures for much of southeastern Australia have remained warmer than average for each month of winter. Maximum temperatures were the second-warmest on record for winter in Tasmania and equal-third warmest for Western Australia. The national maximum temperature anomaly was +0.68 °C for Australia.

Minimum temperatures were above average for a smaller area of the country, taking in the Southwest Land Division of Western Australia, Tasmania, southern Victoria and coastal New South Wales, as well as small parts of Queensland. Below-average minimum temperatures were recorded across most of the Northern Territory and adjacent border areas of neighbouring States. Minima were also cooler than average for winter in South Australia around and north of the Flinders Ranges, extending along the Murray and into western New South Wales. Winter minima were in decile 1 for southern Victoria and smaller parts of the southern coast and Tasmania. The national minimum temperature anomaly was −0.14 °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 91 +0.68 = 48 −0.14 = 70 +0.27
Queensland 75 +0.46 = 69 +0.33 76 +0.40
New South Wales = 94 +0.94 71 +0.39 91 +0.67
Victoria 90 +0.71 = 76 +0.37 92 +0.54
Tasmania 104 +1.21 2nd highest (record +1.23 °C in 1988) 82 +0.49 = 99 +0.85 equal 6th highest
South Australia = 87 +0.79 = 50 +0.06 = 75 +0.42
Western Australia = 102 +1.15 equal 3rd highest (record +1.56 °C in 2002) = 40 −0.26 = 81 +0.44
Northern Territory 54 −0.18 18 −1.13 = 33 −0.65

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

Area-averaged rainfall was 28% below the long-term mean for Australia as a whole. Rainfall was below average for Western Australia from the Pilbara coast south, for South Australia, northern Victoria and southern New South Wales, much of Tasmania and areas in southeastern Queensland and the western and southern Top End in the Northern Territory. August was a particularly dry month for southern Australia, with much of the area adjacent to the coast and much of Tasmania recording rainfall in the lowest 10% of records for the month (decile 1). Llarge areas of decile 1 rainfall were also recorded in the southern half of Western Australia for July and June, contributing to areas of lowest-on-record totals for winter, predominantly within the Gascoyne District. 34% of Western Australia recorded decile 1 rainfall for winter.

Only small areas recorded above-average rainfall for the season – across much of the Kimberley and Cape York Peninsula in northern Australia as well as scattered small areas along a line extending southeast from the Kimberley to the eastern coast of Victoria and New South Wales. Recent rainfall along the east coast of Queensland and New South Wales was significant for August, but did little to reverse the effect of low winter rainfall overall.

The Northern Territory recorded the largest departure from the long-term mean for rainfall during the season at 49% below average, closely followed by Western Australia at 44% below average. No State recorded a positive rainfall anomaly for winter.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 115)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 19 46.0 −28%
Queensland 47 39.8 −22%
New South Wales 45 107.0 −8%
Victoria 32 173.0 −15%
Tasmania 27 372.4 −15%
South Australia 22 35.3 −37%
Western Australia 9 34.0 −44% 9th lowest
Northern Territory 52 9.2 −49%
Murray-Darling Basin 34 91.1 −18%

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 winter 2014
Hottest day   36.3 °C at Wyndham Aero (WA) on 2 August
Coldest day   −5.7 °C at Thredbo AWS (NSW) on 1 August
Coldest night −13.0 °C at Perisher Valley AWS (NSW) on 3 August
Warmest night   25.1 °C at Troughton Island (WA) on 13 July
Wettest day 215.0 mm at Cape Leveque (WA) on 13 July


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 1 September 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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