Australia in summer 2014–15

In Brief

Summer 2014–15 was the fifth-warmest on record for Australia (mean temperature anomaly +0.86 °C). Both maximum and minimum temperatures were well above average for the season. The national maximum temperature anomaly was +0.94 °C (the fourth-warmest on record) and the minimum temperature anomaly was +0.79 °C (equal-sixth-warmest on record). Maximum temperatures were above average the majority of Western Australia, the Top End, most of South Australia, northern Queensland and the west of the eastern mainland States, and for nearly all of Tasmania. Maximum temperatures were below average for an area of the central Northern Territory, extending across the border into a smaller area of Western Australia. Minimum temperatures were above to very much average for most of Australia. Minimum temperatures were below average for an area of the central Northern Territory and adjacent Western Australia and near average in much of the Kimberley, a large part of southern South Australia except the southeast, and small parts of eastern and inland southern Queensland.

Rainfall for Australia as a whole during summer 2014–15 was 7% above the long-term mean. For the three months December 2014 to February 2015 rainfall was below average across the north of Queensland, much of the west of Western Australia, and a large part of the western half of South Australia. Rainfall was above average for most of the Northern Territory, parts of adjacent Western Australia though not most of the Kimberley, the northeastern half of South Australia, and along the east coast from Queensland's central coast to the eastern third of Victoria. Tasmania was drier than average for parts of the west and wetter than average for parts of the east.


Temperatures

Summer 2014–15 continued the run of warm seasons for Australia which have persisted since mid-2012. The national maximum temperature anomaly was +0.94 °C; making 2014–2015 Australia's fourth-warmest summer for maximum temperatures. The Northern Territory recorded a maximum temperature anomaly of −0.29 °C, but each of the States recorded above-average maxima with anomalies ranging from +0.75 °C in Tasmania to +1.56 °C in Western Australia (that State's fourth-warmest summer for maximum temperatures). The national minimum temperature anomaly was +0.79 °C; the equal-sixth-warmest for summer minimum temperatures. Summer minima were within the top ten for Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Maximum temperatures were above average for all of Western Australia except that area immediately adjacent to the Northern Territory, extending into the inland Kimberley, and also above average for the Top End and around the Gulf of Carpentaria, across most of Queensland except the for southeastern quadrant and areas extending inland from Normanton in the Gulf Country and adjacent to the centre of the Northern Territory border in the west, across nearly all of South Australia except for parts of the central south coast, across the western half of New South Wales, the majority of Victoria except the eastern quarter, and across nearly all of Tasmania. Maxima were in the warmest ten per cent of observations for nearly all of Western Australia south of Karratha, northwestern South Australia and areas of Queensland in the Channel Country and the east of the Cape York Peninsula, extending along coastal eastern Queensland as far south as Townsville. Near-average maximum temperatures were observed in the southeastern quadrant of Queensland, eastern New South Wales, and most of East Gippsland in Victoria. Maximum temperatures were below average for a large area covering the central Northern Territory and extending across the border into adjacent Western Australia.

Minimum temperatures followed a similar spatial pattern, with above average minima observed across nearly all of Western Australia except the Kimberley and northwest of the Interior District, across the north and south of the Northern Territory, across the northern half of South Australia and South Australia's southeast, across nearly all of Queensland, and throughout New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Minima were in the highest ten per cent of observations for much of this area in Western Australia, northern and western Queensland, along the coast of New South Wales and an area in the southwest, eastern and central Victoria, and most of Tasmania except the west coast. Minimum temperatures were below average for a large area of the central Northern Territory, extending across the border into adjacent Western Australia, and also for a small pocket of the Kimberley coast near Derby.


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 102 +0.94 4th highest (record +1.44 °C in 2013) = 99 +0.79 equal 6th highest 101 +0.86 5th highest
Queensland 87 +0.89 101 +0.95 5th highest 100 +0.93 6th highest
New South Wales 80 +0.96 92 +1.19 89 +1.08
Victoria = 87 +0.95 = 96 +1.16 equal 9th highest 92 +1.05
Tasmania 86 +0.75 99 +0.82 7th highest 91 +0.78
South Australia = 90 +1.08 = 81 +0.76 89 +0.92
Western Australia 102 +1.56 4th highest (record +1.72 °C in 1998) 103 +0.85 3rd highest (record +0.98 °C in 2010) 103 +1.21 3rd highest (record +1.34 °C in 2010)
Northern Territory 52 −0.29 71 +0.18 61 −0.05

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 summer rainfall was 7% above the long-term mean for Australia as a whole, largely as a result of above-average rainfall for the Northern Territory and east coast during December and extending from the north of Western Australia, through the Northern Territory and central Australia, into the southeast in January. February rainfall, in contrast, was generally below average across most of Australia.

Rainfall was above average in a broad band from the northwest to inland southeast extending from the far western Kimberley and northern part of the Interior District of Western Australia, through nearly all of the Northern Territory except the Top End, into northern and eastern South Australia but missing the southeast, and finally reaching far western New South Wales. Rainfall was also above average along much of the east of Queensland from the Central Coast District southwards, through eastern New South Wales, through the eastern third of Victoria, and along the coastal margin of eastern Tasmania.

Rainfall was below average for most of the Pilbara in Western Australia, part of the northwestern Gascoyne and for most of the south of the South West Land Division, extending into the Eucla and Goldfields districts. Rainfall was also below average for an area at the top of the Great Australian Bight, from the far southeast of Western Australia extending into central South Australia and across the West Coast District. The Cape York Peninsula, parts of the Queensland Gulf Country and other smaller areas in the northern Kimberley, central Top End, central Queensland and on the Queensland–New South Wales border inland of the Great Dividing Range also observed below-average rainfall for the summer.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 115)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 76 221.9 +7%
Queensland 47 295.5 −9%
New South Wales 88 197.3 +16%
Victoria 76 135.3 +14%
Tasmania 50 239.7 −3%
South Australia 86 67.2 +8%
Western Australia 57 136.8 −8%
Northern Territory 97 433.0 +37%
Murray-Darling Basin 76 153.8 +7%

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 summer 2014–15
Hottest day   49.2 °C at Roebourne Aero (WA) on 21 February
Coldest day     4.1 °C at Mount Wellington (Tas.) on 28 January
Coldest night   −2.5 °C at Liawenee (Tas.) on 27 January
Warmest night   35.1 °C at Wittenoom (WA) on 21 February
Wettest day at least 400.0 mm at Cape Leveque (WA) on 8 January (the true total is unknown as the gauge overflowed)


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 March 2015. 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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