Australia in winter 2015

In Brief

Winter was a warm season for most of Australia, but cooler than average for much of the southeast. Nationally, maximum temperatures were the equal-eighth warmest on record for winter and mean temperatures were the ninth warmest on record (anomalies of +0.83 °C and +0.79 °C respectively). The national minimum temperature anomaly was also above average at +0.75 °C.

Both maxima and minim were above to very much above average for Western Australia and Queensland, including an area of warmest-on-record for maximum temperatures in northwest Western Australia. Maximum temperatures were also above average for the north and west of the Northern Territory, and minimum temperatures above average for the north of South Australia.

Maximum temperatures were cooler than average for much of southeastern Australia although average to above average in eastern New South Wales. Minimum temperatures were cooler than average for Tasmania, and part of central Victoria, southeastern New South Wales, the northern agricultural districts of South Australia, and a pocket of the northwestern Alice Springs district in the Northern Territory.

Rainfall during winter was 16% below the long-term mean for Australia as a whole. Rainfall was lower than average for the season in most of Victoria and southeastern South Australia, much of Tasmania, southwest Western Australia, and along the east coast of central New South Wales to southeast Queensland. Much of northern Australia is seasonally dry at this time of year—this meant very small negative anomalies resulted in a drier-than-average season for parts of northern Queensland and much of the north of Western Australia.


Temperatures

The national maximum temperature anomaly for winter was +0.83 °C, the equal-eighth warmest on record. For Western Australia winter maxima were the second warmest on record at +1.44 °C, 0.12 °C behind the record set in 2002. Tasmania observed its tenth-coolest winter (anomaly −0.62 °C), reflecting cooler-than-average days for much of the southeast.

Maximum temperatures were above to very much above average over Western Australia and the adjacent margin of South Australia; for an area of the western Kimberley winter maxima were warmest on record. Maximum temperatures during June contributed substantially, with the majority of Western Australia in the highest 10% of historical observations (decile 10) for the month, with numerous daily and monthly records set. Winter maxima were also above to very much above average for the west and north of the Northern Territory, nearly all of Queensland, and along a narrow strip of the northern coast of New South Wales. Apart from the very warm June in the west, the story was one of above-average daytime temperatures around western and northern Australia in each winter month.

Maximum temperatures were below average for most of New South Wales inland of the Great Dividing Range and away from the Queensland border, most of Victoria except the far northeast, southeast South Australia, an area extending from the Eyre Peninsula through the Riverlands, and nearly all of Tasmania. While June was generally near-average for daytime temperatures in the southeast, July and August were cooler than average for most of the region, and August very much cooler than average for Tasmania.

Winter minimum temperatures were also above to very much above average for most of Western Australia and Queensland, except for parts of the northern Kimberley and the Cape York Peninsula. Minima were also above average for western and northern South Australia, parts of northern New South Wales, parts of the south and west of the Northern Territory and a pocket of the southwestern Top End. June minima were very much above average for Queensland, while August produced very-much-warmer-than-average nights for Western Australia.

For winter as a whole, minimum temperatures were below average for central Victoria and South Gippsland, parts of the southern Riverina and South West Slopes districts in New South Wales, and also for an area of the South West Slopes in New South Wales, parts of the northern agricultural districts in South Australia, and an area of the northwestern Alice Springs District in the Northern Territory. For Tasmania winter nights were the tenth-coolest on record (anomaly −0.63 °C), with minima across the State below to very much below average. August was a particularly cool month for Tasmania, with minimum temperatures the fourth coolest on record and some records set.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 106)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 106)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 106)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia = 98 +0.83 equal 8th highest 93 +0.75 98 +0.79 9th highest
Queensland 94 +0.96 98 +1.46 9th highest 97 +1.21 10th highest
New South Wales 52 +0.03 72 +0.40 64 +0.22
Victoria = 28 −0.37 43 −0.16 = 27 −0.26
Tasmania 10 −0.62 10th lowest; lowest since 1992 10 −0.63 10th lowest; lowest since 1995 = 6 −0.62 equal 6th lowest; lowest since 1966
South Australia 57 +0.26 74 +0.40 72 +0.34
Western Australia 105 +1.44 2nd highest (record +1.56 °C in 2002) 100 +0.95 7th highest; highest since 1998 105 +1.20 2nd highest (record +1.41 °C in 1996)
Northern Territory 85 +0.68 66 +0.17 76 +0.43

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 106 (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

Nationally, area-averaged winter rainfall was 16% below the long-term mean.

Winter rainfall was below to very much below average for southwest Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, all of Victoria except Gippsland, most of Tasmania, and along the east coast between Syndey and southeast Queensland. Rainfall for southwest Western Australia, southeast South Australia and western Victoria was below average in each month of winter, continuing a long run of drier-than-average months for these areas.

Rainfall for the season was above to very much above average for much of southern Western Australia away from the southwest, for much of New South Wales inland of the Great Dividing Range and an adjacent part of South Australia, and also for coastal southeast New South Wales and far East Gippsland in Victoria.

Moderate totals for winter in the eastern Top End, Barkly district of the Northern Territory, and parts of the North Tropical Coast of Queensland and the Cape York Peninsula resulted in above-average rainfall for the season. Elsewhere in the north some areas observed small negative rainfall anomalies, although most of this area is seasonally dry.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 116)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 37 53.6 −16%
Queensland 44 38.1 −26%
New South Wales 71 125.2 +8%
Victoria 21 152.8 −25%
Tasmania 27 369.0 −16%
South Australia 37 44.4 −20%
Western Australia 36 48.4 −20%
Northern Territory 66 13.6 −26%
Murray-Darling Basin 70 114.0 +3%

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 116 (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 2015
Hottest day   37.6 °C at Warmun on 25 August (WA)
Coldest day   −5.4 °C at Mount Hotham (Vic.) on 1 June
Coldest night −12.8 °C at Perisher Valley AWS (NSW) on 4 August
Warmest night   26.2 °C at Troughton Island (WA) on 1 June
Wettest day 320.0 mm at Bellenden Ker Top Stn (Qld.) on 30 June


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 Tuesday 1 September 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.


Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries