Australia in spring 2019

In Brief

  • Fifth-warmest spring on record for Australia
  • Mean maximum temperature warmer than average for spring over nearly all of Australia; second-warmest spring mean maximum temperature on record nationally
  • Mean minimum temperature warmer than average for spring over most of Western Australia, and scattered areas of the north and east; cooler than average mean minimum temperature for parts of the north and parts of southeastern South Australia, western Victoria to the New South Wales Riverina
  • Rainfall below average for most of Australia; nationally the driest spring on record
  • Spring rainfall amongst the ten lowest on record for the Northern Territory and all States except Victoria and Tasmania
  • Spring mean maximum temperature amongst the ten highest on record for the Northern Territory and all States except Victoria and Tasmania

Temperatures

Spring was warmer than average for Australia, with days particularly warm. The national mean maximum temperature for spring was the second-warmest on record for Australia (2.41 °C warmer than average, 0.04 °C behind the record held by 2014). The mean minimum temperature for Australia was 0.64 °C warmer than average.

The mean maximum temperature for spring was amongst the ten warmest on record for the Northern Territory and all States except Victoria and Tasmania.

The mean maximum temperature for the season was above or very much above average across nearly all of Australia, and record warm across most of Western Australia, part of the northwest of the Northern Territory, and part of inland northern New South Wales. A number of sites observed record high mean spring maximum temperatures in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia.

Only the very tip of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland had a cooler than average spring mean maximum temperature.

Extremely dry conditions and very much above average temperatures led to increased fire risk across New South Wales and Queensland during spring. More details on the fires and associated weather conditions can be found in Special Climate Statement Severe fire weather conditions in southeast Queensland and northeast New South Wales in September 2019. Several large and dangerous fires have been burning in both States since early September, resulting in loss of both property and lives. Several large fires also occurred in Victoria towards the end of spring, including fires which were still burning in Gippsland at the close of November.

A large number of record high daily temperatures for spring were observed during a very warm period between 16 and 21 November, with records set in New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania. A few sites observed record high daily minimum temperatures too in South Australia, Western Australia, and Victoria.

Several cold outbreaks during September brought very chilly temperatures at times, with frost causing crop damage in southwest Western Australia during the first half of the month. Record low daily minimum temperatures for spring were observed in early September in Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia; and in and mid-September in Tasmania.

Mean minimum temperatures for spring were warmer than average for Western Australia except the Kimberly, western South Australia, and scattered areas in the north of the country, southern Queensland, and northern to central New South Wales. The spring mean minimum temperature was cooler than average for most of the Kimberley in Western Australia; most of the Top End in the Northern Territory; an area spanning the southeast of the Northern Territory to Queensland's western Channel Country; most of Cape York Peninsula and Queensland's Central Coast; and part of southeast South Australia, western and northern Victoria, and adjacent border regions of southern New South Wales.

The eleven months of the year to date has been very warm for the country as a whole; Australia observed its second-warmest mean temperature on record for January–November. The mean maximum and mean minimum temperature have also been very warm; respectively they were the highest and seventh-highest on record for Australia over the same period.


Areal average temperatures
Maximum Temperature Minimum Temperature Mean Temperature
Rank
(of 110)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 110)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment Rank
(of 110)
Anomaly
(°C)
Comment
Australia 109 +2.41 2nd highest (record +2.45 °C in 2014) 91 +0.64 106 +1.53 5th highest
Queensland 106 +1.94 5th highest 80 +0.50 100 +1.23
New South Wales 103 +2.60 8th highest 88 +0.83 102 +1.72 9th highest
Victoria 88 +1.01 49 −0.25 70 +0.38
Tasmania 82 +0.47 = 46 −0.37 = 66 +0.06
South Australia 105 +2.46 6th highest 73 +0.30 99 +1.39
Western Australia 110 +3.13 highest (was +2.58 °C in 2015) 105 +1.02 6th highest 110 +2.08 highest (was +2.03 °C in 2015)
Northern Territory 108 +1.82 3rd highest (record +2.10 °C in 2013) 79 +0.46 98 +1.14

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 110 (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

Rainfall for spring was below to very much below average for most of Australia, and overall it was Australia's driest spring on record.

Rainfall for the season was amongst the lowest 10% of historical records for much of New South Wales away from the northwest and central north; for much of eastern Queensland, including the Peninsula; nearly all of the southern half of Western Australia; large parts of the Northern Territory; large parts of South Australia away from the northeast, western Eyre Peninsula, and southeast; parts of northern Victoria and parts of northern Tasmania.

Spring rainfall was only above average in some areas of the Pilbara coast and far western Kimberley coast in Western Australia.

A large number of stations in New South Wales, and Queensland observed their driest spring on record, as did some in South Australia and Western Australia.

The prolonged abnormally low rainfall experienced over eastern Australia continues to have significant impact on communities and the environment. See also updated Special Climate Statement Drought conditions in eastern Australia and impact on water resources in the Murray–Darling Basin.

For the year to date (January–November), rainfall has been below to very much below average over much of Australia. For Australia as a whole, it was the second-driest January–November on record, and amongst the three driest on record for New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory.


Area-average rainfall
Rank
(of 120)
Average
(mm)
Departure
from mean
Comment
Australia 1 27.4 −62% lowest
Queensland 4 26.6 −69% 4th lowest (record 14.9 mm in 1919)
New South Wales 6 48.5 −61% 6th lowest; lowest since 2002
Victoria 14 110.9 −39%
Tasmania 23 292.3 −20%
South Australia 3 15.4 −70% 3rd lowest (record 11.4 mm in 1963)
Western Australia 1 14.0 −66% lowest
Northern Territory 8 22.4 −67% 8th lowest; lowest since 2006
Murray-Darling Basin 7 44.6 −61% 7th lowest; lowest since 1982

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 120 (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.

Rank ranges from 1 (lowest) to 120 (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 spring 2019
Hottest day 47.1 °C    at Mandora (WA) on 14 November
Coldest day −4.0 °C    at Mount Hotham (Vic.) on 9 September
Coldest night −8.3 °C    at Thredbo AWS (NSW) on 17 September
Warmest night 31.9 °C    at Argyle Aerodrome (WA) on 20 November
Wettest day 158.6 mm at Gray (Dalmayne Rd) (Tas.) on 7 September


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 1 pm EST on Monday 2 December 2019. 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. Temperature area averages are derived from the ACORN-SAT version 2 dataset. Rainfall area averages, along with rainfall and temperature maps, are derived from the AWAP dataset.


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