Remote Islands and Antarctica in summer 2023-24

Australia's Indian Ocean islands

  • Summer was drier than average for Christmas Island Aero, the total rainfall was 417.2 mm compared to the long-term average for summer of 861.3 mm and it was the driest since summer 2005-06.
  • At Christmas Island Aero, both the mean maximum and minimum temperatures were 1.5 °C and 0.7 °C warmer than the long-term summer average, respectively.
  • On 27 December, Christmas Island reached 31.5 °C equalling its highest summer temperature on record compared to its long-term summer average of 29.7 °C.
  • At Cocos Island Airport, with the available days of data, the summer rainfall total was 158.6 mm compared to the long-term average of 472.2 mm. The total summer rainfall may be higher than the reported value.
  • At Cocos Island Airport, both the mean maximum and minimum temperatures were above average.
  • On 28 February Cocos Island Airport reached 32.8 °C equalling its highest summer temperature on record, the site also had its highest summer mean daily maximum temperature on record of 31.0 °C.

Australia's Pacific Ocean islands

  • At Norfolk Island Aero, both mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures were 1.5 °C above average and on 23 February the site also had its highest summer temperature on record at 28.5 °C.
  • Lord Howe Island Aero recorded 126.4 mm of total rainfall during summer, compared to the long-term average for summer at 307.4 mm. However, there were several days of missing observations during February and the final rainfall total for the season is likely higher.
  • At Lord Howe Island Aero, the maximum temperature was 2.0 °C above the long-term summer average and the mean minimum temperature was 1.7 °C above the long-term summer average.
  • Lord Howe Island Aero had its highest summer mean daily maximum temperature on record of 27.1 °C and its highest summer mean daily minimum temperature on record at 22.0 °C.

Australia's Antarctic and sub-Antarctic territories

  • The strongest wind gust during summer was 161 km/h at Mawson on 12 February.
  • The mean maximum temperature for summer was above average and the mean minimum temperature was below average at most Australian Antarctic stations.
  • Summer precipitation at Macquarie Island was above average, with the site recording 308.6 mm of rainfall, compared to the long-term average for summer at 256.7 mm.
  • At Macquarie Island, the mean maximum temperature was equal to the long-term summer average and the mean minimum temperature was 0.1 °C below the long-term summer average.
  • The strongest wind gust recorded this summer at Macquarie Island was 109 km/h on 15 December.

Record highest summer temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Norfolk Island Aero 28.5 on 23 Jan 2024 28.4 on 11 Feb 1996 85 24.4
Cocos Island Airport 32.8 on 28 Feb 2024 = 32.8 on 23 Feb 2017 73 29.7
Christmas Island Aero 31.5 on 27 Dec 2023 = 31.5 on 24 Feb 1983 51 28.0



Record highest summer mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Cocos Island Airport 31.0 30.7 in 1957 71 29.7
Lord Howe Island Aero 27.1 26.7 in 2009 35 25.1

Highest summer mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
summer
Christmas Island Aero 29.5 29.7 in 1982* 28.0
Norfolk Island Aero 25.9 26.0 in 1997 24.4

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a higher value has gone unreported




Record highest summer mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Lord Howe Island Aero 22.0 21.8 in 1997 35 20.3



Lowest summer mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
summer
Casey -4.6 -4.9 in 1999 -3.7



Record highest summer mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Norfolk Island Aero 23.3 = 23.3 in 2021 84 21.7
Lord Howe Island Aero 24.6 24.0 in 2009 35 22.7



Summary statistics for summer 2023-24
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Precipitation
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2023-24
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2023-24
Mean for
summer
2023-24
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2023-24
Total for
summer
2023-24
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2023-24
Fraction of
summer
average
Offshore Islands
Christmas Island Aero 29.5 +1.5 31.5 27 Dec 2023 23.4 +0.7 19.3 17 Dec 2023 417.2 861.3 low 48%
Cocos Island Airport 31.0 +1.3 32.8 28 Feb 2024 25.8 +0.9 22.8 30 Jan 2024 158.6 472.2 v low 34%
Lord Howe Island Aero 27.1 +2.0 30.5 22 Jan 2024 22.0 +1.7 16.8 12 Dec 2023 126.4 307.4 low 41%
Norfolk Island Aero 25.9 +1.5 28.5 23 Jan 2024 20.6 +1.6 15.9 8 Dec 2023
Antarctica and Macquarie Island
Casey 0.6 -0.6 4.4 29 Jan 2024 -4.6 -0.9 -11.7 29 Feb 2024 39.9 38.5 average 104%
Davis 1.5 -0.3 9.0 5 Dec 2023 -3.2 -0.6 -10.6 29 Feb 2024 5.0 7.5 average 67%
Davis (Whoop Whoop) -2.7   8.8 31 Jan 2024 -10.4   -19.1 28 Feb 2024
Macquarie Island 8.5 0.0 11.0 26 Jan 2024 4.9 -0.1 -0.4 3 Dec 2023 308.6 256.7 high 120%
Mawson 1.3 +0.2 6.4 30 Jan 2024 -4.4 +0.1 -14.5 29 Feb 2024
Note: Precipitation values from Casey and Davis should be used with caution.

Map of the areas covered by this summary

Notes

The Seasonal climate summary, usually published in the first week of the following month, lists the main features of the weather in Remote Islands and Antarctica using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 1 pm on Friday 1 March 2024. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the precipitation is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites are long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 10 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average precipitation.

The Rank indicates how precipitation this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low precipitation is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of average shows how much precipitation has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Information about Australian Indigenous seasonal calendars is available at the Indigenous Weather Knowledge website.


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