Maps of recent, past and average conditions

Recent and past conditions

High resolution maps and data, ranging from the most recent day, back to 1900 for rainfall and 1910 for temperature.


Grids can be downloaded for many of the map selections. In each map page, links to grids and archives are located above the maps, on the right hand side. Below the page titles, 'About this map' links provide details about each dataset.


Recent and historical maps and grids

The links on this page provide gridded datasets for rainfall, temperature, vapour pressure, solar exposure and Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), over time periods ranging from daily, weekly, monthly to 3-yearly.


  • Australian rainfall starting in the year 1900, available in spatial scales down to 0.05° resolution for daily or monthly time scales.
  • Map types include Rainfall Totals, Percentages, Deciles, Drought, Anomalies, 1 Year Difference, 2 Year Difference, 3 Year Difference.


  • Australian temperature starting in the year 1910, available in spatial scales down to 0.05° resolution for daily or monthly time scales.
  • Map types include Mean Maximum, Mean Minimum, Maximum Anomaly, Highest Maximum, Highest Minimum, Lowest Maximum, Lowest Minimum, Mean Temperature, Mean Anomaly, Maximum Decile, Minimum Decile, Mean Decile, 9am - 3pm Maximum.

Vapour pressure, Solar exposure and Normalised Difference Vegetation Index

  • Also available is vapour pressure (1971–present), solar exposure (1990–present) and Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) (1992-present) at 0.05° resolution for daily or monthly time scales.
  • Vapour Pressure maps include 9am Vapour Pressure, 3pm Vapour Pressure, 9am Vapour Pressure Anomaly, 3pm Vapour Pressure Anomaly.
  • Solar Exposure maps include Solar Exposure.
  • NDVI maps include NDVI Average, NDVI Anomaly.

Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP)

The system used to produce this information was developed under the Australian Water Availability Project.
This project was part supported by the National Heritage Trust with partners in the Bureau of Rural Sciences and CSIRO.

Science underpinning the AWAP gridded analyses: Jones et al, 2009.


Climatology (averages) maps and grids

Periods used in climatology maps and statistics

You may have noticed that all of our climate maps and statistics have a reference to the period over which they were calculated. You may also have wondered why certain periods are common, and why some elements are calculated over different periods. The following is a discussion of the most common averaging periods used in our products.

1961 to 1990

This 30-year period is the most recent standard reference period as defined by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). The WMO describes 'standard reference periods' for use by the international community in order to maintain consistency in the calculation of climate statistics across the world. This allows climate statistics from different countries to be compared and analysed. The standard reference period is commonly used in our climate maps, climate statistics and is the base period for most climate change studies. The next standard reference period will be 1991 to 2020.

1976 to 2005

This period is often used as a more recent 30 year period to calculate statistics that are more descriptive of our current climate. Many of our climate maps and statistics are calculated over this period.

Other periods

Some of our maps and statistics have been calculated over other periods, using different dates and varying lengths of time.

Deciles, percentiles, extreme values and variability in datasets are generally calculated using all years of record. This is because these measures need a longer period of record to be statistically valid and therefore useful to you. For example, how could you describe the "hottest day on record", if you had only used data from the last 20 years? In order to describe the "hottest day on record" you would need to look at data from all years in the record.

Sometimes, the data related limitations of certain elements or meteorological parameters will determine the period used for the analysis. For example, the solar exposure maps were created using satellite data. These specialised satellite data were not available prior to 1990, so the maps and statistics have been calculated using all the data available from 1990 onwards.