Climate of the Mackay area

Pioneer RiverThe Mackay area has a tropical climate. Summers are generally hot and wet, though the coast has the benefit of a regular afternoon sea breeze. Winter days are generally warm and sunny, while winter nights can be cool away from the coast.

Mackay's average annual rainfall is 1585mm. A large proportion falls in the months December through to March with the driest months being August/September.

Maximum daytime temperatures are typically 29-30 degrees during the summer/wet months and 21-25 degrees during the winter/dry months. Minimum overnight temperatures are typically around 23 degrees during the summer/wet months and 13-14 degrees during the winter/dry months.

The region lies in the trade wind belt for most of the year resulting in south to southeast winds. During the warmer months afternoon northeast sea breezes are common. Fresh south-easterlies can blow along the coast for lengthy periods during summer and autumn, but gale force winds are rare and normally only occur with a tropical cyclone.

Pioneer River

The cyclone season is from December through to April with 43 tropical cyclones passing within 150km of Mackay during the years 1910-1992. Mackay has 17 thunder days per year on average with the majority of these occuring from late spring through to early autumn. Fog occurs on average 9 times each year. Maximum temperatures have reached the high 30's and minimum temperatures have dropped to less than 4 degrees.

The Pioneer River has a quite well recorded flood history with documented evidence of flooding as far back as 1884. Since that time many devastating floods have occurred, with the highest occurring in February 1958 which peaked at a height of 9.14 metres on the Mackay flood warning gauge at the Forgan Bridge.