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Temperatures were generally above normal in the second half of 2011, and below normal in the first half of 2012. The most extreme months of the year were August (mean temperatures 0.9°C above normal, tenth-highest on record) and March (mean temperature 1.2°C below normal, ninth-lowest). For the year, maximum temperatures averaged over Australia were 0.04°C above the 1961-1990 mean, and minimum temperatures 0.22°C below the 1961-1990 mean.
Maximum temperatures were generally below normal in the tropics, as well as in eastern New South Wales and Queensland. The west coast of Western Australia south of Carnarvon had temperatures for the year about 1°C above normal, while Tasmania, the western half of Victoria and the agricultural areas of South Australia were up to 1°C above normal. Large parts of all of these areas were above the 90th percentile, especially near the coast. The area with the most significant below-normal temperatures was the Kimberley in Western Australia, with temperatures about 1°C below normal in the region’s east; much of Australia’s northern interior was at least 0.5°C below normal.
Similar to maximum temperatures, minimum temperatures were generally below normal in northern Australia and above normal in the south. However, the area of above-normal minimum temperatures was more limited than its daytime counterpart, covering the south and west of Western Australia, most of South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, and coastal New South Wales. Most southern coastal areas (including Tasmania), as well as Western Australia southwest of an Esperance-Carnarvon line, had minimum temperatures above the 90th percentile, and some records were set around Perth and in southern Tasmania. In contrast, scattered areas across the northern interior had minimum temperatures for 2011-12 more than 1°C below normal (the start of the 2012 dry season, in May and June, was particularly cool), and some places had their lowest annual minimum temperatures on record, especially in the Kimberley.
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