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Savanna Explorer > Kimberley > Landscapes and Climate

Climate of the Kimberley

Monsoonal climate

The Kimberley region's tropical monsoonal climate has considerable variation across its range. The summer wet season usually occurs from November to April and is characterised by hot humid conditions, predominantly north-west winds and frequent thunderstorms.

Rainfall

Ninety per cent of rain falls during the summer and is highly variable from year to year. The heaviest falls occur along the coast and in the highland areas where thunderstorms are more frequent. The Mitchell Plateau receives around 1400 mm annually which grades down to 400 mm towards the Great Sandy Desert. Wet conditions in the most southerly, coastal region are brought in by moist, westerly winds of the pseudo-monsoon sourced over the Indian Ocean. Flooding over extensive areas may occur as the result of the passage of tropical cyclones and their associated intensive winds can cause much damage.

Average temperature

Average maximum temperatures exceed 35ºC in inland regions but moderate along the coast in the early months of the wet. At this time humidity and cloud cover increase and climatic discomfort is at its highest. Throughout the year the combination of warm or no wind conditions, high humidity and temperature produce more than 200 days of climate discomfort.

Dry season

From May to October the Kimberley experiences its dry season with cloudless skies. South-east trade winds coming in from across central Australia are comparatively cool and dry. Maximum temperatures average 30ºC and are higher in the north than in the south. Minimum temperatures above 20ºC occur around the coast but inland overnight temperatures can drop to below 5ºC in the high plateau regions where frosts are a possibility.