Land and Climate
Derby is set on a peninsula of slightly evalated land above flat, tidal marshland with seasonal tidal differences up to 12 metres. The soil is predominantly pindan, a red-brown, sandy clay that supports tropical, savannah vegetation including grasses, woody shrubs and eucalypts, and boab trees.
The Kimberley experiences two main seasons, the Dry and the Wet. The Dry season is ideal for tourism and runs from May to October. These are comfortable months with warm, dry days (28-34C). Nights are cool on the coast (18-20C) and colder inland. Very little rain falls in these months but showers may occur. Temperatures increase towards the end of September and can be in the vicinity of 40C during the day. The tropical summer or Wet season runs from November to April. Humidity is high to very high and an average of 600mm of rain falls in tropical downpours from thunderstorms and regional cyclones. Temperatures can be very hot (35-42C) October through to December.
A key factor in the historic siting of Derby is its reduced cyclone
risk. Unlike Broome, the Dampier Peninsular, coastal Pilbara towns or Darwin, the main impacts of tropical lows and cyclones in the Derby region are heavy rainfall and flooding. Derby's cyclone risk associated with wind is much lower due to several factors, including less cyclones in the area, less severe cyclones in this region and cyclones move over land and weaken before reaching Derby.