Canberra in 2013: Second-warmest year on record

  • Second-warmest year on record for maximum temperatures
  • Warmest January, July, September and Winter on record
  • Close to average rainfall and minimum temperatures

The Bureau of Meteorology's Australian annual climate statement is also available.

Rainfall

Canberra Airport recorded 533.8 mm of rain during 2013, which is 13% below the historical average of 614.4 mm. Canberra's rain fell over 98 rain days, close to the historical average of 106 days, of which seven recorded at least 25 mm (average 5 days) – the most heavy rain days since 2010.

Rainfall was above average during January with 72.6 mm, including 40.8 mm at the airport and 65.2 mm at Tuggeranong during a thunderstorm on the 27th. In contrast, the same amount (73 mm) fell over the four months between February and May, less than 40% of the historical average and the fourth-driest February-May on record.

Rainfall was closer to normal during winter and spring. June was the ninth-wettest on record and September the seventh-wettest, including 57.8 mm on September 17, the wettest September day on record. November rainfall was also well above average, with the most days above 25 mm on record. In contrast, October was the sixth-driest on record for Canberra, reflecting significant rainfall variability during the year.

Temperature - Second-warmest year on record

The average maximum temperature at Canberra Airport during 2013 was 21.7 °C, 2.0 °C above the historical average. This is the second-warmest year on record for Canberra, following 21.8 °C in 2006. Every month during 2013 recorded above-average daytime temperatures. January, July and September all broke their long-term monthly records, and winter was the equal-warmest on record.

The particularly warm temperatures during the cool season were reflected in a lack of cold days for the year: only four days dropped to 10 °C or lower (average 19 days), the fewest on record for Canberra. Temperatures reached at least 30 °C on 47 days (average 32 days), including the second-hottest day on record for Canberra with 42.0 °C on 18 January.

The average minimum temperature at Canberra Airport during 2013 was 6.2 °C, 0.3 °C below the historical average. There were 52 nights below 0 °C during the year, slightly below the historical average of 60 days, but only two nights dropped below -5 °C (average 7 nights). Night-time temperatures were well below average during both autumn and spring, but above average during winter. October and November were both more than 2 °C below normal, with several severe frosts causing widespread agricultural damage during October.

The very warm daytime temperatures but the only slightly cool nights meant the mean temperature for Canberra Airport was 14.0 °C, 0.9 °C above the historical average.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in 2013
Hottest day 42.0 °C at Canberra Airport on 18 Jan
Warmest days on average 21.7 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 12.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day -3.8 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 20 Aug
Coldest night -6.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 20 Aug
Coolest nights on average 3.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 6.9 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 20.6 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 23 Dec
Warmest on average overall 14.1 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 8.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 975.6 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest day 83.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on 17 Sep
Highest wind gust 98 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 26 Sep

Summary statistics for 2013
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2013
Mean
for
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2013
Total
for
2013
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2013
Fraction
of annual
average
Canberra Airport 21.7 +2.0 42.0 18 Jan 6.2 -0.3 -6.0 25 Jul 533.8 614.4 average 87%
Mount Ginini AWS 12.3   30.5 6 Jan 3.6   -6.5 20 Aug 975.6
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 21.4   40.1 18 Jan 6.9   -5.5 22 Jun 576.6

Notes

Since March 2010 the official station for Canberra is 070351 'Canberra Airport'. Averages from the previous site, 070014 Canberra Airport Comparison, are used for comparisons (all years of record).

An Annual Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Canberra using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Friday 3 January 2014. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages are long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 20 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average rain.

The Rank indicates how rainfall this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low rainfall is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of average shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries