Canberra in 2014: a warm year with a dry finish

Canberra experienced very warm daytime temperatures during 2014 with many hot days. While rain was close to average, conditions were generally dry during the second half of the year.

  • Equal-fifth-warmest year on record
  • Third-warmest mean maximum temperatures on record
  • Equal-record number of days above 40 °C
  • Below average rainfall, particularly during July to November

The mean maximum temperature at Canberra Airport during 2014 was 21.5 °C, 1.8 °C above the historical average. This is the third-warmest year on record for Canberra, and was associated with several warm spells during the year and a lack of cold conditions. There were 3 days when temperatures reached at least 40 °C, equalling the 2009 record, while 19 days reached at least 35 °C, nearly four times the average of 5 days. In contrast, the mean minimum temperature was just 0.2 °C above average, with the coldest August for minimum temperatures since 1994. The mean temperature was consequently 1.0 °C above the historical average, the equal-fifth-warmest year on record for Canberra.

Canberra Airport recorded 568.6 mm of rain during 2014, slightly below the historical average of 614.4 mm. Most of the rain fell during the first half of the year, with particularly heavy rain causing widespread flooding on 19 and 20 February. Drier conditions emerged between July and November associated with persistent high pressure systems and a lack of major rain events, with total rainfall for those 5 months 44% below average and the eighth-lowest on record. In total there were 103 rain days, 20 of which brought at least 10 mm, close to the historical average. Only 3 days exceeded 25 mm at the airport, with heavy falls around the ACT reaching 86.4 mm at Torrens to 9 am on 20 February, 48.6 mm at Tuggeranong on 4 April, 48.2 mm at Torrens on 7 December, and 38.2 mm at Tharwa on 27 March.

Notable events in 2014

This is a brief list of major weather events; for more information see the appropriate Monthly Climate Summaries.

  • Heavy rain and flooding on 19 and 20 February
  • Major heatwaves on 14–18 January, 29 January – 3 February, and 11–27 May
  • Snow on the ACT highlands on 16 and 18 July
  • Cold snap from 2–9 August, coldest August night since 1994

Further information

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Extremes in 2014
Hottest day 40.2 °C at Canberra Airport on 15 Jan
Warmest days on average 21.5 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 12.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day -4.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 1 Aug
Coldest night -7.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 2 Aug
-7.6 °C at Canberra Airport on 5 Aug
Coolest nights on average 4.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 7.5 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 19.7 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 24 Nov
Warmest on average overall 14.4 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 8.2 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 904.4 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 568.6 mm at Canberra Airport
Wettest day 86.4 mm at Torrens (Darke St) on 20 Feb
Strongest wind gust 100 km/h at Canberra Airport on 27 May

Summary statistics for 2014
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2014
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2014
Mean
for
2014
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2014
Total
for
2014
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2014
Fraction
of annual
average
Canberra Airport 21.5 +1.8 40.2 15 Jan 6.7 +0.2 -7.6 5 Aug 568.6 614.4 average 93%
Mount Ginini AWS 12.4   31.1 18 Jan 4.0   -7.6 2 Aug 904.4 1040.5 low 87%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 21.3 +0.5 40.0 16 Jan 7.5 +0.6 -6.1 5 Aug 682.8 611.4 high 112%

Notes

As of March 2010, the official station for Canberra is 70351 'Canberra Airport'. Averages from the previous site, 70014 Canberra Airport Comparison, are used for comparisons.

The annual climate summary lists 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.

A Climate Summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Tuesday 6 January 2015. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages for individual sites 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 10 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is used for temperature area averages.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries