Brisbane in 2014: Warm and dry; some very hot days and severe storms

2014 was a warm year across Brisbane, although at most sites it was a few tenths of a degree short of being the warmest on record. Rainfall was below average at most sites, and well below-average at Brisbane Airport. Some heavy rainfall events occurred during the year.

  • Equal-second-warmest mean maximum temperature on record at the Brisbane city site (highest occurred in 2004)
  • Fourth-driest year on record for Brisbane Airport
  • Some very hot days in January, October and November
  • Severe thunderstorms in November and December

Stations across Brisbane had mean maximum temperatures about a degree warmer than usual. At the Brisbane city site, the mean maximum of 27.0 C was 0.6 C above the historical average for the station, and the equal-second-warmest annual temperature on record (equal with 2005 and 2002). Amberley recorded its equal-third-highest mean maximum temperature of 28.0 C, 1.3 C above the historical average. Some very hot days occurred at the beginning of the year: Amberley reached 43.9 C on 4 January during a heatwave that also saw Archerfield and Logan City set new high temperature records. There were more hot days at the end of October, and on 16 and 17 November

Mean overnight minimum temperatures were above average at all sites except Amberley. Some chilly nights occurred early in July when cold, southerly air was directed into southern Queensland and along the east coast. Amberley recorded the lowest annual temperature of -2.7 C on 9 July. The warmest night was on 6 January when the early-year heatwave reached its peak, with the temperature at Brisbane city not dropping below 25.9 C on the morning of 6 January.

Rainfall was well below average during 2014, with the Brisbane city station recording 790.2 mm for the year, around 20 % below its historical average. Brisbane Airport recorded its fourth-driest annual rainfall total, with 642.2 mm, and well below the historical annual rainfall of 1048.5 mm. It was a particular dry February and October, with record low rainfall at several Brisbane metropolitan sites. 

Some heavy downpours occurred during the year including a heavy rainfall event in March, where Amberley recorded its highest March daily rainfall in 73 years. Extremely high hourly rainfall was recorded during a thunderstorm on 19 November with 100 mm recorded in one hour at Inala, and heavy rainfall and very large hail occurred when a line of severe thunderstorms tracked through Brisbane on 27 November.

Notable events in 2014

Heatwaves 

  • Severe heat broke records in Brisbane metropolitan and surrounding districts on 4 January; Amberley reached 43.7 C
  • Record-breaking daytime and overnight temperatures at the end of October in Brisbane and the greater southeast
  • A heatwave on 15 and 16 November resulted in Amberley reaching 43.0 C and Brisbane reaching 37.9 C, both on the 15th.

Thunderstorms and strong winds

There were numerous severe thunderstorms across Brisbane during 2014, with particularly high levels of thunderstorm activity during November and December. 

  • Very high rainfall rates were observed in and south of Brisbane on 19 November, with 100 mm in one hour near Archerfield. A severe thunderstorm tracking in a northeasterly direction across the site caused widespread flash-flooding in Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley and metropolitan Brisbane.
  • A line of very severe thunderstorms tracked through the greater Brisbane area on 27 November, bringing destructive winds, heavy rainfall and hail at least 7 cm in size to metropolitan Brisbane and surrounding southern and northern suburbs. A wind gust of 141 km/h was recorded at Archerfield Airport.
  • Hail up to 3 cm was reported from inner southeast suburbs of Brisbane on 8 December, as severe thunderstorms tracked northeast through greater Brisbane.

Further information

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Extremes in 2014
Hottest day 43.9 C at Amberley AMO on 4 Jan
Warmest days on average 28.0 C at Amberley AMO
Coolest days on average 25.4 C at Redcliffe
Coldest day 16.7 C at Redcliffe on 22 Aug
Coldest night -2.7 C at Amberley AMO on 9 Jul
Coolest nights on average 12.9 C at Amberley AMO
Warmest nights on average 17.3 C at Redcliffe
Warmest night 26.5 C at Redcliffe on 4 Jan
Warmest on average overall 21.8 C at Brisbane
Coolest on average overall 20.5 C at Amberley AMO
Wettest overall 1029.9 mm at Hilltop Gardens
Driest overall 625.4 mm at Redcliffe
Wettest day 172.8 mm at Mt Nebo Post Office on 28 Mar
Strongest wind gust 141 km/h at Archerfield Airport on 27 Nov

Record highest temperature
New record
(C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Archerfield Airport 43.5 on 4 Jan 43.3 on 26 Jan 1940 41 26.2
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 41.9 on 4 Jan 41.0 on 21 Feb 2004 23 25.9



Record highest annual mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Archerfield Airport 27.4 = 27.4 in 1991 35 26.2



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
Amberley AMO 28.0 +1.3 43.9 4 Jan 12.9 -0.2 -2.7 9 Jul 587.6 853.5 low 69%
Archerfield Airport 27.4 +1.2 43.5 4 Jan 14.9 +0.5 0.5 9 Jul 770.6 1064.0 low 72%
Brisbane 27.0 +0.6 38.9 16 Nov 16.7 +0.5 2.6 12 Jul 790.2 991.3 low 80%
Brisbane Airport 25.8 +0.5 34.3 4 Jan 16.2 +0.6 2.6 12 Jul 642.2 1048.5 v low 61%
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 26.7 +0.8 41.9 4 Jan n/a n/a  3.5 8 Jul 721.8 1086.6 v low 66%
Redcliffe 25.4  +0.3 36.4 16 Nov 17.3 +0.8 4.8 9 Jul 625.4 1087.6 v low 58%


Notes

The Annual Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Brisbane 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 8 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