Greater Brisbane in 2021: above average annual rainfall

Rainfall was above average in Greater Brisbane for 2021. A few sites had their wettest year on record, or their wettest year since 1988 or earlier.

Mean maximum temperatures were generally cooler than usual across Greater Brisbane for 2021 as a whole. Some inland and offshore island sites reported warmer than usual mean maximum temperatures. Mean minimum temperatures were mostly close to average or slightly warmer than average for 2021 as a whole.

Above average rainfall for 2021

  • Annual rainfall was above average in Greater Brisbane for 2021. Thunderstorms activity throughout the year brought locally heavy, intense rainfall totals.Some sites had their highest total rainfall on record or their highest total rainfall for at least 20 years.
  • In January, severe thunderstorms produced heavy rainfall and flash flooding in Brisbane, notable on the 18th.
  • February rainfall was close to or slightly below average, with frequent showers and thunderstorms.
  • There were frequent showers and thunderstorms in March and it was the highest March rainfall on record for Brisbane. A coastal trough brought heavy rainfall to the south-east from the 21st, with 3-day rainfall accumulations for the 22nd to 24th March of 200 mm or more. Point Lookout had its highest daily rainfall on record on 23 March 2021.
  • It rained during the first week of April, resulting in near-average to above average rainfall across most of Greater Brisbane. May rainfall was reported mainly in the first half of the month, and was mostly above the May average.
  • June rainfall was below average, but July rainfall was mostly above average across Greater Brisbane. August rainfall was below average.
  • In September, rainfall totals were generally 10 mm to 20 mm, though the values are close to average at the start of spring.
  • Rainfall in each of the months of October, November and December were all above average, with record high November rainfall at a few sites.

Temperatures close to average

  • Mean maximum temperatures were generally cooler than usual across Greater Brisbane for 2021 as a whole. Some inland and offshore island sites reported warmer than usual mean maximum temperatures.
  • Below average mean maximum temperatures were reported at Brisbane from January to July.
  • The hottest day of the year was on 22 February, when the temperature reached 40.4 °C at University of Queensland Gatton. This was the only day and only site that exceeded 40 °C across Greater Brisbane in 2021. 
  • August and October were the only months with warmer than average mean maxima. September, November and December all reported below average mean maximum temperatures at Brisbane.
  • Mean minimum temperatures were mostly close to average or slightly warmer than average for 2021 as a whole.
  • Mean minimum temperatures were close to average in Brisbane for January, February and March, but 1.0 °C cooler than average in April.
  • May reported close to average mean minima and June reported below average mean minima, though July and August reported mean minima 0.8 °C and 1.2 °C warmer than usual respectively.
  • September and December had slightly cooler than usual mean minima, while both October and November where slightly warmer than usual.

Brisbane

  • An equipment outage in December means the exact total for Brisbane is not known, but comparison with neighbouring sites suggests annual rainfall of around 1407 mm, which is 139% of the long-term average of 1011.5 mm.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Brisbane was 26.3 °C, which is 0.4 °C below the long-term average of 26.7 °C.
  • The warmest day was 36.6 °C on 4 October, and the coolest day was on 21 July when the temperature reached 17.4 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Brisbane was 16.6 °C, which is 0.2 °C above the long-term average of 16.4 °C.
  • The coldest morning was 6.0 °C on 20 July, and the warmest morning was on 1 March when the minimum temperature was 24.1 °C.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in 2021
Hottest day 40.4 °C at University of Queensland Gatton on 22 February
Warmest days on average 27.0 °C at both Amberley AMO and at University of Queensland Gatton
Coolest days on average 24.1 °C at Cape Moreton Lighthouse
Coldest day 15.0 °C at Cape Moreton Lighthouse on 21 July
Coldest night -1.3 °C at Canungra (Defence) on 22 July
Coolest nights on average 11.8 °C at Canungra (Defence)
Warmest nights on average 18.5 °C at Cape Moreton Lighthouse
Warmest night 24.7 °C at Point Lookout on 23 February
Warmest on average overall 21.5 °C at Brisbane
Coolest on average overall 18.6 °C at Canungra (Defence)
Wettest overall 2234.3 mm at Mt Tamborine Fern St
Wettest day 229.2 mm at Point Lookout on 23 March
Strongest wind gust 117 km/h at Inner Reciprocal Marker on 9 December

Record highest daily rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Point Lookout 229.2 on 23 Mar 193.0 on 17 Apr 2012 25



Record highest annual total rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Maroon Dam 1486.0 1351.6 in 1983 48 914.9
Carneys Creek The Ranch 1710.2 1520.5 in 2010 34 1047.3

Highest annual total rainfall for at least 20 years

Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Annual
average
Harrisville Mary Street 1148.8 1169.2 in 1956* 791.7
Greenbank Thompson Road 1349.0 1423.3 in 1988* 943.4
Mt Tamborine Fern St 2234.3 2738.2 in 1988* 1565.3
Rocky Point Sugar Mill 1772.7 1775.3 in 1988* 1342.4

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a higher value has gone unreported




Summary statistics for 2021

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2021
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2021
Mean
for
2021
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2021
Total
for
2021
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2021
Fraction
of annual
average
Amberley AMO 27.0 +0.1 37.1 22 Feb 13.0 -0.1 -0.7 22 Jul 1084.4 857.2 high 127%
Archerfield Airport 26.6 +0.2 36.5 4 Oct 14.9 +0.4 3.1 11 Jun 1214.8 1053.1 high 115%
Beaudesert Drumley Street 26.5 -0.6 35.8 5 Jan 13.1 0.0 -0.6 10 Jun 1387.6 911.1 v high 152%
Beerburrum Forest Station 26.1 -0.5 37.9 4 Oct 15.0 +0.2 4.3 11 Jun 1763.0 1414.1 high 125%
Brisbane 26.3 -0.4 36.6 4 Oct 16.6 +0.2 6.0 20 Jul



Brisbane Aero 25.3 -0.1 33.2 24 Oct 15.9 +0.1 4.3 22 Jul 1520.2 1042.3 high 146%
Canungra (Defence) 25.3   34.3 4 Oct 11.8   -1.3 22 Jul 1603.4


Cape Moreton Lighthouse 24.1 +0.7 32.3 24 Oct 18.5 +0.4 9.5 22 Jul 1466.8 1478.4 average 99%
Greenbank (Defence) 26.7   36.7 4 Oct 13.0   0.2 27 Aug 1379.6


Logan City Water Treatment Plant     36.2 4 Oct 15.5 +0.3 4.7 10 Jun 1503.9 1091.8 high 138%
Redcliffe     34.7 21 Feb 16.9 -0.2 6.2 22 Jul 1503.0 1082.7 v high 139%
Redland (Alexandra Hills) 24.9   33.3 24 Oct 15.8   5.6 20 Jul 1599.2


University of Queensland Gatton 27.0 +0.1 40.4 22 Feb 13.3 +0.2 0.7 10 Jun




Notes

The Annual climate summary lists the main features of the weather in Greater Brisbane using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This summary includes data from observing sites in or near the Greater Brisbane “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Monday 7 February 2022. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

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