Greater Brisbane in 2019: a very warm and dry year

It was a dry year overall in Greater Brisbane, with some locations reporting their driest year on record. Days were record warm at several locations, including Brisbane city. Mean minimum temperatures were close to, or slightly above average.

Dry year overall, record dry at some locations

  • 2019 was the driest year on record for some sites or the driest for several decades
  • Not only was it driest on record for some sites, but it was substantially drier than the previous lowest year on record: Gatton and Esk both reported more than 30% below their previous annual record
  • It was a dry start to the year in Brisbane, with a number of sites reporting their driest January on record, followed by a dry February where most sites reported less than half their February average rainfall
  • While March rainfall totals were average to above average, April rainfall was mixed across Greater Brisbane, with low rainfall totals at inland sites
  • In May, all sites reported less than 50% of their average, and close to average in June; but from July through to September saw well below average falls recorded
  • October saw above average falls in northern and coastal locations, but November was particularly dry in Greater Brisbane, with very little rainfall recorded which is unusual for that time of year
  • Severe thunderstorms in mid-December saw some sites report well above their average rainfall for that month, while others reported around 30% of their average December rainfall

Record warm days

  • Annual mean maximum temperatures in Greater Brisbane were much warmer than usual, and record warm at some locations, including Brisbane, Gatton, Amberley and Archerfield
  • Mean minimum temperatures in Greater Brisbane were generally close to, or slightly warmer than average at all locations
  • A number of sites reported their highest mean temperature on record, including Gatton, Amberley and Archerfield
  • It was a warm start to the year, with mean maximum temperatures well above average from January to March, then in the first week of May
  • Cool nights were experienced at the end of May and start of June, and then through mid-July in Greater Brisbane
  • By August, daytime temperatures were warmer than usual, with November to December mean maxima well above average at all locations

Brisbane

  • An equipment outage in June means the exact total for Brisbane is not known, but comparison with neighbouring sites suggests annual rainfall of around 675 mm, which is 66% of the long-term average of 1011.5 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Brisbane was 27.8 °C, which is 1.2 °C above the long-term average of 26.6 °C, and the highest on record for Brisbane at the current or previous site
  • The warmest day was 41.2 °C on 16 December, and the coolest day was on 4 June when the temperature reached 17.2 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Brisbane was 17.1 °C, which is 0.7 °C above the long-term average of 16.4 °C, and the third-warmest on record for Brisbane
  • The coldest morning was 7.4 °C on 12 July, and the warmest morning was on 14 February when the minimum temperature was 25.4 °C

Further information

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Extremes in 2019
Hottest day 43.4 °C at University of Queensland Gatton on 16 December
Warmest days on average 29.7 °C at University of Queensland Gatton
Coolest days on average 24.9 °C at Cape Moreton Lighthouse
Coldest day 14.0 °C at University of Queensland Gatton on 4 June
Coldest night -3.4 °C at Canungra (Defence) on 15 July
Coolest nights on average 11.7 °C at Canungra (Defence)
Warmest nights on average 19.1 °C at Cape Moreton Lighthouse
Warmest night 26.2 °C at Redcliffe on 14 February
and at Logan City Water Treatment Plant on 15 February
Warmest on average overall 22.4 °C at Brisbane
Coolest on average overall 19.4 °C at Canungra (Defence)
Wettest overall 1193.6 mm at Caloundra Airport
Driest overall 216.2 mm at Gatton Allan Street
Wettest day 150.0 mm at Mt Mee on 16 March
Strongest wind gust 113 km/h at Cape Moreton Lighthouse on 22 February

Record lowest annual total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Esk Post Office 267.0 410.3 in 1993 126 924.8
Lowood Don St 343.5 361.1 in 1902 123 811.5
University of Queensland Gatton 230.0 354.5 in 1993 118 765.6
Harrisville Mary Street 277.7 357.3 in 1926 115 790.8
Gatton Allan Street 216.2 328.9 in 1993 111 768.6
Lindfield 497.1 541.6 in 1977 97 1061.5
Coominya Post Office 355.8 365.6 in 1919 94 817.0
Somerset Dam 431.6 511.8 in 1993 77 976.6
Amberley AMO 334.8 391.8 in 2000 75 855.2
Mt Alford 297.8 356.4 in 1918 65 927.8
Maroon Dam 396.3 516.2 in 2002 46 903.8
Greenbank Thompson Road 499.0 502.4 in 2000 38 932.3
Carneys Creek The Ranch 422.8 650.6 in 1994 32 1029.8
Wivenhoe Dam 280.4 432.4 in 2016 25 702.7
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 634.7 653.3 in 2000 23 1066.9
Brisbane Aero 601.0 612.2 in 2006 22 1016.2

Lowest annual total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Annual
average
Alderley 578.5 573.4 in 1957* 1141.8
Peachester 831.0 793.7 in 1957* 1712.4
Highvale 569.2 556.6 in 1957* 1153.2
Beerburrum Forest Station 865.0 850.8 in 1977* 1410.9
Wamuran 763.6 723.3 in 1977* 1249.2
Capalaba Water Treat 660.7 642.2 in 1986* 1191.2

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




Record highest annual mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
University of Queensland Gatton 29.7 28.9 in 2002 89 26.9
Amberley AMO 29.3 28.3 in 2002 77 26.8
Archerfield Airport 28.1 27.7 in 2016 40 26.4
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 27.3 27.0 in 2017 26 26.1
Brisbane Aero 26.1 26.0 in 2017 23 25.4



Record highest annual mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
University of Queensland Gatton 21.5 21.1 in 2016 82 20.0
Amberley AMO 21.2 = 21.2 in 1973 77 19.9
Archerfield Airport 21.6 = 21.6 in 2016 40 20.4
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 21.6 21.5 in 2017 26 20.6



Summary statistics for 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2019
Mean
for
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2019
Total
for
2019
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2019
Fraction
of annual
average
Amberley AMO 29.3 +2.5 43.1 16 Dec 13.1 0.0 -3.2 15 Jul 334.8 855.2 lowest 39%
Archerfield Airport 28.1 +1.7 41.2 16 Dec 15.1 +0.7 3.2 1 Jun 595.0 1052.9 v low 57%
Beaudesert Drumley Street 28.9 +2.0 41.8 16 Dec 13.5 +0.5 -2.9 15 Jul 395.4 863.5 v low 46%
Beerburrum Forest Station 27.5 +1.0 41.6 16 Dec     4.5 1 Jun 865.0 1410.9 v low 61%
Brisbane 27.8 +1.2 41.2 16 Dec 17.1 +0.7 7.4 12 Jul
Brisbane Aero 26.1 +0.7 35.1 6 Dec 16.3 +0.6 4.7 16 Jul 601.0 1016.2 lowest 59%
Canungra (Defence) 27.1   40.3 16 Dec 11.7   -3.4 15 Jul 552.4
Cape Moreton Lighthouse 24.9 +1.5 33.4 2 Dec 19.1 +1.0 9.9 15 Jul 726.2 1479.4 v low 49%
Greenbank (Defence) 28.3   42.3 16 Dec 12.9   -2.3 31 May 486.0
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 27.3 +1.2 40.3 16 Dec 15.9 +0.8 3.7 21 Aug 634.7 1066.9 lowest 59%
Redcliffe     35.4 2 Dec 17.6 +0.6 6.2 1 Jun
Redland (Alexandra Hills) 25.9   35.8 16 Dec 16.3   6.0 31 May 749.8
University of Queensland Gatton 29.7 +2.8 43.4 16 Dec 13.3 +0.3 0.7 20 Jul 230.0 765.6 lowest 30%

Notes

The Annual climate summary, generally published on the second working day of the year, 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 10 am on Monday 6 January 2020. 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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