Tuesday, 5 January 2010 - Annual Climate Summary for Tasmania - Product code IDCKGC27R0
Tasmania in 2009: Wet and warm
Tasmania experienced a wide range of weather through 2009, but it
was the abundance of wet weather and some record-breaking hot days that
characterised the year.
- Wetter than usual, especially in the southeast
- Widespread and frequent flooding, mainly from June to September
- Record hot temperatures
- Warm overall but still some cold days
After three "dry" years, 2009 was wetter than usual across almost all of Tasmania. Not since 1996 has there been such widespread wet conditions across the state. Several sites in the southeast had their wettest year on record or their wettest year since the 1970s, and some had one and a half times their usual rainfall. Hobart received 862 mm, making it the sixth wettest year since records began in 1882 and the wettest year since 1958. Hobart was also over 100 mm wetter than any other year since 1975, and over 500 mm wetter than 2006 (the driest year on record).
Months with above average
rainfall were common throughout the year, but particularly between June
and September and many sites in the east had their wettest winter on
record. There were still periods of dry weather in parts of the state:
example much of the east and northeast had the driest January
in 40 or 50 years, King Island had its driest February on record and
some sites in the west had their driest October on record. The lowest
rainfall total for the year was 518 mm at Tunbridge, but most of the
state received more than 700 mm and more than half of the state had
metre of rain. Strathgordon Village was the wettest
receiving a total of 2765 mm (although the normally very wet Mt Read was out of action for several months during the year).
Heavy rain and lots of flooding
A large contribution to the wet year came from several two- to three-day events with very heavy rain that caused flooding, road closures and damage to infrastructure. Over 30 sites had at least one daily rainfall total in excess of 100 mm, including Bream Creek (140 mm), Nugent (137 mm), Copping (135 mm) and Strathgordon (125 mm) who had their highest daily rainfall on record. Flooding was common between June and September after heavy rain in the east on 3-7 June, 25-26 June, 11-13 August and 22-23 September and in the north on 11-12 July. One of the wettest Augusts on record and a record wet September in the east led to repeated flooding of many rivers in the east and north until early October. Almost all rivers in the state flooded at some time during August or September, with a major flood in the South Esk River on 13 August. More heavy rain fell in the east on 28-29 November, including 150 mm at Maria Island (Darlington) on 29 November — the highest daily total for the year.
Tasmania's hottest day
Between the 28th and 31st of January a heatwave affected northern Tasmania. Hot tropical air was directed over the southern mainland and then onto Tasmania by a slow-moving high pressure system in the Tasman Sea and an intense tropical low off the northwest coast of Western Australia. The previous state record of 40.8 °C, set in Hobart on 4 January 1976, was broken when Flinders Island Airport reached 41.5 °C on 29 January 2009. But the record only lasted for one day — it was beaten by Ross (41.6), St Helens (41.8) and Scamander (42.2) on the 30th. The temperatures at Cressy (41.4) and Fingal (41.3) on the 30th also exceeded the old Tasmanian record. Several other sites, mostly in the north, had their hottest day on record between the 29th and 31st, with many beating the previous record by 2 or 3 degrees on multiple days. Seven of the eight highest temperatures ever recorded in Tasmania occurred on the 29th and 30th, and eight sites reached 40 °C, a mark which had only been reached on 16 previous occasions in the state’s recorded history.
Overnight temperatures were also very warm between 29 and 31 January. The warmest was the night of the 29th, when a cloudband crossed the state overnight and inhibited cooling. Several sites had their warmest night on record, and Melton Mowbray's 24.0 °C was the warmest night for the year.
A very warm year
Temperatures in nearly every month of 2009 were warmer than usual, especially in November (which was the warmest on record for Tasmania) and August (when almost every site had its warmest August nights on record). Annual mean maximum temperatures were mostly about half a degree above normal, though somewhat less in the southeast. Launceston had the warmest days on average (18.9 °C), and was at least 0.5 °C warmer than all other sites. Mean overnight temperatures were half to one degree above normal in most areas, and Launceston, Hobart Airport and Fingal equalled their highest mean daily minimum temperature on record.
Despite being warm overall, there were still some very cold days and nights. Many of the coldest temperatures were in July; the coldest day was -2.3 °C at Mount Wellington on the 6th and the coldest night was -8.6 °C at Liawenee on the 17th. Liawenee had three other nights below -7 °C in July, and only one during the rest of the year (30 April). The cold temperatures at the end of April were unprecedented for the time of year and many records were broken. There was also some late season frost in October. One of the most significant snow days of the year was 10 June, when snow settled as low as 300 metres in the south and forced the closure of many roads in the north and west.
Tornadoes, thunderstorms and damaging winds
A line of severe thunderstorms moved across the north of the state on 15 April causing widespread damage, some of which suggested tornadoes were present. Winds gusted to 194 km/h at Scottsdale; the strongest gust for the state in 2009 and the second-strongest gust ever measured in Tasmania (the strongest is 200 km/h on Mount Wellington). Other days when damaging winds affected the state included 22 January (when winds fanned severe bushfires and whipped up a rare dust storm in the south), 27 September (when unclimatologically strong southerly winds caused widespread damage) and several days in August (which was one of the windiest months on record by many measures and Maatsuyker Island had a record gust of 174 km/h).
Severe thunderstorms developed on a number of days: tennis-ball sized hail fell in the northeast on 31 January, damaging winds and large hail affected parts of western, southern and central areas on 23 February and thunderstorms caused localised heavy rain and flash flooding on 20 February (in the northern Midlands and northeast), 14 March (in Hobart) and 16 November (in Launceston).
Month by month
- January was very warm in the northeast, and a new record was set for Tasmania's highest temperature (42.2 °C at Scamander). There was also damaging winds and a dust storm in the south on the 22nd and tennis-ball sized hail in the northeast on the 31st.
- February saw severe thunderstorms in parts of the west and south on the 23rd followed by heavy rain on the 24th. It was the first month of above average rainfall in the southeast.
- March was wetter than usual across the state, with flash flooding in Hobart on the 14th.
- April brought widespread wind damage across the north on the 15th and some tornadoes. Winds in Scottsdale gusted to 194 km/h — the second-strongest gust on record for Tasmania. The end of the month was very cold for so early in the year.
- May had a marked rainfall gradient across the state — over 500 mm fell in the west compared to less than 10 mm in parts of the east. Conditions were wild, wet and windy in the west and south between the 14th and 17th.
- June brought heavy rain to the east which caused many days of flooding. There was less snow than normal, though falls did settle to 300 metres in the south on the 10th.
- July saw even more heavy rain and flooding, though this time in the north and west, along with several very cold nights. Liawenee fell below -7 °C four times.
- August was wetter than usual in nearly all of Tasmania, with frequent flooding in the north and east. Winds were strong and gusty on most days, making it the windiest August on record by many measures. Overnight temperatures were record warm for the time of the year.
- September was another wet month and flooding continued in many areas. Strong southerly winds on the 27th caused widespread damage.
- October was drier than usual, especially in the west, with little wind and some late season frost.
- November was the warmest on record for Tasmania, after many hot days and few cold nights. Heavy rain fell in many areas on the 28th and 29th, including 150 mm in one day at Maria Island (Darlington) — the highest daily total for the year.
- December was cool at the start and warm at the end. Many sites in the south had their warmest day of 2009 on the 31st, and the year finished with a spectacular lightning show in the southeast during the countdown to midnight.
These maps are just a small selection of those available as part of AWAP – the Australian Water Availability Project.
|Extremes in 2009|
|Hottest day||42.2 °C at Scamander
on 30 Jan
|Warmest days on average||18.9 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)|
|Coolest days on average||8.2 °C at Mount Wellington|
|Coldest day||-2.3 °C at Mount
Wellington on 6 Jul
|Coldest night||-8.6 °C at Liawenee
on 17 Jul
|Coolest nights on average||1.5 °C at Mount Wellington|
|Warmest nights on average||11.8 °C at Hogan Island|
|Warmest night||24.0 °C at Melton
Mowbray (North Stockman)
on 30 Jan
|Wettest overall||2765.4 mm at Strathgordon Village|
|Driest overall||517.8 mm at Tunbridge (Austin-Vale)|
|Wettest day||150.0 mm at Maria
on 29 Nov
|Highest wind gust||194 km/h at Scottsdale
(West Minstone Road)
on 15 Apr
|Record highest daily rainfall|
|Highest daily rainfall
in 2009 (mm)
|Bream Creek (Stroud)||140.0||on 5 Jun||127.0||on 26 Mar 1946||92|
|Copping||134.8||on 5 Jun||123.7||on 2 Feb 1971||43|
|Strathgordon (Gordon Power Station)||125.0||on 24 Feb||113.6||on 19 Sep 1994||39|
|Nugent (Twilight Valley)||137.0||on 26 Jun||117.2||on 19 Dec 1995||27|
|Record highest annual rainfall|
for 2009 (mm)
|Geeveston (Cemetery Road)||1172.0||1164.9||in 1996||34||878.2|
|Bull Bay (Lauriston)||844.2||829.4||in 1996||26||606.7|
|Risdon Vale (Poplar Road)||839.6||789.4||in 1971||26||559.2|
|Nugent (Twilight Valley)||1403.0||1149.2||in 1995||24||822.9|
|Tea Tree (The Point)||789.0||787.2||in 1996||23||537.7|
|Blackmans Bay Treatment Plant||832.6||791.4||in 1996||20||619.3|
|Highest annual rainfall for at least 20 years|
for 2009 (mm)
Most recent higher
|Hobart (Ellerslie Road)||862.2||928.9||in 1958||51||616.9|
|Orford (Aubin Court)||963.5||1140.1||in 1970||38||674.3|
|Swansea Post Office||761.0||830.2||in 1974||35||593.0|
|Hobart Airport||689.0||735.4||in 1975||34||497.4|
|Lewis Hill (St Pauls River)||856.6||921.8||in 1974||32||630.8|
|Lake Leake (Elizabeth River)||1050.8||1102.0||in 1978||30||830.3|
|Fort Direction||699.4||703.0||in 1971||25||534.1|
|Premaydena Hatchery||1005.2||1051.0||in 1985||22||786.8|
|Record highest temperature|
in 2009 (°C)
|Flinders Island Airport||41.5||on 29 Jan||38.8||on 25 Jan 2003||48||17.7|
|Burnie (Round Hill)||33.8||on 31 Jan||32.8||on 20 Jan 1982||45||16.9|
|Scottsdale (West Minstone Road)||37.7||on 30 Jan||35.9||on 1 Feb 1983||39||17.3|
|Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)||39.0||on 30 Jan||35.4||on 11 Jan 1982||29||18.4|
|Scamander||42.2||on 30 Jan||39.8||on 1 Feb 1983||27||18.0|
|Wynyard Airport||35.1||on 31 Jan||32.6||on 3 Feb 2000||25||16.8|
|Fingal (Legge Street)||41.3||on 30 Jan||38.0||on 25 Jan 2003||24||17.7|
|Cape Grim BAPS||30.5||on 29 Jan||29.0||on 25 Jan 2003||21||15.6|
|Lake Leake (Elizabeth River)||36.2||on 30 Jan||33.9||on 25 Jan 2003||20||13.8|
|Record highest daily minimum temperature|
|Highest daily minimum
in 2009 (°C)
|Scottsdale (West Minstone Road)||21.3||on 30 Jan||20.0||on 21 Jan 1997||39||7.1|
|Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)||20.9||on 30 Jan||20.3||on 14 Jan 1998||29||7.2|
|Tarraleah Village||20.9||on 30 Jan||20.7||on 12 Dec 1998||28||3.6|
|Fingal (Legge Street)||20.9||on 30 Jan||19.5||on 9 Feb 2001||24||5.2|
|Cape Grim BAPS||20.9||on 30 Jan||19.8||on 18 Feb 2007||21||10.6|
|Record highest annual mean daily minimum temperature|
Mean daily minimum
for 2009 (°C)
|Hobart Airport||9.0||= 9.0||in 1988||50||8.1|
|Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)||8.2||= 8.2||in 2007||24||7.2|
|Fingal (Legge Street)||6.3||= 6.3||in 1988||22||5.2|
|Summary statistics for 2009|
|Northern (district 91)|
|Bridport (Sea View Villas)||17.5||+0.1||31.0||30 Jan||9.3||+0.2||1.2||7 Jul||795.7||722.7||average||110%|
|Burnie (Round Hill)||17.5||+0.6||33.8||31 Jan||10.3||+1.1||2.0||7 Jul||840.2||955.5||low||88%|
|Cape Grim BAPS||15.8||+0.2||30.5||29 Jan||10.7||+0.1||3.4||7 Jul|
|Cressy Research Station||18.4||41.4||30 Jan||6.4||-4.7||18 May||671.4|
|Devonport Airport||17.3||+0.5||29.7||29 Jan||9.0||+0.9||-0.5||7 Jul||682.8||766.3||average||89%|
|Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)||18.9||+0.5||39.0||30 Jan||8.2||+1.0||-2.3||17 Jul||746.3||670.1||high||111%|
|Launceston Airport||18.1||40.4||30 Jan||6.8||-3.5||17 Jul||752.6|
|Low Head||16.6||+0.1||26.3||29 Jan||10.9||+0.5||1.2||7 Jul||702.2||646.2||average||109%|
|Marrawah||16.4||+0.3||33.0||29 Jan||9.7||+0.4||2.0||7 Jul||1174.8||1063.2||high||110%|
|Scottsdale (West Minstone Road)||17.5||+0.2||37.7||30 Jan||7.6||+0.5||-0.8||31 Jul||943.6||984.9||average||96%|
|Sheffield School Farm||16.5||+0.4||37.1||30 Jan||6.9||+0.1||-2.5||17 Jul||1184.2|
|Smithton Aerodrome||17.4||+0.2||36.6||30 Jan||8.0||+0.3||-2.4||7 Jul||958.0||885.5||high||108%|
|Wynyard Airport||17.8||+1.0||35.1||31 Jan||7.7||+0.8||-2.4||7 Jul||1006.3||973.6||high||103%|
|East Coast (district 92)|
|Eddystone Point||18.2||+1.1||35.1||29 Jan||10.8||+0.4||2.7||7 Jul||845.4||765.5||high||110%|
|Fingal (Legge Street)||18.0||+0.3||41.3||30 Jan||6.3||+1.1||-4.8||30 Apr||726.0||606.3||high||120%|
|Lake Leake (Elizabeth River)||14.2||+0.4||36.2||30 Jan||4.5||+0.5||-5.9||29 Apr||1050.8||830.3||high||127%|
|Maria Island (Point Lesueur)||16.8||30.9||30 Jan||10.5||4.3||24 Jul||762.0|
|Orford (Aubin Court)||17.5||-0.1||36.7||30 Jan||8.7||+0.9||-1.0||8 Jul||963.5||674.3||v high||143%|
|Scamander||18.2||+0.2||42.2||30 Jan||9.5||+0.7||0.5||18 Jul||787.0||666.5||high||118%|
|St Helens Aerodrome||18.1||41.8||30 Jan||9.4||-0.4||18 Jul||862.2|
|Swansea Post Office||18.0||+0.1||35.3||31 Dec||8.2||+0.4||-1.8||24 Jul||761.0||593.0||high||128%|
|Midlands (district 93)|
|Ross (The Boulevards)||17.9||+0.3||41.6||30 Jan||6.7||+1.2||-4.0||29 Apr||604.6||484.2||high||125%|
|Southeast (district 94)|
|Campania (Kincora)||18.3||38.6||30 Jan||7.7||-1.4||30 Apr||678.0|
|Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny)||15.8||-0.1||36.1||31 Dec||9.3||+0.1||2.6||8 Jul||934.6|
|Cape Bruny Lighthouse||15.3||+0.5||35.2||31 Dec||9.4||+0.6||3.0||8 Jul|
|Dover||37.3||31 Dec||6.8||0.0||-2.0||30 Apr||1076.0||879.8||v high||122%|
|Geeveston (Cemetery Road)||17.0||+0.2||37.0||31 Dec||6.8||+0.7||-2.8||30 Apr||1172.0||878.2||highest||133%|
|Grove (Research Station)||17.2||37.1||31 Dec||6.3||-3.5||18 Jul||1051.6|
|Hobart (Ellerslie Road)||17.6||+0.7||38.3||31 Dec||9.1||+0.8||0.5||8 Jul||862.2||616.9||v high||140%|
|Hobart Airport||17.6||+0.1||37.1||31 Dec||9.0||+0.9||1.3||30 Apr||689.0||497.4||v high||139%|
|Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse||14.0||+0.1||30.4||31 Dec||9.2||+0.6||3.7||27 Aug||1097.8||1229.7||average||89%|
|Melton Mowbray (North Stockman)||17.1||-0.3||38.3||30 Jan||6.8||+0.9||-3.3||29 Apr||597.0||442.2||v high||135%|
|Mount Wellington||8.2||+0.6||27.7||30 Jan||1.5||+0.2||-6.2||10 Jun|
|Tunnack Fire Station||15.0||-0.3||36.9||30 Jan||5.6||+0.5||-4.1||30 Apr||982.2||624.6||v high||157%|
|Derwent Valley (district 95)|
|Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates)||18.3||+0.7||38.6||30 Jan||-3.8||24 Jul||612.4||574.7||average||107%|
|Maydena Post Office||15.9||-0.2||35.2||31 Dec||5.7||+0.4||-2.4||8 Oct||1288.4||1188.4||high||108%|
|Ouse Fire Station||18.2||-0.2||38.7||30 Jan||6.0||+0.6||-5.6||30 Apr||578.8|
|Tarraleah Village||14.3||+0.4||33.0||30 Jan||4.5||+0.9||-3.0||17 Jul||1291.9||1168.8||high||111%|
|Central Plateau (district 96)|
|Butlers Gorge||13.5||+0.8||32.5||29 Jan||3.4||+0.5||-6.6||8 Jul||1819.8||1685.1||high||108%|
|Lake St Clair National Park||13.3||+0.2||32.5||30 Jan||3.1||+0.4||-5.5||8 Jul||2060.5||1885.1||high||109%|
|Liawenee||12.3||32.0||30 Jan||2.0||-8.6||17 Jul||1167.2|
|West Coast (district 97)|
|Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple)||11.2||-0.4||30.9||31 Dec||4.0||0.0||-2.2||10 Jun||1386.4|
|Scotts Peak Dam||15.0||34.4||31 Dec||6.3||-0.9||10 Jul||2024.0|
|Strahan Aerodrome||16.6||+0.2||34.5||31 Dec||8.1||+0.3||-1.6||16 Jul||1696.0||1410.1||high||120%|
|Warra||13.6||33.1||31 Dec||-2.7||8 Jul|
|King Island (district 98)|
|King Island Airport||17.2||+0.4||35.2||31 Dec||10.2||+0.4||1.3||29 Apr||976.8||860.2||high||114%|
|Flinders Island (district 99)|
|Flinders Island Airport||18.3||+0.6||41.5||29 Jan||10.0||+0.3||-1.4||7 Jul||787.1||747.1||average||105%|
|Hogan Island||17.4||39.3||29 Jan||11.8||4.8||26 Aug||701.0|
|Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)|
|Macquarie Island||6.5||0.0||10.6||22 Jan||3.2||+0.2||-6.1||15 Jun||925.2||966.7||average||96%|
An Annual Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Tasmania 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 Tuesday, 5 January 2010. 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
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.