Tasmania in 2019: dry and very warm in the east, mild and wet in the west

The year started with Tasmania's warmest January on record, most months were warmer than average by day but there were some cold nights; overall 2019 was warmer than average but not as warm as 2018. January and October were very dry for most of the State, and rainfall totals for the year were below average in the east, but westerly winds and cold fronts gave the west a wetter than average year.

Rainfall below average in the east, above average in the west

  • January and October were very dry over most of Tasmania, with particularly low total rainfalls in the east of the State
  • In the east, most months apart from September were drier than average, continuing a run of months with generally below-average rain that extends back to the beginning of 2017
  • In the west, westerly winds and cold fronts ensured May, July and November were wetter than usual
  • Total rainfall for the year was below average for much of the State, and well below average over most of the eastern half, but above average in the western highlands
  • Tasmania's total rainfall for the year was about 7% below average

Warm overall

  • Tasmania's mean temperature for the year was 0.41 °C above average, cooler than 2018 but warmer than 2015 
  • The year started with Tasmania's warmest January on record, and mean maximum temperatures were above average in most months (but cool in the west in November)
  • There was unseasonably hot weather early in March, with several sites breaking their record for highest temperature; this came at the end of hot weather that affected much of Australia, as discussed in the Special Climate Statement Widespread heatwaves during December 2018 and January 2019
  • 30 December was exceptionally hot across Tasmania as strong northwesterly winds brought warm air from the mainland; some sites set new records for highest temperature and Friendly Beaches reached 41.9 °C, the second-highest temperature ever reported in Tasmania (just behind Scamander's 42.2 °C on 30 January 2009)
  • Tasmania did not see the extended extreme temperatures and fire weather experienced on the mainland during December (as discussed in the Special Climate Statement Dangerous bushfire weather and heat in spring 2019), but there were some high temperatures and fires
  • Tasmania's mean maximum temperature for the year was 0.64 °C above average, about 0.1 °C cooler than 2018
  • Cool nights were common from August to November, but the mean minimum temperature was warmer than average in most months and for the year overall
  • King Island Airport, which had reported its warmest night on record with a minimum temperature of 21.8 °C on 2 March, had its lowest temperature on record with a minimum temperature of -0.7 °C on 18 September
  • Tasmania's mean minimum temperature for the year was 0.17 °C above average, much cooler than 2018

A warm, dry year for Hobart

  • It was Hobart's second-driest year on record with total rainfall of just 385.0 mm, which is 63% of the long-term average; only 2006 was drier
  • Hobart had its equal-driest month on record in January, with rainfall of just 0.4 mm; August (with 100.2 mm) was the only month during 2019 with above-average rainfall
  • Hobart's mean daily maximum temperature was record high at 18.7 °C, which is 1.7 °C above the long-term average and 0.2 °C warmer than the previous record from 2017
  • The warmest day was 40.8 °C on 30 December, the equal-second highest temperature ever recorded at the site (behind 41.8 °C on 4 January 2013)
  • The coolest day was on 10 August when the temperature reached 8.8 °C
  • Hobart had 14 days when it reached 30 °C or more (compared to a long-term average of about 6 days that warm each year), but only 6 days that did not reach 10 °C (compared to a long-term average of about 19 such cold days)
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 9.1 °C, which is 0.7 °C above the long-term average
  • The coldest morning was -0.2 °C on 25 June, and the warmest morning was on 2 March when the minimum temperature was 19.8 °C
  • Hobart's temperature went below 2 °C on 8 mornings during the year, compare to a long-term average of about 12 mornings that cold

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in 2019
Hottest day 41.9 °C at Friendly Beaches on 30 Dec
Warmest days on average 19.5 °C at Friendly Beaches
Coolest days on average 8.9 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Coldest day -1.8 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on 29 May
Coldest night -9.8 °C at Liawenee on 24 Jun
Coolest nights on average 1.6 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) and Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 11.6 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 21.8 °C at King Island Airport on 2 Mar
Warmest on average overall 14.5 °C at larapuna (Eddystone Point)
Coolest on average overall 5.2 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 4204.7 mm at Lake Margaret Dam
Driest overall 272.8 mm at Bothwell (Clyde River)
301.2 mm at Melton Mowbray (North Stockman)
312.8 mm at Mauriceton (Jordan River)
Wettest day 158.6 mm at Gray (Dalmayne Rd) on 7 Sep
Strongest wind gust 159 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on 25 Mar

Maps
ObservedAnomalyDecile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Monthly maps
Rainfall rankMaximum temperature rankMinimum temperature rank
January Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
February Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
March Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
April Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
May Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
June Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
July Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
August Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
September Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
October Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
November Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
December Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Highest annual total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Annual
average
Lake Margaret Dam 4204.7 4239.4 in 1968* 3567.4

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




Record highest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 39.0 on 2 Mar = 39.0 on 15 Feb 1982 97 14.9
Hobart Airport 40.8 on 30 Dec 40.3 on 4 Jan 2013 62 17.6
Orford (Aubin Court) 39.7 on 30 Dec 38.8 on 4 Jan 2013 52 17.6
Dover 40.1 on 2 Mar 39.6 on 4 Jan 2013 30 16.6
Maydena Post Office 37.3 on 2 Mar = 37.3 on 4 Jan 2013 28 16.2
Cape Sorell 32.5 on 1 Mar = 32.5 on 14 Jan 2014 24 15.0
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 39.7 on 2 Mar 38.0 on 4 Jan 2013 23 16.1
Friendly Beaches 41.9 on 30 Dec 40.0 on 4 Jan 2013 23 18.5
Tunnack Fire Station 37.4 on 30 Dec = 37.4 on 25 Jan 2003 23 15.4



Record highest annual mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 18.7 18.5 in 2017 135 17.0
Hobart Airport 18.9 18.8 in 2017 60 17.6
Fingal (Legge Street) 19.0 18.7 in 2017 32 17.9
Dover 17.4 = 17.4 in 2016 29 16.6
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 14.9 = 14.9 in 2014 29 14.0
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 18.2 18.1 in 2017 22 17.5
Friendly Beaches 19.5 19.2 in 2014 21 18.5
Tunnack Fire Station 16.4 16.2 in 2017 21 15.4

Highest annual mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Annual
average
Orford (Aubin Court) 18.2 18.6 in 1982 17.6



Record highest daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
King Island Airport 21.8 on 2 Mar 21.3 on 18 Feb 2007 25 10.0



Record lowest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
King Island Airport -0.7 on 18 Sep -0.1 on 29 Aug 2018 25 10.0



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
Northern (district 91)
Cape Grim 15.5   26.3 2 Mar 10.5   3.7 24 Jun 884.4
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 15.7 0.0 26.1 1 Mar 10.5 -0.1 4.3 17 Sep 895.0 790.5 average 113%
Cressy Research Station 18.7 +0.5 37.0 30 Dec 5.3 -0.5 -4.8 17 Sep 423.4 590.2 v low 72%
Devonport Airport 17.5 +0.5 32.2 20 Jan 8.2 -0.1 -1.1 23 Aug 483.9 764.5 v low 63%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 19.2 +0.6 34.1 30 Dec 7.2 -0.2 -3.2 24 Jun 514.0 679.5 v low 76%
Launceston Airport 18.3 +0.1 35.2 30 Dec 5.8 -0.5 -4.6 24 Jun 486.6 616.1 low 79%
Low Head 16.5 -0.2 24.6 30 Jan 10.4 -0.2 1.4 17 Sep 455.4 675.2 v low 67%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 15.2 -0.4 31.9 2 Mar 7.4 -0.2 0.4 30 Jul 1467.0 1513.9 average 97%
Marrawah 16.2 0.0 29.0 1 Mar 9.3 -0.1 0.0 13 Jul 1149.2 1075.2 high 107%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 17.7 +0.4 35.3 30 Dec 6.8 -0.4 -2.8 23 Aug 689.8 966.2 v low 71%
Sheffield School Farm 16.4 +0.2 33.0 22 Jan 6.4 -0.4 -2.1 17 Sep
Smithton Aerodrome 17.4 +0.1 29.2 22 Jan 7.5 -0.2 -3.0 24 Jun 983.6 913.8 high 108%
Wynyard Airport 17.6 +0.5 33.1 22 Jan 7.0 -0.1 -2.9 24 Jun 725.6 974.9 v low 74%
East Coast (district 92)
Fingal (Legge Street) 19.0 +1.1 39.3 30 Dec 5.0 -0.3 -6.7 25 Jun 375.3 608.3 v low 62%
Friendly Beaches 19.5 +1.0 41.9 30 Dec 9.1 -0.3 -0.4 5 Aug 414.2 662.1 v low 63%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 14.9 +0.9 33.7 30 Dec 3.9 -0.2 -6.3 17 Sep 555.2 820.4 v low 68%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 18.5 +1.5 32.7 25 Jan 10.5 +0.3 2.8 12 Aug 450.4 754.2 v low 60%
Orford (Aubin Court) 18.2 +0.6 39.7 30 Dec 7.9 +0.1 -1.0 24 Jun 473.2 665.2 low 71%
St Helens Aerodrome 18.7 +0.6 36.8 30 Dec 8.9 -0.1 -0.6 23 Aug 429.0 665.5 v low 64%
Swan Island 17.2 0.0 29.7 21 Nov 11.6 0.0 4.0 4 Aug 415.8 654.7 v low 64%
Swansea (Francis Street) 19.0   41.1 30 Dec 8.1   -1.9 23 Aug 318.6
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 19.4 +0.7 40.6 30 Dec 7.5 +0.2 -2.4 24 Jun 369.0 482.0 v low 77%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 16.6 +0.5 39.7 2 Mar 9.2 -0.1 3.0 19 Aug 712.0 765.2 average 93%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 16.2 +1.3 39.0 2 Mar 9.6 +0.7 3.3 27 Jun 763.5 936.8 low 82%
Dennes Point 17.4   37.2 30 Dec 9.6   2.3 25 Jun 405.0
Dover 17.4 +0.8 40.1 2 Mar 6.8 -0.1 -1.5 24 Jun 814.8 877.3 average 93%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 17.9   39.0 30 Dec 9.8   1.8 25 Jun 404.6
Grove (Research Station) 18.1 +0.4 38.3 2 Mar 5.8 0.0 -5.2 25 Jun 570.5 718.1 low 79%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 18.7 +1.7 40.8 30 Dec 9.1 +0.7 -0.2 25 Jun 385.0 611.9 v low 63%
Hobart Airport 18.9 +1.3 40.8 30 Dec 8.5 +0.3 0.3 24 Jun 345.2 488.9 v low 71%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 8.9 +1.0 28.6 30 Dec 1.6 +0.2 -5.2 17 Sep 503.6 873.6 v low 58%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 13.9 0.0 32.9 20 Dec 9.0 +0.4 2.9 17 Sep 1173.9 1225.3 average 96%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 18.2 +0.7 39.7 30 Dec 6.0 0.0 -5.9 25 Jun 301.2 446.2 v low 68%
Tasman Island 14.7 +0.2 33.5 30 Dec 8.9 -0.1 2.1 20 Aug 637.8 772.6 v low 83%
Tunnack Fire Station 16.4 +1.0 37.4 30 Dec     -5.3 24 Jun 368.4 608.1 v low 61%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 18.9 +1.1 39.7 30 Dec 5.6 -0.3 -3.3 26 Jun 415.4 571.1 v low 73%
Maydena Post Office 16.2 0.0 37.3 2 Mar 5.2 -0.2 -2.4 26 Jun 1187.8 1167.4 average 102%
Ouse Fire Station 18.6 +0.2 40.0 30 Dec 5.4 -0.2 -5.2 25 Jun 468.6 522.9 low 90%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Liawenee 12.7 +0.5 31.4 15 Jan 1.6 0.0 -9.8 24 Jun 702.6 923.0 v low 76%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 16.1 +1.1 32.5 1 Mar 10.2 +0.7 3.9 11 Aug 1228.8 1314.5 average 93%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 11.4 -0.1 34.0 2 Mar 3.8 -0.2 -1.9 19 Aug 1142.0 1068.9 average 107%
Low Rocky Point 15.5   34.6 20 Dec 9.5   3.5 9 Aug
Scotts Peak Dam 15.2 +0.2 37.5 2 Mar 6.1 -0.1 -0.2 29 May 2282.8 1929.3 v high 118%
Strahan Aerodrome 16.7 +0.2 36.9 30 Dec 8.5 +0.5 0.0 9 Aug 1815.2 1562.7 high 116%
Warra 14.0 +0.1 35.4 30 Dec 5.7 +0.4 -0.5 24 Jun
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 17.2 +0.2 35.3 2 Mar 9.9 -0.1 -0.7 18 Sep 741.2 854.0 low 87%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 18.2 +0.4 40.5 30 Dec 10.1 +0.3 -1.5 30 Aug 511.6 740.8 v low 69%
Hogan Island     36.2 25 Jan 11.5 -0.4 3.9 30 May 570.2 634.3 low 90%
Note: From 2017, information about Macquarie Island can be found in the climate summary for the Remote Islands and Antarctica

Notes

The Annual climate summary, generally published on the second working day of the year, lists 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. 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 statement has been prepared based on information available at 12 pm 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
Enquiries

Climate