Tasmania in 2018: a warm year

Tasmania had another warm year during 2018, with January bringing some record high temperatures at some sites, and December being the warmest on record for the State as a whole. Rainfall was close to average overall, but there were some very wet months and some very dry ones.

The Australian annual climate statement provides a comprehensive summary of Australia's climate during 2018. Information about changes and long-term trends in Australia's climate can be found in State of the Climate 2018.

A mixed year for rain

  • Most areas had close to average rain overall, but totals were below average close to the north and east coasts
  • It was a wetter year than 2017 (and much wetter than 2017 in the western highlands), but a much drier year than 2016
  • Rainfall varied markedly through the year: for Tasmania as a whole, it was the wettest March since 2001 and the eighth-wettest July, but the third-driest October
  • There was also marked variation across the State: January was wet in the northeast but dry in the southwest, whilst both July and August were wet in the west and dry in the east
  • Total Tasmanian rainfall for 2018 was less than 1% below average
  • There was record-breaking rain in the southeast on 10 and 11 May, leading to flash flooding and considerable damage in and around Hobart
  • Thunderstorms in mid-December brought heavy rain, especially to the northeast

Another warm year

  • Temperatures were very much above average across Tasmania
  • The Tasmanian mean temperature for the year was 0.71 °C above average, making it the fifth-warmest year since comparable records began in 1910
  • It was Tasmania's equal third-warmest year for mean minimum temperatures at 0.65 °C above average (well short of the record warm mean minimum from 2016)
  • Mean maximum temperatures were 0.77 °C above average, the sixth-warmest year on record, but a little cooler than 2017
  • January was especially warm and came near the end of a record warm period over the Tasman Sea (as detailed in the Special Climate Statement Record warmth in the Tasman Sea, New Zealand and Tasmania)
  • December was also very warm (the State's warmest mean temperature for December)
  • Heatwaves during January gave record-high temperatures to larapuna and Bridport, and record-warm nights to over a dozen sites across the north
  • Temperatures were close to or a bit below average during August and September, but were well above average in October
  • A cold outbreak late in August brought record low temperatures to a few sites

A very warm year for Hobart, with some heavy rain

  • Hobart's mean temperature for the year was 13.9 °C, the second-warmest year on record (just 0.1 °C cooler than 2016) and 1.2 °C warmer than the long-term average
  • Hobart's mean daily maximum temperature was 18.2 °C, which is 1.2 °C above the long-term average and the equal third-warmest (behind the record-breaking 2017 and 2014)
  • The warmest day was 36.7 °C on 28 January, the highest temperature since the city reached 38.9 °C on 28 January 2014
  • Hobart reached only 9.0 °C on 19 August, one of 8 days below 10 °C during 2018 (well below the long-term average of about 21 such cold days each year)
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 9.5 °C, which is 1.1 °C above the long-term average and the second-warmest (behind 2016)
  • The coldest morning saw 0.6 °C on 20 August; this was the only night below 1 °C (compared to a long-term average of about 4 nights that cold each year)
  • Hobart's warmest morning was on 29 January when the temperature dropped to only 23.9 °C, the equal second-warmest minimum temperature
  • Total rainfall for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 585.2 mm, which is 95% of the long-term average
  • More than one-fifth of the year's total rainfall came in the 24 hours to 9 am on 11 May, when 129.2 mm was Hobart's highest daily rainfall since April 1960; almost half of that fell in the three hours between 9 pm and midnight on 10 May
  • Another storm on 16 December gave Hobart 26.6 mm of rain in less than an hour

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Extremes in 2018
Hottest day 39.7 °C at St Helens Aerodrome on 19 Jan
Warmest days on average 19.3 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest days on average 8.6 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Coldest day -3.1 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on 27 Aug
Coldest night -8.4 °C at Liawenee on 23 Aug
Coolest nights on average 1.8 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 11.9 °C at Hogan Island and Swan Island
Warmest night 23.9 °C at Campania (Kincora), Hobart (Ellerslie Road)
and Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) on 29 Jan
Warmest on average overall 14.8 °C at Hogan Island
Coolest on average overall 5.3 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 4141.8 mm at Mount Read
Wettest day 236.2 mm at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on 11 May
Strongest wind gust 163 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on 16 Apr and 15 Aug

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


Record highest daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Opossum Bay 123.0 on 11 May 110.5 on 23 Apr 1960 88
Fern Tree (Grays Road) 163.4 on 11 May 156.0 on 12 Aug 2010 52
Huonville (Tutton Avenue) 150.0 on 11 May 73.0 on 27 Dec 1998 51
Margate (Sunnyside) 151.0 on 11 May 123.2 on 14 Jan 2015 51
Dunalley (Bangor) 115.8 on 11 May 97.0 on 14 Jan 2015 45
Longley (Telopea) 208.0 on 11 May 145.0 on 6 Sep 1983 44
Lucaston (Bakers Creek Road) 147.0 on 11 May 79.0 on 27 Dec 1998 41
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 236.2 on 11 May 202.0 on 19 Dec 1995 40
Blackmans Bay Treatment Plant 140.0 on 11 May 120.0 on 14 Jan 2015 37
Judbury (Huon River) 120.4 on 11 May 50.4 on 29 Aug 2015 27
Maydena Post Office 64.0 on 11 May 62.8 on 4 Dec 2005 27
Mount Seymour 71.0 on 11 May 63.0 on 26 Jun 2009 27
Nierinna (Cuthberts Road) 146.4 on 11 May 127.2 on 4 Feb 2005 27
Below Craigbourne Dam (Coal River) 100.8 on 11 May 81.0 on 15 Mar 1999 25
Hobart (Turnip Fields) 164.6 on 11 May 138.2 on 19 Dec 1995 24
Molesworth (Glen Dhu Road) 108.8 on 11 May 61.4 on 22 Jan 1997 24
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 69.8 on 11 May 66.6 on 27 Dec 1998 23
Glenfern (Homebush) 94.0 on 11 May 51.0 on 7 Jun 2016 20



Record highest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 38.2 on 19 Jan 36.5 on 4 Jan 2013 108 17.0
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 32.0 on 19 Jan 31.7 on 12 Dec 1998 25 17.5



Record highest annual mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Devonport Airport 17.7 = 17.7 in 2014 26 17.0



Record highest daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 20.7 on 28 Jan 20.0 on 16 Feb 1982 108 10.1
Butlers Gorge 19.4 on 29 Jan = 19.4 on 20 Jan 1959 59 3.0
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 21.9 on 29 Jan 21.1 on 17 Jan 1962 58 5.9
Burnie (Round Hill) 22.1 on 28 Jan 21.3 on 30 Jan 1988 54 9.3
Marrawah 21.5 on 29 Jan 20.8 on 21 Jan 1997 48 9.4
Wynyard Airport 21.3 on 28 Jan 21.0 on 12 Mar 2013 34 7.1
Fingal (Legge Street) 20.9 on 28 Jan = 20.9 on 30 Jan 2009 33 5.3
Lake St Clair National Park 19.3 on 29 Jan 18.5 on 6 Jan 1997 29 2.8
Devonport Airport 22.0 on 28 Jan 20.0 on 27 Feb 2012 28 8.3
Maydena Post Office 19.8 on 29 Jan 18.9 on 4 Feb 2010 27 5.4
Smithton Aerodrome 22.2 on 29 Jan 20.7 on 12 Mar 2013 23 7.7
Sheffield School Farm 19.5 on 29 Jan 19.4 on 30 Jan 2009 22 6.8
Low Head 21.4 on 29 Jan 20.7 on 4 Feb 2010 21 10.6
Ouse Fire Station 21.1 on 29 Jan 20.0 on 30 Dec 2002 21 5.6
Cressy Research Station 21.1 on 29 Jan 20.3 on 30 Jan 2009 20 5.8



Record lowest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
King Island Airport -0.1 on 29 Aug 0.0 on 26 Aug 2006 24 10.0
Mount Read -5.3 on 28 Aug -5.2 on 21 Jun 2007 23 2.8



Record highest annual mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Friendly Beaches 14.4 = 14.4 in 2016 20 14.0



Summary statistics for 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2018
Mean
for
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2018
Total
for
2018
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2018
Fraction
of annual
average
Northern (district 91)
Cape Grim 15.9   27.0 28 Jan 10.9   2.5 28 Aug 825.2
Cressy Research Station 18.4 +0.2 35.5 19 Jan     -3.5 28 Aug 510.8 603.0 average 85%
Devonport Airport 17.7 +0.7 28.9 11 Mar 8.9 +0.6 -0.8 29 Aug 667.9 769.7 average 87%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 19.3 +0.7 34.2 19 Jan 7.7 +0.3 -2.6 10 Jul 648.4 684.0 average 95%
Launceston Airport 18.2 0.0 36.2 19 Jan 6.3 0.0 -4.3 13 Jul 664.8 625.4 average 106%
Low Head 17.0 +0.3 27.3 15 Jan 11.0 +0.4 1.6 20 Aug 622.0 686.2 average 91%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 15.6 0.0 32.4 28 Jan 8.0 +0.4 0.2 24 Sep 1550.0 1516.5 average 102%
Marrawah 16.6 +0.4 30.5 28 Jan 9.9 +0.5 0.5 28 Aug 1086.4 1073.6 average 101%
Sheffield School Farm 16.3 +0.1 34.4 19 Jan 7.0 +0.2 -2.3 29 Aug
Smithton Aerodrome 17.7 +0.4 31.1 19 Jan 7.9 +0.2 -3.1 29 Aug 973.6 910.1 high 107%
Wynyard Airport 17.8 +0.7 33.8 19 Jan 7.7 +0.6 -2.9 28 Aug 851.4 980.6 low 87%
East Coast (district 92)
Fingal (Legge Street)     39.2 19 Jan 5.8 +0.5 -4.4 20 Sep 607.0 610.1 average 99%
Friendly Beaches 19.1 +0.6 36.5 19 Jan 9.7 +0.3 -0.3 30 Aug 570.0 681.2 average 84%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 18.4 +1.4 38.2 19 Jan 10.9 +0.8 1.1 20 Aug 578.2 757.2 low 76%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 17.1 0.0 28.6 6 Jan 10.9 +0.4 3.7 30 Aug 482.6 524.2 average 92%
Orford (Aubin Court) 17.9 +0.3 30.7 28 Jan 8.5 +0.7 -1.6 30 Aug 623.6 668.1 average 93%
St Helens Aerodrome 18.4 +0.3 39.7 19 Jan 9.2 +0.2 0.1 30 Aug 698.8 681.5 average 103%
Swan Island 17.5 +0.4 28.3 28 Dec 11.9 +0.3 2.6 20 Aug 597.8 674.6 average 89%
Swansea (Francis Street) 18.3   36.5 19 Jan 8.5   -1.8 30 Aug 488.0
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 18.0 +0.3 36.3 19 Jan 6.0 +0.3 -5.3 6 Jun 516.0 488.3 average 106%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 18.9 +0.2 39.6 28 Jan 7.8 +0.5 -1.9 30 Aug 485.8 490.0 average 99%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 16.6 +0.6 32.2 28 Jan 9.6 +0.3 3.0 30 Aug 672.8 768.5 low 88%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 16.0 +1.1 30.5 28 Jan 9.9 +1.1 1.2 8 Jul 702.9 938.0 v low 75%
Dennes Point 17.2   32.3 6 Jan 10.0   2.0 30 Aug 516.8
Dover 17.3 +0.7 36.0 28 Jan 7.2 +0.4 -1.0 20 Aug 838.0 878.0 average 95%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 17.6   32.4 24 Dec 10.3   1.7 15 Jul
Grove (Research Station) 17.9 +0.3 38.6 28 Jan 6.4 +0.6 -2.3 2 Aug 697.2 723.5 average 96%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 18.2 +1.2 36.7 28 Jan 9.5 +1.1 0.6 20 Aug 585.2 613.5 average 95%
Hobart Airport 18.4 +0.8 36.5 28 Jan 9.0 +0.9 0.3 30 Aug 420.2 491.2 low 86%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 8.6 +0.7 28.7 28 Jan 2.0 +0.6 -5.7 20 Aug
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 14.4 +0.5 30.5 28 Jan 9.4 +0.8 3.3 27 Aug 1050.9 1225.6 low 86%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 17.7 +0.3 37.6 28 Jan 6.4 +0.4 -4.4 13 Jul 501.4 452.8 high 111%
Tunnack Fire Station 15.8 +0.4 34.7 28 Jan     -4.2 2 Aug
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 18.8 +1.0 39.4 28 Jan 6.3 +0.4 -3.1 30 Aug        
Maydena Post Office 16.5 +0.4 36.5 28 Jan 5.9 +0.5 -2.0 28 Aug 1217.0 1166.6 average 104%
Ouse Fire Station 18.6 +0.2 38.7 28 Jan 5.9 +0.3 -4.4 30 Aug 529.4 526.3 average 101%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 13.9 +1.0 32.6 28 Jan 3.5 +0.5 -5.8 30 Aug 1868.4 1674.9 high 112%
Liawenee 12.6 +0.5 29.3 19 Jan 1.8 +0.2 -8.4 23 Aug 998.0 941.4 average 106%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 16.4 +1.4 32.0 28 Jan 10.3 +0.8 2.4 28 Aug 1221.4 1315.5 average 93%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 11.8 +0.3 34.1 28 Jan 4.3 +0.3 -2.4 20 Aug 1178.8 1062.2 high 111%
Low Rocky Point 16.0   30.1 28 Jan 9.7   0.9 29 Aug 1436.6 1340.4 high 107%
Scotts Peak Dam 15.7 +0.7 37.7 28 Jan 6.5 +0.3 -0.6 28 Aug 1956.6 1902.1 average 103%
Strahan Aerodrome 17.2 +0.7 35.9 28 Jan 8.5 +0.6 -2.5 29 Aug 1758.4 1552.2 high 113%
Warra 14.2 +0.4 35.1 28 Jan 5.0 -0.3 -3.9 30 Aug 1856.8 1762.7 high 105%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 17.6 +0.6 34.7 28 Jan 10.5 +0.5 -0.1 29 Aug 785.4 856.8 low 92%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 18.3 +0.5 34.7 29 Jan 10.4 +0.6 -2.2 30 Aug 770.0 744.1 average 103%
Hogan Island 17.7 +0.4 34.3 6 Jan 11.9 +0.1 4.7 16 Sep 673.0 640.1 average 105%
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 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.
The Australian annual climate statement provides a comprehensive summary of Australia's climate during 2018. Information about changes and long-term trends in Australia's climate can be found in State of the Climate 2018.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 2 pm Tuesday 8 January 2019. 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

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