Melbourne Metropolitan Area: Record breaking rain

  • Rainfall the highest on record at some stations
  • Night-time temperatures much warmer than normal
  • Daytime temperatures generally close to average

Rainfall

Several stations in the Melbourne metropolitan area recorded their highest annual totals in 2011. Exceptional rainfall at the start of the year made a large contribution to the positive annual anomaly. Rainfall totals for autumn were mixed, ranging from average to highest on record. Winter rainfall was below average with many stations only recording about half of their seasonal average. Spring was much wetter than usual with many stations receiving about one and a half times their usual amount. Annual totals ranged from 1158.0 mm at Coldstream to 678.6 mm at Melbourne Airport. Melbourne Regional Office recorded 834.6 mm, well above its long-term average of 649.8 mm. This was the second year in a row that Melbourne Regional Office recorded above average rainfall after 13 consecutive years of below average rainfall. Bundoora (Latrobe University) had their highest total rainfall on record. The wettest single day was the 5th of February when Moorabbin Airport recorded 140.8 mm (their highest daily rainfall on record).

Maximum temperature

Average maximum temperatures where generally close to average in the Melbourne area, however there were some significant outliers. The hottest day was the 1st of February when Laverton RAAF recorded 40.5 C. Autumn was cooler than usual with most station recording average maximum temperatures 1 2 C below normal. Winter produced warmer than normal average maximum temperatures but most stations recorded temperatures within 1 C of their long-term means. Spring was warmer than usual with most stations recording average maximum temperatures 1 2 C above average. The warmest days on average were recorded at Melbourne Regional Office with 20.9 C and the coolest days on average were recorded at Cerberus with 19.0 C. The coldest day was the 7th of July when Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) recorded 4.6 C.

Minimum temperature

Average minimum temperatures ranged from close to normal to warmest on record. Generally they were much warmer than usual for the year. Autumn saw stations record average minimum temperatures within 1 C of their long-term mean. Average minimum temperatures during winter were typical for the season with most stations reporting temperatures within 0.5 C of normal. Spring brought average minimum temperatures that were very much warmer than normal. The coldest night was -2.1 C recorded at Coldstream on the 16th of June and Avalon Airport on the 16th of July. The coolest nights on average were recorded at Coldstream with 8.3 C and the warmest nights on average were recorded at Melbourne Regional Office with 12.0 C. The warmest night of the year was the 1st of February when Melbourne Regional Office recorded 24.5 C.

Wind

The strongest wind gust was at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) with 102 km/h on 21 Jun.

Some significant weather events in 2011

Rain: Heavy rainfall from the 4th to the 6th of February delivered totals of 100 mm to 200 mm to parts of Melbourne's east and south-east.

Heatwave: A warm spell at the start of August produced maximum and minimum temperatures never seen before so soon after the winter solstice.

Hail: Thunderstorms on Christmas day produced large hail over parts of Melbourne.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in 2011
Hottest day 40.5 C at Laverton RAAF on 1 Feb
Warmest days on average 20.9 C at Melbourne Regional Office
Coolest days on average 19.0 C at Cerberus
Coldest day 4.6 C at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) on 7 Jul
Coldest night -2.1 C at Coldstream on 16 Jun and Avalon Airport on 16 Jul
Coolest nights on average 8.3 C at Coldstream
Warmest nights on average 12.0 C at Melbourne Regional Office
Warmest night 24.5 C at Melbourne Regional Office on 1 Feb
Warmest on average overall 16.4 C at Melbourne Regional Office
Coolest on average overall 14.2 C at Coldstream
Wettest overall 1158.0 mm at Coldstream
Wettest day 140.8 mm at Moorabbin Airport on 5 Feb
Highest wind gust 102 km/h at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) on 21 Jun

Record highest annual daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in 2011 (mm)
Previous annual
wettest
Years of
record
Moorabbin Airport 140.8 on 5 Feb 91.0 on 13 Jan 1998 61


Record highest total annual rainfall
Total rainfall
for 2011 (mm)
Previous annual
wettest
Years of
record
Annual
average
Bundoora (Latrobe University) 955.7 860.8 in 1992 31 674.6


Summary statistics for 2011
Maximum temperatures
(C)
Minimum temperatures
(C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2011
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2011
Mean
for
2011
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2011
Total
for
2011
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2011
Fraction
of annual
average
East Central (district 86)
Bundoora (Latrobe University) 20.0 0.0 40.3 1 Feb 10.2 +0.6 -0.1 16 Jul 955.7 674.6 highest 142%
Cerberus 19.0 0.0 37.8 1 Feb 10.2 +0.5 -1.0 16 Jul 873.4 727.1 high 120%
Coldstream 20.1 -0.2 38.8 1 Feb 8.3 +1.1 -2.1 16 Jun 1158.0 745.0 v high 155%
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens 19.2 -0.1 38.5 1 Feb 9.9 +0.3 0.0 16 Jul
Essendon Airport 20.0 +0.4 40.3 1 Feb 10.2 +1.1 -1.1 16 Jul 731.0 593.5 high 123%
Melbourne Airport 19.9 +0.2 39.4 1 Feb 9.8 +0.3 0.1 16 Jul 678.6 548.8 high 124%
Melbourne Regional Office 20.9 +1.1 40.2 1 Feb 12.0 +1.8 2.7 27 Jul 834.6 649.8 v high 128%
Moorabbin Airport 19.7 0.0 39.5 1 Feb 10.6 +0.6 -0.9 16 Jul 960.6 718.2 v high 134%
Scoresby Research Institute 19.9 +0.4 38.9 1 Feb 9.9 +0.4 -0.6 16 Jul 1071.6 866.7 high 124%
Viewbank (ARPANSA) 20.2 -0.6 40.1 1 Feb 10.0 +0.2 -0.3 10 May 1074.6 685.0 v high 157%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 20.0 -0.2 39.2 1 Feb 9.5 +0.3 -2.1 16 Jul 696.0 460.6 v high 151%
Laverton RAAF 19.8 +0.1 40.5 1 Feb 10.0 +0.7 -1.8 16 Jul 767.4 543.2 v high 141%

Notes

A Annual Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Melbourne Metropolitan Area and Environs 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 11 am on Tuesday 3 January 2012. 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 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.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries