Melbourne in 2015: another warm year with below average rainfall

Rainfall was below average across Melbourne during 2015. All suburbs across the wider metropolitan area recorded above-average maximum temperatures.

  • Below average rainfall at all locations
  • Very dry October
  • Above average mean maximum temperatures across Melbourne
  • A cool winter and very warm spring
  • Record breaking hot spell in early October; early-season heat records broken across the city
  • Many days of strong and damaging winds

Rainfall in 2015 was below average for all sites across Melbourne. Most months received below average rainfall, with a particularly dry October when all suburbs recorded rainfall that was very much below the long-term monthly mean. Melbourne City (Olympic Park) reported an October total of only 12.2 mm (the lowest monthly total during the year); the wettest month at the same site was July with 58.0 mm, while the annual total for the site was 439.2 mm. With 1142.4 mm, Ferny Creek in the Dandenong Ranges was the wettest location during the year in the greater Melbourne area. The highest daily total of 55.0 mm was recorded at Bundoora on 11 October.

Maximum temperatures were above average during 2015 for all sites across Melbourne, generally exceeding the historical average by 0.5 to 1.0 °C. Minimum temperatures were also above average at most sites. At Melbourne City (Olympic Park), the hottest day during the year saw 41.2 °C recorded on 19 December, in a northerly airstream across the city; the coolest night was 0.6 °C on 19 July, due to a high pressure system that developed over the State, light winds and clear skies. The same site set a new early-season maximum temperature record of 35.8 °C on 6 October that was also the earliest day over 35 °C. The hottest day recorded in the greater Melbourne area saw 45.0 °C at Avalon Airport on 19 December; on the same day all Melbourne sites recorded their highest temperature for the year. The coolest night saw -4.7 C recorded at Coldstream on 21 June.

Notable events in 2015

  • Intense afternoon storms and wind gusts up to 100 km/h on 7 January, resulted in fallen branches, widespread power outages and a sharp temperature decrease
  • A severe thunderstorm developed on the 28th of February, with wind gusts up to 130 km/h that resulted in downed trees and powerlines
  • Early season snow on the Dandenong Ranges on 13 May
  • Melbourne City (Olympic Park) recorded its highest daily rainfall (30.6 mm) of the year on 26 December
  • Several locations (Melbourne Airport, Bundoora, Essendon Airport and Laverton RAAF) had a record number of days in October with maximum temperatures of 30.0 °C or more due to a prolonged spring warm spell across southern Australia
  • Flash flooding around Melbourne on the 5th of November, with a funnel cloud in the north
  • A cold front that crossed Melbourne on the 25th of November brought strong and gusty winds, with maximum wind gusts exceeding 80 km/h; there were uprooted trees, damaged houses and cars, and power outages
  • Some sites in the greater Melbourne area (Avalon Airport, Coldstream, Cranbourne Botanic Gardens and Cerberus) set new December high temperature records on the 19th.

Further information

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Extremes in 2015
Hottest day 45.0 °C at Avalon Airport on 19 Dec
Warmest days on average 21.1 °C at Coldstream
21.1 °C at Viewbank
Coolest days on average 16.8 °C at Ferny Creek
Coldest day 4.4 °C at Ferny Creek on 14 Jul
Coldest night -4.7 °C at Coldstream on 21 Jun
Coolest nights on average 7.4 °C at Coldstream
Warmest nights on average 11.5 °C at Melbourne (Olympic Park)
Warmest night 28.5 °C at Moorabbin Airport on 20 Dec
Warmest on average overall 15.9 °C at Melbourne (Olympic Park)
Coolest on average overall 12.8 °C at Ferny Creek
Wettest overall 1142.4 mm at Ferny Creek
Driest overall 358.2 mm at Laverton RAAF
Wettest day 55.0 mm at Bundoora (Latrobe University) on 11 Oct
Strongest wind gust 128 km/h at St Kilda Harbour - RMYS on 28 Feb

Record lowest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Cerberus -2.9 on 19 Jul -2.4 on 20 Aug 2003 25 9.8



Summary statistics for 2015
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2015
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2015
Mean
for
2015
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2015
Total
for
2015
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2015
Fraction
of annual
average
Avalon Airport 20.8 +0.5 45.0 19 Dec 9.5 +0.2 -2.5 20 Jul 387.4 457.8 low 85%
Bundoora (Latrobe University) 20.8 +0.7 43.0 19 Dec 10.0 +0.4 -3.5 19 Jul 575.6 665.7 low 86%
Cerberus 19.6 +0.5 42.4 19 Dec 9.6 -0.2 -2.9 19 Jul 545.6 726.3 low 75%
Coldstream 21.1 +0.8 41.6 19 Dec 7.4 0.0 -4.7 21 Jun 622.2 731.8 low 85%
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens 19.9 +0.5 41.8 19 Dec 9.6 -0.1 -0.5 20 Jul 588.5 819.9 v low 72%
Essendon Airport 20.9 +1.2 43.7 19 Dec 10.2 +1.0 -1.5 19 Jul 446.2 587.5 low 76%
Ferny Creek 16.8   36.7 19 Dec 8.8   0.5 4 Aug 1142.4
Laverton RAAF 20.5 +0.8 43.9 19 Dec 10.1 +0.8 -1.5 20 Jul 358.2 536.5 v low 67%
Melbourne (Olympic Park) 20.4   41.2 19 Dec 11.5   0.6 19 Jul 439.2
Melbourne Airport 20.9 +1.1 43.1 19 Dec 9.7 +0.1 -1.0 20 Jul 396.2 540.5 v low 73%
Moorabbin Airport 20.5 +0.7 42.7 19 Dec 10.6 +0.5 -1.0 20 Jul 504.8 709.3 v low 71%
Scoresby Research Institute 20.7 +1.1 41.5 19 Dec 9.7 +0.2 -1.6 19 Jul 640.0 858.9 v low 75%
Viewbank 21.1 +0.3 42.7 19 Dec 10.0 +0.1 -2.1 19 Jul 474.2 652.3 v low 73%

Notes

The Annual climate summary lists the main features of the weather in Melbourne 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.

A climate summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 8 am on Wednesday 6 January 2016. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is used for temperature area averages.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries