Greater Melbourne in 2020: wetter than average with mild nights

Rainfall in Greater Melbourne during 2020 was above average at all reporting sites; most months were drier than average, but January, February, April and October were wetter than average. Daytime temperatures were close to or cooler than average, while night-time temperatures were warmer than average at most reporting sites.

Above average rainfall

  • Rainfall in 2020 was above average across Greater Melbourne.
  • Annual rainfall totals ranged from 115% of average at Laverton RAAF to 140% of average at Coldstream.
  • The first four months of the year were wetter than average in all suburbs.
  • It was particularly wet in April; averaged across all reporting sites in Greater Melbourne, it was the wettest April since 1974.
  • May saw close to average rainfall at most sites, while June and July were drier than average.
  • October was another wet month across Greater Melbourne, but the year finished with a drier than average November and December.
  • The wettest site for the year was Monbulk (Spring Road), in Melbourne's east, with 1401.0 mm.
  • On 5 March, Willowmavin recorded 96.2 mm, its highest daily rainfall on record, and the highest daily rainfall recorded in Greater Melbourne this year.
  • Melbourne city (Olympic Park)'s driest month for 2020 was June with a total of 29.0 mm; its wettest month was April with 138.4 mm (Melbourne's wettest April since 1960).
  • Scoresby Research had its highest total rainfall since 1970.

Cool days and mild nights

  • Mean maximum temperatures for the year were generally close to or cooler than average at most reporting sites.
  • The coolest days for the year were at Viewbank, where the mean daytime temperature was 0.7 °C below the annual average.
  • February and April days were cooler than average in Greater Melbourne, but November was very warm and most reporting sites had mean maximum temperatures 1.5 °C to 3.0 °C warmer than the November average.
  • The highest daytime temperature in Greater Melbourne during the year was 44.1 °C at Laverton RAAF on 31 January; all reporting sites had their highest daytime temperature for the year on this day.
  • Mean minimum temperatures for the year were close to or above average at most reporting sites.
  • The warmest nights were at Essendon Airport, where the mean night-time temperature was 1.0 °C above the annual average.
  • Mean minimum temperatures were generally close to or warmer than average across Greater Melbourne in most months, but were much warmer than average in September, October and November.
  • In June, due to clear skies and light winds under the high pressure system, most sites in the Melbourne metropolitan area reported minimum temperatures cooler than the June average.
  • The coldest night-time temperature during the year in Greater Melbourne was −3.6 °C at Coldstream on 9 June.

Melbourne (Olympic Park)

  • Total rainfall for Melbourne (Olympic Park) was 786.8 mm.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Melbourne (Olympic Park) was 19.9 °C.
  • The warmest day was 42.9 °C on 31 January, and the coolest day was on 3 July when the temperature reached 10.3 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Melbourne (Olympic Park) was 11.2 °C.
  • The coldest morning was 1.7 °C on 28 June, and the warmest morning was on 1 February when the minimum temperature was 23.5 °C.

Further information

Media
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Extremes in 2020
Hottest day 44.1 °C at Laverton RAAF on 31 Jan
Warmest days on average 20.2 °C at Coldstream
20.2 °C at Viewbank
Coolest days on average 16.2 °C at Ferny Creek
Coldest day 4.5 °C at Ferny Creek on 4 Aug
Coldest night -3.6 °C at Coldstream on 9 Jun
Coolest nights on average 7.9 °C at Coldstream
Warmest nights on average 11.2 °C at Melbourne (Olympic Park)
Warmest night 26.7 °C at Ferny Creek on 31 Jan
Warmest on average overall 15.6 °C at Melbourne (Olympic Park)
Coolest on average overall 12.3 °C at Wallan (Kilmore Gap)
Wettest overall 1401.0 mm at Monbulk (Spring Road)
Wettest day 96.2 mm at Willowmavin (Avalon Station) on 5 Mar
Strongest wind gust 146 km/h at Fawkner Beacon on 31 Jan

Record highest daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Willowmavin (Avalon Station) 96.2 on 5 Mar 75.2 on 3 Feb 2005 20



Highest annual total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Annual
average
Scoresby Research Institute 1074.4 1108.9 in 1970* 855.4

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




Summary statistics for 2020
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2020
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2020
Mean
for
2020
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2020
Total
for
2020
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2020
Fraction
of annual
average
Cerberus 19.1 -0.1 42.2 31 Jan 10.0 +0.2 -0.9 29 Jun 859.4 720.2 high 119%
Coldstream 20.2 -0.3 42.5 31 Jan 7.9 +0.4 -3.6 9 Jun 1043.6 745.3 v high 140%
Essendon Airport 19.9 +0.1 43.4 31 Jan 10.4 +1.0 -0.4 29 Jun 710.6 584.9 high 121%
Ferny Creek 16.2   38.3 31 Jan 8.7   0.1 5 Aug
Laverton RAAF 19.8 0.0 44.1 31 Jan 10.1 +0.7 -0.5 29 Jun 614.2 533.0 high 115%
Melbourne (Olympic Park) 19.9   42.9 31 Jan 11.2   1.7 28 Jun 786.8
Melbourne Airport 19.8 -0.1 43.6 31 Jan 9.5 -0.1 0.2 29 Jun 712.2 534.9 v high 133%
Moorabbin Airport 19.8 -0.1 43.7 31 Jan 10.5 +0.3 0.0 29 Jun 896.4 705.3 v high 127%
Scoresby Research Institute 19.9 +0.2 42.2 31 Jan 9.7 +0.1 -0.2 28 Jun 1074.4 855.4 v high 126%
Viewbank 20.2 -0.7 43.9 31 Jan 9.8 -0.2 -0.6 29 Jun 894.4 660.9 v high 135%
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 16.5 -0.5 40.5 31 Jan 8.1 0.0 -0.1 5 Aug 884.2 683.2 high 129%

Notes

The Annual climate summary lists the main features of the weather in Greater Melbourne 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 summary includes data from observing sites in or near the Greater Melbourne “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Tuesday 5 January 2021. 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

Climate