Melbourne area 2013: Equal second warmest year for the city

The Melbourne area in 2013 was characterised by:

  • a mild winter
  • the hottest July and September on record
  • record breaking hot spell in March
  • close to normal rainfall.

Overall temperatures above normal

Mean temperatures (the average of minimum and maximum temperatures) were well above normal in the Melbourne area in 2013. The Melbourne Regional Office in the CBD was the warmest station, recording an average of 16.8 C for the year (its equal second warmest year), whilst the coolest was Ferny Creek in the Dandenong Ranges with 13.3 C. Both Essendon and Moorabbin Airports also observed their second warmest years on record in 2013.

Record hot spells and record hot months

Daytime temperatures were very much above average in the Melbourne area. The highest daytime temperature for Melbourne Regional Office in 2013 was 41.1 C, recorded on 4 January. Its lowest maximum temperature for 2013 was 9.7 C, recorded on 20 July. Generally, stations recorded average maximum temperatures around 1 C warmer than usual. The warmest days on average were recorded at Melbourne Regional Office with an average for the year of 21.5 C, whilst Ferny Creek recorded the coolest with 17.3 C. July and September 2013 set new records for the Melbourne area with nearly all stations setting new July and September records for mean daily maximum temperature.

The hottest day in the Melbourne area was 4 January when Avalon Airport recorded 43.0 C. Most stations in the area reported their hottest temperature for 2013 on either 4 or 17 January when widespread heat affected much of the country. Melbourne experienced a significant heatwave in the first weeks of March, with a record-breaking nine consecutive days above 32 C from 4 to 12 March.

The coldest day in 2013 was 21 July when Ferny Creek recorded a maximum temperature of just 6.3 C. Most stations in the Melbourne area reported their coolest maximum temperature for 2013 on either 20 or 21 July under the influence of a complex low pressure system. However, overall July 2013 was a record breaking warm month for the Melbourne Regional Office, setting new records for highest July daily maximum temperature, highest July daily minimum temperature, highest July average maximum temperature and highest July average minimum temperature.

Record overnight temperatures in July and September

Overnight temperatures in the Melbourne area ranged from above average to very much above average for 2013. The coldest night was 23 June when Coldstream recorded -5.1 C. The second half of June was particularly cool in the Melbourne area and Melbourne Regional Office recorded 9 consecutive nights with temperatures below 5 C (its longest such run since 1972) from the 19th to the 27th. The warmest night was 13 March when Melbourne Regional Office recorded 26.5 C. Coldstream recorded the coolest nights on average with 7.7 C and Melbourne Regional Office recorded the warmest with 12.2 C (2.0 C above average). Despite minimum temperatures generally being above average for much of the year, Viewbank had their equal lowest daily temperature on record. Most stations reported the warmest July and September averages on record for minimum temperatures.

Rainfall mostly normal

Most Melbourne area stations recorded rainfall totals that were close to normal. Typically the east of Melbourne records more rainfall than the west, and 2013 was no different. Ferny Creek, in the Dandenong Ranges of Melbourne's east, was the wettest station overall with 1193.4 mm, whilst the driest was Avalon Airport, on the western plains, with 434.8 mm. The Melbourne Regional Office, in the heart of the city, received 638.4 mm for the year (very close to its average of 649.4 mm). The wettest day for the Melbourne area was 1 June, with the highest station total of 98.0 mm recorded at Bundoora (Latrobe University).

Most months in 2013 generally received close to average rainfall over the Melbourne region; the notable exceptions being January and April receiving widespread below average falls, and February and June receiving widespread above average falls.

Wind

The strongest wind gust was 117 km/h recorded at Essendon Airport on 1 October associated with a strong cold front. Out on the bay, a gust associated with this same strong cold front measured 143 km/h at Fawkner Beacon. This was the third strongest gust recorded in the Melbourne region.

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Extremes in 2013
Hottest day 43.0 C at Avalon Airport on 4 Jan
Warmest days on average 21.5 C at Melbourne Regional Office
Coolest days on average 17.3 C at Ferny Creek
Coldest day 6.3 C at Ferny Creek on 21 Jul
Coldest night -5.1 C at Coldstream on 23 Jun
Coolest nights on average 7.7 C at Coldstream
Warmest nights on average 12.2 C at Melbourne Regional Office
Warmest night 26.5 C at Melbourne Regional Office on 13 Mar
Warmest on average overall 16.8 C at Melbourne Regional Office
Coolest on average overall 13.3 C at Ferny Creek
Wettest overall 1193.4 mm at Ferny Creek
Driest overall 434.8 mm at Avalon Airport
Wettest day 98.0 mm at Bundoora (Latrobe University) on 1 Jun
Highest wind gust 117 km/h at Essendon Airport on 1 Oct

Record lowest temperature
Lowest temperature
in 2013 (C)
Previous annual
coolest
Years of
record
Annual
average
Viewbank -1.3 on 23 Jun = -1.3 on 20 Aug 2003 15 9.8


Summary statistics for 2013
Maximum temperatures
(C)
Minimum temperatures
(C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2013
Mean
for
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2013
Total
for
2013
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2013
Fraction
of annual
average
East Central (district 86)
Bundoora (Latrobe University) 20.9 +0.9 40.8 4 Jan 10.2 +0.6 -1.3 23 Jun 690.1 674.2 average 102%
Cerberus 19.8 +0.8 40.7 4 Jan 10.2 +0.5 -1.5 22 Jun 806.6 738.1 average 109%
Coldstream 21.2 +1.0 40.1 17 Jan 7.7 +0.4 -5.1 23 Jun 660.4 741.8 average 89%
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens 20.0 +0.7 39.5 17 Jan 10.1 +0.5 -0.2 22 Jun 921.8 835.5 average 110%
Essendon Airport 20.9 +1.3 41.7 17 Jan 10.6 +1.4 -0.8 10 Jul 604.6 591.9 average 102%
Ferny Creek 17.3 36.4 4 Jan 9.3 1.2 20 Aug 1193.4
Melbourne Airport 20.9 +1.2 41.5 4 Jan 10.2 +0.7 -0.4 13 Sep 558.6 547.4 average 102%
Melbourne Regional Office 21.5 +1.7 41.1 4 Jan 12.2 +2.0 1.5 23 Jun 638.4 649.4 average 98%
Moorabbin Airport 20.7 +1.0 41.5 4 Jan 10.7 +0.6 -1.9 23 Jun 644.6 715.8 low 90%
Scoresby Research Institute 20.9 +1.4 40.1 17 Jan 10.1 +0.6 -1.7 23 Jun 832.4 866.0 average 96%
Viewbank 21.3 +0.6 41.0 17 Jan 10.2 +0.4 -1.3 23 Jun 669.2 679.1 average 99%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 21.1 +0.9 43.0 4 Jan 9.7 +0.4 -1.6 22 Jun 434.8 462.3 average 94%
Laverton RAAF 20.7 +1.0 41.7 4 Jan 10.2 +0.9 -1.5 23 Jun 493.6 541.4 average 91%

Notes

A Annual Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Melbourne area 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 10 am on Thursday 2 January 2014. 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