Melbourne in 2016: another warm year; rainfall mostly close to average

Rainfall was mostly close to average across Melbourne during 2016. Mean maximum and minimum temperatures were warmer than average in all suburbs across the wider metropolitan area.

Close to average rainfall

  • Rainfall in 2016 was close to average for most sites across the Melbourne metropolitan area
  • Most months received close to average rainfall; February and November were drier than average while July and September were wet; several suburbs recorded their highest September rainfall since 1993
  • Melbourne (Olympic Park)'s driest month for 2016 was February with a total of only 9.0 mm; its wettest month was September with 87.2 mm
  • Ferny Creek in the Dandenong Ranges was the wettest location in Greater Melbourne, recording an annual total of 1483.0 mm
  • The highest daily total, 108.0 mm, was recorded at Bundoora (Latrobe University) on 30 December; it was also a record highest daily rainfall for this site

Warm days and mild nights

  • Both mean maximum and minimum temperatures in 2016 were very much above average at most sites across Melbourne
  • Some sites had their highest annual mean daily minimum temperature
  • Between 22 February and 18 March Melbourne set a new record with 26 consecutive daily minimum temperatures of 15 °C or above
  • At Melbourne (Olympic Park) the hottest day during the year saw 42.2 °C recorded on 13 January, in a northerly airstream across the city; the coolest night was 3.0 °C on 26 June, due to a high pressure system with light winds and clear skies
  • For Greater Melbourne, the hottest recorded temperature was 43.8 °C at Essendon, Laverton and Viewbank on 13 January; on the same day all sites around Melbourne recorded their hottest temperature for the year
  • The coolest temperature recorded in Greater Melbourne was -3.6  °C at Coldstream on 17 July
  • However, on 29 December Coldstream had its warmest night on record

Snow, strong winds and thunderstorm asthma

  • A cold front associated with a deep low pressure system crossed Melbourne on 12 July bringing very cold weather and snow to the higher parts of the Dandenong Ranges
  • Strong and gusty winds associated with the passage of the cold front on 9 October resulted in downed trees, damaged homes and loss of electricity across the Melbourne metropolitan area, and gave the region's strongest wind gust for the year of 119 km/h at Fawkner Beacon
  • After a hot day, a cold front and associated thunderstorms swept across the city late afternoon on 21 November bringing wind gusts over 80 km/h; as the change passed through Melbourne, it triggered thousands of incidents of thunderstorm asthma, with at least eight deaths attributed to the event
  • Melbourne experienced several very humid days close to the end of December; a low pressure trough which crossed the city on the afternoon of the 29th brought strong showers followed by flash flooding in some city suburbs, some riverine flooding as creeks and the Elwood Canal broke their banks, extreme storm and water damange, and disruptions to road and rail travel

Further information

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Extremes in 2016
Hottest day 43.8 °C at Essendon Airport on 13 Jan
43.8 °C at Laverton RAAF on 13 Jan
43.8 °C at Viewbank on 13 Jan
Warmest days on average 20.8 °C at Viewbank
Coolest days on average 16.8 °C at Ferny Creek
Coldest day 4.3 °C at Ferny Creek on 24 Jun
Coldest night -3.6 °C at Coldstream on 17 Jul
Coolest nights on average 8.5 °C at Coldstream
Warmest nights on average 12.1 °C at Frankston AWS
Warmest night 27.0 °C at Melbourne (Olympic Park) on 29 Dec
Warmest on average overall 16.2 °C at Melbourne (Olympic Park)
Coolest on average overall 12.9 °C at Wallan (Kilmore Gap)
Wettest overall 1483.0 mm at Ferny Creek
Driest overall 534.8 mm at Laverton RAAF
Wettest day 108.0 mm at Bundoora (Latrobe University) on 30 Dec
Strongest wind gust 119 km/h at Fawkner Beacon on 9 Oct

Record highest daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Bundoora (Latrobe University) 108.0 on 30 Dec 104.8 on 3 Feb 2005 38



Record highest daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Coldstream 24.7 on 29 Dec 24.4 on 12 Jan 2010 23 7.4



Record highest annual mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Laverton RAAF 10.7 10.6 in 2014 72 9.3
Melbourne Airport 10.4 = 10.4 in 2007 45 9.6
Essendon Airport 11.0 10.8 in 2014 44 9.3
Moorabbin Airport 11.2 11.1 in 2014 43 10.1
Bundoora (Latrobe University) 10.5 = 10.5 in 2007 30 9.6
Cerberus 10.5 10.4 in 2014 24 9.8
Coldstream 8.5 8.3 in 2011 21 7.4

Highest annual mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Annual
average
Scoresby Research Institute 10.5 10.9 in 1988* 9.5

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




Summary statistics for 2016
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2016
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2016
Mean
for
2016
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2016
Total
for
2016
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2016
Fraction
of annual
average
Bundoora (Latrobe University) 20.6 +0.5 43.1 13 Jan 10.5 +0.9 0.0 26 Jun 813.0 672.5 high 121%
Cerberus 19.6 +0.5 42.5 13 Jan 10.5 +0.7 0.7 17 Jul 646.2 722.9 low 89%
Coldstream 20.7 +0.3 42.6 13 Jan 8.5 +1.1 -3.6 17 Jul
Essendon Airport 20.5 +0.8 43.8 13 Jan 11.0 +1.7 1.1 31 May 615.6 587.9 average 105%
Ferny Creek 16.8   38.9 13 Jan 9.2   0.5 13 Jul 1483.0
Frankston AWS     38.4 13 Jan 12.1 +0.5 3.8 23 Jul
Laverton RAAF 20.3 +0.6 43.8 13 Jan 10.7 +1.4 0.3 31 May 534.8 536.5 average 100%
Melbourne (Olympic Park) 20.3   42.2 13 Jan 12.0   3.0 26 Jun 599.6
Melbourne Airport 20.4 +0.6 43.6 13 Jan 10.4 +0.8 1.0 31 May 600.8 542.0 average 111%
Moorabbin Airport 20.4 +0.6 42.9 13 Jan 11.2 +1.1 0.8 17 Jul 712.2 709.3 average 100%
Scoresby Research Institute 20.6 +1.0 42.9 13 Jan 10.5 +1.0 0.6 24 Aug 876.8 859.2 average 102%
Viewbank 20.8 0.0 43.8 13 Jan 10.7 +0.8 0.0 17 Jul 720.6 656.6 high 110%
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 17.3 +0.5 39.7 13 Jan 8.6 +0.6 -0.5 24 Jul 855.2 688.0 high 124%

Notes

The Annual climate summary, generally published on the second working day of the year, 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. 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 statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Tuesday 3 January 2017. 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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries