Victoria in 2015: another warm and dry year

For most of Victoria, rainfall in 2015 was below or very much below average; above average rainfall was recorded mostly in the far east of the State. Maximum temperatures were above the long-term mean across the State; minimum temperatures were generally above average, with nights tending closer to average in part of the State's west.

  • Mean maximum temperatures were above average
  • Mean minimum temperatures were also mostly above average
  • Warmest October and December on record, for both mean and maximum temperatures
  • Victoria’s warmest spring on record for mean temperature, and second-warmest on record for maximum temperature
  • Mildura registered the highest daily minimum temperature ever recorded at any site in Victoria, on 20 December
  • Rainfall mostly below average to very much below average
  • Very low rainfall in March, September, October and December
  • Many days of strong and damaging winds

For most of Victoria, rainfall during 2015 was below to very much below average. The Statewide average rainfall was 505.2 mm, 23% below the long-term annual mean of 660.2 mm. The rainfall recorded over much of southern Victoria was very much below average, due to a reduced number of rain-bearing cold fronts crossing the State during the year. Above average rainfall was recorded in the far east, and in a small area near Wodonga in the north of Victoria. Only in January and April were there areas that reported rainfall that was very much above average; in other months, it was mostly average to below average, with March, September, October and December being particularly dry (October rainfall was seventh-lowest on record for the month since 1900). The wettest station during the year was Haines Junction/Mt Sabine located in the Otway Ranges with 1889.8 mm, and the driest overall was Swan Hill Aerodrome in the north of the State with 183.0 mm. The wettest day was 18 February when the Snowy River (at McKillops Bridge) station received 149.2 mm of rain.

The whole of Victoria recorded maximum temperatures that were above the long-term average, with very much above average mean maximum temperatures reported for most of the western and central parts of the State. Taken across the whole State, maximum temperatures were 1.00 °C above average, the seventh-highest on record. Summer 2014-2015 saw maximum temperatures above the long-term mean; autumn and winter saw cooler than average temperatures, with winter being the coolest since 1989. In contrast, average maximum temperatures during spring were the second-highest on record, with temperatures nearly 3 °C above the long-term mean. With a mean maximum temperature 5.92 °C above the long-term average for the month, October was Victoria's warmest on record (the previous record was in 1914, with an anomaly of +4.98 °C). The end of the year saw many new daily maximum temperature records set across the State on 19 December; the highest temperature during the year (45.0 °C) in Victoria was recorded on that day at Avalon Airport. December was also Victoria's warmest on record, with a mean maximum temperature 3.78 °C above the long-term average for the month.

Minimum temperatures across the State were mostly above average, with very much above average minimum temperatures recorded in the far east and a few areas in northern Victoria. The Statewide mean minimum temperature was 0.53 °C above average. Summer 2014-2015 saw minimum temperatures that were above the long-term mean, while in autumn they were cooler than average and the lowest since 2006. Winter also saw minimum temperatures below the long-term mean; the coldest morning of the year was on 4 August when Falls Creek recorded −8.6 °C. The cold weather was due to a series of cold fronts and troughs, which brought very cold air masses from the south. In contrast, average minimum temperatures during spring were the fifth-highest on record, mostly due to the highest on record temperatures in October. Victoria's mean minimum temperature for December was the second-highest on record, the highest since 1914. Overnight from 19 to 20 December was exceptionally warm, with Mildura’s minimum temperature of 31.9 °C the highest daily minimum ever recorded at any site in Victoria (for more details see the Special Climate Statement Widespread record December temperatures in southeast Australia).

Notable events in 2015

Extreme heat and fires

  • During a heatwave in early October, more than 70 fires burnt in Victoria; the most significant fires included those near Lancefield, Tallarook and Geelong
  • The State's early-season maximum temperature record was set during October, as well as numerous site records for consecutive days above particular thresholds (for more details see the Special Climate Statement Australia's warmest October on record)
  • Numerous December temperature records were set on the 19th and the 20th
  • Fires that started on 19 December burned more than 2200 hectares along the Great Ocean Road, and destroyed 116 houses on Christmas Day

Thunderstorms and strong winds

  • A dust storm swept through the Mallee (including Swan Hill and Mildura) on 4 May as winds gusted up to 100 km/h
  • A long-lived thunderstorm produced heavy falls of hail in west-central Victoria on 19 May
  • Patchy but extensive storms across Victoria on the 11th and 12th of October with intense thunderstorms causing heavy rainfall, fallen trees, hailstones and power outages
  • A tornado was reported on 31 October at Strathmerton, west of Cobram, and caused structural damage removing roofs from several houses
  • A thunderstorm with hail stones as large as 2.5 cm was recorded near Marysville, Wangaratta, Beechworth and Kinglake on 12 November
  • Widespread strong and gusty winds on 25 November resulted in uprooted trees, damaged houses and cars, and power outages in parts of the State

Heavy rain and flooding

  • Flash flooding in Bendigo on 9 January associated with a low pressure system that crossed the State

Cold outbreaks and snow

  • A significant cold outbreak with widespread snowfalls in elevated parts of the State on the 14th and 15th of July
  • There was a light dusting of snow at Falls Creek on the second day of summer, in the wake of a cold front

Further information

Media
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Extremes in 2015
Hottest day 45.0 °C at Avalon Airport on 19 Dec
Warmest days on average 25.2 °C at Mildura Airport
Coolest days on average 9.8 °C at Falls Creek
9.8 °C at Mount Baw Baw
Coldest day -5.4 °C at Mount Hotham on 1 Jun
Coldest night -8.6 °C at Falls Creek on 4 Aug
Coolest nights on average 3.0 °C at Falls Creek
Warmest nights on average 12.7 °C at Gabo Island Lighthouse
Warmest night 31.9 °C at Mildura Airport on 20 Dec
Warmest on average overall 18.0 °C at Mildura Airport
Coolest on average overall 6.4 °C at Falls Creek
Wettest overall 1889.8 mm at Haines Junction (Mount Sabine)
Driest overall 183.0 mm at Swan Hill Aerodrome
Wettest day 149.2 mm at Snowy River at McKillops Bridge on 18 Feb
Strongest wind gust 156 km/h at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on 5 Mar

Maps
ObservedAnomalyDecile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Monthly maps
Rainfall rankMaximum temperature rankMinimum temperature rank
January Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
February Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
March Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
April Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
May Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
June Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
July Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
August Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
September Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
October Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
November Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature
December Map of Rainfall deciles Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Record lowest annual total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 487.2 516.6 in 2006 20 701.6

Lowest annual total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Annual
average
Cape Otway Lighthouse 657.8 634.9 in 1967* 893.6
Mount Best (Upper Toora) 738.4 500.6 in 1982* 1147.6
Birchip (Woodlands) 188.4 126.5 in 1982* 354.1

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




Record highest daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Mildura Airport 31.9 on 20 Dec 30.9 on 24 Jan 2001 70 10.3
Ouyen (Post Office) 31.1 on 20 Dec 30.3 on 28 Jan 1957 59 9.7
Castlemaine Prison 28.5 on 20 Dec = 28.5 on 12 Jan 2010 48 7.7
Bendigo Airport 29.0 on 20 Dec 28.6 on 16 Jan 2014 25 7.9



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
North Mallee (district 76)
Mildura Airport 25.2 +1.4 44.1 15 Feb 10.8 +0.5 -1.6 21 Jun 240.0 289.6 low 83%
Ouyen (Post Office) 24.8 +1.1 43.9 3 Jan 10.3 +0.6 -1.4 3 Jul 218.3 329.6 low 66%
Walpeup Research 24.4 +1.2 43.9 3 Jan 10.4 +0.5 -0.5 3 Jul 235.2 333.1 low 71%
South Mallee (district 77)
Hopetoun Airport 24.1 +0.1 44.6 3 Jan 9.2 +0.5 -3.1 3 Jul 214.4 284.2 low 75%
Swan Hill Aerodrome 24.4 +0.5 42.9 3 Jan 9.7 +0.5 -2.4 3 Jul 183.0 298.6 low 61%
North Wimmera (district 78)
Nhill Aerodrome 22.7 +0.1 42.7 19 Dec 8.8 +0.2 -2.3 3 Jul 237.6 315.1 v low 75%
Warracknabeal Museum 23.1 +0.7 43.0 19 Dec 8.8 +0.1 -2.2 3 Jul 251.5 391.3 low 64%
South Wimmera (district 79)
Edenhope Airport 21.4   42.0 19 Dec 8.7   -1.9 3 Jul 341.0 465.8 low 73%
Grampians (Mount William) 13.0   34.9 19 Dec 5.0   -4.1 19 Jul 1029.6 1150.2 average 90%
Horsham Aerodrome 22.7 +0.6 44.0 19 Dec 7.6 +0.4 -4.1 20 Jul 229.6 365.8 v low 63%
Kanagulk 21.2 +0.1 42.4 19 Dec 8.0 -0.1 -3.0 3 Jul 385.8 435.2 average 89%
Longerenong 22.7 +1.2 44.3 19 Dec 8.0 +0.1 -4.1 3 Jul 253.4 414.8 v low 61%
Pyrenees (Ben Nevis) 16.2   37.4 19 Dec 7.1   -1.4 19 Jul 638.4
Stawell Aerodrome 20.8 +0.2 42.6 19 Dec 8.7 +0.2 -2.7 20 Jul 328.4 469.6 low 70%
Lower North (district 80)
Charlton 23.4 +0.3 43.4 19 Dec 9.3 +0.3 -3.0 3 Jul 241.6 349.8 low 69%
Echuca Aerodrome 23.6 +1.4 42.4 19 Dec 9.4 +0.1 -2.6 3 Jul 239.7 426.1 v low 56%
Kerang 24.1 +1.2 42.5 19 Dec 10.0 +0.6 -2.0 3 Jul 228.4 373.1 v low 61%
Kyabram 23.4 +1.7 41.9 19 Dec 9.2 +0.6 -3.1 1 Jul 285.6 444.5 low 64%
Upper North (district 81)
Bendigo Airport 22.0 +1.0 41.9 19 Dec 8.6 +0.7 -3.8 3 Jul 357.0 507.6 low 70%
Shepparton Airport 22.8 +0.4 41.3 19 Dec 9.1 +0.5 -3.2 21 Jun 364.2 441.6 low 82%
Tatura Inst Sustainable Ag 22.3 +0.9 40.8 19 Dec 8.9 +0.5 -3.5 21 Jun 367.0 481.3 low 76%
Yarrawonga 23.4 +0.5 42.4 20 Dec 9.2 +0.3 -2.4 19 Aug 485.6 460.8 average 105%
Lower Northeast (district 82)
Benalla Airport 22.6   40.9 20 Dec 8.6   -3.5 3 Jul 471.1
Corryong Airport 21.9   40.1 20 Dec 6.9   -4.8 9 Jul 638.5
Dartmouth Reservoir 21.0 +0.5 38.2 20 Dec 8.3 +0.7 -3.2 4 Aug 839.1 1007.4 low 83%
Hunters Hill 16.9 +0.5 33.9 20 Dec 8.2 +0.3 -3.1 4 Aug 1061.6 1185.8 low 90%
Rutherglen Research 22.8 +1.1 42.0 20 Dec     -4.7 21 Jun 486.0 586.5 average 83%
Strathbogie 19.2 +0.6 37.0 20 Dec 6.5 +0.3 -5.2 21 Jun 686.6 962.7 low 71%
Wangaratta Aero 22.7 +0.6 42.2 20 Dec 7.7 +0.2 -3.0 3 Jun
Upper Northeast (district 83)
Falls Creek 9.8 +0.4 24.2 20 Dec 3.0 +0.4 -8.6 4 Aug 1225.4 1253.9 average 98%
Mount Buller 9.9 +0.6 25.2 19 Dec 3.1 +0.3 -7.2 4 Aug 1315.4 1523.3 v low 86%
Omeo 18.6 0.0 35.6 20 Dec 5.8 +0.3 -6.5 24 May 612.6 629.3 average 97%
East Gippsland (district 84)
Combienbar AWS 18.0 -0.1 38.5 19 Dec 9.1 +0.1 -0.2 1 Jun 1223.0 1006.4 v high 122%
Gabo Island Lighthouse 18.8 +0.9 35.6 6 Oct 12.7 +0.5 5.6 4 Aug 788.4 941.8 low 84%
Gelantipy 16.4 -0.1 35.0 20 Dec 7.0 +0.3 -2.6 4 Jul 851.2 787.3 average 108%
Lakes Entrance (Eastern Beach Road) 19.8   41.7 20 Dec 10.4   -0.4 19 Jul 738.6
Mallacoota 19.7 +0.3 37.4 20 Dec 11.2 +0.4 0.7 22 Jun
Orbost 20.2 -0.2 41.3 20 Dec     0.9 4 Jun 853.6 789.7 average 108%
Point Hicks (Lighthouse) 19.5 +0.5 41.4 20 Dec     3.1 18 Aug 1084.9 966.7 high 112%
West Gippsland (district 85)
Bairnsdale Airport 20.3 +0.1 41.6 20 Dec 8.6 +0.3 -1.8 22 Jun 652.6 646.2 average 101%
Corner Inlet (Yanakie) 19.3   39.5 20 Dec 9.6   -1.7 19 Jul 453.2
East Sale Airport 20.1 +0.5 40.7 20 Dec 8.5 +0.3 -3.9 21 Jul 517.8 598.1 average 87%
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 20.4 +0.4 41.4 20 Dec 8.4 +0.2 -3.3 21 Jul 584.2 742.6 low 79%
Mount Baw Baw 9.8 +0.4 27.0 19 Dec 3.1 +0.1 -5.8 4 Aug 1591.6 1787.7 low 89%
Mount Moornapa 18.6 +0.1 40.5 19 Dec 9.1 0.0 1.3 19 Jul 912.2 853.2 average 107%
Pound Creek 19.6   42.6 19 Dec 8.8   -3.0 22 Jun 556.4
Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse 17.0 +0.6 38.4 3 Jan 12.2 +0.9 4.9 27 Jul 708.4 1052.6 v low 67%
Yarram Airport 20.0   42.4 19 Dec 8.3   -4.0 22 Jun 456.8
East Central (district 86)
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
Frankston AWS 19.0 +0.4 39.7 31 Dec 11.6 -0.1 1.5 20 Jul
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%
Rhyll 19.2 +0.6 38.2 31 Dec 11.8 +0.1 3.6 19 Jul 569.2 692.3 low 82%
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%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 20.8 +0.5 45.0 19 Dec 9.5 +0.2 -2.5 20 Jul 387.4 457.8 low 85%
Breakwater (Geelong Racecourse) 20.2   44.4 19 Dec 10.1   -1.4 20 Jul
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%
Sheoaks 19.5 +0.7 42.0 19 Dec 8.3 -0.1 -2.0 20 Jul 383.6 494.2 low 78%
North Central (district 88)
Castlemaine Prison 20.5 +0.7 40.0 19 Dec 8.2 +0.5 -4.0 3 Jul 385.9 591.5 v low 65%
Eildon Fire Tower 18.4 +0.5 36.7 20 Dec 8.5 0.0 -0.4 21 Jun 423.4 634.2 v low 67%
Lake Eildon 21.5 +1.1 40.1 19 Dec 8.1 +0.2 -1.5 18 Jul 584.4 849.3 v low 69%
Mangalore Airport 22.3 +1.3 42.0 19 Dec 8.8 +0.4 -3.4 21 Jun 344.2 565.9 v low 61%
Maryborough 21.4 +0.9 41.5 19 Dec 8.4 +0.4 -3.0 19 Jul 367.0 527.1 v low 70%
Redesdale 21.8 +1.4 41.2 19 Dec 7.7 +0.4 -3.9 3 Jul
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 17.9 +1.2 40.0 19 Dec 8.3 +0.3 0.3 4 Aug 500.0 680.1 low 74%
Western Plains (district 89)
Ballarat Aerodrome 18.6 +1.2 40.6 19 Dec 7.1 0.0 -5.6 19 Jul 453.0 689.4 v low 66%
Westmere 20.2   43.5 19 Dec 7.1   -2.5 20 Jul 355.8
West Coast (district 90)
Aireys Inlet 18.8 +0.5 43.0 19 Dec 10.7 +0.1 1.6 20 Jul 488.6 624.7 low 78%
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 17.7 +0.1 39.7 2 Jan 11.5 0.0 3.0 19 Aug 487.2 701.6 lowest 69%
Cape Otway Lighthouse 17.3 0.0 37.0 25 Dec 11.4 +0.8 2.7 20 Jul 657.8 893.6 v low 74%
Colac (Mount Gellibrand) 18.7 +0.4 42.6 19 Dec 8.8 0.0 0.7 15 Jul 434.2 529.5 low 82%
Dartmoor 20.0   43.2 19 Dec 8.4   -1.8 20 Jul 564.6
Hamilton Airport 19.7 +0.6 42.3 19 Dec 7.9 +0.3 -1.2 3 Jul 472.6 609.7 v low 78%
Mortlake Racecourse 19.9 +0.7 43.4 19 Dec 7.7 +0.2 -2.5 19 Aug 469.8 568.7 low 83%
Port Fairy AWS 18.5 -0.1 42.2 2 Jan 10.5 +0.1 -0.3 20 Jul 558.2 692.2 v low 81%
Portland (Cashmore Airport) 18.1 +0.5 39.9 2 Jan 9.5 +0.2 -1.0 21 Jul 674.8 829.1 low 81%
Warrnambool Airport NDB 19.2 +0.2 43.0 19 Dec 8.6 +0.1 -2.0 20 Jul 578.8 718.8 v low 81%

Notes

The Annual climate summary lists the main features of the weather in Victoria 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