ACT Monthly Climate Summary: January 2007
January hot and dry in Canberra

Thursday 1 February, 2007

In Brief

January 2007 - Main Points:

  • Average maximum temperature of 31.5°C was the warmest since 1981.
  • Second hottest day on record for January, 40.5°C on the 12th.
  • Total rain of 9.6 mm was the driest for January since 1994.
  • Large variability of rainfall totals throughout the ACT.
  • Equal record highest amount of sunshine for January.

Temperatures:    The January average monthly temperature (the average of daytime and night-time temperatures) of 23.2°C  was well above the average of  20.3°C. The average maximum temperature at Canberra Airport was a very warm 31.5°C,  the third highest maximum temperature on record for January and the warmest since 1981 when 31.6°C was recorded.  The historic average is 27.7°C.   There were 6 days with a maximum temperature of 35°C or more, double the average of 3 days.  There were 21 days with a maximum temperature of 30°C or more equalling the record of  21 days set in 1981, 1979 and 1942 .  Canberra experienced very mild nights, the average minimum temperature of 14.9°C was well above the historic average1 of 13.0°C.

The highest temperature at Canberra Airport during January was 40.5°C on the 12th which is the second highest temperature on record for January (highest was 41.4°C in 1968). The lowest temperature was 8.0°C on the 28th.  Corresponding temperature extremes at Tuggeranong ranged from a high of 39.3°C on the 12th to a low of 8.3°C on the 28th.

Rainfall:     Canberra Airport's monthly rainfall total of 9.6 mm was well below the historic January average of 59.5 mm and the driest January total since 1994 (when 9.2 mm).   There were  4 rain days, well below the average of 7 rain days.  Due to the thunderstorm and shower activity during January the A.C.T. experienced a large variation in monthly rainfall totals ranging from 8.2 mm at Bruce AIS to 64.6 mm at Torrens.

Other phenomena:   Canberra had plentiful sunshine during January with an average of 11.1 hours per day, equal to the record of 11.1 hours per day in 1987 and well above the historic average of  9.4 hours per day. There were 2 thunderstorms (average 4 ) with very little rainfall recorded at Canberra Airport; however the southern part of the ACT, including parts of Tuggeranong recorded significant falls of rain during thunderstorms on of the evenings of the 31st December 2006, 17th and 18th of January 2007.  It was windier than usual with an average wind run of 229 km per day (historic average 200 km/day) and there were 4 strong wind days (average 1).  Air pressure was slightly below average at 1011.8 hPa (historic average 1012.2 hPa).  The total evaporation was 318.6 mm, the 2nd highest January total on record (highest was 328.6 mm in 1983, when the ACT was also gripped by drought). Historic average evaporation is 252.6 mm for January.


Climate summary for Canberra Airport, January 2007

 

Canberra Airport  (Elev 578 m)

 

January 2007

Historic average1

January 2006

Average maximum
temperature (°C)

31.5

 27.7

 30.4

Average minimum
temperature (°C)

14.9

 13.0

 16.5

Mean temperature (°C)

23.2

 20.3

 23.5

Monthly rainfall (mm)

 9.6

59.5#

 79.0

Number of rain days

 4

 7

 8

Average daily
sunshine (hours)

 11.1

 9.4

 8.5

Average relative humidity at 3pm (%)

 23

 36

 44

Number of thunderstorms

 2

 4

 8

Number of windy days*

 4

 1

 0

Number of frosts

 0

0

0

# Median January rainfall is 56.5 mm.

* windy day defined as average wind speed of 40 km/h or more.

Climate summary for Tuggeranong, January 2007

 

Tuggeranong  (Elev 587 m)

 

January 2007

Historic average #

January 2006

Average maximum
temperature (°C)

30.8

 29.1

 30.6

Average minimum
temperature (°C)

 14.6

 13.9

 16.5

Mean temperature (°C)

 22.7

 21.5

 23.5

Monthly rainfall (mm)

 60.6

 44.5

 76.2

Number of rain days

 7

 7

 8

# new station, historic average based on period 1996 - 2006.

Climate averages for Canberra are available, here.

 Daily Extremes for January for the A.C.T.

 

Canberra Airport
 
(Elev 578 m)

Tuggeranong
 
(Elev 587 m)

 

January 2007

All years

January 2007

All years #

Highest temperature (°C) and date
Warmest day

40.5
13th

 41.4
(1968)

39.3
12th

40.2
(1998)

Lowest temperature (°C) and date
Coldest night

 8.0
28th

1.8
(1956)

 8.3
28th

4.4
(2002)

Lowest maximum temperature (°C) and date
Coldest day
21.5
2nd
12.2
(1970)
20.6
1st
17.6
(2006)

Wettest 24hours (mm) and date

 3.2
19th

95.0
(1945)

 38.2
1st

52.0
(2000)

Maximum Wind Gust (km/h) and date

 ESE
@ 65
17th

W
@ 121
(1975)

 WNW
@57
12th

 NW
@ 57
(2006)

  # new station, extremes based on period 1996 - 2006.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at noon on 01/02/2007. Although every effort has been made to check the data, it is possible that results for January may change as new information becomes available.

A note about deciles: Deciles are used to give an element (in this case rainfall or temperature) a ranking. Deciles are calculated by arranging the totals in ascending order (from lowest to highest) then splitting them into 10 equal groups (thus the groups are called deciles). The first group would be in decile range one, the second group in decile range two, etc up to the highest annual totals (highest 10 per cent) being in decile range 10.

1Averages:  Historic average temperatures for Canberra Airport are based on the period 1961 to 1990 which is a convention of the World Meteorological Organisation.  Historic rainfall averages and extremes for Canberra Airport are based on all years of record 1939 - 2006.

Further information: Contact: Owen Offler on 02 62470411 or email: climate.act@bom.gov.au

A directory of Bureau services is available on poll fax: 1800 630 100

The latest rainfall and temperature maps are available here
Climate averages for New South Wales localities are available here
Daily Weather Observations for selected Australian Capital Territory localities are available here