Friday, 1 June 2007 - Monthly Climate Summary for Canberra Averages Summary - Product code IDCKGC17L0

Very warm May in Canberra


  • Very warm temperatures during May.
  • Considerable variability of rainfall totals throughout the ACT.



Canberra Airport  recorded a total rainfall of  41.4 mm during May (historic average 45.1 mm) which is the wettest May since 2000 when 58.0 mm was recorded. Most of the rainfall occurred with the passage of cold fronts, one in particular (associated with a NW cloud band) passed over the region overnight on the 17th producing significant falls with most suburbs receiving between 20 and 30 mm of rain. There were 12 rain days during May which was slightly above the historic average of  8 rain days. There was considerable variation in May rainfall totals across the A.C.T with totals ranging from 88.2 mm at Corin Dam (Boat ramp) to 33.8 mm at Tralee (Melrose Farm).



Generally very warm conditions prevailed in Canberra during May, maintaining the trend of above average temperatures experienced in recent months. The average May temperature of 12.0°C,  was 2.7°C above the historic average of  9.3°C and the warmest May on record.  The previous warmest May in Canberra was 11.6°C in 1989.

Day-time temperatures were particularly warm with the average maximum temperature of 18.0°C being the 3rd highest since records commenced in 1939 (the highest was 18.4°C in 2005) and well above the average of 15.5°C.  Canberra generally experienced mild nights during May.  The average minimum  was also well above average at 5.9°C (historic average is 3.1°C) and the equal 6th highest on record (highest was 7.3°C in 1989).  However, at the end of the month there were a few nights when temperatures dropped well below average and many parts of the ACT experienced frosty conditions.

Extremes of temperature at Canberra Airport ranged from a high of 22.4°C on the 12th to a low of 0.0°C on the 31st. Corresponding extremes for Tuggeranong ranged from 22.2°C on the 12th to a low of −2.9°C on the 31st.


Other phenomena

There was 1 thunderstorm  recorded during May (average 1 ).  Sunshine during May averaged 7.1 hours per day (average is 5.9 hours per day).   It was windier than usual with an average wind run of 173 km/day compared to the long term average of 152 km/day.  There were 2 strong wind days recorded (average 1), of particular note was the early evening of the 29th when a vigorous cold front passed through the region, causing minor damage and several reports of trees blown down in some Canberra suburbs, with a wind gust of 80km/hr being recorded at Canberra Airport  . The average air pressure of 1021.3 hPa was well above the average of 1020.5hPa., mostly indicating the persistence of  high pressure systems over South Eastern Australia during May. Evaporation was 81.4 mm well up on the average of 69.6 mm.

Further information

Owen Offler
Climate Information
Climate Services Centre
Canberra Meteorological Office
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (02) 62470411

Extremes for the Canberra area

Hottest day
Highest temperature
22.4°C at Canberra Airport on the 12th
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
18.0°C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
17.9°C at Tuggeranong AWS
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
10.6°C at Canberra Airport on the 30th
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
−2.9°C at Tuggeranong AWS on the 31st
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
4.6°C at Tuggeranong AWS
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
5.9°C at Canberra Airport
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
13.2°C at Canberra Airport on the 4th
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
88.2 mm at Corin Dam
Driest overall
Lowest total rainfall
33.8 mm at Tralee
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
35.4 mm at Tuggeranong AWS on the 18th
Highest wind gust
80 km/h at Canberra Airport on the 29th

Summaries for the Canberra area

 In the following table, certain key sites have been highlighted to make them easier to identify.

Summary statistics for May 2007
Maximum temperatures
for May
Minimum temperatures
for May
for May
Mean for
Highest for
Mean for
Lowest for
Total for
Rank of
Fraction of
Canberra Airport 18.0 +2.5 22.4 12th 5.9 +2.8 0.0 31st 41.4 45.1 normal 92%
Tuggeranong 17.9 22.2 12th 4.6 +1.7 −2.9 31st 55.6


This statement has been prepared based on information available at noon on Friday 1st June 2007. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Normals 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 "normal" 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, normal in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of normal shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.