Friday 1 February 2008 - Monthly Climate Summary for Canberra area - Product code IDCKGC1xx0

Canberra has warm January with below average rainfall


  • Below average rainfall
  • Above average temperatures
  • Numerous mild nights, 13 nights above 16°C
  • 8th consecutive January with above average maximum and minimum temperatures
  • Below average sunshine hours



Canberra Airport recorded a total rainfall of 46.8 mm during January, which is slightly below the historical average1 of 59.5 mm. There were only 6 rain days during the month, compared to the average of 7 days. This month marks a continuation of dry Januarys in Canberra with 9 out of the last 10 Januarys recording below average rainfall. Extreme rainfall totals across the ACT ranged from a low of 34.8 mm at Kingston (Boat Harbour) to a high of 90.0 mm at Mt Ginini AWS.

Much of the rain that fell over the ACT during January was a result of moisture from the tropics associated with a low-pressure system mid-month that moved southward from Queensland through central NSW and Victoria.


Above average temperatures prevailed over the ACT during January. The mean maximum temperature for Canberra Airport was 29.1ºC, which is above the historical average of 27.7ºC. This is now the 8th consecutive January with above average maximum temperatures. The above average temperatures in the ACT were partly due to prevailing NE-NW winds, predominantly sunny days and below average rainfall.

The average minimum temperature was 15.3ºC, well above the historical average of 13.0ºC and the 5th highest January average minimum on record for Canberra. The highest was 16.6°C back in 1981. This is now the 8th consecutive January with above average minimum temperatures in Canberra. Warm nights were plentiful with a total of 13 nights when the minimum temperature was above 16°C. Normally Canberra would expect only 6 nights above 16°C.

Extremes at Canberra Airport ranged from a high of 35.8ºC on the 11th to a low of 9.9ºC on the 23rd. Corresponding extremes for Tuggeranong ranged from a high of 35.3ºC on the 11th to a low of 10.1ºC on the 24th. The lowest temperature in the ACT was 3.0°C at Mt Ginini (elevation 1760 m) on the 22nd.


The prevailing direction over the ACT during the mornings was E-SE for about 55% of the time, more than double the normal frequency from this direction at this time. However, by afternoon the prevailing direction was W-NW for about 47% of the time which is about normal for mid-afternoon. The highest wind gust recorded was 69 km/hr at Canberra Airport on the 30th.

Other phenomena

Canberra recorded 9.1 hours of sunshine per day, which is below the historical average of 9.4 hours per day. No fogs were observed at Canberra Airport during the month (average 1 fog). Canberra's average wind run of 186.8 km per day was below the historical average of 200.9 km per day. There were no strong wind days recorded during the month (average 2).

Canberra Airport recorded 3 thunderstorm during January (historical average 4). The average air pressure of 1012.7 hPa was slightly higher than the normal of 1012.2 hPa. Canberra Airport recorded 246.2 mm of evaporation during January, slightly below the normal of 256.8 mm.

Further information

Mike De Salis
Climate Information Officer
NSW Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (02) 9296 1555

Extremes for the ACT

Hottest day
Highest temperature
35.8°C at Canberra Airport on the 11th
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
29.2°C at Tuggeranong AWS
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
29.1°C at Canberra Airport
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
18.8°C at Tuggeranong AWS on the 19th
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
9.9°C at Canberra Airport on the 23rd
3.0°C at Mt Ginini AWS on the 22nd.
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
14.9°C at Tuggeranong AWS and 10.1°C at Mt Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
15.3°C at Canberra Airport
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
20.9°C at Canberra Airport and Tuggeranong AWS on the 12th
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
90.0 mm at Mt Ginini AWS
66.8 mm at Tralee (Melrose Farm)
Driest overall
Lowest total rainfall
34.8 mm at Kingston (Boat Harbour)
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
42.0 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on the 20th and
26.0 mm at Gungahlin (Horse Park) on the 17th.
Highest wind gust
69 km/h at Canberra Airport on the 30th

AWS = Automatic Weather Station

Summaries for the ACT

Summary statistics for January 2008
Maximum temperatures
for January
Minimum temperatures
for January
for January
Mean for
Highest for
Mean for
Lowest for
Total for
Rank of
Fraction of
Canberra Airport 29.1 +1.4 35.8 11th 15.3 +2.3 9.9 23rd 46.8 59.5 normal 79%
Tuggeranong AWS* 29.2 normal 35.3 11th 14.9 +0.9 10.1 24th 47.8

* Historic averages based on short period of 11 years 1996−2007.


This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11am on Friday 1 February 2008. 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.