Canberra: Coldest and wettest August in over a decade

  • Wettest August since 1998
  • 10th wettest August on record
  • Coldest August since 1992 for day-time temperatures

Rainfall

Canberra recorded a total rainfall of 69.2 mm during August, which is above the historical average1 of 46.0 mm. This was the wettest August for Canberra since 1998, when 118.6 mm was recorded, and the 10th wettest August on record for Canberra (records since 1939). The rain fell over 15 days (average 11), with three distinct periods of moderate falls; on the 2nd due to a vigorous cold front, on the 10th - 12th due to a low pressure system over western NSW, and on the 19th due to the passage of a trough. The highest daily rainfall at Canberra was 17.4 mm recorded on the 19th. The highest daily rainfall across the ACT was 32.2 mm recorded at Mt Ginini on the 11th.

Temperature

Canberra recorded an average maximum temperature of 12.3 °C during August, which is slightly below the historical average of 13.0 °C. This is the coldest August since 1992 (12.0 °C) for Canberra for average day-time temperatures. The warmest day at Canberra was 15.3 °C on the 13th, and the coolest day was 7.9 °C on the 11th. Across the ACT, the warmest day was 15.3 °C at Tuggeranong on the 13th, and the coolest day was -3.1 °C at Mt Ginini on the 25th.

Canberra recorded an average minimum temperature of 1.7 °C during August, which is slightly above the historical average of 1.0 °C. 9 nights dropped below freezing, which is slightly less than the historical average of 13 nights. The coolest night at Canberra was -4.2 °C on the 7th, and for the ACT the coolest was -7.1 °C at Mt Ginini on the 25th.

The mean temperature (average of the maximum and minimum temperature) during August was 7.1 °C, which is slightly above the historical average of 7.0 °C.

Wind

Canberra was dominated by northwesterly winds during August, forming 50% of afternoon winds, which is about average for this time of year. There were 7 days with strong winds reported (winds >= 40km/hr), which is well above the August average of 3.

Other phenomena

Canberra averaged 7.0 hours of sunshine during August which is average for this time of year. 9 frosts were reported, well below the average of 18, and 3 fogs observed (average 5). No thunderstorms were reported during the month (average 1).

Further information

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Extremes in August 2010
Hottest day 15.3 °C at Canberra Airport on the 13th
15.3 °C at Canberra Airport Comparison on the 13th
15.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 13th
Warmest days on average 12.3 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 11.4 °C at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Coldest day -3.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 25th
Coldest night -7.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 25th
Coolest nights on average 1.0 °C at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Warmest nights on average 2.2 °C at Canberra Airport Comparison
Warmest night 8.0 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 1st
Wettest overall 189.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest day 32.2 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on the 11th
Highest wind gust 81 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 18th




Summary statistics for August 2010
Maximum temperatures
for August
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for August
(°C)
Rainfall
for August
(millimetres)
Mean for
August
2010
Diff
from
average
Highest for
August
2010
Mean for
August
2010
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
August
2010
Total for
August
2010
Average
for
August
Rank of
August
2010
Fraction of
August
average
Southern Tablelands (Goulburn-Monaro) (district 70)
Canberra Airport 12.3   15.3 13th 1.7   -4.2 7th 69.2
Canberra Airport Comparison 12.1 -0.9 15.3 13th 2.2 +1.2 -3.5 7th 54.8 46.2 high 119%
Mount Ginini AWS 1.7   6.6 13th -3.6   -7.1 25th 189.8
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve 11.4 -1.3 15.0 31st 1.0 -0.2 -4.0 6th 119.7 93.2 high 128%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 12.4   15.3 13th 1.8   -3.9 9th 35.4


Notes

As of March 2010, the official station for Canberra is 70351 'Canberra Airport'. Averages from the previous site, 70014 Canberra Airport Comparison, are used for comparisons (all years of record).

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in ACT Monthly Summary 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, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Wednesday 1 September 2010. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages 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 20 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.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries