ACT in January 2011: Warm, cloudy start to 2011

  • Close to average rainfall, wettest since 2006.
  • 11th consecutive warm year for maximum temperatures.
  • 6th warmest year on record for minimum temperatures.
  • Lowest sunshine since 1999.

Rainfall

Canberra Airport recorded 54mm of rainfall during January 2011, slightly below the historical average of 58.5mm but the wettest January since 2006. The rain fell over 9 days, above the historical average of 7 rain days, with the highest daily total at Canberra Airport of 15.2mm on the 10th. Rainfall also exceeded 10mm on the 6th, with 11mm at Canberra Airport and 34.6mm at Tharwa General Store, with the highest daily total anywhere in the ACT at Mt Ginini on the 12th (35.2mm).

Temperature

The average maximum temperature at Canberra Airport during January was 28.8 °C, slightly above the historical average of 28 °C and the 11th consecutive January with above average maximum temperatures. Temperatures were warmest in the second half of the month, with seven consecutive days above 30 °C between the 21st and 27th, reaching 36.9 °C on the 26th. Overall fifteen days exceeded 30 °C during January, above the historical average of 11 days, although only one exceeded 35 °C compared to the historical average of 2.8. The warmest day was the 31st, which reached 37.5 °C at Canberra Airport and 37.6 °C at Tuggeranong.

Minimum temperatures were also well above average during January at 15.3 °C compared to the historical average of 13.2 °C, the equal 6th warmest on record. Mean temperatures during January 2011 were consequently 1.3 °C above the historical average of 20.6 °C. This is the 11th consecutive year with above average mean temperatures for Canberra, but the coolest year since 2005.

Wind

Canberra experienced prevailing northwesterly winds during January, with a frequency of 40% from this direction at 3pm, slightly below the January average of 59%. 43% of winds were northerly to easterly, above the January average of 30% from these directions. The highest wind gust recorded at Canberra Airport was just 65 km/hr on the 2nd, with the highest gust anywhere in the ACT 67 km/hr at Mt Ginini AWS on the 10th.

Other phenomena

Canberra Airport recorded an average of 8.1 sunshine hours during January, well below the historical average of 9.9 hours and the least sun in January since 1999 (7.9 hours). 4 storms were reported at Canberra Airport, close to the historical average, with eight storms reported throughout the ACT. A severe storm on the 5th was associated with golf ball sized hail in Canberra.

Further information

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Extremes in January 2011
Hottest day 37.6 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 31st
Warmest days on average 28.8 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 20.2 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 13.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 11th
Coldest night 5.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 4th
Coolest nights on average 10.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 16.0 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 20.0 °C at Canberra Airport on the 13th
20.0 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 27th
Warmest on average overall 22.4 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWSS
Coolest on average overall 15.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 151.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
110.6 mm at Tharwa General Store
Wettest day 35.2 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on the 12th
Highest wind gust 67 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 10th
65 km/h at Canberra Airport on the 2nd




Summary statistics for January 2011
Maximum temperatures
for January
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for January
(°C)
Rainfall
for January
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2011
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2011
Mean for
January
2011
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2011
Total for
January
2011
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2011
Fraction of
January
average
Canberra Airport 28.8 +0.8 37.5 31st 15.3 +2.1 10.2 5th 54.0 58.5 average 92%
Mount Ginini AWS 20.2   28.0 31st 10.4   5.6 4th 151.8
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 28.7   37.6 31st 16.0   11.1 5th 70.6

Notes

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 Tuesday 1 February 2011. 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