Canberra in August 2012: Mild days and cold nights

  • Close to average rainfall
  • Coldest minimum temperatures since 2002
  • Coldest August night since 1997

Close to average rainfall

Canberra Airport recorded 40.4 mm of rain during August, close to the historical average of 46.2 mm but the driest August since 2009. The rain fell over 9 rain days, slightly below the August average of 11 days, with two recording more than 5 mm (average 3 days). The most significant rain event of the month was 15 mm on the 24th, associated with afternoon thunderstorms on the 23rd, with 12.4 mm also recorded on the 18th following the passage of a cold front.

Mild days and cold nights

The average maximum temperature at Canberra Airport during August was 13.6 °C, 0.6 °C above the historical average. Only two days recorded maximum temperatures below 10 °C during the month (average 4), with a minimum of 9.2 °C on the 24th; the warmest day reached 19.4 °C on the 22nd.

The average minimum temperature at Canberra Airport was -0.5 °C, 1.5 °C below the historical average and the coldest August since 2002 (also -0.5 °C). Sixteen nights dropped below 0 °C during the month, of which 14 dropped below -2 °C, double the historical average and the most cold nights since 2002 (14 nights). The coldest night reached -6.6 °C on the 2nd, the coldest August night since -7.4 °C on August 2 1997.

The mean temperature was consequently 6.5 °C, 0.5 °C below the historical average.

Other phenomena

The prevailing wind direction during August was northwesterly, forming 73% of 3pm winds. There were four days with winds S-SE, above normal for winter. Canberra Airport recorded an average of 6.6 hours of bright sunshine during August, below the historical average of 7 hours. Snow was observed at the airport on the 17th, the first observation since August 10 2005.

Further information

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Extremes in August 2012
Hottest day 19.4 °C at Canberra Airport on the 22nd
Warmest days on average 13.6 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 2.8 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day -2.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 24th
Coldest night -6.6 °C at Canberra Airport on the 2nd
Coolest nights on average -2.8 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average -0.5 °C at Canberra Airport
-0.5 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 5.7 °C at Canberra Airport on the 9th
Warmest on average overall 6.5 °C at Canberra Airport
6.5 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 0.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 49.2 mm at Canberra (Australian National Botanic Ga
Wettest day 17.4 mm at Canberra (Australian National Botanic Ga on the 24th
Highest wind gust 98 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 10th

Summary statistics for August 2012
Maximum temperatures
for August
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for August
(°C)
Rainfall
for August
(millimetres)
Mean for
August
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
August
2012
Mean for
August
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
August
2012
Total for
August
2012
Average
for
August
Rank of
August
2012
Fraction of
August
average
Canberra Airport 13.6 +0.6 19.4 22nd -0.5 -1.5 -6.6 2nd 40.4 46.2 average 87%
Mount Ginini AWS 2.8   7.4 22nd -2.8   -6.4 10th 36.2
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 13.5   18.4 22nd -0.5   -5.9 7th 27.6

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 8 am on Monday 3 September 2012. 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