Canberra in December 2012: Warm end to the year

  • Driest Decembr since 2006
  • Above average maximum temperatures
  • Coldest December night on record.

Rainfall

Canberra Airport recorded 37 mm of rain during December, below the historical average of 53.8 mm and the first drier than average December since 2006 (16.8 mm). There were five days of rain (average 8 days), with most of the rain associated with thunderstorm activity on the 23rd and 24th. Canberra Airport recorded 23.8 mm to 9am on the 24th, the wettest day since 12 October, with up to 34 mm recorded at Nicholls.

*Note: Some rainfall data missing at Canberra Airport.

Temperature

Canberra Airport recorded an average maximum temperature of 27.6 °C during December, 1.5 °C above the historical average and the warmest December since 2009. Nine days reached at least 30 °C during the month, above the historical average of 7 days, with the warmest day reaching 34.1 °C on the 24th. Only two days were cooler than 20 °C (average three days), with the coolest day dropping to 18.2 °C on the 25th.

The average minimum temperature was 11.8 °C, 0.4 °C above the historical average. Eight nights dropped below 10 °C, close to normal for December, with seven nights reaching at least 15 °C, the most since 2009. The coldest night was the 6th, when temperatures fell to 0.3 °C; this is the coldest December night at Canberra Airport since records began in 1939, and substantially colder than the previous record of 1.1 °C, set on 18 December 1964. The average temperature was consequently 19.5 °C, 0.8 °C above the historical average.

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Extremes in December 2012
Hottest day 34.2 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 23rd
Warmest days on average 27.6 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 17.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 8.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 5th
Coldest night -0.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 5th
Coolest nights on average 7.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 12.8 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 19.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 2nd
Warmest on average overall 20.0 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 12.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 71.2 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
61.0 mm at Nicholls (Gungahlin Lakes)
Wettest day 34.0 mm at Nicholls (Gungahlin Lakes) on the 24th
Highest wind gust 80 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 5th
80 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 15th

Summary statistics for December 2012
Maximum temperatures
for December
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for December
(°C)
Rainfall
for December
(millimetres)
Mean for
December
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
December
2012
Mean for
December
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
December
2012
Total for
December
2012
Average
for
December
Rank of
December
2012
Fraction of
December
average
Canberra Airport 27.6 +1.5 34.1 24th 11.8 +0.4 0.3 6th 37.0 53.8 average 69%
Mount Ginini AWS 17.6   24.9 23rd 7.1   -0.9 5th 71.2
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 27.2   34.2 23rd 12.8   2.2 6th 20.0

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 9 am on Wednesday 2 January 2013. 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