Canberra in January 2013: Record hot start to the year

  • Hottest month on record
  • Hottest January day on record
  • Slightly above average rainfall

Canberra Airport recorded 67.4 mm of rain during January which is above the historical average of 58.5 mm. There were six days of rain (average seven days), with most of the rain associated with thunderstorm activity on the evening of the 26th. Canberra Airport recorded 40.8 mm to 9am on the 27th, the wettest day since 4 March 2012, with the highest total of 65.2 mm recorded at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) on the same day.

*Note: Some rainfall data missing at Canberra Airport.

Temperature

Canberra Airport recorded its hottest month on record, averaging a maximum temperature of 32.3 °C during January (4.3 °C above the historical average), surpassing the previous record, 32.0 °C, set in February 1968. Canberra Airport also recorded its hottest January day on record (42.0 °C on the 18th), surpassing the previous record of 41.4 °C set on 31 January 1968. Ten days reached 35 °C or higher during the month, well above the historical average of 3 days, while only one day was cooler than 25 °C (average nine days), with the coolest day dropping to 22.8 °C on the 14th.

The average minimum temperature was 13.9 °C, 0.7 °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 15th, when temperatures fell to 5.6 °C. The resulting mean temperature was 23.1 °C, 2.5 °C above the historical average.

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Extremes in January 2013
Hottest day 42.0 °C at Canberra Airport on the 18th
Warmest days on average 32.3 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 23.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 13.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 14th
Coldest night 0.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 14th
Coolest nights on average 10.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 14.8 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 20.5 °C at Canberra Airport on the 26th
Warmest on average overall 23.4 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 17.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 88.0 mm at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Wettest day 65.2 mm at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 27th
Highest wind gust 87 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 8th

Summary statistics for January 2013
Maximum temperatures
for January
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for January
(°C)
Rainfall
for January
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2013
Mean for
January
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2013
Total for
January
2013
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2013
Fraction of
January
average
Canberra Airport 32.3 +4.3 42.0 18th 13.9 +0.7 5.6 15th 67.4 58.5 Average 115%
Mount Ginini AWS 23.3   30.5 6th 10.6   0.7 14th 43.6
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 32.0   40.1 18th 14.8   7.9 15th 88.0

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 8 am on Friday 1 February 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries