Canberra in December 2013: Warm, dry end to 2013

  • Warm maximum temperatures, many hot days
  • Longest December hot spell since 2006
  • Driest December since 2006

Rainfall

Canberra Airport recorded 23.2 mm of rainfall during December, well below the historical average of 53.8 mm and the driest December since 2006. The rain fell over 6 rain days (average 8 days), with the wettest day recording 10.2 mm at the airport associated with a cold front on the 5th. Thunderstorms produced totals of 42 mm at Tharwa on the 16th, but little rain at the airport.

Temperature

The mean maximum temperature at Canberra Airport during December was 28.5 °C, 2.4 °C above the historical average and the tenth-warmest December on record. There were 14 days which reached at least 30 °C, double the historical average of 7 days and the fifth-highest on record, with three days exceeding 35 °C (average 1 day). This included six consecutive days above 30 °C between the 17th and 22nd, the longest such spell in December since 2006, as well as five consecutive days above 30 °C between the27th and 31st. In contrast, temperatures reached just 17.4 °C associated with a cold front on the 5th, the coldest December day since 17.3 °C on 12 December 2006.

The average minimum temperature in Canberra during December was 11.5 °C, close to the historical average of 11.4 °C. The mean temperature was 20 °C, 1.3 °C above the historical average.

Further information

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Extremes in December 2013
Hottest day 38.1 °C at Canberra Airport on the 22nd
Warmest days on average 28.5 °C at Canberra Airport
28.5 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest days on average 19.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 4.8 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 5th
Coldest night -2.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 6th
Coolest nights on average 7.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 12.2 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 20.6 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 23rd
Warmest on average overall 20.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 13.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 57.6 mm at Tharwa General Store
Wettest day 42.0 mm at Tharwa General Store on the 16th
Highest wind gust 94 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 9th

Summary statistics for December 2013
Maximum temperatures
for December
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for December
(°C)
Rainfall
for December
(millimetres)
Mean for
December
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
December
2013
Mean for
December
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
December
2013
Total for
December
2013
Average
for
December
Rank of
December
2013
Fraction of
December
average
Canberra Airport 28.5 +2.4 38.1 22nd 11.5 +0.1 2.7 7th 23.2 53.8 low 43%
Mount Ginini AWS 19.4   27.3 22nd 7.3   -2.5 6th 27.0
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 28.5   37.1 22nd 12.2   3.2 7th 15.2

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 Canberra 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 Monday 6 January 2014. 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