Australian Capital Territory in January 2018: another warm start to the year

January was warmer than average for the Canberra region, and the equal fourth-warmest for maximum temperature at Canberra Airport. Rainfall was average overall, with the heaviest rain at the end of the month.

Average rainfall despite dramatic storms

  • Total rainfall for Canberra Airport was 38.0 mm, less than the January average of 58.0 mm but within the average range, and more than the 8.4 mm received in January 2017
  • Rain fell on seven days which is average for January
  • The wettest day for the city was 30 January, when a cold front crossed the Territory; 17 mm was recorded at Canberra Airport in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 31st
  • Although thunderstorms brought spectacular lightning displays, and heavy rain in nearby parts of New South Wales and in the Brindabellas, there were only three days where 5 mm or more of rain fell at Canberra Airport, around the average

Very warm January, but not as warm as 2017

  • Maximum temperatures were warmer than average across the Territory; the mean maximum at Canberra Airport was 31.6 °C, 3.4 °C above average and the equal fourth-warmest on record for January (after 2017, 2013 and 1979, and tied with 2014)
  • The airport reached a maximum of 40.6 °C on the 7th, the warmest day since 41.6 °C on 11 February 2017
  • Maximum temperatures were above 30 °C for seven days from the 17th to the 23rd, the longest run of its kind since February 2009
  • Twenty-one days recorded maximum temperatures of 30 °C or more, more than the average of 11 days but less than last year's 23 days; seven days reached 35 °C or more, less than the 12 days reached in January 2017 but more than twice the average of three days
  • The coldest day was the 14th when a cold front and cool air mass brought rainfall and temperatures up to 10 °C below average
  • The mean minimum temperature at Canberra Airport was 14.4 °C, 1.1 °C above average
  • The highest minimum temperature of the month was 22.8 °C on the 8th, the warmest January night since 24.4 °C on 13 January 2010
  • Fourteen nights failed to drop below 15 °C, more than the average but similar to recent years

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Extremes in January 2018
Hottest day 40.6 °C at Canberra Airport on the 7th
Warmest days on average 31.6 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 21.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 10.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 14th
Coldest night 0.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 14th
Coolest nights on average 11.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 14.8 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 22.6 °C at Canberra Airport on the 8th
Warmest on average overall 23.0 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest on average overall 16.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 111.6 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 37.4 mm at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Wettest day 26.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on the 29th
Strongest wind gust 81 km/h at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 12th




Summary statistics for January 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2018
Mean for
January
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2018
Total for
January
2018
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2018
Fraction of
January
average
Canberra Airport 31.6 +3.4 40.6 7th 14.4 +1.1 7.2 17th 38.0 58.0 average 66%
Mount Ginini AWS 21.7 +0.9 30.3 7th 11.1 +1.2 0.1 14th 111.6 74.5 high 150%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 31.0 +1.5 39.4 7th 14.8 +0.5 8.1 15th 37.4 53.5 average 70%
Note: Observations for “Canberra Airport” are taken from the current site (Bureau number 070351), which opened in late 2008.
Comparisons are made against data from the previous site Canberra Airport Comparison (070014), which ran from 1939 to 2010.

Daily maximum temperatures for January 2018
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Canberra Airport30.230.226.929.734.037.240.632.832.026.032.035.024.820.426.025.430.334.538.639.239.032.937.026.231.732.929.732.233.833.325.5
Mount Ginini AWS21.120.318.221.323.426.330.320.118.817.221.524.612.310.717.717.420.925.528.128.128.225.026.819.520.923.520.323.023.021.417.2
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS30.029.626.429.633.336.539.431.430.726.331.534.024.220.825.924.829.733.937.938.838.334.436.326.231.032.429.330.432.831.323.7
Values are the maximum temperature, usually in the 24 hours from 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred in the afternoon of that day.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period

Daily minimum temperatures for January 2018
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Canberra Airport11.612.413.610.711.114.115.322.618.515.615.117.919.29.18.310.97.28.411.013.412.314.920.418.517.816.617.721.214.415.212.8
Mount Ginini AWS8.68.67.06.310.014.518.413.711.08.18.413.812.10.13.62.67.110.714.117.116.817.915.112.612.911.713.513.010.913.98.7
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS10.711.616.612.113.013.714.822.419.415.515.318.220.19.98.111.99.38.410.512.612.215.820.218.618.316.617.721.715.915.912.7
Values are the minimum temperature, usually in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred that morning.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period

Daily rainfall for January 2018
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Bruce (Australian Institute of Sport) - - - - - - - - 2.0 12.4 - - 8.4 - - - - - - - - 4.0 1.4 - 5.0
Canberra (Australian National Botanic Ga - - - - - - - - 0.8 12.0 - - 2.4 4.0
















Canberra Airport - - - - - - - - 0.2 5.0 - - 3.0 4.6 - - - - - - - - - 7.4 0.8 - - - - - 17.0
Ginninderra (Charnwood (ACT)) - - - - - - - - 1.2 3.2 - - 3.4 4.2 0.2 - - - - - - - 3.4 0.6 - - - 1.2 - 17.4
Mount Ginini AWS - - - - - - - 0.4 2.2 9.2 - - 12.0 17.6 - - - - - - - - 0.2 11.0 1.6 15.4 - - 26.8 0.2 15.0
Torrens (Darke St) - - - - - - - - 0.8 2.2 - - 4.0 3.6 - - - - - - - - - 8.0 0.6 - 5.0 - 9.2 - 10.0
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS - - - - - - - 0.2 0.8 4.6 - - 2.8 4.2 - - - - - - - - - 13.4 0.6 - 0.6 - 0.4 - 9.8
Most values are the precipitation in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated. Days marked with → are part of a longer accumulation, which is shown on the final day.
Values over 100 mm have been rounded to the nearest whole millimetre.
Days marked with - have a rainfall report of zero; days left blank have no rainfall report (which often indicates no rain fell).
Rainfalls coloured
according to the amount
0 1.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 25.0 50.0 100 150 200 300 400 600 millimetres

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Australian Capital Territory using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

In September 2017 this summary was broadened to include data from observing sites in or near the Australian Capital Territory “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Thursday 1 February 2018. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites 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 10 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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries