Canberra in May 2017: mild days, cool nights, and some heavy rain

Rainfall was average to above average in the ACT during May, with heavy rain in parts of the ACT on the 20th but otherwise little rainfall. Daytime temperatures were warmer than average with few cold days, while overnight temperatures were the coolest for Canberra since 2013.

Few rain events, but heavy rain on the 20th

  • Rainfall was slightly below average at Canberra Airport during May, but above average in other parts of the ACT including Tuggeranong and Mt Ginini
  • There were six rain days at the airport, below the May average of eight days, with only one day recording more than 2 mm of rain (average four days)
  • Most of the rain fell on the 20th, with 31.2 mm recorded at Canberra Airport and 88.0 mm at Mt Ginini as well as the wettest May day on record at Tuggeranong
  • More than 5 mm of rain was also recorded in parts of the ACT on the 15th and 24th

Mild days, cool nights

  • Maximum temperatures were 0.8 °C above average at Canberra Airport during May
  • Daytime temperatures were relatively mild, with only five days failing to reach 15 °C (average 13 days) but no days above 20 °C (average 2 days)
  • The average minimum temperature was 1.6 °C below average, the coolest May since 2013
  • No nights were warmer than 10 °C (average two nights), with 20 nights falling below 2 °C (average 13 nights)
  • Temperatures were coolest at the end of the month, with a maximum temperature of 11.7 °C at the airport on the 29th followed by a minimum of -4.5 °C on the 30th

Further information

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Extremes in May 2017
Hottest day 19.9 °C at Canberra Airport on the 1st
Warmest days on average 16.4 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 7.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day -1.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 29th
Coldest night -5.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 31st
Coolest nights on average 0.8 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 2.2 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 9.8 °C at Canberra Airport on the 19th
Warmest on average overall 9.2 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 4.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 116.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 34.2 mm at Canberra Airport
Wettest day 88.0 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on the 20th
Strongest wind gust 83 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 7th

Record highest May daily rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 52.2 on the 20th 35.4 on the 18th in 2007 22

Summary statistics for May 2017

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2017
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2017
Mean for
May
2017
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2017
Total for
May
2017
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2017
Fraction of
May
average
Canberra Airport 16.4 +0.8 19.9 1st 1.6 -1.6 -4.5 30th 34.2 44.4
average
77%
Mount Ginini AWS 7.3 -0.4 11.5 17th 0.8 -0.3 -5.9 31st 116.8 58.0 v high 201%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 16.2 -0.4 19.5 1st 2.2 -0.4 -3.9 30th 61.0 24.1 v high 253%
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 May 2017

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Canberra Airport 19.9 16.0 16.7 17.6 19.1 17.3 15.2 15.2 17.7 18.5 18.8 16.2 18.9 15.9 17.1 16.8 16.8 19.1 15.9 17.8 17.2 18.1 17.6 15.9 12.5 16.0 16.0 14.3 11.7 12.6 11.0
Mount Ginini AWS 9.6 4.3 5.9 7.3 9.8 6.1 5.7 5.0 9.2 10.1 11.0 8.4 9.2 5.0 7.7 8.4 11.5 11.2 7.4 7.9 8.2 9.9 10.3 5.5 9.6 8.2 6.9 2.5 -1.0 0.3 4.1
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 19.5 16.0 15.6 17.5 18.4 17.0 15.7 14.5 17.5 18.1 18.9 15.8 18.9 14.4 16.4 16.6 16.8 18.7 15.3 18.2 17.0 18.1 17.7 16.1 11.3 15.2 15.6 13.7 12.4 13.3 10.7
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 May 2017

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Canberra Airport 1.5 5.2 0.6 -0.1 2.3 1.8 4.2 -4.4 -1.0 -2.0 -1.7 -0.6 3.4 7.0 3.3 0.3 -1.0 4.6 9.8 8.8 0.7 0.2 1.1 5.5 0.8 0.4 0.7 0.0 3.3 -4.5 -0.7
Mount Ginini AWS 3.8 1.9 -3.1 -1.0 2.2 4.2 -3.1 -2.9 -2.7 1.5 2.5 2.9 2.7 3.5 1.6 0.2 1.4 3.9 4.3 2.3 1.7 2.2 3.3 1.7 0.1 0.1 0.9 1.7 -4.4 -4.1 -5.9
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 2.3 5.9 4.7 -0.9 6.2 2.9 5.6 -3.1 -0.8 -1.1 -1.3 -1.0 3.1 9.1 4.0 0.1 -0.8 4.5 7.6 8.6 0.6 0.1 0.1 4.9 -0.4 0.7 3.9 1.2 3.5 -3.9 1.9
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 May 2017

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Canberra (Australian National Botanic Ga - - - - - 0.6 - - - - - - - - 8.0 - - - - 36.6 - - - 1.2 - - - - 0.1 - -
Canberra Airport - - - - - 0.2 - - - - - - - - 0.6 - - - - 31.2 0.2 - - 1.8 - - - 0.2 - - -
Mount Ginini AWS - - - - - 0.6 2.2 - - - - - - 0.4 7.4 - - - - 88.0 - - - 5.4 0.2 - - 1.4 9.0 1.8 0.4
Nicholls (Gungahlin Lakes) - - - - - 1.2 - - - - - - - - 2.8 - - - - 39.0 - - - 5.6 - - - - 0.6

Torrens (Darke St) - - - - - 0.2 - - - - - - - - 4.4 - - - - 47.2 - - - 6.8 - - - - 2.8

Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS - - - - - 0.2 - - - - - - - - 2.8 - - - - 52.2 - - - 2.4 - - - - 3.4 - -
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 Canberra 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.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Thursday 1 June 2017. 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.

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.

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