Queensland in December 2016: Very dry in the east and warm end to the year

December rainfall was well below average for the State. Very low rainfall was recorded in parts of the Cape York Peninsula. Mean maximum temperatures were well above average in the north and southeast,while mean minimum temperatures were well above average in western, central and southern parts.

Dry in the north, below average in the southeast

  • Below average rainfall overall for the State, and very dry in the north
  • Some locations had their lowest total December rainfall on record or their lowest total December rainfall for several decades
  • A coastal trough and moist onshore flow generated locally heavy falls in the Capricornia, central and north tropical coasts between the 10th and the 14th, with Coconut Island recording its highest December daily rainfall on record
  • Humid, northeast to northwest flow produced thunderstorms in western parts of the Cape York Peninsula mid-month
  • Isolated showers and storms formed along an inland surface trough between the 16th and the 18th
  • Active monsoon trough in the north produced locally heavy falls in the Cape York Peninsula and Gulf Country at the end of the month
  • Horn Island received 215.6 mm to 9am on the 30th, its highest December daily rainfall on record

Warm days and nights

  • It was the sixth-warmest December on record for Queensland
  • Overall, mean maximum temperatures were above average for Queensland
  • Well above average daytime temperatures in the far north, and in the southeast
  • Weipa recorded its highest December temperature on record on the 11th
  • Overall, mean minimum temperatures were the seventh-warmest on record
  • Overnight temperatures were well above average in western, central and southern parts of the State
  • St George had its warmest December night (highest daily minimum temperature) in several decades on the 5th
  • Coastal sites including the Gold Coast Seaway and Yeppoon, had their warmest December night in more than twenty years on the 31st

Severe thunderstorms

  • Severe thunderstorms swept through the Mary Valley in the Wide Bay and Burnett district in Queensland on the 1st. Large hail up to 6 cm in diameter was reported from Peachester, Traveston, Kandanga and Gympie.
  • On the 18th, severe thunderstorms developed around Warwick on the Darling Downs, and moved slowly east-northeast, affecting Boonah before tracking through western suburbs of Brisbane. The severe storms moved through Brisbane metropolitan area before moving out into the Bay. Wind gusts up to 100km/h were recorded at Amberley. Heavy rainfall was recorded in and around Ipswich, causing flash flooding. Roof damage, uprooted trees and structural damage was reported in western suburbs. Hail up to 4.5 cm in diameter was reported at Dinmore, Redbank, Riverview and Bellbowrie.

Further information

Media
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Enquiries

Extremes in December 2016
Hottest day 46.9 °C at Birdsville Airport on the 2nd
Warmest days on average 39.4 °C at Ballera Gas Field
Coolest days on average 26.9 °C at Frederick Reef
Coldest day 21.7 °C at Applethorpe on the 23rd
Coldest night 8.3 °C at Georgetown Airport on the 22nd
Coolest nights on average 14.7 °C at Applethorpe
Warmest nights on average 26.7 °C at Sweers Island
Warmest night 32.4 °C at Ballera Gas Field on the 28th
Warmest on average overall 32.5 °C at Birdsville Airport
Coolest on average overall 21.5 °C at Applethorpe
Wettest overall 455.6 mm at Plane Creek Sugar Mill
Wettest day 215.6 mm at Horn Island on the 30th
Strongest wind gust 104 km/h at Dalby Airport on the 3rd

Maps

Observed Anomaly Decile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Record highest December daily rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Coconut Island 129.4 on the 12th 123.0 on the 14th in 1998 21
Horn Island 215.6 on the 30th 143.0 on the 1st in 2000 21



Highest December total rainfall for at least 20 years

Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Orientos Station 78.8 82.7 in 1987 17.1
Mount Jukes 342.0 1476.0 in 1990* 203.9

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a higher value has gone unreported




Record lowest December total rainfall

New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Dingle Dell 9.6 10.4 in 1979 38 99.8
Felton 15.2 22.6 in 1998 24 103.3
Miles Constance Street 29.4 33.6 in 2015 20 95.8

Lowest December total rainfall for at least 20 years

Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
December
Mingela Post Office 4.2 0.0 in 1966 76.7
Mount Larcom Post Office 14.7 1.0 in 1972* 128.3
Pittsworth 22.8 12.6 in 1977 98.2
Taroom Post Office 16.2 5.0 in 1977 90.1
Cape Moreton Lighthouse 19.6 15.8 in 1977* 125.3
Leslie Dam 22.4 21.0 in 1977* 99.0
Monto Township 13.7 1.3 in 1972* 94.2
Daintree Village 74.0 66.8 in 1979* 306.2
Maryborough 44.6 38.0 in 1989 127.9
Cania Gorge Park 15.8 0.3 in 1987* 96.9
Jondaryan Post Office 26.8 18.2 in 1994* 87.0
Abingdon Downs Station 16.0 0.0 in 1992* 138.0
Peakvale Station 9.0 4.5 in 1995* 81.1

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported




Record highest December temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Weipa Aero 38.8 on the 11th 38.7 on the 4th in 1996 25 33.9



Record highest December mean daily maximum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Thangool Airport 35.5 35.3 in 2012 24 32.9

Highest December mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years

Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Taroom Post Office 36.3 37.1 in 1957 33.4



Record highest December daily minimum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Gold Coast Seaway 24.9 on the 31st 24.6 on the 19th in 1997 24 20.5
Yeppoon The Esplanade 26.7 on the 31st = 26.7 on the 31st in 2005 23 22.8
St George Airport 30.0 on the 5th 29.1 on the 7th in 2005 20 20.3



Record highest December mean temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Roma Airport 29.0 28.6 in 2005 24 26.3
Thangool Airport 27.5 = 27.5 in 2005 24 25.7

Highest December mean temperature for at least 20 years

Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Taroom Post Office 28.9 29.2 in 1957 26.5
Injune Post Office 28.1 28.9 in 1979 25.6
Surat 28.9 29.1 in 1979* 26.6

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a higher value has gone unreported




Summary statistics for December 2016

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
December
2016
Diff
from
average
Highest for
December
2016
Mean for
December
2016
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
December
2016
Total for
December
2016
Average
for
December
Rank of
December
2016
Fraction of
December
average
North Peninsula (district 27)
Coconut Island 33.0 -0.1 36.7 9th 26.0 -0.1 23.7 12th 369.6 159.6 v high 232%
Coen Airport 35.4 +0.7 37.8 2nd 23.1 -0.7 19.5 3rd 140.6 123.8 average 114%
Horn Island 31.5 -0.4 33.9 5th 25.9 +0.1 23.9 12th 399.0 186.7 high 214%
Weipa Aero 35.6 +1.7 38.8 11th 23.8 -0.4 21.7 2nd 271.2 274.4 average 99%
South Peninsula (district 28)
Lockhart River Airport 32.1 -0.1 33.8 17th 24.6 +1.0 20.5 2nd 168.6 204.6 average 82%
Palmerville 37.3 +2.0 40.9 2nd 22.6 -0.1 18.0 3rd 36.6 155.1 low 24%
Lower Carpentaria (district 29)
Burketown Airport 36.1 -0.2 40.1 9th 25.4 -0.1 22.7 5th 94.0 103.8 average 91%
Century Mine 37.9 -0.3 42.4 7th 25.0 -0.1 22.0 5th 75.4 117.5 low 64%
Cloncurry Airport 38.0 -0.5 42.9 8th 25.5 +0.7 21.7 3rd 68.0 80.9 average 84%
Julia Creek Airport 39.3 -0.2 43.9 7th 24.9 +1.2 21.4 11th 79.0 67.0 average 118%
Kowanyama Airport 35.8 +1.0 40.1 2nd 24.4 0.0 21.8 4th 207.6 178.9 average 116%
Lake Julius AWS 37.7   42.8 8th 25.4   21.9 3rd 83.8


Mornington Island Airport 32.8   37.0 9th 25.9   21.2 13th 320.6


Mount Isa Aero 36.9 -0.2 42.6 4th 23.2 +0.1 18.5 1st 116.4 74.9 high 155%
Normanton Airport 36.1 0.0 41.0 3rd 25.9 0.0 22.3 11th 108.2 129.9 average 83%
Sweers Island 32.8 -0.8 36.5 9th 26.7 -0.3 23.5 12th 99.4 158.6 average 63%
Upper Carpentaria (district 30)
Georgetown Airport 36.6 +0.5 41.1 3rd 23.3 -0.4 8.3 22nd 99.4 131.0 average 76%
Hughenden Airport 37.9 +0.7 42.5 6th 24.6 +1.2 21.3 11th 34.0 72.1 average 47%
Richmond Airport 38.4 +0.3 43.8 6th 24.2 +0.8 19.0 4th 66.4 64.1 average 104%
Richmond Post Office 38.3 +0.2 43.4 5th 24.8 +2.3 21.3 3rd 86.0 71.0 average 121%
Barron North Coast (district 31)
Cairns Aero 32.5 +1.1 34.7 26th 23.6 +0.2 18.0 3rd 59.8 176.6 low 34%
Cairns Racecourse 32.3   33.9 10th 22.6   16.1 4th 67.6


Cape Flattery 32.8 +0.2 33.5 28th 25.2 +0.3 20.8 1st 11.4 110.9 v low 10%
Cooktown Airport 33.0 +0.8 33.8 23rd 24.7 +0.2 19.6 2nd 12.4 144.8 v low 9%
Low Isles Lighthouse 33.2 +0.9 35.1 31st 25.6 +0.3 23.4 14th 54.0 208.6 low 26%
Mareeba Airport 32.6 +0.5 37.1 2nd 20.3 -0.5 17.7 3rd 39.0 89.1 low 44%
Walkamin Research Station 31.7 +1.0 35.5 2nd 19.4 -0.4 16.0 2nd 50.8 119.6 low 42%
Herbert North Coast (district 32)
Cardwell Marine Pde 31.0 -0.5 32.2 19th 23.2 +0.9 20.0 2nd 120.0 193.0 average 62%
Ingham Composite 32.8 +0.3 36.5 2nd 22.2 +0.1 18.8 2nd 287.9 199.5 high 144%
Innisfail 30.9 +0.1 32.2 26th 23.0 +0.9 20.0 2nd 201.8 262.1 average 77%
Innisfail Aerodrome 31.9   34.1 3rd 21.2   17.9 2nd 175.8


Lucinda Point 29.6 0.0 31.0 31st 25.4 +0.1 22.7 12th 79.2 90.4 average 88%
South Johnstone Exp Stn 31.5 +0.3 33.5 3rd 22.1 +0.3 19.0 2nd 227.0 260.7 average 87%
Townsville Aero 32.5 +1.0 35.4 2nd 24.7 +0.6 22.7 3rd 32.4 126.5 low 26%
East Central Coast (district 33)
Alva Beach 30.3 -0.6 31.6 29th 25.0 +0.2 23.1 14th 72.8 102.1 average 71%
Ayr DPI Research Stn 32.9 +0.9 34.6 3rd 22.5 +0.4 20.3 3rd 20.4 100.1 low 20%
Bowen Airport AWS 31.7   33.3 10th 23.4   20.6 3rd 83.0


Collinsville Post Office 35.6 +1.5 39.5 3rd 23.0 +1.7 20.4 21st 28.0 93.5 low 30%
Hamilton Island Airport 30.0 0.0 32.0 31st 24.4 -0.1 22.5 12th 63.8 121.0 average 53%
Mackay Aero 30.9 +0.1 33.5 1st 22.3 +0.1 19.0 1st 142.2 128.5 high 111%
Mackay M.O 30.8 +0.6 33.8 9th 23.3 +0.3 20.5 1st 205.2 183.7 average 112%
Ooralea Racecourse (Mackay Turf Club) 30.3   33.0 3rd 21.6   18.6 2nd 186.2


Proserpine Airport 32.9 +0.7 37.9 2nd 21.3 -0.4 17.8 1st 105.6 158.1 average 67%
St Lawrence 31.8 +0.2 33.8 9th 22.6 +0.5 20.3 2nd 53.8 133.2 v low 40%
Williamson 31.1 -0.1 33.7 9th 22.1 +0.3 19.2 25th 75.4 139.5 average 54%
Woolshed 30.4 +1.2 34.1 2nd 20.8 +0.4 19.3 27th 70.6 97.1 average 73%
Yeppoon The Esplanade 28.7 0.0 30.8 9th 23.6 +0.8 21.5 27th 37.0 115.2 low 32%
West Central Coast (district 34)
Charters Towers Airport 35.3 +0.8 39.2 2nd 22.4 +0.4 20.5 9th 25.0 81.7 low 31%
Moranbah Airport 34.2   40.7 2nd 20.6   18.3 7th 180.8


Central Highlands (district 35)
Blackwater Airport 35.4   41.3 3rd 21.2   18.9 12th 60.6


Emerald Airport 35.3 +1.1 42.3 3rd 22.1 +0.8 19.7 12th 63.0 89.1 average 71%
Lochington 35.6   42.2 3rd 21.5   17.9 24th 67.6


Rolleston Airport 35.2   42.6 3rd 20.8   16.9 27th 39.6


Springsure Comet St 34.5 +0.5 40.6 2nd 21.0 +1.2 16.9 24th 45.8 93.1 low 49%
Tambo Post Office 35.4 +0.6 41.9 3rd 20.7 +1.5 15.0 2nd 77.4 70.4 average 110%
Taroom Post Office 36.3 +2.9 43.0 3rd 21.6 +2.0 14.9 10th 16.2 90.1 v low 18%
Central Lowlands (district 36)
Barcaldine Post Office 36.2 +0.4 41.7 3rd 24.0 +1.7 20.0 12th 33.8 63.4 average 53%
Blackall Airport 36.4 +0.5 42.8 3rd 22.3 +0.2 17.0 1st 76.2 94.8 average 80%
Isisford Post Office 38.4 +1.4 44.2 6th 24.1 +2.2 20.4 1st 43.9 53.9 average 81%
Longreach Aero 38.5 +1.0 43.9 6th 23.7 +1.5 21.1 19th 28.0 55.1 average 51%
Upper Western (district 37)
Camooweal Township 37.4 -0.6 43.2 7th 24.8 +1.0 22.5 3rd 144.8 63.6 v high 228%
Carters Bore 35.7   41.2 8th 24.3   20.9 16th 74.8


New May Downs 36.3   42.4 6th 24.1   20.6 1st 141.0


The Monument Airport 37.6 -0.3 43.5 4th 24.3 +0.6 19.4 1st 103.6 57.3 high 181%
Trepell Airport 38.0 -0.6 43.1 8th 24.7 +0.8 20.2 12th 37.6 45.5 average 83%
Urandangi Aerodrome 38.3   44.2 5th 24.2   18.4 1st 64.8


Winton Airport 39.3 +0.5 44.5 6th 24.4 +0.7 19.7 11th 48.4 37.3 average 130%
Lower Western (district 38)
Bedourie Police Station 39.1 +0.6 44.4 2nd 24.8 +1.4 15.7 10th 12.6 16.8 average 75%
Birdsville Airport 39.1 +0.4 46.9 2nd 25.8 +1.9 16.9 9th 42.6 12.3 v high 346%
Boulia Airport 38.3 -0.3 43.9 2nd 25.5 +2.0 21.2 23rd 39.8 31.5 high 126%
Port Curtis South Coast (district 39)
Bundaberg Aero 30.6 +1.1 34.7 9th 21.1 +0.6 17.7 15th 182.0 128.0 high 142%
Gayndah Airport 34.7 +2.3 40.0 2nd 20.4 +1.0 17.1 13th 38.8 87.5 low 44%
Gladstone Airport 30.5 +0.4 34.1 9th 22.8 +0.7 19.5 15th 72.6 107.8 average 67%
Lady Elliot Island 29.9 +1.3 31.8 31st 24.2 +1.0 22.2 1st 10.0 91.1 v low 11%
Monto Township 33.8 +1.8 39.4 2nd 19.2 +0.9 15.2 14th 13.7 94.2 v low 15%
Rockhampton Aero 33.7 +1.6 38.5 2nd 22.3 +1.1 20.3 15th 17.0 105.0 v low 16%
Rundle Island 28.3 +0.6 30.7 15th 24.2 +0.3 21.4 23rd



Seventeen Seventy 28.9 +0.2 30.6 9th 22.9 +0.7 19.7 12th 77.6 133.1 average 58%
Thangool Airport 35.5 +2.6 40.4 2nd 19.4 +0.8 14.4 14th 42.0 94.2 low 45%
Moreton South Coast (district 40)
Amberley AMO 32.0 +1.2 38.0 31st 18.8 +0.4 13.7 13th 61.6 120.1 low 51%
Archerfield Airport 31.1 +1.6 35.9 21st 20.1 +1.1 15.5 13th 70.4 124.6 low 57%
Beaudesert Drumley Street 32.0   38.8 31st 18.6   13.9 12th 90.8 116.4 average 78%
Beerburrum Forest Station 31.0 +1.4 36.5 31st 18.7 +0.3 14.5 13th 66.4 155.4 low 43%
Brisbane 30.1 +0.8 34.1 21st 21.2 +0.9 17.8 13th 102.0 131.0 average 78%
Brisbane Aero 28.0 -0.2 30.6 31st 21.3 +1.3 17.4 13th 111.6 126.4 average 88%
Cape Moreton Lighthouse 27.8 +1.7 30.3 31st 22.0 +1.0 20.5 7th 19.6 125.3 v low 16%
Coolangatta 28.3 +1.1 34.0 6th 20.3 +0.6 15.4 12th 45.0 151.6 v low 30%
Gold Coast Seaway 28.7 +0.9 33.3 21st 20.7 +0.2 17.9 12th 56.6 132.7 v low 43%
Gympie 31.9 +0.6 36.9 2nd 19.2 +0.7 14.6 13th 124.6 136.6 average 91%
Hervey Bay Airport 30.1 +0.8 32.8 9th 21.7 +0.8 17.8 1st 40.6 133.4 v low 30%
Jimna Forestry 29.2 +1.5 34.7 31st 17.0 +0.7 12.0 13th 0 104.9 v low 0%
Kingaroy Airport 32.2 +2.3 39.0 2nd 17.4 +0.7 12.0 13th 44.4 105.7 low 42%
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 30.1 +1.1 36.9 21st 20.4 +1.2 16.4 13th 73.3 122.6 low 60%
Maryborough 31.9 +1.3 35.2 31st 19.4 -0.2 16.1 15th 44.6 127.9 v low 35%
Nambour Daff - Hillside 30.3   35.6 6th 19.7   15.6 13th 84.8 148.6 average 57%
Point Lookout 29.1 +1.1 31.7 23rd 21.8 +0.5 19.8 11th 47.9 119.8 low 40%
Rainbow Beach 28.6 +0.4 30.4 31st      
31.4 124.7 low 25%
Redcliffe 28.4 +0.3 31.9 31st 21.9 +1.1 19.3 13th 79.4 115.5 average 69%
Redland (Alexandra Hills) 28.1   31.3 31st 20.7   16.9 13th 122.8


Sunshine Coast Airport 28.9 +0.6 31.3 31st 20.5 +0.8 16.4 13th 53.2 143.1 low 37%
Tewantin RSL Park 28.3 +0.3 31.3 21st 21.2 +0.6 17.7 1st 31.4 137.7 v low 23%
University of Queensland Gatton 33.8 +2.5 39.6 31st 18.5 +0.4 13.0 12th 72.6 99.4 average 73%
East Darling Downs (district 41)
Applethorpe 28.4 +2.7 35.4 31st 14.7 +0.9 10.5 14th 80.4 99.0 average 81%
Dalby Airport 34.3 +2.8 40.8 3rd 18.2 +0.6 11.6 12th 40.2 94.2 v low 43%
Oakey Aero 32.5 +2.3 38.3 3rd 17.8 +1.2 12.8 10th 50.8 92.5 low 55%
Texas Post Office 35.1 +2.4 41.2 3rd 19.3 +2.1 14.2 10th 56.4 80.8 average 70%
Toowoomba Airport 30.3 +3.0 37.0 3rd 17.3 +0.8 14.4 12th 33.8 106.8 v low 32%
Warwick 32.0 +2.9 38.3 31st 16.4 +0.6 11.8 13th 30.0 102.5 v low 29%
West Darling Downs (district 42)
Miles Constance Street 35.7 +3.1 42.0 3rd 20.3 +1.1 11.6 10th 29.4 95.8 lowest 31%
Maranoa (district 43)
Injune Post Office 35.9 +2.7 42.8 3rd 20.1 +2.0 12.9 10th 62.4 90.6 average 69%
Mitchell Post Office 36.5 +2.8 43.1 6th 20.2 +1.7 11.1 10th 45.2 71.7 average 63%
Roma Airport 36.8 +3.6 44.4 3rd 20.8 +1.5 11.2 10th 50.2 81.3 average 62%
St George Airport 36.8 +3.0 44.2 3rd 22.2 +1.9 14.0 10th 61.0 73.1 average 83%
Surat 36.1 +2.3 43.4 3rd 21.7 +2.3 13.2 10th 23.0 72.3 low 32%
Warrego (district 44)
Bollon Mary St 38.2 +3.2 44.6 3rd     19.5 27th 44.1 52.5 average 84%
Charleville Aero 36.8 +2.1 43.3 6th 22.2 +1.8 13.7 10th 35.4 56.4 average 63%
Cunnamulla Post Office 37.5 +2.3 44.3 3rd 23.2 +2.4 15.5 10th 48.0 39.3 high 122%
Far Southwest (district 45)
Ballera Gas Field 39.4 +1.6 46.1 4th     15.6 9th 7.8 11.6 average 67%
Thargomindah Airport 38.3 +1.7 44.9 2nd 24.8 +1.6 16.9 9th 30.4 26.9 average 113%
Offshore Islands (district 200)
Frederick Reef 26.9   28.0 31st 24.6   23.0 6th



Middle Percy Island 28.5 +0.2 29.7 7th 22.8 +0.1 19.9 11th 111.2 105.6 average 105%
Willis Island 31.3 +0.6 32.7 22nd 25.9 +0.4 24.1 7th 18.2 94.8 low 19%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Queensland 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 10 am on Thursday 5 January 2017. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

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