Monday, 2 June 2008 - Monthly Climate Summary for Tasmania - Product code IDCKGC17R0

Tasmania in May 2008: Mostly dry but some heavy rain

May was another dry month for most of Tasmania, with only some parts of the north and west receiving near average rainfall. Thunderstorms on the 26th were the major source of rainfall in the north. Most days were warmer than normal, except for a period from the 21st to 27th. The morning of the 22nd was particularly cold.

An archive of previous monthly summaries for Tasmania is also available, as are summaries for other states and many other climate summaries and diagnostics.

Details

Dry in the southeast: Cold fronts crossed the state at regular intervals during May, but their influence was mainly restricted to western areas. As a result, rainfall across the state was mostly below average, with only some parts of the west and north receiving near normal totals. Central and southern parts of the east coast in particular missed out, with several locations recording only around 10 mm for the month. Only 6 mm fell in Hobart, the third lowest total for May in 126 years of record. Flinders Island was also fairly dry, receiving only a third of its average May rainfall. Some locations in the southeast had their lowest total May rainfall on record, while others had their lowest total May rainfall for several decades.

But some heavy falls in the north: The north of the state received most of its monthly rainfall on a single day when a slow moving trough crossed the state on the 26th. Rain fell statewide on this occasion, but the most significant falls were associated with thunderstorms in the northwest. Many locations along the north coast received in excess of 40 mm, with Elliott reporting 76 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 27th, the highest daily total for the month. Wynyard received 23 mm in half an hour, an event which is expected to occur on average only once every 20 years. The intensity of the rainfall resulted in widespread flash flooding and water damage between Wynyard and Burnie.

Some very cold nights: A number of sites recorded their lowest May temperature on record on the 22nd when a high pressure system moved over the state in the wake of a cold front. Several locations dropped below minus 5 degrees during the night, with the coldest temperature of minus 8.3C recorded at Lake Leake. Other nights between the 21st and 24th were also well below average, in contrast to the warm temperatures experienced on the 9th, 10th and 30th. Minimum (overnight) temperatures for the remainder of the month were mixed, but across the whole month were mostly within half a degree of average - slightly above on the north coast and in the west, but slightly below in the east.

Mostly warm days: During the first three weeks of the month, daytime temperatures were mostly above average. The warmest days occurred around the 9th in the north and east and around the 17th in the south and west. A change late on the 20th saw temperatures fall below average for the following week, but they recovered by the 28th and the final few days of the month were near average. Over the whole month, daytime temperatures were generally warmer than normal - by over a degree in the southeast and about half a degree in the remainder.

Further information

Melanie Webb
Meteorologist
Tasmania and Antarctica Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 6221 2043
Email climate.tas@bom.gov.au

Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
22.1 C at Bicheno on the 9th
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
17.2 C at Bicheno
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
6.1 C at Mount Read
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
-0.4 C at Mount Wellington on the 21st
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
-8.3 C at Lake Leake on the 22nd
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
0.5 C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
11.6 C at Hogan Island
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
14.6 C at Flinders Island Airport on the 10th
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
344.4 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall
Lowest total rainfall
4.8 mm at Bushy Park
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
75.8 mm at Elliott Research Station on the 27th
Highest wind gust
124 km/h at Mount Wellington on the 19th

Records


Record lowest total May rainfall
Total rainfall
for May 2008 (mm)
Previous lowest
for May
Years of
record
Normal for
May
Grove (Comparison) 10.4 17.2 in 1991 57 59.0
Taroona (Taroona Crescent) 9.8 10.5 in 1972 42 44.3
Huonville (Tutton Avenue) 14.2 16.7 in 1967 38 57.0
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 19.4 22.0 in 1991 35 70.3


Lowest total May rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for May 2008 (mm)
Most recent lower
for May
Years since
lower
Normal for
May
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 4.8 2.1 in 1934 74 45.5



Record lowest May temperature
Lowest temperature
in May 2008 (C)
Previous lowest
for May
Years of
record
Normal for
May
Grove (Comparison) -5.5 on the 22nd -4.3 on the 29th in 1979 49 4.3
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) -6.0 on the 22nd -4.8 on the 9th in 1994 48 4.1
Fingal (Legge Street) -8.1 on the 22nd -7.6 on the 12th in 1994 22 2.9



Summaries

In this table, key sites have been highlighted to make them easier to find. This table is very wide and may not fit if printed.

Summary statistics for May 2008
Maximum temperatures
for May
(C)
Minimum temperatures
for May
(C)
Rainfall
for May
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2008
Diff
from
normal
Highest for
May
2008
Mean for
May
2008
Diff
from
normal
Lowest for
May
2008
Total for
May
2008
Normal
for
May
Rank of
May
2008
Fraction of
May
normal
Northern (district 91)
Bridport 16.0 +0.1 19.0 10th 8.5 +0.6 0.5 23rd 98.4 69.3 high 142%
Burnie 15.7 +0.4 19.3 9th 9.3 +1.0 3.2 21st 98.0 94.9 normal 103%
Cape Grim BAPS 14.7 +0.1 16.9 14th 10.4 +0.3 6.2 24th 69.2 76.6 normal 90%
Cressy Research Station 14.9 +0.1 20.2 9th 3.3 -0.2 -6.3 22nd 24.2
Devonport Airport 15.6 +0.4 19.7 9th 7.5 +0.7 0.0 21st 42.6 75.5 low 56%
Launceston 16.2 +0.5 21.1 10th 5.6 +0.5 -1.8 22nd 31.4 64.0 low 49%
Launceston Airport 14.9   19.1 9th 4.5   -3.7 22nd 29.4
Launceston Airport Comparison 14.3 +0.4 18.5 10th 5.1 +0.5 -3.7 22nd 35.0 60.5 low 58%
Low Head 15.4 0.0 17.6 8th 10.2 +0.8 4.1 22nd 87.6 60.4 high 145%
Luncheon Hill 12.4 -0.7 15.3 17th 7.0 +0.1 2.5 21st 114.4 164.0 low 70%
Marrawah 14.6 -0.1 17.0 14th 9.6 +0.5 5.5 24th 109.0 104.4 normal 104%
Powranna 14.8 +0.3 19.0 10th 4.8 +0.8 -4.5 22nd 35.6 45.3 normal 79%
Scottsdale 14.9 -0.1 19.0 10th 5.6 -0.3 0.4 21st 67.2 102.1 low 66%
Sheffield School Farm 13.5 0.0 17.5 9th 5.5 -0.1 -1.0 22nd
Smithton Aerodrome 15.6 +0.2 17.9 10th 6.9 +0.7 0.6 24th 60.2 82.5 normal 73%
Wynyard Airport 15.7 +0.7 19.2 10th 6.3 +1.1 -1.3 22nd 81.4 98.9 normal 82%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno 17.2 +0.8 22.1 9th 8.8 +0.4 2.0 22nd 57.4 56.5 high 102%
Eddystone Point 16.5 +0.8 21.5 9th 9.4 -0.3 4.5 21st 40.8 66.7 low 61%
Fingal 15.6 +0.3 20.3 9th 1.9 -1.1 -8.1 22nd 14.6 50.1 low 29%
Friendly Beaches 16.6 +0.5 20.4 9th 8.2 -0.1 -1.1 22nd 33.8 47.0 normal 72%
Lake Leake 12.0 +0.6 16.4 15th 1.5 -0.8 -8.3 22nd 15.2 73.7 very low 21%
Maria Island 15.6   20.9 9th 9.6   4.7 22nd 22.8
Orford 16.1 +0.3 21.3 9th 6.2 -0.1 0.3 21st 21.4 58.2 low 37%
Scamander 16.9 +0.3 21.3 8th 7.2 -0.4 0.8 22nd 34.8 54.6 normal 64%
St Helens Aerodrome 16.4   20.8 9th 6.8   0.0 22nd 35.6
Swan Island 15.9   18.5 10th 10.7   5.3 21st 42.0
Swansea Post Office 17.0 +1.0 21.7 9th 5.9 -0.3 -0.1 22nd 13.2 46.4 low 28%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross 15.2 +0.9 19.6 9th 2.8 -0.6 -6.9 22nd 11.4 25.8 low 44%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania 16.5   21.6 9th 5.6   -2.3 22nd 15.8
Cape Bruny 14.8 +0.4 18.8 17th 9.0 +0.3 3.9 22nd 31.2 51.2 very low 61%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 14.4 +1.0 18.1 17th 9.1 +0.8 4.0 22nd 48.4 84.1 low 58%
Dover 15.2 +0.4 19.4 17th 5.3 -0.5 -1.1 22nd 19.0 71.1 very low 27%
Geeveston 15.1 +0.6 19.4 17th 5.2 +0.7 -3.2 22nd 19.4 70.3 lowest 28%
Grove 15.6 +1.1 21.1 18th 3.9 -0.4 -5.5 22nd 10.4 59.0 lowest 18%
Grove 15.9   20.9 17th 3.5   -6.0 22nd 10.0
Hobart 16.2 +1.8 19.9 17th 7.9 +1.0 0.7 22nd 6.0 46.4 very low 13%
Hobart Airport 16.3 +1.1 20.5 17th 6.4 -0.2 1.0 22nd 10.4 34.5 very low 30%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 13.0 +0.3 18.1 16th 9.3 +0.9 4.9 21st 73.6 115.4 low 64%
Melton Mowbray 14.9 +0.6 19.1 17th 4.6 +0.2 -5.0 22nd 9.4 24.6 very low 38%
Mount Wellington 6.5 +0.9 11.9 12th 1.1 +0.6 -4.6 21st 21.0 62.2 very low 34%
Tasman Island 13.1   16.8 9th 8.7   3.4 21st 54.8
Tunnack Fire Station 12.9 +0.5 18.0 9th 3.5 -0.3 -5.9 22nd 19.0 39.4 very low 48%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park 15.7 +1.4 20.6 17th 3.6 -0.5 -6.0 22nd 4.8 45.5 very low 11%
Maydena Post Office 13.2 +0.1 17.6 17th 5.1 +0.8 -3.0 22nd 43.7 95.5 low 46%
Moogara 12.2 +1.0 16.5 17th 5.1 +1.0 2.5 24th 27.0 58.5 low 46%
Ouse Fire Station 15.3 +0.3 20.1 17th 3.8 -0.1 -6.3 22nd 15.2
Tarraleah Village 11.7 +0.6 15.6 18th 3.7 +1.3 -3.1 22nd 48.7 102.4 low 48%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Lake St Clair National Park 10.4 +0.1 15.5 15th 2.2 +0.5 -6.0 22nd 93.4 167.1 low 56%
Liawenee 9.2   16.7 12th 0.5   -6.5 22nd 38.6
West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain 8.6 -0.2 15.5 15th 3.4 -0.1 -1.5 21st 31.4 68.9 very low 46%
Mount Read 6.1 -0.4 9.9 15th 2.4 +0.1 -3.0 21st 344.4 408.1 low 84%
Scotts Peak Dam 11.8 +0.3 17.7 17th 6.0 +0.4 1.2 22nd 87.6
Strahan Aerodrome 14.4 +0.1 18.9 15th 8.0 +0.6 1.5 21st 146.0 136.5 normal 107%
Strathgordon Village 11.5 0.0 17.0 16th 5.9 +0.5 1.1 22nd 173.2 240.9 low 72%
Warra 11.6   15.6 17th 5.2   -1.0 22nd 64.8
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 15.6 +0.1 18.7 15th 9.7 +0.5 3.5 24th 71.0 86.2 normal 82%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 16.3 0.0 20.3 16th 9.5 +0.5 -1.1 22nd 26.2 80.3 very low 33%
Hogan Island 15.5   19.2 16th 11.6   8.1 22nd 32.0
Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 6.2 +0.3 8.4 25th 3.2 +0.7 -0.7 1st 79.2 83.4 normal 95%

Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Monday 2 June 2008. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Normals 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 "normal" 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, normal in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of normal shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Further information

Melanie Webb
Meteorologist
Tasmania and Antarctica Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 6221 2043
Email climate.tas@bom.gov.au