Monday, 1 December 2008 - Monthly Climate Summary for Tasmania - Product code IDCKGC17R0

Tasmania in November 2008: Wet and cool

The synoptic pattern in November was dominated by low pressure systems, which lead to above average rainfall across most of the state (except in the west), cooler than normal days and near average nights. 

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

Low pressure systems bring rain: Three significant rain events during November helped ensure totals for the month were average or even above average across most of the state. A rain band associated with a low pressure system which passed near the west coast on the 7th and 8th delivered 84.2 mm to Preolenna, and over 50 mm to many other northern locations. Then between the 20th and 22nd several low centres passed near the state, bringing another 50 mm to central and eastern areas and over 90 mm to Gray, and on the 28th thunderstorms in the north brought more locally heavy falls of up to 50 mm. It was the wettest November for at least 20 years at a number of sites in the east, and some sites had their highest monthly rainfall in about 3 years. Because most of the rain was associated with low pressure systems rather than the more typical cold fronts and westerly winds, monthly rainfall totals were surprisingly evenly distributed across the state. Unusually, the far northwest tip and King Island had some of the lowest totals for the month, and Cape Grim was the driest location with a total of 48.0 mm.

Not enough to compensate for dry months: Despite good falls in November, many locations around the state are still around 200 mm below the long term average for January to November, and a few locations have had their driest January to November on record. In parts of the southeast, the year's rain will be well below average even if rainfall in December is well above average.

Cold southerly winds: Winds during November were mostly light and variable or southerly, leading to average or below temperatures on most days, especially in the south. Southerly winds brought cold weather and periods of highland snow between the 3rd and 6th, 15th and 17th, from the 22nd to the 25th and on the 29th - although the over land trajectory was sometimes sufficient to bring warmer than normal temperatures to the north. The only period of above average temperatures started on the 9th and culminated on the 13th, with some sites in the southeast reaching the low 30s. Over the whole month daytime temperatures were about half to one degree below average in most areas, and many parts of the east were cooler in November than they were in October.

Near average nights, though very cold at first: There were a number of cold mornings at the start of the month, especially the 5th when clear skies and light winds saw a number of locations fall below −2°C and Liawenee dropped to −6.8°C, the coldest ever temperature recorded in Tasmania in November. Bushy Park and Butlers Gorge had their lowest November temperature on record on this morning. The 16th and 17th were also cold, but otherwise night-time temperatures were generally near or above average. Averaged over the whole month, minima were within half a degree of the November average.

Further information

Ian Barnes-Keoghan
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
31.2°C at Hobart Airport and Ouse on the 13th
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
20.6°C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
8.9°C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
2.1°C at Mount Wellington on the 24th
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
−6.8°C at Liawenee on the 5th
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
1.0°C at Mount Wellington
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
11.3°C at Hogan Island
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
16.3°C at St Helens Aerodrome on the 14th
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
264.0 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall
Lowest total rainfall
48.0 mm at Cape Grim
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
84.2 mm at Preolenna on the 8th
Highest wind gust
135 km/h at Mount Wellington on the 8th

Records

Highest total November rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for November 2008 (mm)
Most recent higher
for November
Years since
higher
Average for
November
Gladstone (Old Post Office)* 147.2 154.2 in 1929 69 63.6
Launceston Airport Comparison 87.6 92.4 in 1975 33 50.1
Eddystone Point** 123.2 127.4 in 1978 28 59.1
Lewis Hill (St Pauls River) 90.8 102.6 in 1988 20 51.1
* This is the wettest November on record since 1929 at Gladstone. However, it is possible that 1952 was wetter than this year (the value for 1952 is missing).
**  Eddystone point may have had just as much rain, or more, in November 2001 (this value is missing from the records).

Record lowest November temperature
Lowest temperature
in November 2008 (°C)
Previous lowest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) −1.3 on the 5th −1.0 on the 16th in 1981 48 7.4
Butlers Gorge*** −5.5 on the 5th −4.2 on the 6th in 1974 35 3.8
*** Note that the original Butlers Gorge site closed in 1993, but a new site recently reopened at a location very close to the original.


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 November 2008
Maximum temperatures
for November
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for November
(°C)
Rainfall
for November
(millimetres)
Mean for
November
2008
Diff
from
average
Highest for
November
2008
Mean for
November
2008
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
November
2008
Total for
November
2008
Average
for
November
Rank of
November
2008
Fraction of
November
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport 18.2 0.0 23.5 12th 9.7 −0.1 2.5 4th 77.6 49.5 high 157%
Burnie 17.9 +0.2 22.6 28th 10.2 +0.6 4.4 16th 72.0 68.1 average 106%
Cape Grim BAPS 15.4 −0.4 21.1 13th 10.0 −0.5 4.1 5th 48.0 49.7 average 97%
Cressy Research Station 20.0   28.4 12th 6.4   −1.3 5th 88.8 47.1 high 189%
Devonport Airport 17.8 +0.3 22.5 20th 9.0 +0.1 2.2 4th 74.8 56.2 high 133%
Launceston 20.6 +0.2 28.5 12th 8.9 +0.1 2.5 4th 75.4 48.8 very high 155%
Launceston Airport 19.6   27.1 13th 7.0   0.5 16th 79.4
Launceston Airport Comparison 18.8 +0.1 26.3 12th 7.3 +0.2 0.3 4th 87.6 50.1 very high 175%
Low Head 17.1 −0.2 20.8 12th 10.6 −0.5 5.2 4th 69.6 38.0 high 183%
Luncheon Hill 14.8 −2.4 24.9 12th 5.8 −1.6 −0.5 4th 119.8 89.1 high 134%
Marrawah 16.5 −0.1 24.0 12th 9.4 +0.2 3.5 5th 60.8 68.0 average 89%
Powranna 20.0 +0.2 27.0 12th     −1.0 4th 73.4 51.9 high 141%
Scottsdale 18.0 −0.8 26.2 12th 7.8 +0.1 0.7 16th 106.0 69.9 high 152%
Sheffield School Farm 17.5 −0.4 24.5 12th 6.7 −0.7 1.0 4th 149.6 86.6 high 173%
Smithton Aerodrome 17.9 −0.4 22.2 23rd 8.7 +0.1 0.6 4th 58.8 50.0 average 118%
Wynyard Airport 17.9 +0.2 23.4 28th 8.5 +0.7 2.5 4th 78.4 74.2 average 106%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno 17.9 −0.5 24.8 9th 10.4 +0.4 5.3 4th 104.4 57.2 high 183%
Eddystone Point 18.2 +0.4 21.6 28th 10.5 −0.2 4.0 16th 123.2 59.1 very high 208%
Fingal 19.6 +0.2 29.5 13th 7.5 +0.6 0.3 17th 68.6 44.5 high 154%
Friendly Beaches 18.6 −1.0 25.7 9th 9.9 −0.2 5.3 4th 73.0 58.8 high 124%
Lake Leake 15.7 +0.2 26.7 13th 5.2 0.0 −2.2 5th 86.4 63.6 high 136%
Maria Island 17.3   24.8 9th 10.3   5.7 16th 69.2
Orford 18.1 −0.5 27.7 13th 9.3 +0.2 3.7 5th 71.2 64.5 average 110%
Scamander 17.8 −1.1 25.1 9th 10.3 +0.1 5.8 17th 118.3 62.0 high 191%
St Helens Aerodrome 18.0   22.6 10th 9.9   4.5 17th 109.4
Swan Island 16.7   21.3 13th 11.2   5.1 4th 116.8
Swansea Post Office 18.1 −1.0 27.6 11th 9.1 +0.1 3.0 1st 67.4 51.2 high 132%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross 19.4 −0.5 27.1 13th 7.0 +0.4 −1.6 5th 84.8 44.7 high 190%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay 16.9 −1.0 29.5 13th 9.1 −0.1 3.0 16th 83.8 50.4 high 166%
Campania 19.4   31.0 13th 8.1   −0.3 5th
Cape Bruny 16.1 −0.6 29.9 13th 9.1 −0.5 3.6 16th 64.0 49.1 average 130%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 15.3 −0.2 28.2 13th 9.3 +0.2 4.6 5th 76.6 75.4 average 102%
Dover 16.6 −0.9 30.4 13th 7.7 0.0 2.9 11th 80.2 71.6 average 112%
Geeveston 17.4 −0.8 29.9 13th 7.7 +0.2 2.7 11th 65.2 69.4 average 94%
Grove 18.0 −0.6 30.6 13th 7.4 +0.3 2.4 4th 72.8 66.1 average 110%
Grove 17.4   23.1 11th 6.7   1.1 11th 71.8
Hobart 18.2 −0.5 30.5 13th 9.5 +0.2 4.3 5th 74.2 53.9 high 138%
Hobart Airport 18.2 −0.7 31.2 13th 9.3 +0.2 3.0 1st 65.2 43.3 high 151%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 13.8 −0.6 26.3 13th 8.3 −0.1 4.2 16th 70.4 91.8 low 77%
Melton Mowbray 18.5 −1.3 29.0 13th 6.9 −0.3 −1.5 5th 66.2 36.2 high 183%
Mount Wellington 8.9 −0.1 19.1 13th 1.0 −0.5 −5.2 4th 147.2 81.7 high 180%
Tasman Island 13.9   23.6 13th 8.0   2.9 16th 96.2
Tunnack Fire Station 16.5 −0.9 25.6 13th 5.9 +0.1 −2.8 5th 79.8 48.9 high 163%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park 20.0 +0.2 30.7 13th 7.4 −0.1 −1.3 5th 54.0 53.1 average 102%
Maydena Post Office 17.3 −0.6 29.0 13th 6.5 +0.3 0.3 5th 93.7 91.0 average 103%
Ouse Fire Station 20.3 −0.7 31.2 13th 6.6 −0.2 −2.7 5th 67.6 39.8 very high 170%
Tarraleah Village 15.8 −0.3 25.5 13th 4.6 −0.1 −2.2 5th 95.1 97.2 average 98%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 14.9 +0.4 23.7 13th 3.5 −0.4 −5.5 5th 105.2 140.9 average 75%
Lake St Clair National Park 15.2 −0.2 23.5 12th 3.6 +0.2 −2.0 5th 123.8 136.8 average 90%
Liawenee 13.4   20.2 13th 1.7   −6.8 5th 128.4
West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain 11.8 −2.1 23.2 13th 3.3 −0.9 −1.4 4th 102.2 68.0 very high 150%
Mount Read 9.9 −0.8 19.0 12th 2.8 −0.2 −3.3 4th 264.0
Scotts Peak Dam 16.3 −1.3 26.9 13th 6.5 −0.2 0.9 16th
Strahan Aerodrome 17.4 −0.2 27.8 13th 8.0 −0.1 1.0 5th 102.0 91.5 average 111%
Strathgordon Village 15.6 −0.5 27.5 13th 6.9 −0.1 2.0 16th 159.9 178.5 average 90%
Warra 14.6   26.6 13th 5.4   0.4 16th 127.0
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 17.4 +0.3 29.6 13th 10.1 +0.2 2.7 5th 52.4 56.1 average 93%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 18.4 0.0 26.4 13th 10.5 +0.3 1.5 5th 84.0 54.9 high 153%
Hogan Island 17.5   28.0 13th 11.3   7.3 5th
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 5.5 −1.0 7.6 30th 1.6 −1.1 −2.6 4th 83.8 70.5 high 119%


Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Monday 1 December 2008. 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 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.

Further information

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