Tasmania in November 2009: Warm and mostly dry - but a cool, wet finish

Heavy rain fell across the state on the 27th and 28th, bringing a cool and wet end to what was otherwise a warm and mostly dry month. There were record high November temperatures earlier in the month, but not to the same extent as in other states. Although the final few days were quite cool, Tasmania as a whole had its warmest mean maximum temperature and mean daily temperature on record for November.

A record warm November across Tasmania

Although the month ended generally cool, there was little in the way of cold weather and plenty of warm to hot days during November. As a result, the mean temperature across Tasmania was 2.5 °C above average, making it the warmest November on record for the state. This was part of pattern seen across southern Australia during the month, with NSW, Victoria, SA and Australia as a whole all having their highest mean November temperature on record. In Tasmania, daytime temperatures were particularly high, with the mean daily maximum temperature across the state 3.2 °C above average — also a record. Nights were warm, with the state mean daily minimum temperature 1.7 °C above average, the second-warmest for November. The Bureau of Meteorology has prepared a Special Climate Statement discussing the prolonged heatwave in central and south-eastern Australia.

Apart from the statewide average temperature records, many individual sites also had their highest November mean daily maximum or minimum temperature on record or their highest for many years.

Many hot days

There were several bursts of warm to hot days in Tasmania during November, as the mass of very hot air that had developed over the mainland affected the state. The first of these peaked on the 8th and 9th, when some sites had their highest November temperature on record. Temperatures eased a little after that, but mostly warm days continued (except in the southeast) until a second peak occurred on the 19th and 20th. Bicheno reached 35.1 °C on the 20th, the state's highest temperature for this month and a new record for the site (but still short of the state record of 38.5 °C at Hobart Airport in 1966).

Examples of persistent high temperatures abound. Hobart had four days over 28 °C: 28.3 °C on the 8th and 31.6 °C on the 9th, then 31.3 °C on the 19th and 32.6 °C on the 20th. In the years since 1895, Hobart has averaged just one day above 28 °C each November, has had a November with four days above 28 °C just three times before, and has had two consecutive November days over 31 °C only once before.

In the north of the state, the longevity of the warm weather was notable. For example, Launceston's temperatures from the 7th to the 12th were 25.7 °C, 28.6 °C, 30.0 °C, 27.8 °C, 24.3 °C and 26.8  °C; the first recorded run (since 1980) of six November days over 24 °C. Launceston had the warmest days on average in Tasmania and several sites, mainly in the north and east, had their highest November mean daily maximum temperature on record or their highest for many years.

The coldest days were at the end of the month for many sites, as rain from a low pressure system and the subsequent cold southerly winds kept temperatures down. In Hobart, the temperature didn't exceed 14 °C for the last four days. Mount Wellington only reached 3.3 °C on the 29th, but this wasn't quite the coldest temperature for the month: Mount Read reached just 3.0 °C on the 4th after a cold front crossed the state. Overall, maximum temperatures were one to two degrees warmer than usual in the east and around three degrees warmer than usual in the west and on the Bass Strait islands. 

Many mild nights

There were a few cold nights between the 4th and 6th (Mount Wellington fell to -2.5 °C on the 4th), but otherwise overnight temperatures were above average almost the entire time. Mean monthly minima were around two degrees warmer than usual and a handful of sites (including Launceston) had their warmest mean mean minimum temperature on record for November. Most other sites were their warmest since 2000. On the 10th neither Luncheon Hill (in the northwest) nor Hogan Island (in Bass Strait) fell below 17 °C, and most sites were five to ten degrees warmer than usual. Several other nights were much warmer than usual, including the 14th, 20th, 25th and 27th. The persistence of mild temperatures is illustrated by the number of nights when the temperature stayed above 10 °C; Hobart, Launceston and Devonport all had over twenty such nights, almost double the November average of twelve.

Heavy rain at the end but mostly dry otherwise

A complex low pressure trough moved near Tasmania between the 27th and 29th bringing heavy rain to the east and moderate totals elsewhere. Most areas received 20 to 40 mm but over 60 mm drenched the East Coast and over 100 mm fell in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 29th at Eaglehawk Neck and Mount Wellington; these two sites were amongst those to have their wettest November day on record. There was also statewide rain with a front on the 3rd and a low on the 22nd, though totals were not so impressive. Another low crossed on the afternoon of the 16th, triggering thunderstorms in the north and northeast that were locally severe: Tunnack and Launceston Airport had almost 30 mm in 30 minutes, an intensity expected about once every 50 years on average. 

For the whole month, rainfall was fairly uniform across the state with 60 to 80 mm falling in most areas. A few sites on the East Coast and in the western highlands had over 100 mm and the wettest location was Mount Wellington with 201.8 mm (its highest November rainfall on record). Swansea and Scamander had their highest total November rainfall for at least 20 years. King Island was the driest area, with only 33.4 mm recorded at the airport. Elsewhere in the state, only parts of the northern Midlands and Derwent Valley had less than 50 mm. 

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in November 2009
Hottest day 35.1 °C at Bicheno (Council Depot) on the 20th
Warmest days on average 22.3 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest days on average12.8 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day3.0 °C at Mount Read on the 4th
Coldest night -2.5 °C at Mount Wellington on the 4th
Coolest nights on average4.4 °C at Mount Wellington
Warmest nights on average 13.6 °C at Hogan Island
Warmest night 17.8 °C at Luncheon Hill (Forestry) on the 10th
Wettest overall 201.8 mm at Mount Wellington
Driest overall33.4 mm at King Island Airport
Wettest day 113.6 mm at Eaglehawk Neck (Jetty Road) on the 29th
Highest wind gust 133 km/h at Hogan Island on the 3rd

Record highest November daily rainfall

Highest daily rainfall
in November 2009 (mm)
Previous highest
for November
Years of
record
Eaglehawk Neck (Jetty Road) 113.6 on the 29th 85.3 on the 21st in 1954 84
Bicheno (Council Depot) 82.8 on the 29th 79.2 on the 21st in 1954 83
Risdon Vale (Poplar Road) 33.0 on the 29th 32.0 on the 18th in 1969 30
Mount Wellington 101.2 on the 29th 69.0 on the 24th in 2001 28
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 44.0 on the 29th 32.6 on the 6th in 2004 27
Nugent (Twilight Valley) 55.4 on the 29th 44.0 on the 9th in 1989 26

Record highest total November rainfall

Total rainfall
for November 2009 (mm)
Previous highest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Mount Wellington 201.8 175.4 in 2001 28 86.0

Highest total November rainfall for at least 20 years

Total rainfall
for November 2009 (mm)
Most recent higher
for November
Years since
higher
Average for
November
Swansea Post Office 139.0 156.0 in 1943 66 51.6
Scamander 111.2 134.2 in 1978 20 63.4


Record highest November temperature

Highest temperature
in November 2009 (°C)
Previous highest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Marrawah 29.0 on the 9th 27.6 on the 13th in 1988 39 16.6
Bicheno (Council Depot) 35.1 on the 20th 33.9 on the 15th in 2003 35 18.3
Wynyard Airport 30.5 on the 19th 28.4 on the 18th in 2002 23 17.7
Lake St Clair National Park 28.0 on the 8th 27.7 on the 19th in 2007 20 15.3


Record highest November mean daily maximum temperature

Mean daily maximum
temperature
for November 2009 (°C)
Previous highest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Burnie (Round Hill) 20.1 20.0 in 2007 60 17.7
Eddystone Point 20.2 19.9 in 1959 50 17.8
Butlers Gorge 18.2 16.8 in 1958 46 14.5
Flinders Island Airport 21.5 20.2 in 2000 46 18.4
Marrawah 19.5 19.3 in 2000 38 16.6
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 20.9 20.8 in 1982 37 18.7
Mount Wellington 12.8 12.2 in 2007 25 9.0
Fingal (Legge Street) 21.6 21.5 in 2007 23 19.4
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 20.2 20.0 in 2007 23 18.2
Wynyard Airport 20.9 19.7 in 2007 22 17.7

Highest November mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years

Mean daily maximum
temperature
for November 2009 (°C)
Most recent higher
for November
Years since
higher
Average for
November
Bicheno (Council Depot) 19.7 19.8 in 1966 33 18.3
Orford (Aubin Court) 20.0 22.3 in 1982 27 18.6


Record highest November mean daily minimum temperature

Mean daily minimum
temperature
for November 2009 (°C)
Previous highest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 9.3 9.2 in 2000 73 7.5
Hobart Airport 11.2 = 11.2 in 2000 51 9.1
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 11.3 11.1 in 2000 26 8.8
Tarraleah Village 6.9 6.8 in 2000 26 4.7
Mount Wellington 4.4 = 4.4 in 2000 25 1.4



Summary statistics for November 2009

Maximum temperatures
for November
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for November
(°C)
Rainfall
for November
(millimetres)
Mean for
November
2009
Diff
from
average
Highest for
November
2009
Mean for
November
2009
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
November
2009
Total for
November
2009
Average
for
November
Rank of
November
2009
Fraction of
November
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 19.9 +1.6 27.0 19th 11.6 +1.8 5.2 5th 55.4 49.9 average 111%
Burnie (Round Hill) 20.1 +2.4 30.3 19th 12.6 +2.9 6.4 4th 61.9 68.0 average 91%
Cape Grim BAPS 18.1 +2.3 27.2 10th 12.2 +1.8 8.3 15th



Cressy Research Station 22.0 +1.5 31.6 19th 9.0 +2.1 1.5 5th 66.4 48.9 average 136%
Devonport Airport 19.5 +2.0 24.5 19th 11.6 +2.7 4.9 4th 67.8 56.6 average 120%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 22.3 +1.9 30.0 9th 11.3 +2.5 4.4 5th 58.4 49.2 average 119%
Launceston Airport 21.4   29.5 9th 9.5   3.0 5th 72.8


Low Head 18.6 +1.3 24.6 19th 12.9 +1.8 8.0 6th 66.0 43.3 high 152%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 20.2 +3.1 30.8 9th 10.1 +2.7 4.1 6th 61.0 87.2 low 70%
Marrawah 19.5 +2.9 29.0 9th 11.3 +2.2 6.0 15th 73.4 68.2 average 108%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 20.9 +2.2 29.3 19th 9.9 +2.2 1.4 5th 62.8 69.4 average 90%
Sheffield School Farm 19.7 +1.8 28.7 19th 9.3 +1.9 4.4 4th 94.2 86.9 average 108%
Smithton Aerodrome 20.5 +2.3 27.1 19th 10.2 +1.7 3.1 6th 82.4 52.5 high 157%
Wynyard Airport 20.9 +3.2 30.5 19th 9.8 +1.9 3.5 6th 71.6 74.3 average 96%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 19.7 +1.4 35.1 20th 11.6 +1.6 5.0 4th 129.8 58.1 v high 223%
Eddystone Point 20.2 +2.5 30.0 9th 12.4 +1.7 6.5 5th 99.4 59.5 high 167%
Fingal (Legge Street) 21.6 +2.2 31.8 20th 8.8 +1.8 0.9 5th 52.4 44.6 average 117%
Friendly Beaches 20.7 +1.2 33.2 20th 11.7 +1.6 6.5 6th 45.4 57.7 average 79%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 18.3 +2.7 28.2 19th 7.1 +2.0 -1.1 6th 65.0 63.6 average 102%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 18.8   29.6 20th 11.7   7.8 4th 103.6


Orford (Aubin Court) 20.0 +1.4 31.4 20th 11.1 +2.0 6.4 5th 91.4 65.0 high 141%
Scamander 20.0 +1.1 32.8 20th 11.7 +1.4 5.7 5th 111.2 63.4 high 175%
St Helens Aerodrome 20.4   32.9 9th 11.5   5.3 5th 144.0


Swan Island 18.8   26.8 20th 13.0   8.7 5th 76.2


Swansea Post Office 20.2 +1.1 32.0 20th 10.7 +1.8 3.6 6th 139.0 51.6 v high 269%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 21.6 +1.8 32.4 19th 9.0 +2.3 0.3 6th 61.6 45.6 high 135%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 21.3   33.5 20th 9.5   2.5 6th 57.4


Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 17.8 +1.2 25.6 9th 10.6 +1.0 6.8 4th 53.2 49.5 average 107%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 16.9 +1.3 24.7 9th 11.1 +2.1 9.0 6th 50.0 75.2 low 66%
Dover 18.7 +1.3 31.7 20th 8.8 +1.1 4.0 5th 71.6 71.5 average 100%
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 20.2 +2.0 32.9 9th 9.4 +1.9 5.6 15th 70.0 69.5 average 101%
Grove (Research Station) 20.1   31.9 9th 8.5   1.4 6th 50.8


Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 19.9 +1.3 32.6 20th 11.2 +2.0 5.8 6th 68.8 54.0 high 127%
Hobart Airport 20.1 +1.2 32.6 20th 11.2 +2.0 5.5 6th 55.4 43.6 high 127%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 15.4 +1.1 23.8 9th 9.8 +1.4 6.4 4th 41.4 91.9 v low 45%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 20.5 +0.8 31.0 20th 8.8 +1.6 2.2 6th 54.4 37.5 high 145%
Mount Wellington 12.8 +3.7 23.7 9th 4.4 +2.9 -2.5 4th 201.8 86.0 highest 235%
Tasman Island 16.6   30.3 20th 9.6   5.7 4th 98.6


Tunnack Fire Station 18.2 +0.9 28.5 20th 7.8 +2.0 0.8 6th 117.8 55.5 v high 212%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 22.1 +2.3 33.1 9th 9.3 +1.8 1.3 6th 39.8 52.7 average 76%
Maydena Post Office 19.7 +1.9 32.0 9th 7.9 +1.5 4.0 4th 100.7 91.5 average 110%
Ouse Fire Station 22.2 +1.2 33.6 9th 8.7 +1.9 1.3 6th 45.6 40.3 average 113%
Tarraleah Village 19.1 +2.9 28.5 9th 6.9 +2.2 0.0 8th 73.0 97.2 low 75%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 18.2 +3.7 28.0 8th 5.4 +1.5 -1.6 15th 81.6 139.9 low 58%
Lake St Clair National Park 18.5 +3.1 28.0 8th 5.2 +1.8 -1.0 15th 83.6 134.3 low 62%
Liawenee 18.4   27.4 9th 5.1   -1.6 4th 68.6


West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 15.4 +1.7 26.9 9th 6.0 +1.8 0.2 4th 86.6 69.6 high 124%
Mount Read 14.0 +3.3 24.4 9th 5.9 +2.9 -0.9 4th 172.2 201.1 average 86%
Scotts Peak Dam 20.2 +2.7 31.4 9th 8.4 +1.7 3.8 4th 90.4 87.8 average 103%
Strahan Aerodrome 20.0 +2.4 30.2 8th 10.0 +1.8 4.7 7th 69.4 82.5 average 84%
Strathgordon Village 18.8 +2.7 30.0 9th 8.7 +1.7 4.6 4th 136.4 177.5 low 77%
Warra 17.3   29.4 9th 7.2   2.9 4th 124.6


King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 19.9 +2.7 30.2 9th 12.1 +2.2 6.0 6th 33.4 55.6 low 60%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 21.5 +3.1 33.0 19th 12.1 +2.0 3.6 6th 68.4 55.1 high 124%
Hogan Island 19.9   29.5 19th 13.6   9.7 4th 60.6


Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 5.8 -0.7 8.1 30th 1.6 -1.1 -0.7 15th 110.2 71.1 v high 155%

Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Tasmania using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Tuesday 1 December 2009. 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

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries