Tasmania in October 2010: Low level snow mid-month, heavy rain at the end

Low level snow, extremely cold temperatures and statewide rain affected the state in the middle of the month, along with heavy rain in the northwest on the final weekend, but otherwise October's weather was relatively benign. Total rainfall was near normal in most areas, while temperatures were mostly slightly warmer than usual.

  • Snow to 200 metres on the 16th
  • A chilly -7.4 °C at Liawenee on the 24th
  • 84 mm in 24 hours at Erriba on the 31st

Cold with low level snow around the 16th

Cold air from near Antarctica swept over Tasmania on the 15th and 16th after a cold front crossed the state. The morning of the 15th was relatively mild, but temperatures plummeted from then and snowfalls settled to as low as 200 metres in the south, making it one of the most significant snow events this year. A few snow flakes were even observed in central Hobart on the morning of the 16th. Day time temperatures were well below normal, with most sites struggling to reach 10 °C. Mount Wellington only reached -1.7 °C, the third coldest maximum temperature on record for Tasmania in October. Other sites had their coldest October day in 15 to 20 years, including Cape Bruny (8.0 °C), Low Head (8.3 °C), King Island (10.2 °C) and Strahan (10.3 °C). Dover, with 8.8 °C on the 16th, equalled its coldest October day (lowest maximum temperature) on record.

Heavy rain in the north and west on the 30-31st; near average rainfall overall

It was looking to be a drier than usual month until the final weekend. On the 30th and 31st, a trough and low pressure system brought heavy rain to the north and west with 40 to 80 mm falling in the northwest in 24 hours. Erriba had 84.4 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 31st, and Lorinna, Gowrie Park and Cape Grim had their wettest October day on record. Other wet days included the 6-7th, 12th, 15-16th and 22nd. Several sites in the northeast had over 20 mm on the 6th, with 35 mm falling at Eddystone Point, and most of the state received 15 to 25 mm on the 15-16th. 

These heavy rain events were balanced by periods with little rain, so for the whole month rainfall was near average over much of the state but drier than usual in most of the south. The wettest site was Mount Read, with 293 mm, while the driest was Fingal, with 27 mm.

Several cold days and a few warm ones

Temperatures for October were slightly warmer than usual despite several very cold days. The coldest days occurred on the 15th and 16th, when many sites had their coldest October day in 15 to 20 years. The overnight period from the 15th to 16th was also very cold, with Mount Wellington falling to -6.1 °C. It was even colder inland on the morning of the 24th when Liawenee fell to -7.4 °C, within a degree of Tasmania's coldest October temperature on record. 

In contrast, the morning of the 12th was mild as cloud and wind inhibited cooling overnight. Several sites had minima in the mid-teens, and Grove's temperature didn't fall below 16.1 °C. The morning of the 31st was even warmer for most sites, with Scottsdale (15.4 °C) having its warmest October night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record and several others sites in the north and east having their warmest October night in over 10 years. The temperature at Flinders Island didn't fall below 16.4 °C. Daytime temperatures peaked on the 22nd ahead of an approaching front. The highest temperatures were in the south and west with Scotts Peak Dam and Strahan both reaching 27.2 °C.

October 2010 in Hobart

Hobart had both hot and cold days during October. There were five days when the temperature exceeded 23 °C (usually in October there are only two such days) and the highest temperature was 26.8 °C on the 22nd. There were also two very cold days in the middle of the month, with maximums of just 11.0 °C and 10.9 °C on the 15th and 16th. The last time there were two such cold days in a row in October was in 1984. The coldest night also occurred at this time, with 2.7 °C recorded on the 16th. The morning of the 31st was much warmer, with a minimum of 15.1 °C making it the warmest October night since 2006.

For the whole month, the average minimum temperature of 8.3 °C was half a degree warmer than normal, while the average maximum temperature of 18.5 °C was over a degree above the long-term average. Daytime temperatures for the year to date have been the warmest on record, with an average January-October maximum temperature of 17.9 °C, beating the previous record of 17.7 °C set in 1992.

Hobart was also drier than usual for October, with just 44.4 mm of rain compared to the long-term average of 61.7 mm. This was despite a number of wet days, especially between the 13th and 19th.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in October 2010
Hottest day 27.2 °C at Scotts Peak Dam on the 22nd
27.2 °C at Strahan Aerodrome on the 22nd
27.2 °C at Scotts Peak Dam on the 29th
Warmest days on average 18.8 °C at Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates)
Coolest days on average7.8 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day -1.7 °C at Mount Wellington on the 16th
Coldest night -7.4 °C at Liawenee on the 24th
Coolest nights on average 0.4 °C at Mount Wellington
Warmest nights on average 10.6 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 16.4 °C at Flinders Island Airport on the 31st
Warmest on average overall 13.7 °C at Eddystone Point
Coolest on average overall4.4 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 292.6 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall27.2 mm at Fingal (Legge Street)
Wettest day 84.4 mm at Erriba (Jubb Road) on the 31st
Highest wind gust 137 km/h at Cape Grim BAPS on the 31st

Maps

ObservedAnomalyDecile 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 October daily rainfall

Highest daily rainfall
in October 2010 (mm)
Previous wettest
for October
Years of
record
Lorinna 62.2 on the 31st 50.8 on the 11th in 1958 55
Gowrie Park 68.4 on the 31st 65.0 on the 14th in 1986 35
Cape Grim BAPS 38.2 on the 31st 34.4 on the 14th in 1986 24



Record lowest October daily maximum temperature

Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in October 2010 (°C)
Previous coolest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Dover 8.8 on the 16th = 8.8 on the 9th in 2003 21 16.1



Record highest October mean daily maximum temperature

Mean daily maximum
temperature
for October 2010 (°C)
Previous warmest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Eddystone Point 18.0 = 18.0 in 2008 52 16.3



Record highest October daily minimum temperature

Highest daily minimum
temperature
in October 2010 (°C)
Previous warmest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 15.4 on the 31st 14.4 on the 24th in 2005 39 5.8



Summary statistics for October 2010

Maximum temperatures
for October
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for October
(°C)
Rainfall
for October
(millimetres)
Mean for
October
2010
Diff
from
average
Highest for
October
2010
Mean for
October
2010
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
October
2010
Total for
October
2010
Average
for
October
Rank of
October
2010
Fraction of
October
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 16.0 -0.4 20.0 30th 8.8 +0.9 2.0 16th 70.6 60.1 average 117%
Burnie (Round Hill) 16.0 +0.1 20.9 20th 8.6 +0.6 2.3 16th 82.2 85.5 average 96%
Cape Grim BAPS 14.6 +0.4 17.9 22nd 9.0 -0.2 3.7 16th 99.2 61.7 high 161%
Cressy Research Station 17.4 +0.3 22.2 22nd 5.9 +0.9 -1.7 1st 60.8 50.2 average 121%
Devonport Airport 16.1 +0.4 19.6 9th 8.0 +0.7 2.1 16th 73.2 64.7 average 113%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 18.7 +0.7 23.3 22nd 7.6 +0.7 1.7 1st 51.4 51.4 average 100%
Launceston Airport 17.7   22.6 22nd 5.9   0.4 1st 59.0


Low Head 15.2 -0.1 19.6 30th 10.1 +0.6 6.1 16th 64.0 53.5 average 120%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 14.9 +0.3 22.2 22nd 6.0 +0.1 0.3 16th 152.6 132.8 average 115%
Marrawah 14.9 0.0 19.0 22nd 8.1 0.0 3.3 16th 121.6 88.9 high 137%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 16.2 -0.2 20.3 22nd 6.8 +1.0 0.6 17th 84.2 84.1 average 100%
Sheffield School Farm 15.1 +0.1 19.9 20th 6.2 +0.5 1.1 16th 126.6 81.7 high 155%
Smithton Aerodrome 15.8 -0.4 18.7 29th 6.2 -0.8 0.2 24th 112.4 81.2 high 138%
Wynyard Airport 16.0 0.0 20.5 20th 6.2 +0.1 0.5 2nd 95.4 97.9 average 97%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 16.4 -1.0 22.2 12th 9.0 +0.6 3.4 16th 42.0 55.8 average 75%
Eddystone Point 18.0 +1.7 21.1 26th 9.4 +0.3 4.0 16th 70.0 69.3 average 101%
Fingal (Legge Street) 17.5 +0.1 24.2 22nd 5.5 +0.6 -1.1 20th 27.2 54.6 low 50%
Friendly Beaches 18.0 +0.1 25.9 22nd 8.7 +0.1 3.3 16th 41.2 60.6 average 68%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 14.5 +0.8 20.4 22nd 3.6 +0.1 -2.2 1st 53.8 75.4 average 71%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 16.4   22.5 22nd 9.2   2.5 16th 36.8


Orford (Aubin Court) 17.3 0.0 25.2 22nd 6.9 -0.3 1.4 17th 50.8 60.0 average 85%
Scamander 17.0 -0.5 24.8 22nd 8.9 +0.8 4.9 2nd 55.8 62.4 average 89%
St Helens Aerodrome 17.4   23.1 22nd 8.5   3.9 1st 58.2 70.1 average 83%
Swan Island 16.3   20.5 6th 10.6   4.2 16th 64.6


Swansea Post Office 17.9 +0.2 26.7 22nd 6.7 -0.5 1.3 1st 32.7 53.1 low 62%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 17.9 +1.0 23.0 22nd 4.9 0.0 -2.1 20th 50.0 42.8 average 117%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 18.7 +0.9 25.6 22nd 6.4 0.0 0.3 24th 29.6 40.3 low 73%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 16.2 +1.0 24.7 22nd 7.9 -0.3 2.2 16th 58.6 67.1 average 87%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 15.4 +1.0 23.5 22nd 8.0 +0.1 1.2 17th 70.2 83.5 average 84%
Dover 16.0 -0.1 25.6 22nd 5.5 -1.0 1.0 24th



Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 17.5 +1.2 26.1 22nd 5.8 -0.2 0.2 24th 61.8 91.5 low 68%
Grove (Research Station) 17.6   25.5 22nd 5.2   -1.2 24th 68.2


Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 18.5 +1.6 26.8 22nd 8.3 +0.5 2.7 16th 44.4 61.7 average 72%
Hobart Airport 18.4 +1.1 26.4 22nd 7.9 +0.4 2.6 3rd 30.2 46.6 low 65%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 14.0 +0.7 24.6 29th 7.8 +0.4 2.8 16th 71.8 105.9 low 68%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 17.1 +0.6 25.0 22nd 5.7 +0.1 -0.6 24th 38.4 42.4 average 91%
Mount Wellington 8.4 +1.5 16.4 22nd 0.4 +0.4 -6.1 16th 78.6 78.5 average 100%
Tasman Island 13.2   20.5 22nd 7.4   1.5 17th 66.8


Tunnack Fire Station 15.0 +0.7 20.9 22nd 4.4 0.0 -2.8 24th 41.2 54.7 average 75%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 18.8 +1.1 26.6 22nd 5.1 -0.7 -0.8 24th 40.0 57.3 average 70%
Maydena Post Office 16.2 +0.6 27.0 22nd 4.9 +0.2 -1.2 25th 78.8 120.4 low 65%
Ouse Fire Station 18.3 +0.7 25.7 22nd 4.8 -0.5 -0.1 2nd 33.0 53.1 low 62%
Tarraleah Village 14.1 +0.6 21.5 22nd 2.8 -0.5 -1.5 24th 91.0 110.9 average 82%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 13.0 +0.5 21.3 22nd 2.1 -0.3 -3.9 24th 125.4 159.4 average 79%
Lake St Clair National Park 13.0 +0.4 22.0 22nd 2.0 0.0 -4.6 24th 132.8 176.2 low 75%
Liawenee 11.7   19.2 21st 1.0   -7.4 24th 82.2 72.9 average 113%
West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 11.4 +0.7 20.1 22nd 2.7 +0.1 -3.2 16th 59.4 90.5 low 66%
Mount Read 7.8 +0.3 17.1 22nd 1.3 0.0 -4.7 16th 292.6 367.0 low 80%
Scotts Peak Dam 16.2 +2.0 27.2 29th 5.2 +0.2 -0.7 16th 156.0 167.5 low 93%
Strahan Aerodrome 16.7 +0.7 27.2 22nd 7.3 0.0 3.1 24th 131.6 104.8 average 126%
Strathgordon Village 14.8 +1.3 24.2 29th 4.9 -0.5 0.7 16th 167.8 249.1 low 67%
Warra 14.2   24.2 22nd 4.2   -1.2 16th 122.6


King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 16.2 +0.6 24.8 22nd 7.9 -0.9 2.6 28th 65.0 74.2 average 88%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 17.3 +0.6 24.2 22nd 9.4 +0.9 1.9 2nd 58.0 60.0 average 97%
Hogan Island 15.9   23.4 12th 10.2   6.5 17th 47.6


Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 6.1 +0.3 7.8 26th 2.4 +0.4 -2.8 18th 108.8 76.0 high 143%

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 Monday 1 November 2010. 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