Tasmania in June 2011: Wind, waves, rain and snow along with volcanic ash

The start of June was wet and windy with some large waves and plenty of snow. More rain followed in the middle of the month so that overall it was wetter than usual across nearly all of the state. Average temperatures were not far from normal in most areas though individual days varied widely. 

  • 114 mm at Tunnack in a day
  • -8.7 C at Liawenee on the 15th
  • Volcanic ash affected the state on several days

Wild weather at the start of the month

A week of strong winds, large waves, heavy rain, flooding and significant snowfalls affected Tasmania at the start of the month. Wind gusts reached 139 km/h at Maatsuyker Island on the 7th while waves reached over 15 metres on the west coast of Tasmania and swells reached 6 metres at Cape Bruny early the next day. Snow settled to around 400 metres, with over half a metre recorded on Ben Lomond on the 8th bringing an early start to the snow season. 

Heavy rain followed, with several sites in the east receiving 50 to 100 mm in a day on the 8th. York Plains (48.0 mm), Hobart Airport (46.6 mm) and Richmond (53.8 mm) had their wettest June day on record. The highest daily total was at Tunnack, where 114 mm fell in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 9th. Rainfall of this intensity around Tunnack is expected only once in a hundred years, on average. Many rivers in the south and east experienced minor to moderate flooding that persisted until the 12th in some areas. 

Wet overall, except on Flinders Island

Along with the heavy rain around the 8th (from a low pressure system), showers and rain persisted in the west between the 17th and 27th as a number of cold fronts crossed the state. Of note was the cold front on the 20th that brought over 50 mm to higher ground in the north, including around 80 mm at Liffey and Quamby Bluff. Minor to moderate flooding developed in several northern river basins.

The whole month was wetter than usual across nearly all of Tasmania, especially in the Midlands where totals of 80 to 100 mm were more than double the long-term average. The central west was the wettest area, with at least 458 mm falling on Mount Read. A few parts of the north coast were slightly drier than usual, and northern parts of Flinders Island received only about half the usual rainfall for June. Fort Direction (34 mm) and Flinders Island Airport (35 mm) were the driest sites.

Warm and cool periods

There were warm and cool periods both during the day and overnight but for the whole month average temperatures were mostly within half a degree of normal. Orford was an exception, having its lowest June mean daily minimum temperature since 1986 after several cold nights.

The warmest temperatures occurred in northerly airstreams at the start of the month and around the 25th with many sites reaching over 15 C during the day and not dropping below 10 C in the night. The highest daytime temperatures were 19.1 C and 18.9 C at Swansea on the 1st and 2nd, while Bicheno had the warmest night — 12.9 C on the 3rd. Geeveston had its warmest June night on record on the 25th, not falling below 11.7 C.

Some of the coldest nights occurred in the middle of the month as a high pressure system moved near the state. Liawenee fell below -7 C for 3 nights in a row, falling as low as -8.7 C on the 15th. The coldest day was -1.3 C at Mount Wellington on the 21st after a cold front crossed the state and snow fell on the mountain.

Hobart: wet with widely varying temperatures

June in Hobart was slightly wetter than usual with a total of 64.4 mm. This contrasts with the last two June's: there was less than half the 144 mm that fell in June 2009, and more than five times the 12.4 mm total from June 2010. More than half this month's rain fell between the 7th and 9th when a low pressure system moved near the state.

The coldest days were the 15th and 16th, with the temperature reaching just 9.0 C on the 15th then falling to 0.8 C early the next day. Interestingly, Mount Wellington was warmer than Hobart for nearly all of the 15th and some of the 16th. While Hobart fell to 0.8 C, the temperature on Mount Wellington remained above 8 C.

There were also some very mild nights. On the 20th Hobart's midnight temperature of 15.5 C was one of the warmest on record for June. A few days later on the 24th it was 15.1 C at 6 am — the last time this happened in June was 1986. The temperature climbed to 17.4 C later in the day, Hobart's highest temperature for the month.

Volcanic ash affects the state

An eruption of the Cordn Caulle volcano in Chile beginning on the 4th sent millions of tonnes of volcanic ash into the atmosphere that began encircling the globe. Volcanic ash moved into the air above Tasmania between the 12th and 15th then again on the 22nd and 23rd. Flights into and out of the state were disrupted, affecting thousands of people.

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Extremes in June 2011
Hottest day 19.1 C at Swansea (Maria Street) on the 1st
Warmest days on average 14.9 C at Bicheno (Council Depot)
Coolest days on average 4.5 C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day -1.3 C at Mount Wellington on the 21st
Coldest night -8.7 C at Liawenee on the 15th
Coolest nights on average -1.4 C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 9.3 C at Hogan Island
Warmest night 12.9 C at Bicheno (Council Depot) on the 3rd
Warmest on average overall 11.5 C at Hogan Island and Swan Island
Coolest on average overall 2.3 C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 458.0 mm at Mount Read**
Driest overall 34.0 mm at Fort Direction
Wettest day 114.0 mm at Tunnack Fire Station on the 9th
Highest wind gust 139 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on the 7th
** This is the minimum amount of precipitation at Mount Read, as some snow was probably lost. The next wettest overall was 398.4 mm at Lake Margaret Power Station.
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 June daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in June 2011 (mm)
Previous wettest
for June
Years of
record
York Plains (Handroyd) 48.0 on the 9th 45.8 on the 2nd in 1981 95
Hobart Airport 46.6 on the 8th 42.2 on the 1st in 1964 54
Richmond (Strathayr) 53.8 on the 8th 37.4 on the 26th in 2009 23



Record highest June daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in June 2011 (C)
Previous warmest
for June
Years of
record
Average for
June
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 11.7 on the 25th 11.0 on the 23rd in 2004 24 2.2



Lowest June mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for June 2011 (C)
Most recent June
at least this cool
Years since
cooler
Average for
June
Orford (Aubin Court) 2.8 =2.8 in 1986 25 4.1




Summary statistics for June 2011
Maximum temperatures
for June
(C)
Minimum temperatures
for June
(C)
Rainfall
for June
(millimetres)
Mean for
June
2011
Diff
from
average
Highest for
June
2011
Mean for
June
2011
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
June
2011
Total for
June
2011
Average
for
June
Rank of
June
2011
Fraction of
June
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 13.8 -0.2 16.6 11th 6.8 +0.6 1.1 6th 81.1 87.7 average 92%
Burnie (Round Hill) 14.1 +0.7 17.5 11th 6.8 +0.1 1.3 13th 80.7 102.9 average 78%
Cape Grim 12.8   14.5 25th 8.6   2.8 15th 106.2
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 12.8 -0.2 15.1 25th 8.6 -0.1 3.3 15th 108.8 81.4 high 134%
Cressy Research Station 12.0 -0.3 16.1 24th 2.3 +0.6 -3.8 19th 98.6 63.3 high 156%
Devonport Airport 13.8 +0.5 16.7 1st 5.0 -0.1 0.8 14th 62.2 78.7 average 79%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 13.1 0.0 16.7 2nd 3.1 +0.2 -1.3 15th 113.0 69.0 v high 164%
Launceston Airport 11.7   16.1 1st 2.6   -3.5 15th 110.4
Low Head 13.2 -0.3 15.7 1st 7.8 +0.4 2.6 14th 58.2 73.7 average 79%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 11.1 -0.1 16.6 1st 5.3 -0.4 1.5 6th 199.6 147.3 average 136%
Marrawah 13.0 +0.2 15.2 1st 7.8 +0.4 1.5 15th 108.4 122.1 average 89%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 12.4 -0.2 16.1 1st 4.2 0.0 -0.9 6th 113.6 104.2 average 109%
Sheffield School Farm 11.7 +0.1 15.2 24th 3.6 -0.3 -1.0 15th 81.0 107.3 low 75%
Smithton Aerodrome 13.4 -0.3 16.1 25th 4.7 -0.2 -0.9 28th
Wynyard Airport 13.7 +0.3 16.6 25th 3.7 -0.4 -1.0 14th 90.6 110.1 average 82%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 14.9 +0.4 18.4 24th 6.0 -0.6 1.1 6th 57.0 60.8 average 94%
Eddystone Point 14.3 +0.5 17.9 2nd 7.9 -0.1 2.6 6th 45.2 74.5 low 61%
Fingal (Legge Street) 12.6 -0.1 17.2 24th 0.5 -0.6 -4.7 19th 98.0 64.8 high 151%
Friendly Beaches 14.1 0.0 18.0 2nd 5.9 -0.5 0.6 28th 67.8 37.2 high 182%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 9.2 +0.2 14.4 1st 0.2 -0.4 -4.7 28th 105.6 86.7 high 122%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 13.2   16.4 24th 7.9   4.8 15th 39.2
Orford (Aubin Court) 13.2 -0.1 17.4 3rd 2.8 -1.3 -1.8 29th 63.7 53.1 average 120%
Scamander 14.3 -0.1 18.6 24th 5.2 -0.3 1.5 6th 83.7 54.0 high 155%
St Helens Aerodrome 13.8 -0.2 17.1 1st 5.2 -0.3 0.4 19th 66.8 56.6 high 118%
Swan Island 14.1   18.0 2nd 8.9   5.5 6th 55.4 58.4 average 95%
Swansea (Maria Street) 14.2   19.1 1st 2.7   -1.8 28th 57.6
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 11.8 +0.1 15.7 1st 1.4 -0.4 -5.0 19th 76.8 41.0 high 187%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 13.0 +0.4 17.0 24th 5.9 -0.2 2.0 16th 49.6 47.3 average 105%
Campania (Kincora) 13.7 +0.1 18.1 1st 3.3 -0.4 -1.8 16th 101.4 43.5 high 233%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 12.2 -0.2 16.1 25th 6.7 -0.5 3.3 16th 68.6 74.8 average 92%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 12.1 +0.5 15.5 25th 6.5 -0.2 3.7 16th 82.6 90.4 average 91%
Dover 12.5 -0.1 16.6 25th 3.6 -0.2 -1.4 16th 109.6 79.1 high 139%
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 12.5 +0.2 16.4 2nd 2.6 +0.4 -2.6 15th 119.0 72.9 high 163%
Grove (Research Station) 12.8   17.6 2nd 1.6   -2.7 28th 117.6
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 13.2 +1.2 17.4 24th 5.2 0.0 0.8 16th 64.4 54.3 high 119%
Hobart Airport 13.6 +0.7 17.4 2nd 4.7 +0.1 -0.5 16th 87.8 32.6 v high 269%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 11.4 0.0 16.4 2nd 7.8 +0.6 4.5 6th 150.9 118.5 high 127%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 11.9 0.0 16.3 2nd 1.6 -0.5 -5.1 16th 60.4 35.7 high 169%
Mount Wellington 4.5 +0.9 10.5 15th -0.2 +0.6 -4.5 6th 47.0 71.5 average 66%
Tasman Island 11.2   14.5 25th 7.4   3.3 6th 68.8
Tunnack Fire Station 10.1 +0.2 14.4 1st 1.9 -0.3 -5.1 15th 210.4 65.9 v high 319%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 12.5 +1.3 17.6 25th 0.9 -1.2 -2.7 28th 62.2 48.5 high 128%
Maydena Post Office 10.9 +0.1 14.6 25th 2.2 -0.3 -1.8 14th 166.5 100.9 high 165%
Ouse Fire Station 12.2 +0.3 16.8 25th 0.6 -0.7 -3.7 29th 41.0 45.2 average 91%
Tarraleah Village 9.5 +0.7 15.0 1st 1.1 +0.4 -3.8 15th 132.3 102.8 high 129%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 8.8 +1.2 14.5 1st 0.1 -0.1 -5.4 29th 231.6 154.0 high 150%
Lake St Clair National Park 7.8 +0.1 12.7 1st 0.1 -0.1 -5.9 15th 252.2 172.8 high 146%
Liawenee 6.6 +0.1 13.6 15th -1.4 -0.4 -8.7 15th 115.4 110.2 average 105%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 12.9 +0.7 15.4 2nd 8.0 +0.4 3.9 15th 121.8 141.8 average 86%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 6.9 -0.2 14.3 29th 2.2 0.0 -1.6 6th 123.6 95.2 average 130%
Mount Read 4.8 +0.1 8.9 1st 0.7 -0.2 -2.9 6th
Scotts Peak Dam 9.7 0.0 15.0 2nd 3.9 -0.1 -0.8 16th 279.2 190.9 high 146%
Strahan Aerodrome 12.6 0.0 17.8 2nd 5.7 +0.2 -0.3 29th 206.8 153.1 high 135%
Strathgordon Village 10.0 +0.5 13.4 2nd 3.8 0.0 0.7 2nd 337.4 217.2 high 155%
Warra 9.3   14.0 2nd 2.9   -0.9 29th
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 14.0 +0.1 17.7 2nd 8.1 0.0 1.9 15th 90.4 98.7 average 92%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 14.3 +0.2 17.6 2nd 7.2 +0.2 -0.2 15th 35.0 70.9 low 49%
Hogan Island 13.6   16.0 3rd 9.3   4.9 8th 73.2
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 5.7 +0.7 8.1 22nd 2.7 +1.2 -2.8 15th 90.4 76.3 high 118%


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 Friday 1 July 2011. 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