Tasmania in July 2012: a relatively dry and mild month, despite some cold and wet weather

Despite a cold and wet end to the month, Tasmania in July 2012 was drier than usual and the days were milder than usual.

  • Mostly dry weather, but the western highlands still wet
  • Not many cold days, and a few mild ones
  • Some cold nights
  • Generally warmer than July 2011 but cooler than July 2010

Dry weather dominates

Dry days were more common than wet during July 2012. High pressure systems deflected many of the rain-bearing systems away from Tasmania. Almost the entire state had below-average total rain for the month, with some areas well below average and pockets in the southern Midlands and on Flinders Island nudging records. Below Craigbourne Dam (on the Coal River) reported just 7.0 mm, whilst Memana's 10.6 mm and Rotherwood's 9.4 mm were their lowest total July rainfalls on record.

A complex area of low pressure moving in from Victoria brought rain to many areas from the 11th to the 13th. It was followed by a string of cold fronts and troughs up to the 20th. This period saw a few wet days in the north, with some daily totals over 20 mm at a few sites. It also ensured that even in a relatively dry month Mount Read in the western highlands received a total of 363.4 mm. A marked cold outbreak from the 28th brought snow to the highlands but not especially high precipitation totals (more fell after 9 am on the 31st, and will be counted in August's totals).

Not many cold days, and a few mild ones

July is winter, so cold weather is expected in Tasmania. But this July there were less cold days than usual, and a few relatively mild days. Temperatures over 17 °C were reported on several occasions: the mildest day was at Friendly Beaches with 17.4 °C on the 17th, but Campania reached 17.1 °C on the 12th, as did Eddystone Point with on the 20th, and Hobart reached 17.0 °C on the 6th.

There were some cold days, especially early and late in the month: Ouse stayed below 8 °C from the 7th to the 10th, and Mount Wellington only reached -1.7 °C on the 29th.

Overall, daytime temperatures were above average at most stations, typically by between half and one degree. It was generally warmer than July 2011, but cooler than July 2010

Some cold nights

With high pressure systems close to the state ensuring clear skies and light winds, some low overnight temperatures were inevitable. This was especially true from the 1st to the 9th, and from the 19th to the 24th. The coldest nights were at Butlers Gorge with -6.7 °C on the 8th, followed by Liawenee with -6.6 °C on the 24th. Flinders Island Airport dipped below 3.5 °C every night from the 2nd to the 9th, their longest recorded run of July nights that cold.

There were some relatively mild nights, especially from the 10th to the 18th; Flinders Island Airport's minimum on the 17th was 12.5 °C.

Overall, overnight temperatures were within half a degree of average at most sites. It was a little cooler than average in some areas, but slightly above average at several sites (especially on the West Coast). As with daytime temperatures, it was generally warmer than July 2011, but cooler than July 2010

Hobart: mild and dry weather predominates

The month ended cold and wet for Hobart, but relatively mild and dry weather predominated through July.

There were three days over 16 °C (17.0 °C on the 6th, 16.5 °C on the 12th and 16.4 °C on the 17th), but the 9.2 °C on the 29th was the only day less than 10 °C. In a typical July, Hobart has only one day over 16 °C and seven days less than 10 °C. The maximum temperature averaged across the month was 12.9 °C, which is 1.2 °C above the long-term average and more typical of the mean for August.

There were several below-average nights (dipping down to 1.1 °C on the morning of the 8th and 1.7 °C on the 9th), but these were balanced out by some mild ones (notably 8.9 °C on the 13th and 9.1 °C on the 17th). Hobart's average daily minimum temperature for the month was 4.7 °C , just 0.1 °C above the long-term average.

Hobart's rainfall for the month added up to 18.2 mm, which is just 35% of the long-term average of 51.8 mm. By comparison, last July the city received 50.2 mm, but in 2010 it had only 7.4 mm. Much of the rain came around the 16th (when wind gusts to 74 km/h were also reported), or in the last few days of the month (and continued into August).

The year to date

With a very wet May in many parts of the state, rainfall totals over the last three months were above average. Totals for the first 7 months of 2012 are close to average: wetter than usual in some areas (notably the far southeast), but drier than usual in a few pockets. Daytime temperatures have been slightly above normal, with overnight temperatures much warmer than usual, especially around the southeast and the Derwent Valley.

Further information

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Extremes in July 2012
Hottest day 17.4 °C at Friendly Beaches on the 17th
Warmest days on average 14.3 °C at Eddystone Point
Coolest days on average 3.2 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day -1.7 °C at Mount Wellington on the 29th
Coldest night -6.7 °C at Butlers Gorge on the 8th
Coolest nights on average -1.6 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 8.7 °C at Cape Grim
Warmest night 12.5 °C at Flinders Island Airport on the 17th
Warmest on average overall 10.8 °C at Swan Island
Coolest on average overall 1.2 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 363.4 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall 7.0 mm at Below Craigbourne Dam (Coal River)
Wettest day 51.2 mm at Mount Read on the 20th
Highest wind gust 131 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on the 15th

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 lowest total July rainfall
Total rainfall
for July 2012 (mm)
Previous driest
for July
Years of
record
Average for
July
Memana (Babel Farm) 10.6 21.8 in 1976 49 78.9
Rotherwood 9.4 13.2 in 2010 41 48.7

Lowest total July rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for July 2012 (mm)
Most recent July
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
July
Waddamana Field Study Centre 21.2 18.8 in 1957* 52 77.6
Levendale 16.6 12.9 in 1940* 45 59.9
York Plains (Handroyd) 14.8 11.5 in 1971 41 46.2
Devonport Airport 35.8 30.0 in 1977* 34 94.4
Latrobe (Coal Road) 43.8 40.4 in 1977* 34 121.5

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported.


Summary statistics for July 2012
Maximum temperatures
for July
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for July
(°C)
Rainfall
for July
(millimetres)
Mean for
July
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
July
2012
Mean for
July
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
July
2012
Total for
July
2012
Average
for
July
Rank of
July
2012
Fraction of
July
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 13.4 +0.2 15.5 20th 5.3 -0.1 1.3 29th
Cape Grim 12.5   13.9 25th 8.7   5.4 31st 96.0
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 12.8 +0.3 14.9 13th 8.6 +0.4 5.5 31st 98.8 102.1 average 97%
Cressy Research Station 11.6 -0.2 14.6 13th 1.7 +0.2 -3.3 4th 30.6 56.5 v low 54%
Devonport Airport 13.0 +0.3 14.9 28th 4.2 -0.4 -0.4 30th 35.8 94.4 v low 38%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 12.9 +0.3 16.0 6th 2.5 +0.3 -2.3 4th 37.2 74.4 v low 50%
Launceston Airport 11.9   14.7 6th 2.0   -3.8 5th 29.4
Low Head 12.9 +0.2 14.6 28th 6.2 -0.6 2.1 4th 48.4 67.3 low 72%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 10.8 +0.2 13.8 22nd 5.1 +0.2 1.0 31st 142.4 182.6 low 78%
Marrawah 12.9 +0.6 14.8 13th 7.7 +1.0 3.4 31st 83.6 136.9 v low 61%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 12.1 +0.1 14.7 13th 3.6 -0.1 -0.1 4th 63.4 116.1 low 55%
Sheffield School Farm 11.7 +0.9 14.6 6th 2.8 -0.5 -0.9 22nd 69.8 114.4 low 61%
Smithton Aerodrome 13.4 +0.3 15.3 21st 4.1 -0.5 -0.7 4th 69.4 108.0 v low 64%
Wynyard Airport 13.5 +0.9 15.9 6th 2.6 -0.8 -1.8 4th 38.4 129.3 v low 30%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 14.2 +0.2 16.5 17th 6.4 +0.3 3.2 8th 15.7 52.2 low 30%
Eddystone Point 14.3 +1.2 17.1 20th 6.9 -0.2 2.5 29th 22.4 75.2 v low 30%
Fingal (Legge Street) 12.4 +0.3 15.3 21st 0.6 +0.1 -4.0 5th 18.6 55.2 low 34%
Friendly Beaches 13.9 +0.2 17.4 17th 5.3 -0.3 2.0 27th 23.0 42.6 average 54%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 8.8 +0.3 11.6 10th 0.1 0.0 -4.5 29th 27.8 77.0 v low 36%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 12.6   15.4 6th 7.5   4.2 29th 28.2
Orford (Aubin Court) 13.0 0.0 16.0 17th 3.5 0.0 -0.6 21st 21.4 56.5 low 38%
Scamander 14.0 +0.2 16.6 17th 4.7 +0.2 0.8 3rd 17.5 54.2 v low 32%
St Helens Aerodrome 13.7 +0.3 15.8 6th 4.4 -0.4 1.1 19th 15.4 46.2 v low 33%
Swan Island 13.5 +0.4 15.5 26th 8.1 -0.2 3.2 29th 14.0 55.5 v low 25%
Swansea (Francis Street) 13.4   16.8 6th 3.5   0.0 8th 23.7
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 11.1 -0.1 14.1 13th 1.2 -0.2 -3.8 5th 17.8 38.0 v low 47%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 13.4 +0.3 17.1 12th 2.8 -0.4 -1.6 8th 15.6 32.3 v low 48%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 12.0 0.0 14.2 16th     3.6 29th 42.2 72.3 v low 58%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 11.9 +0.7 14.2 16th 6.6 +0.4 3.7 29th 72.3 95.4 average 76%
Dover 12.5 +0.2 15.4 6th 3.2 -0.3 -0.5 8th 57.0 85.1 low 67%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 12.6   16.7 17th 5.6   2.8 21st 24.4
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 12.3 +0.3 15.0 6th 1.9 -0.3 -2.6 8th 48.8 90.7 low 54%
Grove (Research Station) 12.2   16.3 12th 1.1   -3.5 8th 43.4
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 12.9 +1.2 17.0 6th 4.7 +0.1 1.1 8th 18.2 51.8 v low 35%
Hobart Airport 13.1 +0.7 16.6 17th 4.2 +0.1 0.1 21st 20.0 42.4 low 47%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 11.2 +0.2 15.1 10th 7.7 +1.1 4.3 29th 133.2 128.5 average 104%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 11.4 +0.1 15.0 12th 1.0 -1.0 -3.3 23rd 15.2 29.4 low 52%
Mount Wellington 3.2 +0.9 6.2 26th -1.0 +0.6 -5.0 29th
Tasman Island 11.3 +0.6 13.7 11th 6.9 +0.4 3.1 29th 52.0 71.0 low 73%
Tunnack Fire Station 9.9 +0.4 13.0 6th 0.7 -0.9 -4.1 23rd 15.2 42.8 v low 36%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 11.8 +0.7 16.4 12th 1.1 -0.3 -2.4 21st 21.6 49.3 low 44%
Maydena Post Office 10.6 0.0 13.8 17th 2.3 +0.1 -0.9 8th 69.2 107.1 low 65%
Ouse Fire Station 11.3 -0.3 15.7 21st 0.4 -0.6 -4.8 8th 24.6 46.1 low 53%
Tarraleah Village 8.7 +0.4 11.1 21st 0.9 +0.5 -3.1 8th 53.2 115.7 v low 46%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 8.1 +1.1 10.4 6th -0.3 +0.1 -6.7 8th 89.0 174.2 low 51%
Lake St Clair National Park 7.4 +0.2 9.7 27th -0.3 -0.2 -4.6 8th 129.8 202.0 low 64%
Liawenee 5.9 +0.4 9.1 21st -1.6 0.0 -6.6 24th 44.8 100.9 v low 44%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 12.6 +0.9 14.2 6th 8.0 +0.9 5.3 2nd 128.6 155.4 average 83%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 6.2 +0.2 10.4 26th 1.8 +0.4 -1.7 29th
Low Rocky Point 12.6   15.5 10th 7.5   5.2 21st 95.8 136.5 low 70%
Mount Read 3.7 +0.1 6.1 22nd 0.4 +0.3 -3.3 29th 363.4 391.5 average 93%
Scotts Peak Dam 9.2 0.0 12.9 24th 3.7 +0.6 0.3 29th 171.8 189.4 low 91%
Strahan Aerodrome 12.4 +0.2 14.5 10th 5.3 +0.3 0.4 2nd 156.4 170.5 average 92%
Strathgordon Village 9.2 +0.3 11.7 21st 3.7 +0.7 0.8 29th 206.9 270.1 low 77%
Warra 9.1   11.8 6th 2.4   -0.2 8th 131.6
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 13.3 +0.1 15.0 17th 7.5 0.0 2.8 5th 76.4 111.9 low 68%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 13.8 +0.5 16.5 12th 5.6 -0.7 -0.9 4th 20.0 82.6 v low 24%

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 9:30 am on Wednesday 1 August 2012. 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