Tasmania in October 2012: a dry month overall

Despite a few wet days, rainfall was below average in most of Tasmania in October, and especially so in the central north. There were some warm days, but also plenty of cool weather.

  • Below average rainfall
  • Many cold mornings
  • Near-average temperatures overall
  • Damaging winds on the 4th

A relatively dry month, especially in the north

Rainfall totals were below average in almost all areas, and especially so in the northern and central regions. Mount Read recorded 348 mm for the month, whilst Low Head had only 4 mm, Devonport 8 mm and Launceston only 14 mm. Maydena had its lowest total October rainfall on record, and Frankford its lowest total October rainfall for many years. Even in a relatively dry month there were a number of rain events, including almost statewide rain with cold fronts around the 10th, 16th and the 25th, and many wet days in the western half.

Springtime warmth, but many cool days too

The 30th was the warmest day of October, when northerly winds and clear skies saw temperatures reach into the mid to high twenties and Friendly Beaches reach 28.9 °C. Daytime temperatures were also warm in northwest winds in the middle of the month and around the 3rd and 4th. Following the early burst of warmth, temperatures dropped significantly in the wake of a cold front on the 6th, Scamander and Strahan recording their coldest October day on record in the wintery weather. After that, there were several cool days and many occasions when temperatures struggled to reach into the mid-teens. Overall, daytime temperatures were close to or slightly above average in most areas.

Plenty of cool nights

Cool nights were much more common than mild ones during October. There were several quite cold nights, especially in the northeast inland. Fingal dropped below -1 °C on the 6th, 8th, 11th and 23rd. An average October only sees two mornings below -1 °C in Fingal. Devonport also had some cold nights, notably between the 6th and 14th, which contributed to its lowest October mean daily minimum temperature in 20 years of record. Overall, overnight temperatures were below average in most parts of the state, typically by less than half a degree but by over a degree at some sites in the northeast.

Damaging winds

On the 4th, an intense low pressure system passed well to the south of Tasmania and brought a strong west to northwest stream over the state. Wind gusts exceeded 130 km/h at some exposed sites (peaking at 141 km/h on Mount Wellington) and 90 to 100 km/h in urban areas. Flying debris damaged properties from Huonville to Hobart and Richmond, with several reports of roof damage, downed trees and subsequent power outages.

Hobart: dry with average temperature

Hobart's rain was well down on average in October, despite a few wet days. The total of 29 mm was less than half that recorded in October 2011.
Temperatures in Hobart were close to average overall, with some quite warm days balancing out many cool ones to give a mean daily maximum of 17.5 °C, 0.5 °C above the long-term October average. Hobart's warmest day this month was 28.6 °C on the 30th, a far cry from the 25th when it reached just 11.2 °C. There were some cold nights for the time of year (the temperature fell below 5 °C on the 6th, 7th and 8th), but there were enough mild nights to counter this and give a mean daily minimum temperature 0.4 °C above average at 8.2 °C.
Hobart was not spared the damaging winds of the 4th, recording a wind gust of 104 km/h early that afternoon.

2012 so far

Maximum temperatures have been warmer than average this year so far, by up to half a degree in the north and up to one degree in the south. Minimum temperatures have also been up to one degree warmer than average in the south and west, and up to half a degree warmer than average elsewhere.

With a mixture of wet and dry months, rainfall has generally been close to average for the January to October period. In the northeast some sites, including Launceston and Scottsdale, have had below average rainfall.

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Extremes in October 2012
Hottest day 28.9 °C at Friendly Beaches on the 30th
Warmest days on average 18.6 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest days on average8.1 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day 0.9 °C at Mount Wellington on the 6th
Coldest night -4.7 °C at Liawenee on the 8th and 11th
Coolest nights on average 0.0 °C at Mount Wellington
Warmest nights on average 9.6 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 14.8 °C at St Helens Aerodrome on the 31st
Warmest on average overall 13.3 °C at Larapuna (Eddystone Point)
Coolest on average overall4.0 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 347.8 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall 4.2 mm at Low Head
Wettest day 40.6 mm at Mount Read on the 21st
Highest wind gust 141 km/h at Mount Wellington on the 5th

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 lowest total October rainfall
Total rainfall
for October 2012 (mm)
Previous driest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Maydena Post Office 49.0 53.5 in 2009 21 114.6

Lowest total October rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for October 2012 (mm)
Most recent October
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
October
Frankford (Rossville) 9.6 9.3 in 1914* 97 88.3

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




Record lowest October daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in October 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Scamander 11.0 on the 6th 11.5 on the 18th in 1976 29 17.4
Strahan Aerodrome 9.8 on the 6th 10.0 on the 2nd in 1994 24 16.1



Record lowest October mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for October 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Devonport Airport 6.0 6.1 in 2003 20 7.3



Summary statistics for October 2012
Maximum temperatures
for October
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for October
(°C)
Rainfall
for October
(millimetres)
Mean for
October
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
October
2012
Mean for
October
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
October
2012
Total for
October
2012
Average
for
October
Rank of
October
2012
Fraction of
October
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 16.5 +0.1 21.0 31st 6.8 -1.2 1.4 28th 10.2 57.9 v low 18%
Burnie (Round Hill) 16.5 +0.6 21.4 28th 7.9 -0.1 3.7 7th 24.2 84.8 v low 29%
Cape Grim 14.0   19.0 31st 9.4   6.4 11th 32.8
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 14.8 +0.5 20.2 30th 9.2 0.0 6.2 11th 35.2 61.1 low 58%
Cressy Research Station 17.2 +0.1 24.5 30th 4.2 -0.8 -2.1 7th 18.2 47.3 low 38%
Devonport Airport 15.8 0.0 19.7 31st 6.0 -1.3 1.3 7th 7.8 63.6 v low 12%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 18.6 +0.6 24.8 31st 6.1 -0.8 0.2 7th 13.8 49.8 v low 28%
Launceston Airport 17.7   24.8 30th 4.6   -0.9 7th 16.0
Low Head 15.2 -0.1 18.2 31st 8.8 -0.7 3.9 7th 4.2 51.2 v low 8%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 14.9 +0.2 25.7 30th 6.0 +0.1 2.2 22nd 99.4 131.5 low 76%
Marrawah 15.1 +0.2 22.1 30th 8.5 +0.4 5.2 6th 52.0 88.2 low 59%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 16.9 +0.5 24.2 31st 4.8 -1.0 0.4 27th 23.0 81.9 v low 28%
Sheffield School Farm 16.4 +1.3 22.7 30th 5.1 -0.6 1.0 6th 25.8 78.4 low 33%
Smithton Aerodrome 16.1 -0.1 20.4 31st 6.2 -0.7 0.4 22nd 28.0 78.6 v low 36%
Wynyard Airport 16.8 +0.8 21.3 28th 5.4 -0.7 -0.2 7th 27.8 96.1 v low 29%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 17.4 0.0 26.2 4th 7.7 -0.8 3.5 7th 31.7 55.4 low 57%
Fingal (Legge Street) 18.0 +0.6 27.1 30th 3.3 -1.6 -1.6 23rd 19.6 54.2 low 36%
Friendly Beaches 18.3 +0.4 28.9 30th 7.4 -1.2 3.6 7th 46.4 58.3 average 80%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 14.0 +0.3 22.2 30th 3.0 -0.5 -2.6 6th 50.6 75.0 average 67%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 18.2 +1.8 22.3 30th 8.5 -0.6 4.2 11th 36.0 68.9 low 52%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 16.1   24.7 30th 9.1   5.6 6th 38.2
Orford (Aubin Court) 17.0 -0.3 28.7 30th 7.1 -0.1 2.0 7th 50.2 59.7 average 84%
Scamander 17.6 +0.2 28.0 30th 7.2 -0.9 3.9 6th 35.1 61.9 low 57%
St Helens Aerodrome 18.1 +0.9 26.8 30th 7.0 -0.9 3.5 11th 23.4 65.7 low 36%
Swan Island 15.9 -0.1 22.6 31st 9.6 -0.6 5.1 7th
Swansea (Francis Street) 17.1   28.0 30th 6.6   2.0 6th 36.3
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 17.2 +0.2 25.4 30th 4.4 -0.5 -1.5 6th 22.8 41.7 low 55%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 16.3 -0.2 23.6 4th 8.2 +0.1 4.8 7th 40.0 55.6 low 72%
Campania (Kincora) 17.8 0.0 27.7 30th 6.2 -0.2 0.8 7th 30.8 39.8 average 77%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 15.2 0.0 22.2 15th 8.1 -0.1 4.4 27th 60.0 66.6 average 90%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 14.5 +0.1 21.7 3rd 8.0 +0.1 4.6 27th 58.6 83.3 low 70%
Dennes Point 16.5   24.9 30th 8.1   4.4 10th 30.2
Dover 16.2 +0.1 25.2 30th 6.2 -0.2 1.0 7th 56.0 85.9 low 65%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 16.9   26.0 30th 8.6   5.3 7th 38.0
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 16.8 +0.4 26.8 30th 6.3 +0.3 1.6 10th 63.4 90.8 average 70%
Grove (Research Station) 17.0   26.7 30th 5.1   -0.3 8th 27.8
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 17.5 +0.5 28.6 30th 8.2 +0.4 3.6 7th 29.0 61.4 low 47%
Hobart Airport 17.4 +0.1 28.1 30th 7.5 0.0 2.0 7th 24.6 46.2 low 53%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 12.5 -0.8 20.4 15th 7.7 +0.3 5.7 27th 99.0 105.7 average 94%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 16.9 +0.3 26.4 30th 5.3 -0.2 0.1 8th 24.8 41.3 low 60%
Mount Wellington 8.1 +1.1 18.7 30th 0.0 -0.1 -3.1 6th
Tasman Island 13.5 +0.1 23.3 30th 7.6 +0.1 4.3 27th 58.6 61.9 average 95%
Tunnack Fire Station 14.8 +0.4 24.0 30th 3.7 -0.7 -2.2 7th 47.2 54.1 average 87%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 18.3 +0.6 28.2 30th 5.3 -0.5 0.6 8th 19.0 57.0 v low 33%
Maydena Post Office 15.6 0.0 25.5 30th 5.0 +0.3 1.2 10th 49.0 114.6 lowest 43%
Ouse Fire Station 18.2 +0.5 28.0 30th 5.3 +0.1 -0.5 8th 18.8 51.2 v low 37%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 12.9 +0.4 22.1 30th 2.4 0.0 -1.8 10th 119.8 158.6 low 76%
Lake St Clair National Park 12.9 +0.2 23.0 30th 1.6 -0.4 -2.1 8th 129.6 173.3 low 75%
Liawenee 12.7 +1.3 21.4 30th 0.6 0.0 -4.7 8th 16.2 67.3 v low 24%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 15.2 +0.9 19.9 30th 9.0 +0.4 5.1 22nd 60.2 108.0 low 56%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 10.8 0.0 21.6 30th 2.4 -0.2 -0.6 27th 75.0 90.5 low 83%
Low Rocky Point 14.4   23.2 15th 8.2   3.6 22nd 79.4 110.5 low 72%
Scotts Peak Dam 15.0 +0.6 25.0 30th 5.3 +0.3 1.7 6th 136.0 164.1 low 83%
Strahan Aerodrome 15.7 -0.4 23.8 30th 7.2 -0.1 1.2 22nd 100.4 117.5 average 85%
Strathgordon Village 13.4 -0.2 23.5 30th 5.7 +0.3 2.0 6th 172.2 245.2 low 70%
Warra 13.6   24.0 30th 4.0   -1.2 10th 124.4
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 15.9 +0.2 23.7 30th 9.1 +0.4 4.2 9th 54.4 73.9 average 74%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 17.4 +0.7 27.6 31st 8.1 -0.4 1.6 23rd
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 5.4 -0.4 7.6 10th 0.9 -1.1 -3.0 5th 83.4 75.7 average 110%

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 Thursday 1 November 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