Tasmania in November 2012: Warm and dry, with tornadoes

Temperatures were very warm on the last two days of November, reaching into the mid-thirties in the east during the day and not dropping below 20 °C at night at some site. November was drier than average in most areas, particularly so across the western half of Tasmania. Three tornadoes were observed in the Hobart area on the 9th, though no damage was reported.

  • A very warm finish
  • Warmest November day on record at Strahan and Lake St Clair
  • Warmest November night on record for some
  • On the dry side, particularly in the west
  • Unusual (but weak) tornadoes in the Hobart area

A hot finish after a cool start, and warm overall

The last 11 days of November were warmer than average in most areas, with this warmth culminating in summer-like heat on the last two days of the month. Although Tasmania mostly escaped the heatwave conditions across the southeast mainland, maximum temperatures approached the high twenties and low thirties on the 29th when both Strahan and Lake St Clair recorded their highest November temperature on record. On the 30th temperatures reached into the mid-thirties across the east, peaking at 34.2 °C at Orford, it's warmest November day in 30 years (since 24 November 1982).

In contrast, maximum temperatures were much cooler than average at the start of the month; most sites observed their coldest day of November on either the 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Mount Wellington's maximum of 2.4 °C on the 1st was the coldest day overall, with other areas in the southeast observing maximum temperatures up to 12 degrees below average.

Overall, maximum temperatures were up to one degree warmer than average in most areas, but were not as warm as in November last year.

Very mild night to end the month

The very warm air that was brought over Tasmania for the last two days of the month saw the temperature not drop below 15 °C at most sites on the morning of the 30th, remaining above 20 °C at some sites; both Strahan and Hobart stayed above 22 °C on the morning of the 30th. Although it was a very warm morning, minimum temperatures are measured over the 24 hours to 9 am. For many places the minimum occurred at 9 am on the 29th and that number has gone into the climate records. Cape Bruny, Dover, Strathgordon, Lake St Clair and Bull Bay all recorded their warmest November night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record on the 30th. Strahan Aerodrome's minimum of 19.3 °C was the warmest standard minimum of the month.

There were also a few cold nights during the month, with central parts of the state recording sub zero temperatures on the 3rd when Liawenee dropped to -4.5 °C.

Minimum temperatures were generally warmer than average overall.

Dry, especially in the west

November rainfall was below average in most areas of Tasmania and particularly so in the western half of the state, due to less rain-bearing cold fronts than usual. This continues a pattern seen in October, and is in stark contrast to the generally wet November last year. The wettest days clustered around the start of the month, generally associated with the passage of troughs of low pressure on the 1st, 5th, 8th and 9th. Thunderstorms on the 8th brought moderate falls to the southeast, with Birralee Creek recording 36 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 9th, much of it falling in short bursts. Cold fronts around the 12th, 14th and 21st did see a few other wet days in the west, but daily rainfall totals tended to be less than 5 mm in other areas throughout the rest of the month.

The wettest overall was Mount Read with at least 191 mm (some snow is likely to have been lost), followed by Lake Margaret Power Station with 158 mm. New Norfolk (West) was the driest site with only 18 mm.

Tornadoes in Hobart, hail in the southeast

In a highly unusual event, at least three weak tornadoes were seen in the Hobart area on the 9th: one between the City and Mount Wellington just before 10 am, and two others over eastern suburbs around midday. The tornadoes were small and do not appear to have caused any damage, but they are quite rare: the last confirmed impact from a tornado around Hobart was in 1971. The same group of thunderstorms brought pea-sized hail to the southeast, with deep "drifts" of hail around Kingston and some instances of buildings being flooded when hail blocked roof guttering.

Warm and dry in Hobart

Hobart was almost 2 degrees warmer than normal by day, and 1 degree warmer than normal by night. The 29th and 30th were especially warm. Having dipped to 18.8 °C at 9 am on the 29th, it rose to 30.2 °C that afternoon. The night of the 29th/30th was very warm, with the temperature only falling to 22.1 °C around 6 am on the 30th, and by the afternoon of the 30th, it had reached 33.7 °C. The overnight minimum of 22.1 °C is not an "official" record, but the 18.8 °C is still Hobart's 4th-warmest November minimum. The 33.7 °C is well short of the record 36.8 °C on 26 November 1937.

Rainfall of 24.8 mm was about half the long-term average for November. 10 mm of that fell on the evening of the 8th, and a further 8 mm during the day on the 9th, when hail also fell across the city and some weak tornadoes were spotted.

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Extremes in November 2012
Hottest day34.2 °C at Orford (Aubin Court) on the 30th
Warmest days on average 22.8 °C at Ouse Fire Station
Coolest days on average11.4 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day 2.4 °C at Mount Wellington on the 1st
Coldest night -4.5 °C at Liawenee on the 3rd
Coolest nights on average2.9 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 12.2 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night19.3 °C at Strahan Aerodrome on the 30th
Warmest on average overall15.6 °C at Larapuna (Eddystone Point)
Coolest on average overall7.3 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall191.2 mm at Mount Read*
158.0 mm at Lake Margaret Power Station
Driest overall 18.4 mm at New Norfolk (West)
Wettest day 35.6 mm at Birralee Creek on the 9th
Highest wind gust135 km/h at Hogan Island on the 1st
120 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on the 21st

* The true total at Mount Read is probably higher, as it is likely some snow was lost.


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 November temperature
Highest temperature
in November 2012 (°C)
Previous warmest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Lake St Clair National Park 28.7 on the 29th 28.0 on the 8th in 2009 23 15.5
Strahan Aerodrome 32.7 on the 29th 31.9 on the 22nd in 1997 22 17.8




Record highest November daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in November 2012 (°C)
Previous warmest
for November
Years of
record
Average for
November
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 17.7 on the 30th 17.2 on the 18th in 1978 56 9.0
Strathgordon Village 17.8 on the 30th 16.2 on the 3rd in 2005 31 7.1
Dover 17.2 on the 30th 16.2 on the 26th in 1991 23 7.8
Lake St Clair National Park 15.6 on the 30th 14.2 on the 30th in 2003 23 3.6
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 17.0 on the 30th = 17.0 on the 27th in 1993 22 9.3



Summary statistics for November 2012
Maximum temperatures
for November
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for November
(°C)
Rainfall
for November
(millimetres)
Mean for
November
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
November
2012
Mean for
November
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
November
2012
Total for
November
2012
Average
for
November
Rank of
November
2012
Fraction of
November
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 18.4 0.0 23.0 30th 9.9 0.0 3.8 16th 29.8 52.9 low 56%
Burnie (Round Hill) 19.0 +1.2 25.8 30th 10.9 +1.2 5.6 13th 34.7 68.7 low 51%
Cape Grim 16.0   21.6 30th 11.0   7.6 3rd 46.8
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 16.8 +0.8 22.0 30th 11.0 +0.4 7.7 3rd 47.0 53.8 average 87%
Cressy Research Station 20.8 +0.3 29.9 30th 6.7 -0.5 0.0 16th 31.6 52.7 low 60%
Devonport Airport 18.7 +1.0 23.7 5th 9.6 +0.5 2.0 17th 49.4 57.8 average 85%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 21.5 +1.1 28.1 30th 9.3 +0.3 3.2 13th 59.0 51.8 average 114%
Launceston Airport 20.5   28.8 30th 7.4   1.9 13th 59.2
Low Head 17.8 +0.4 21.0 29th 11.5 +0.2 6.7 17th 34.0 48.8 average 70%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 18.7 +1.4 25.5 30th 8.3 +0.7 3.6 3rd 64.8 93.7 low 69%
Marrawah 17.4 +0.8 22.5 29th 10.0 +0.8 6.2 11th 42.2 70.2 low 60%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 19.4 +0.6 27.7 30th 8.1 +0.3 1.2 16th 43.4 70.1 low 62%
Sheffield School Farm 18.7 +0.7 26.3 30th 7.9 +0.3 2.2 17th
Smithton Aerodrome 18.9 +0.6 26.3 30th 8.4 -0.3 1.7 13th 36.4 56.6 average 64%
Wynyard Airport 19.4 +1.5 28.7 30th 8.5 +0.5 1.2 17th 43.8 75.5 low 58%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 18.4 0.0 25.8 30th 10.5 +0.4 5.2 13th 54.4 58.5 average 93%
Fingal (Legge Street) 20.3 +0.7 31.6 30th 6.5 -0.6 0.6 17th 37.6 44.8 average 84%
Friendly Beaches 20.2 +0.5 34.0 30th 10.2 0.0 5.8 17th 54.8 59.6 average 92%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 16.9 +1.2 27.0 30th 5.4 0.0 -1.5 17th 27.7 63.7 low 43%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 20.0 +2.1 26.9 30th 11.3 +0.5 5.5 2nd 48.2 60.4 average 80%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 18.4   30.8 30th 11.2   6.4 3rd 31.8
Orford (Aubin Court) 19.2 +0.5 34.2 30th 9.7 +0.6 4.3 3rd 43.2 64.9 average 67%
Scamander 19.5 +0.5 31.2 30th 10.2 -0.1 5.9 17th 27.0 63.6 low 42%
St Helens Aerodrome 19.5 +0.2 29.1 30th 10.3 +0.1 5.5 2nd 44.8 70.6 average 63%
Swan Island 18.3 +0.8 24.8 30th 12.2 +0.3 8.0 2nd
Swansea (Francis Street) 19.7   33.4 30th 8.9   3.4 3rd 28.2
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 21.0 +1.1 30.9 30th 6.6 -0.2 -2.2 17th 32.4 48.6 average 67%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 18.7 +0.8 32.7 30th 10.1 +0.8 6.0 3rd 40.2 52.0 low 77%
Campania (Kincora) 21.3 +0.5 34.1 30th 8.4 -0.2 0.4 3rd 39.6 42.4 average 93%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 17.8 +1.0 28.6 30th 9.9 +0.3 7.1 2nd 76.6 55.6 high 138%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 17.0 +1.4 28.4 30th 10.1 +1.1 5.8 2nd 73.4 75.3 average 97%
Dennes Point 18.9   32.4 30th 10.0   5.3 3rd 34.8
Dover 18.7 +1.2 30.5 30th 8.0 +0.2 2.2 11th 65.0 71.7 average 91%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 19.4   34.1 30th 10.8   6.1 3rd 25.8
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 19.8 +1.5 29.2 30th 7.8 +0.2 1.7 3rd 49.8 70.0 low 71%
Grove (Research Station) 20.3   31.0 30th 7.1   0.3 3rd 45.0
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 20.4 +1.7 33.7 30th 10.4 +1.1 4.1 3rd 24.8 54.1 low 46%
Hobart Airport 20.6 +1.6 33.9 30th 9.7 +0.5 3.1 3rd 24.8 44.2 low 56%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 15.5 +1.1 26.2 29th 9.4 +1.0 5.8 1st 56.2 91.7 low 61%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 20.4 +0.6 31.5 30th 7.3 -0.1 -0.1 3rd 41.2 42.1 average 98%
Mount Wellington 11.4 +2.1 22.7 30th 3.2 +1.6 -2.6 3rd 53.8 87.5 average 61%
Tasman Island 15.8 +0.5 29.2 30th 9.4 +0.6 5.7 3rd 69.6 54.9 average 127%
Tunnack Fire Station 17.8 +0.5 29.9 30th 6.2 +0.1 -2.5 3rd 63.4 62.3 average 102%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 22.2 +2.3 32.0 30th 7.6 +0.1 0.4 3rd 28.0 52.9 low 53%
Maydena Post Office 19.7 +1.7 30.6 29th 6.9 +0.4 -1.0 3rd 56.1 90.9 low 62%
Ouse Fire Station 22.8 +1.8 32.6 29th 7.0 -0.1 -0.7 3rd 19.8 40.3 low 49%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 17.0 +2.4 29.0 29th 4.6 +0.7 -2.7 3rd 62.2 138.5 v low 45%
Lake St Clair National Park 17.3 +1.8 28.7 29th 4.3 +0.7 -1.6 3rd 86.8 134.2 low 65%
Liawenee 15.6 +0.3 25.5 30th 2.9 +0.1 -4.5 3rd 37.8 67.3 average 56%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 18.1 +2.6 26.1 29th 10.4 +0.8 5.9 3rd 63.0 88.5 low 71%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 15.2 +1.4 27.1 29th 5.1 +0.8 -0.4 3rd 60.0 74.3 low 81%
Low Rocky Point 17.7   26.1 29th 9.6   5.3 3rd 61.0 83.1 low 73%
Scotts Peak Dam 20.1 +2.5 33.8 29th 7.3 +0.4 2.0 3rd 87.8 98.4 average 89%
Strahan Aerodrome 19.4 +1.6 32.7 29th 8.6 +0.3 1.7 3rd 86.8 95.6 average 91%
Strathgordon Village 18.1 +1.9 30.8 29th 7.4 +0.3 1.4 3rd 105.5 177.6 low 59%
Warra 17.3   29.7 29th 5.9   -1.4 3rd 92.2
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 17.9 +0.5 23.7 24th 10.0 -0.1 5.2 19th 34.6 56.5 low 61%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 19.7 +1.2 30.2 30th 10.1 -0.1 2.1 11th
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 7.1 +0.6 9.0 13th 3.5 +0.8 -3.5 3rd 93.4 72.5 high 129%

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 am on Monday 3 December 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