Wednesday, 2 January 2013 - Monthly Climate Summary for Tasmania - Product code IDCKGC27R0
Tasmania in December 2012: Wet in the north, but dry and warm in the east
December rainfall was above average in the north of Tasmania following heavy rain overnight on the 14th, but was below average in the east. Daytime temperatures were warmer than average in most areas, by up to 2 °C above average in the east. Minimum temperatures were generally within 1 °C of average.
- Wynyard and Ulverstone's wettest December day on record
- Dry in the east
- Warm days, especially in the east
- Bicheno's warmest December night on record
Heavy rain in the northwest
A low pressure system and associated cloud band crossed Tasmania overnight on the 14th, producing locally heavy rainfall in the northwest. Sites across the north recorded 20 to 40 mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on the 15th, and a few sites in the northwest received up to 80 mm, including Ulverstone with 78 mm and Wynyard with 68 mm, the highest December daily rainfall on record at both sites.
Other wet days include the 19th, when a cold front produced falls of up to 40 mm in the north and west, and around the 4th and 14th when cold fronts and troughs brought falls of 20 to 40 mm to the west. Daily totals were often less than 10 mm in other areas throughout December.
Overall, monthly rainfall totals were below average in the east, but were average to above average across the north and west. Fingal only recorded 11 mm for the whole month, the driest site in Tasmania, and Scamander had its driest December in 24 years with only 15 mm. Mount Read was the wettest site with at least 268 mm (although some recordings were lost). Queenstown was the next wettest site with 191 mm.
A mix of hot and cold days
Daytime temperatures were warmer than normal for most of the 7th to 15th, when northerly winds were common. The 8th was particularly warm, temperatures reaching into the mid-thirties in the southeast and west. Dover recorded a maximum of 33.7 °C on the 8th, the warmest day of the month.
In contrast, maximum temperatures were especially cold on the 4th and 5th in a cold southwesterly airstream. Temperatures didn't rise past the mid-teens, and remained below 10 degrees in the Central Plateau. Mount Wellington's maximum of only 2.4 °C on the 4th was the coldest day of the month, and Maydena's maximum of 9.4 °C was its coldest December day on record.
Overall, maximum temperatures were mostly warmer than average, rising up to around 2 degrees warmer than average in the east.
Mild nights in the southeast
Minimum temperatures were generally within one degree of average, but tending on the warm side in the southeast. The warmest nights were around the 1st, 13th to 15th and the 24th in mild northerly winds. Bicheno recorded a minimum of 18.8 °C on the morning of the 1st, its warmest December night on record.
The coldest nights were around the 5th, 10th and 17th when temperatures below 8 degrees were common. Mount Wellington's -2.7 °C on the morning of the 5th was the coldest temperature of the month.
Warm and dry conditions continue in Hobart
December was warmer and drier than average in Hobart, continuing a pattern seen in recent months. Maximum temperatures were 2.2 °C warmer than average and minimum temperatures 1.4 °C warmer than average. 22 mm of rain was well below the December average of 57 mm.
There were a few more hot days than usual, the temperature exceeding 25 degrees on 7 days (the average is 4), the warmest of which was 32.9 °C on the 8th. There were also less cold nights than usual; the temperature only fell below 10 degrees on 4 mornings, compared to an average of 11.
It rained on 10 days, which is just shy of average, but daily totals were mostly less than 5 mm. The 15th was the wettest day with only 9 mm.
|Extremes in December 2012|
|Hottest day||33.7 °C at Dover on the 8th|
|Warmest days on average||
23.6 °C at Cressy Research Station and Fingal (Legge Street)|
|Coolest days on average||12.2 °C at Mount Wellington|
|Coldest day||2.4 °C at Mount Wellington on the 4th|
|Coldest night||-2.7 °C at Mount Wellington on the 5th|
|Coolest nights on average||3.2 °C at Mount Wellington|
|Warmest nights on average||13.1 °C at Swan Island|
|Warmest night||20.7 °C at Flinders Island Airport on the 24th|
|Warmest on average overall||17.3 °C at Hobart (Ellerslie Road)|
|Coolest on average overall||7.7 °C at Mount Wellington|
267.6 mm at Mount Read*|
191.4 mm at Queenstown (South Queenstown)
|Driest overall||11.4 mm at Fingal (Legge Street)|
|Wettest day||78.0 mm at Ulverstone (Knights Road) on the 15th|
|Highest wind gust||143 km/h at Hogan Island on the 5th|
* The true total at Mount Read is probably higher, as some data was lost during a power outage.
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|Record highest December daily rainfall|
Highest daily rainfall
in December 2012 (mm)
|Ulverstone (Knights Road)||78.0||on the 15th||72.9||on the 13th in 1969||99|
|Wynyard Airport||67.6||on the 15th||56.6||on the 23rd in 1993||41|
|Lowest total December rainfall for at least 20 years|
for December 2012 (mm)
Most recent December
at least this dry
* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported.
|Record lowest December daily maximum temperature|
Lowest daily maximum
in December 2012 (°C)
|Maydena Post Office||9.4||on the 4th||= 9.4||on the 27th in 2004||21||19.7|
|Record highest December daily minimum temperature|
Highest daily minimum
in December 2012 (°C)
|Bicheno (Council Depot)||18.8||on the 1st||18.4||on the 22nd in 2002||38||11.5|
|Summary statistics for December 2012|
|Northern (district 91)|
|Bridport (Sea View Villas)||19.9||-0.2||24.2||23rd||10.6||-0.5||4.2||5th||74.4||44.8||high||166%|
|Burnie (Round Hill)||20.5||+1.1||25.0||24th||11.1||0.0||5.6||5th||86.8||63.9||high||136%|
|Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison)||17.9||+0.7||23.3||8th||11.9||+0.1||7.3||5th||66.0||46.4||high||142%|
|Cressy Research Station||23.6||+0.9||28.9||8th||7.4||-1.0||2.1||30th||51.4||45.0||average||114%|
|Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)||23.1||+0.7||28.9||8th||10.0||-0.7||4.5||6th||76.2||47.3||high||161%|
|Luncheon Hill (Forestry)||18.4||-0.2||26.3||8th||8.9||+0.3||4.2||5th||96.4||92.6||average||104%|
|Scottsdale (West Minstone Road)||21.5||+0.7||28.1||8th||8.7||-0.5||2.7||6th||80.2||67.3||high||119%|
|Sheffield School Farm||19.7||+0.2||24.4||8th||8.5||-0.4||2.5||5th|
|East Coast (district 92)|
|Bicheno (Council Depot)||21.3||+1.3||28.4||15th||12.0||+0.5||6.7||5th||12.2||67.5||v low||18%|
|Fingal (Legge Street)||23.6||+2.2||29.8||24th||7.8||-0.9||1.9||17th||11.4||49.7||low||23%|
|Lake Leake (Elizabeth River)||19.1||+1.6||26.2||8th||6.4||-0.5||1.0||17th||35.3||72.6||low||49%|
|Larapuna (Eddystone Point)||22.2||+2.8||25.3||13th||12.0||-0.2||6.6||5th||48.6||59.8||average||81%|
|Maria Island (Point Lesueur)||20.4||24.7||8th||12.4||7.3||5th||45.2|
|Orford (Aubin Court)||21.8||+1.5||30.4||8th||10.8||+0.3||5.5||5th||33.0||63.4||average||52%|
|St Helens Aerodrome||22.1||+1.2||28.6||24th||11.4||-0.1||4.9||5th||33.0||47.8||low||69%|
|Swansea (Francis Street)||22.9||32.4||8th||10.4||5.0||5th||31.4|
|Midlands (district 93)|
|Ross (The Boulevards)||23.2||+0.7||29.6||8th||8.4||-0.1||1.2||5th||32.2||39.0||average||83%|
|Southeast (district 94)|
|Bull Bay (Lauriston)||20.5||+0.7||31.0||8th||11.4||+0.8||6.0||4th||25.2||60.4||low||42%|
|Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny)||18.6||+0.3||32.3||8th||10.8||+0.2||6.0||5th||43.4||58.1||average||75%|
|Cape Bruny Lighthouse||17.8||+0.8||31.0||8th||10.7||+0.4||5.2||5th||47.4||76.3||low||62%|
|Dunalley (Stroud Point)||21.4||32.1||8th||12.0||5.8||5th||18.6|
|Geeveston (Cemetery Road)||20.4||+0.5||33.4||8th||9.1||+0.5||2.9||26th||43.6||70.5||low||62%|
|Grove (Research Station)||21.4||33.1||8th||8.4||1.5||10th|
|Hobart (Ellerslie Road)||22.5||+2.2||32.9||8th||12.2||+1.4||7.0||5th||22.0||56.4||low||39%|
|Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse||15.8||+0.1||29.0||8th||10.2||+0.6||5.6||4th||84.8||90.1||average||94%|
|Melton Mowbray (North Stockman)||21.8||+0.1||30.2||8th||9.0||+0.1||2.0||10th||32.4||38.1||average||85%|
|Tunnack Fire Station||19.8||+0.4||26.1||8th||7.3||-0.1||0.5||10th||42.2||53.3||average||79%|
|Derwent Valley (district 95)|
|Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates)||23.1||+1.1||32.7||8th||9.1||0.0||2.6||10th||27.8||50.3||low||55%|
|Maydena Post Office||19.6||-0.1||30.9||8th||7.6||+0.2||1.2||10th||58.7||86.1||low||68%|
|Ouse Fire Station||22.9||0.0||32.3||8th||8.4||-0.3||1.5||10th||28.8||35.0||average||82%|
|Central Plateau (district 96)|
|Lake St Clair National Park||16.6||-0.7||25.1||8th||5.1||+0.1||-0.3||10th||132.2||130.9||average||101%|
|West Coast (district 97)|
|Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple)||14.8||0.0||27.5||8th||5.3||+0.2||-0.4||5th||62.8||78.5||low||80%|
|Low Rocky Point||18.7||32.4||8th||10.9||6.9||5th||107.6||89.2||average||121%|
|Scotts Peak Dam||18.6||+0.1||32.9||8th||8.0||+0.1||2.3||5th||153.2||150.8||high||102%|
|King Island (district 98)|
|King Island Airport||19.5||+0.8||28.7||8th||11.4||+0.4||5.8||10th||51.0||50.6||average||101%|
|Flinders Island (district 99)|
|Flinders Island Airport||21.1||+1.0||31.2||23rd||12.8||+1.0||4.8||10th||42.8||57.5||average||74%|
|Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)|
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 Wednesday 2 January 2013. 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
(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.