Friday, 1 February 2013 - Monthly Climate Summary for Tasmania - Product code IDCKGC27R0
Tasmania in January 2013: Record heat, little rain
Early January saw extremely hot temperatures across Tasmania, with several sites breaking all-time maximum temperature records on the 4th and a few breaking records for high minimum temperatures. Hobart recorded a maximum of 41.8 °C, Tasmania's second-highest temperature and the highest ever observed in southern Tasmania. Several fires flared in hot and dry conditions on the 4th, one near Forcett causing extensive damage to Dunalley and surrounding areas. Rainfall was below average throughout the state.
- A record 41.8 °C in Hobart on the 4th
- Hottest day on record at several other sites in the southeast
- Highest January minimum temperature on record in Hobart, Cape Bruny and Geeveston
- Destructive bushfires
- Below average rainfall
Record breaking heat
Temperatures in the East, South East and Derwent Valley districts rose into the mid-30s on the 3rd and into the low 40s on the 4th as a high pressure system over the Tasman Sea combined with an approaching low pressure trough and cold front to direct a very hot northerly airflow over Tasmania. Several stations recorded either their highest temperature on record (for any month), or their highest January temperature on record. Hobart recorded its warmest temperature in 120 years of record with 41.8 °C, breaking the previous record of 40.8 °C set on 4 January 1976. This is the highest temperature recorded anywhere in southern Tasmania, and the second-highest in the state. Hobart's previous record of 40.8 °C had stood as Tasmania's warmest temperature on record for 33 years, before it was broken by Scamander's 42.2 °C on 30 January 2009.
Minimum temperatures were also quite warm in the southeast on the 4th. Hobart, Hobart Airport, Geeveston and Cape Bruny Island all recorded their highest January minimum temperature on record, their temperatures not dropping below 20 °C between 9am on the 3rd and 9am on the 4th.
Record temperatures in Tasmania were part of a heatwave that affected much of Australia. More details can be found in Special Climate Statement 43 - extreme heat in January 2013.
Overall, maximum temperatures were warmer than average, by up to 2 °C. On the east coast, Bicheno had its highest January mean daily maximum temperature on record. Minimum temperatures were generally within 1 °C of average.
On 4 January, fresh to strong and gusty north to northwesterly winds combined with record heat and low relative humidity to produce widespread areas of Severe to Extreme Fire Danger. The last few months of 2012 were also drier than average, contributing to the drying out of soil and vegetation in most areas. Up to 40 bushfires flared across Tasmania in these conditions, with fires at Bicheno on the east coast, Forcett in the southeast and Lake Repulse in the Upper Derwent Valley reaching Emergency Warning status. Hundreds of properties were destroyed, with several thousand hectares of land burnt, and thousands of people left without power.
The Forcett fire was the most damaging, destroying several properties in Dunalley, including the local primary school, RSL club, service station and many homes. The Arthur Highway was closed at Dunalley from mid-morning, cutting off road access to the Tasman Peninsula, with hundreds of people evacuated from the area. Overall, over 25 000 ha were burnt in the Forcett fire, with close to 200 properties and 21 businesses destroyed, and road access to the Tasman Peninsula closed for more than a week.
Dry conditions continue
January rainfall was below average in most areas, continuing the dry conditions seen since October 2012. Some other sites had their lowest total January rainfall for at least 20 years.
The first half of the month was especially dry, but the passage of a few cold fronts in the second half and a trough lingering off the east coast on the 26th and 27th helped raise monthly totals in many areas. Cold fronts on the 8th and 10th also produced daily falls of up to around 25 mm in the west and 15 mm in northern and central areas, but only small amounts in other areas. Another cold front crossed overnight on the 30th, delivering falls of up to 35 mm to the north and west, with 34.6 mm at Mount Read the wettest day of the month.
Mount Read was the wettest site overall with 228.0 mm, and Dennes Point the driest site with only 7.6 mm
Hot and dry in Hobart
Hobart observed its warmest day on record with 41.8 °C on 4 January, beating the previous record by 1 °C. This is the highest temperature recorded anywhere in southern Tasmania, and second only to Scamander's 42.2 °C record on 30 January 2009. Hobart's minimum temperature of 23.4 °C on the 4th was also its warmest January minimum on record. Following a warm start to the year, temperatures were generally much closer to average in the second half of the month. The coolest day was 18.1 °C on the 29th and the coldest morning 8.9 °C on the 2nd. Overall, maximum temperatures were 2.2 °C warmer than normal and minimum temperatures were 1.2 °C above normal.
Only 11.4 mm of rain was recorded in Hobart, well below the January average of 48 mm, and the driest January since 2009 when 10 mm was recorded. Although it rained on 9 days, just 2 days shy of average, daily totals were typically 1 mm or less. The wettest day of the month was the 26th when 5.8 mm was recorded. Hobart usually sees a wetter day in January.
|Extremes in January 2013|
|Hottest day||41.8 °C at Hobart (Ellerslie Road) on the 4th|
|Warmest days on average||26.2 °C at Cressy Research Station|
|Coolest days on average||14.3 °C at Mount Wellington|
|Coldest day||5.3 °C at Mount Wellington on the 9th|
|Coldest night||-1.5 °C at Mount Wellington on the 9th|
|Coolest nights on average||4.6 °C at Mount Wellington|
|Warmest nights on average||14.4 °C at Swan Island|
|Warmest night||23.4 °C at Hobart (Ellerslie Road) on the 4th|
|Warmest on average overall||18.9 °C at Friendly Beaches|
|Coolest on average overall||9.5 °C at Mount Wellington|
|Wettest overall||228.0 mm at Mount Read|
|Driest overall||7.6 mm at Dennes Point|
|Wettest day||34.6 mm at Mount Read on the 31st|
|Highest wind gust||137 km/h at Mount Wellington on the 3rd|
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|Lowest total January rainfall for at least 20 years|
for January 2013 (mm)
Most recent January
at least this dry
|Lady Barron (Franklin Parade)||10.2||0.0||in 1960*||50||45.6|
|Pioneer (Main Road)||11.4||6.9||in 1968||45||51.2|
|Whitemark Post Office||9.2||3.6||in 1990||23||47.3|
|Deal Island||10.9||2.0||in 1990*||22||40.5|
|Flinders Island Airport||8.2||5.4||in 1990*||21||45.3|
* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported.
|Record highest January temperature|
in January 2013 (°C)
|Hobart (Ellerslie Road)||41.8||on the 4th||40.8||on the 4th in 1976||126||21.7|
|Larapuna (Eddystone Point)||36.5||on the 4th||36.1||on the 16th in 1960||56||21.0|
|Hobart Airport||40.3||on the 4th||40.1||on the 3rd in 1991||55||22.5|
|Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates)||40.3||on the 4th||39.5||on the 20th in 1973||53||23.9|
|Orford (Aubin Court)||38.8||on the 4th||38.7||on the 21st in 1997||45||22.0|
|Marrawah||33.2||on the 4th||33.0||on the 29th in 2009||42||20.1|
|Mount Wellington||29.5||on the 4th||29.2||on the 22nd in 2006||33||13.3|
|Strathgordon Village||34.8||on the 4th||34.5||on the 4th in 1976||32||19.2|
|Geeveston (Cemetery Road)||40.0||on the 4th||39.5||on the 26th in 1994||27||21.7|
|Dover||39.6||on the 4th||39.0||on the 3rd in 1991||24||20.6|
|Bull Bay (Lauriston)||41.0||on the 4th||38.5||on the 21st in 1997||22||21.2|
|Maydena Post Office||37.3||on the 4th||37.2||on the 11th in 2010||21||22.1|
Note that most of these January maximum temperatures records were also temperature records for any month:
|Record highest temperature - for any month|
| Highest temperature
in 2013 (°C)
| Previous annual
|Hobart (Ellerslie Road)||41.8||on 4 Jan||40.8||on 4 Jan 1976||128||16.9|
|Hobart Airport||40.3||on 4 Jan||40.1||on 3 Jan 1991||56||17.5|
|Larapuna (Eddystone Point)||36.5||on 4 Jan||36.1||on 16 Jan 1960||56||17.1|
|Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates)||40.3||on 4 Jan||39.5||on 20 Jan 1973||53||17.7|
|Orford (Aubin Court)||38.8||on 4 Jan||= 38.8||on 15 Feb 1982||46||17.6|
|Geeveston (Cemetery Road)||40.0||on 4 Jan||39.5||on 26 Jan 1994||29||16.8|
|Dover||39.6||on 4 Jan||39.0||on 3 Jan 1991||24||16.4|
|Bull Bay (Lauriston)||41.0||on 4 Jan||38.5||on 21 Jan 1997||23||16.8|
|Maydena Post Office||37.3||on 4 Jan||37.2||on 11 Jan 2010||22||16.1|
|Record highest January mean daily maximum temperature|
Mean daily maximum
for January 2013 (°C)
|Bicheno (Council Depot)||23.3||23.2||in 2003||38||21.4|
|Record highest January daily minimum temperature|
Highest daily minimum
in January 2013 (°C)
|Hobart (Ellerslie Road)||23.4||on the 4th||22.9||on the 10th in 1887||126||11.9|
|Cape Bruny Lighthouse||20.4||on the 4th||20.0||on the 16th in 1960||57||11.4|
|Hobart Airport||21.8||on the 4th||21.2||on the 3rd in 2012||55||12.0|
|Geeveston (Cemetery Road)||20.5||on the 4th||18.5||on the 17th in 2007||27||9.9|
|Summary statistics for January 2013|
|Northern (district 91)|
|Bridport (Sea View Villas)||21.8||0.0||28.5||4th||11.6||-1.5||4.3||9th||10.6||53.9||low||20%|
|Burnie (Round Hill)||22.7||+1.7||31.4||5th||12.4||-0.2||5.6||9th||21.2||44.3||low||48%|
|Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison)||19.7||+0.9||29.9||4th||13.1||0.0||9.0||9th||21.0||36.4||low||58%|
|Cressy Research Station||26.2||+1.1||36.4||4th||9.9||-0.3||4.8||14th||22.0||31.0||average||71%|
|Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)||25.2||+0.9||33.7||4th||12.0||-0.3||6.8||14th||14.8||45.0||v low||33%|
|Luncheon Hill (Forestry)||21.2||+0.2||33.5||4th||10.0||-0.5||5.1||9th||55.4||79.1||average||70%|
|Scottsdale (West Minstone Road)||23.6||+0.7||34.1||4th||10.1||-0.7||2.8||9th||12.8||57.0||v low||22%|
|Sheffield School Farm||22.1||+0.2||31.2||4th||9.8||-0.9||4.6||14th|
|East Coast (district 92)|
|Bicheno (Council Depot)||23.3||+1.9||38.1||4th||13.3||+0.4||8.0||2nd||22.5||53.0||average||42%|
|Fingal (Legge Street)||25.6||+2.2||38.1||4th||9.6||-0.7||4.0||10th||29.2||43.7||average||67%|
|Lake Leake (Elizabeth River)||20.7||+1.4||32.1||4th||8.7||+0.4||4.1||9th||36.8||54.5||average||68%|
|Larapuna (Eddystone Point)||24.0||+3.0||36.5||4th||13.5||-0.1||7.9||9th||35.4||45.4||average||78%|
|Maria Island (Point Lesueur)||22.2||35.2||4th||13.2||9.4||9th||25.4|
|Orford (Aubin Court)||23.3||+1.3||38.8||4th||12.7||+0.9||8.2||9th||27.8||48.4||low||57%|
|St Helens Aerodrome||24.0||+1.4||36.5||4th||12.9||-0.3||8.3||9th||19.6||50.7||v low||39%|
|Swansea (Francis Street)||24.7||39.6||4th||12.3||6.8||2nd||16.2|
|Midlands (district 93)|
|Ross (The Boulevards)||25.3||+0.9||36.3||4th||10.3||-0.3||3.7||14th||24.0||45.2||low||53%|
|Southeast (district 94)|
|Bull Bay (Lauriston)||22.4||+1.2||41.0||4th||12.4||+0.2||8.0||9th||11.2||49.3||v low||23%|
|Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny)||20.3||+0.6||38.0||4th||11.9||-0.2||7.5||9th||27.2||44.7||average||61%|
|Cape Bruny Lighthouse||19.7||+1.4||37.2||4th||12.2||+0.8||5.0||9th||30.2||62.1||low||49%|
|Dunalley (Stroud Point)||22.5||34.4||3rd||13.5||9.9||9th||16.0|
|Geeveston (Cemetery Road)||22.7||+1.0||40.0||4th||11.0||+1.1||4.9||26th||20.4||56.0||low||36%|
|Grove (Research Station)||24.2||40.9||4th||9.3||2.5||15th||11.0|
|Hobart (Ellerslie Road)||23.9||+2.2||41.8||4th||13.1||+1.2||8.9||2nd||11.4||47.3||low||24%|
|Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse||16.8||-0.2||30.6||4th||11.2||+0.5||6.6||9th||72.8||79.5||average||92%|
|Melton Mowbray (North Stockman)||24.2||+0.3||39.2||4th||10.2||-0.2||4.8||23rd||18.8||31.0||average||61%|
|Tunnack Fire Station||22.7||+1.1||36.3||4th||8.4||-0.5||0.0||23rd||33.4||44.3||average||75%|
|Derwent Valley (district 95)|
|Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates)||25.4||+1.5||40.3||4th||10.3||+0.2||4.2||15th||11.6||40.8||v low||28%|
|Maydena Post Office||21.8||-0.3||37.3||4th||8.4||-0.6||3.1||15th||35.4||60.0||low||59%|
|Ouse Fire Station||25.3||-0.1||39.9||4th||10.3||+0.2||4.5||28th||19.4||26.4||average||73%|
|Central Plateau (district 96)|
|Lake St Clair National Park||19.2||-0.1||32.8||4th||6.4||+0.1||0.5||28th||77.0||100.7||average||76%|
|West Coast (district 97)|
|Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple)||16.5||-1.3||33.6||4th||6.5||-0.6||0.4||9th||33.4||64.2||average||52%|
|Low Rocky Point||19.1||32.5||4th||11.6||8.4||9th||97.6||82.9||average||118%|
|Scotts Peak Dam||20.7||+0.1||35.1||4th||9.1||-0.2||4.1||9th||97.2||104.9||average||93%|
|King Island (district 98)|
|King Island Airport||21.7||+1.0||37.8||4th||12.1||-0.3||5.3||15th||11.4||38.6||v low||30%|
|Flinders Island (district 99)|
|Flinders Island Airport||23.1||+1.0||38.6||4th||13.6||+0.3||7.3||28th||8.2||45.3||v low||18%|
|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 Friday 1 February 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.
The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.