Tasmania in April 2013: Heavy rain, damaging winds and fires

Isolated showers produced heavy rain and localised flooding in the southeast on the 9th, but April rainfall was average to below average elsewhere. Strong winds and warm temperatures saw fires flare in the south on the 27th, the strong winds also causing damage to property.

  • Heavy rain with localised flooding in the southeast
  • 156 mm at Eaglehawk Neck on the 9th
  • Damaging winds and fires
  • Strahan's coldest April night on record
  • Warm days and cold nights overall

Heavy rain in the southeast

Isolated showers produced very heavy rainfall in the southeast overnight on 8 April. Eaglehawk Neck reported 156 mm over the 24 hours to 9am on 9 April, its wettest April day on record and 2nd wettest day on record for any time of year. Copping recorded a daily total of 103 mm, 38 mm of that in an hour, and Catamaran a daily total of 92 mm. The heavy rain caused some localised flash flooding around Boomer Bay and Eaglehawk Neck, a bridge at Boomer Bay being washed away.

The heavy rain resulted in above average April rainfall in a small area of the southeast, but monthly rainfall totals were average to below average elsewhere across Tasmania. The driest site was The Den in the Central Plateau with 8.8 mm, whilst the wettest was Mount Read with 353.2 mm.

Damaging winds and fires

An approaching cold front directed very strong northwesterly winds across Tasmania on the 27th, pushing temperatures into the mid-twenties in the southeast. Maximum wind gusts reached 96 km/h in Hobart and 113 km/h at Cape Bruny. The warm and very windy conditions, in addition to dry vegetation and soil saw bush fires flare near Tea Tree, Cygnet, Judbury, Ouse and Campania. The fire at Tea Tree burnt 600 ha.

In addition to the fires, the strong winds caused some damage to property and downed trees and power lines, leaving thousands of premises without power across Tasmania.

Warm days overall, but some wintery weather too

Following on from a record warm March, maximum temperatures continued to be warmer than average in April, by up to 1 °C in most areas. Days were warmest between the 5th and 13th and on the 27th in warm northerly winds. Campania (Kincora) reached 26.7 °C on the 27th, the warmest day of the month. There were also a few cold days, temperatures remaining below 15 °C in most areas between 18 and 19 April when a southerly flow brought snow showers to Mount Wellington and the central highlands. Mount Wellington 's maximum of only 0.1 °C on the 19th was the coldest day of the month.

Several cold April nights

Cold nights were common in April, a notable cold period extending from the 12th to the 25th. In the west, Marrawah had its coldest April night in 42 years with a low of 3.0 °C on the 19th, and on the 20th Strahan recorded a low of -0.2 °C, its lowest April temperature on record. There were a few mild nights in April, the warmest of those between the 7th and 10th and later in the month around the 27th. King Island Airport's minimum of 16.5 °C on the 27th was the highest of the month.

Overall, minimum temperatures were generally below average, by up to 1 °C in most areas. The lowest temperature of the month was -4.8 °C recorded at Liawenee on the 16th, its coldest April night in 3 years.

Mild and dry in Hobart

Hobart had a mix of warm and cold days, as is usual in April; the warmest day was 25.0 °C on the 27th and the coldest 12.5 °C on the 19th, Hobart's coldest April day since 2009. There were a few mild nights but most nights were cold; 5.7 °C on the 16th Hobart's lowest temperature of the month. Overall, minimum and maximum temperatures were just above average, by +0.4 °C and +0.6 °C respectively.

Hobart received 21.2 mm of rain, less than half the April average of 51.4 mm. More than half of that fell on the 19th, when 11 mm of rain was recorded. There were 14 rain days, which is two days above average for April.

2013 so far

January to April 2013 has been drier than normal for most, largely due to below average rainfall in many areas in January, February and April. Some sites in the north and west had close to average rainfall. Maximum temperatures are 1 to 2 degrees above average, and minimum temperatures up to 1 degree above average.

Further information

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Extremes in April 2013
Hottest day26.7 °C at Campania (Kincora) on the 27th
Warmest days on average19.3 °C at Larapuna (Eddystone Point)
Coolest days on average7.6 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day0.1 °C at Mount Wellington on the 19th
Coldest night-4.8 °C at Liawenee on the 16th
Coolest nights on average1.0 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average12.3 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night16.5 °C at King Island Airport on the 27th
Warmest on average overall 15.3 °C at Larapuna (Eddystone Point) and Swan Island
Coolest on average overall4.6 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall353.2 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall8.8 mm at The Den
Wettest day156.4 mm at Eaglehawk Neck (Jetty Road) on the 9th
Highest wind gust156 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on the 27th

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 April daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in April 2013 (mm)
Previous wettest
for April
Years of
record
Eaglehawk Neck (Jetty Road) 156.4 on the 9th 91.4 on the 19th in 1957 90



Highest total April rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for April 2013 (mm)
Most recent April
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
April
Eaglehawk Neck (Jetty Road) 207.4 247.7 in 1957* 47 74.9

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




Record lowest April temperature
Lowest temperature
in April 2013 (°C)
Previous coolest
for April
Years of
record
Average for
April
Strahan Aerodrome -0.2 on the 20th 1.2 on the 29th in 2009 21 8.4



Summary statistics for April 2013
Maximum temperatures
for April
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for April
(°C)
Rainfall
for April
(millimetres)
Mean for
April
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
April
2013
Mean for
April
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
April
2013
Total for
April
2013
Average
for
April
Rank of
April
2013
Fraction of
April
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 17.9 -0.2 21.5 7th 9.1 -0.4 4.4 30th 30.7 60.5 low 51%
Burnie (Round Hill) 18.2 +0.5 20.7 1st 10.2 +0.2 5.0 19th 57.8 74.4 average 78%
Cape Grim 16.5   20.3 7th 11.4   5.1 19th 40.0
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 16.9 +0.4 21.1 7th 11.3 -0.1 5.3 19th 41.0 67.2 low 61%
Cressy Research Station 18.0 -0.2 22.8 8th 4.7 -0.9 -3.7 30th 13.4 43.0 low 31%
Devonport Airport 17.6 -0.1 20.8 8th 8.1 -0.6 2.9 30th 28.0 60.8 low 46%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 19.1 +0.2 24.2 7th 6.7 -0.9 0.5 30th 20.6 52.2 low 39%
Launceston Airport 18.0   23.3 7th 5.6   -0.1 30th 14.6
Low Head 17.5 -0.2 20.1 8th 11.1 0.0 6.2 30th 24.4 55.6 low 44%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 15.9 +0.3 23.4 7th 7.6 -0.5 0.9 19th 118.0 104.8 average 113%
Marrawah 17.1 +0.3 21.2 7th 10.1 -0.2 3.0 19th 64.0 85.2 average 75%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 17.0 -1.0 21.7 8th 7.7 -0.3 1.1 30th 34.0 79.8 low 43%
Sheffield School Farm 16.5 0.0 20.5 9th 6.4 -0.6 1.4 30th
Smithton Aerodrome 17.9 +0.2 21.8 7th 6.8 -1.0 -1.8 20th 63.0 59.6 average 106%
Wynyard Airport 17.9 +0.4 20.6 7th 6.7 -0.5 -0.5 20th 50.0 73.3 average 68%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 19.0 +0.1 24.0 13th 10.1 -0.2 5.9 24th 47.5 59.8 average 79%
Fingal (Legge Street) 17.8 -0.5 23.1 7th 4.2 -1.3 -4.6 30th 30.8 51.9 average 59%
Friendly Beaches 19.1 +0.5 25.4 13th 9.5 -0.3 5.3 30th 31.2 53.0 average 59%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 13.9 -0.3 19.3 7th 3.4 -0.8 -2.7 30th 26.6 69.2 low 38%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 19.3 +1.2 24.2 7th 11.3 -0.2 6.4 30th 33.2 66.2 low 50%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 17.5   21.5 7th 10.8   7.6 30th 25.6
Orford (Aubin Court) 17.9 -0.5 23.3 27th 7.0 -1.4 3.7 30th 24.6 57.6 low 43%
St Helens Aerodrome 18.5 +0.1 22.4 27th 9.0 -0.7 3.1 30th 18.8 58.1 v low 32%
Swan Island 18.2 0.0 23.1 7th 12.3 -0.5 7.9 19th 40.2 49.5 average 81%
Swansea (Francis Street) 18.9   25.0 13th 8.2   1.3 30th 39.4
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 17.7 +0.2 23.7 9th 4.3 -1.4 -4.1 30th 10.8 36.0 low 30%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 19.2 +0.3 26.7 27th 7.0 -0.4 1.4 12th 16.0 35.7 low 45%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 16.6 +0.2 23.4 27th 9.7 -0.2 7.0 12th 50.4 54.9 average 92%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 16.0 +0.5 23.3 27th 9.8 +0.2 7.0 12th 50.7 79.8 low 64%
Dennes Point 17.4   24.5 27th 10.1   6.9 19th 62.2
Dover 16.6 -0.2 24.8 27th 7.0 -0.1 1.1 12th 52.4 67.3 average 78%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 17.4   25.3 27th 10.5   7.7 19th 82.4
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 17.0 -0.3 24.2 27th 6.2 -0.1 -0.8 12th 45.8 64.5 low 71%
Grove (Research Station) 17.6   25.4 27th 5.4   -1.4 12th 36.4
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 17.9 +0.6 25.0 27th 9.4 +0.4 5.7 16th 21.2 51.2 low 41%
Hobart Airport 18.5 +0.4 25.5 27th 8.3 -0.5 3.9 25th 19.0 42.6 average 45%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 14.6 +0.1 20.6 27th 9.7 +0.2 6.2 29th 72.4 108.5 low 67%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 17.4 +0.1 23.9 27th 5.5 -0.3 -0.4 12th 13.4 29.0 low 46%
Mount Wellington 7.6 -0.8 13.4 7th 1.5 -0.7 -2.1 19th
Tasman Island 15.2 +0.3 22.7 27th 9.7 -0.1 5.9 19th 49.2 68.6 average 72%
Tunnack Fire Station 15.6 +0.3 21.7 27th 4.1 -1.2 -1.9 16th 26.8 45.1 low 59%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 18.8 +0.9 25.3 27th 5.6 -0.6 -1.0 12th 9.6 46.2 v low 21%
Maydena Post Office 15.7 -0.2 22.7 27th 4.5 -1.0 -0.3 17th 65.1 82.7 low 79%
Ouse Fire Station 18.3 0.0 24.7 27th 5.2 +0.3 -2.1 12th 11.8 30.2 v low 39%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 12.8 -0.3 19.9 9th 3.1 -0.3 -3.4 12th 119.6 144.1 average 83%
Lake St Clair National Park 12.6 -0.4 19.4 7th 2.5 -0.4 -2.1 21st 161.8 136.5 high 119%
Liawenee 11.3 -1.0 17.8 7th 1.0 -0.7 -4.8 16th 24.2 70.1 v low 35%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 16.9 +1.4 22.2 6th 10.5 +0.2 5.4 19th 53.0 109.4 v low 48%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 10.5 -0.5 18.9 7th 3.9 -0.6 0.3 19th 76.4 69.8 average 109%
Low Rocky Point 16.2   21.0 6th 9.8   4.4 20th 87.4 110.2 low 79%
Mount Read 8.1 -0.8 16.5 7th 2.6 -0.8 -2.0 19th 353.2 282.8 high 125%
Scotts Peak Dam 14.4 -0.3 22.9 7th 6.2 -0.6 2.3 19th 140.2 128.2 average 109%
Strahan Aerodrome 16.8 +0.1 23.5 6th 7.7 -0.7 -0.2 20th 109.8 114.1 average 96%
Strathgordon Village 14.3 +0.1 20.5 27th 6.4 -0.5 2.0 20th 207.6 201.6 average 103%
Warra 13.0   19.9 27th 4.9   0.4 21st 144.8
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 18.0 +0.3 22.7 6th 10.1 -0.4 3.8 12th 40.4 57.1 low 71%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 19.1 +0.4 24.0 13th 10.4 -0.3 3.5 4th
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 7.0 0.0 8.5 13th 3.7 0.0 -0.9 19th 137.2 93.7 v high 146%

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 Wednesday 1 May 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 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.

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.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries