Tasmania in October 2013: a wet, windy month

Persistent and strong westerly winds controlled Tasmania's weather during October 2013, bringing above-normal rain to the west, cool days, mild nights and wind damage.

  • very wet in the west
  • cooler days, apart from the east
  • milder nights
  • unusual number of windy days

Very wet in the west

Continuing the pattern seen over the last several months, persistent westerly winds frequently brought rain, with cold fronts embedded in those westerlies ensuring there was well-above normal rain in the western half of Tasmania during October. Mount Read recorded 618 mm for the month, whilst Strathgordon Village had 548 mm. Several sites in the west had their wettest October for several decades. There were also some very wet days scattered through the month, with a few sites registering their highest October daily rainfall on record.

Rain was close to normal along the north coast and in the east, with several sites on the East Coast recording less than 40 mm for the month.

Cooler days, but some hot weather

Cool days were more common than warm ones during October, but there were a few warm days. Warm weather on the 5th, 16th, 18th to 20th and 28th was swamped by marked cold spells near the start of the month, around the 14th, and from the 21st to the 26th. For most places, mean daily maximum temperatures were below average for October, typically by about half a degree. Only in the east and southeast were days a little warmer than usual.

The hottest weather was on the 20th, when several sites in the east reached into the high 20s and Friendly Beaches recorded 30.7 °C. Several times during the month elevated sites struggled to reach 10 °C, and on the 17th Mount Wellington reached only 0.8 °C.

Many mild nights, but some cold

Despite the many cool days, overnight temperatures were mostly above average in Tasmania during October, typically by about half a degree, although some patches in the south had a cool month. There were several mild mornings, notably on the 5th, around the 10th and around the 20th.

On the morning of the 20th, Friendly Beaches did not drop below 16.6 °C, Strahan Aerodrome remained above 15.9 °C, and Cape Grim reported its warmest October daily minimum temperature. At the other extreme, Mount Wellington dropped to -5.6 °C on the 14th and Liawenee hit -4.3 °C on the 7th.

Unusually windy, even for October

Spring often brings windy weather to Tasmania, but October 2013 was especially windy. Many times through the month there were trees brought down, power outages or other damage due to wind. The 2nd saw gusts over 100 km/h at sites across the state, with a peak of 143 km/h at Hogan Island (in northern Bass Strait) and Spring Bay on the East Coast and 127 km/h at Cape Grim.

There were more windy days than usual. For example Hobart had 10 days with a gust over 80 km/h (compared to an average of about 3 days each October), Strahan had 6 days with a gust over 80 km/h (October average less than 2 days), and Wynyard had 8 days with a gust over 70 km/h (October average about 2 days). Even when not gusty the wind was persistent: it was above 30 km/h about 25% of the time in Hobart (compared to an October average of about 10%), with similar stories elsewhere.

Mild, wet and windy in Hobart

Strong westerly winds were perhaps the main feature of Hobart's weather in October 2013. The strongest gust was 102 km/h on the 5th, and there were 10 days with a gust over 80 km/h, the greatest number of such gusty days in any month since the current anemometer was installed in 1994. Southeasterly winds, often indicating a sea-breeze in Hobart, occurred less than half as frequently as usual for October, whilst winds over 30 km/h were more than twice as frequent as usual for October.

Although Hobart had some cool days, the mean daily maximum of 17.7 °C was 0.7 °C above the long-term average for October. There were 9 days over 20 °C (the same amount as in the very mild September), with the highest 26.7 °C on the 19th. The coldest day was on the 24th with 12.9 °C; the long-term average is to have two days in October below 12 °C in Hobart.

There were cold nights through the month in Hobart, with the coldest 3.3 °C on the morning of the 7th. But there were also plenty of mild nights: on 9 occasions it didn't drop below 10 °C, and although it went below 5 °C twice this is less than the historical average of 5 such cold nights. The mean daily minimum temperature of 8.5 °C was 0.7 °C above the long-term average.

Hobart's 106.6 mm of rain for the month was above the long-term average of 62 mm, and much more than the 40 mm recorded in September, or the 29 mm from October 2012. It was Hobart's wettest October since 2001, and its wettest month since April 2011 (although not much wetter than the 101 mm in July this year).

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Extremes in October 2013
Hottest day 30.7 °C at Friendly Beaches on the 20th
Warmest days on average 19.1 °C at Friendly Beaches
Coolest days on average 5.9 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day 0.8 °C at Mount Wellington on the 17th
Coldest night -5.6 °C at Mount Wellington on the 14th
Coolest nights on average -0.9 °C at Mount Wellington
Warmest nights on average 10.3 °C at Flinders Island Airport
Warmest night 16.6 °C at Friendly Beaches on the 20th
Warmest on average overall 13.9 °C at Friendly Beaches
Coolest on average overall 3.0 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 618.4 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall 34.8 mm at Maria Island (Point Lesueur)
Wettest day 108.2 mm at Mount Victoria (Una Plain) on the 1st
Highest wind gust 143 km/h at Spring Bay NTC AWS and Hogan Island on on the 2nd

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 October daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in October 2013 (mm)
Previous wettest
for October
Years of
record
Naracoopa 64.6 on the 23rd 53.8 on the 30th in 1969 96
Tea Tree (The Point) 36.4 on the 1st 32.2 on the 23rd in 1986 28
Campbell Town (Elizabeth R) 44.2 on the 1st 39.9 on the 7th in 1968 27
Lake St Clair National Park 66.8 on the 17th 50.0 on the 16th in 2007 25



Record highest total October rainfall
Total rainfall
for October 2013 (mm)
Previous wettest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Lake St Clair National Park 428.8 304.4 in 2007 25 183.5
Maydena Post Office 240.5 175.5 in 2001 22 121.8

Highest total October rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for October 2013 (mm)
Most recent October
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
October
Bronte Heights 171.0 175.0 in 1928* 67 90.1
Ringarooma (Charles Street) 159.4 195.4 in 1986* 26 108.7
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 176.4 296.6 in 1988 25 92.8
Strathgordon Village 547.8 721.5 in 1988 25 251.8
Zeehan (West Coast Pioneers Museum) 334.4 554.8 in 1988* 24 211.7
Waratah (Mount Road) 267.6 282.0 in 1971* 23 198.7
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 136.0 150.0 in 1993 20 105.9

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




Record highest October daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in October 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 15.1 on the 20th 14.3 on the 12th in 2006 21 9.2



Summary statistics for October 2013
Maximum temperatures
for October
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for October
(°C)
Rainfall
for October
(millimetres)
Mean for
October
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
October
2013
Mean for
October
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
October
2013
Total for
October
2013
Average
for
October
Rank of
October
2013
Fraction of
October
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 16.0 -0.4 22.8 20th 7.8 -0.1 1.5 14th 72.0 58.6 average 123%
Burnie (Round Hill) 16.6 +0.7 21.6 19th 8.4 +0.4 3.3 14th 86.8 84.8 average 102%
Burnie NTC AWS 15.1   19.9 20th 9.2   5.6 14th
Cape Grim 14.4   19.8 20th 9.4   5.3 24th 79.8
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 14.6 +0.3 20.7 20th 9.4 +0.2 6.0 14th 72.2 61.5 average 117%
Cressy Research Station 16.6 -0.5 22.5 20th 6.6 +1.6 2.1 29th 71.0 48.9 high 145%
Devonport Airport 16.1 +0.3 20.0 31st 8.1 +0.9 3.9 14th 55.2 63.5 average 87%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 17.5 -0.5 23.0 20th 7.9 +1.0 2.6 14th 93.4 51.2 v high 182%
Launceston Airport 16.7   23.0 20th 5.9   0.2 14th 59.8 39.3 high 152%
Low Head 15.2 -0.1 19.0 20th 10.2 +0.8 7.5 7th 43.0 50.8 average 85%
Marrawah 14.5 -0.4 20.1 20th 8.5 +0.4 4.9 14th 104.2 88.5 high 118%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 15.7 -0.7 22.3 20th 5.9 +0.1 -0.6 14th 104.6 82.5 high 127%
Sheffield School Farm 14.5 -0.6 20.3 19th 6.2 +0.5 1.5 14th 118.6 80.9 high 147%
Smithton Aerodrome 16.2 0.0 23.0 20th 7.3 +0.4 2.2 7th 102.2 80.0 average 128%
Wynyard Airport 16.6 +0.5 21.4 20th 6.4 +0.3 2.1 18th 95.2 96.1 average 99%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 18.4 +1.0 28.6 20th 8.8 +0.3 3.3 18th 35.2 55.2 average 64%
Fingal (Legge Street) 17.1 -0.3 27.3 20th 5.3 +0.5 -0.6 27th 47.4 54.1 average 88%
Friendly Beaches 19.1 +1.2 30.7 20th 8.7 +0.2 3.7 14th 36.2 56.9 low 64%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 13.2 -0.5 21.9 20th 3.6 +0.1 -0.9 14th 95.2 75.2 high 127%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 17.2 +0.8 25.7 20th 9.1 0.0 2.9 14th 68.2 68.9 average 99%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 16.7   24.4 20th 9.1   4.1 14th 34.8 34.0 average 102%
Orford (Aubin Court) 17.8 +0.5 27.6 20th 7.1 -0.1 2.4 14th 42.6 59.4 average 72%
Spring Bay NTC AWS 16.4   25.4 20th 9.4   5.7 7th
St Helens Aerodrome 17.5 +0.2 26.1 20th 8.1 +0.3 2.3 14th 67.6 65.8 high 103%
Swan Island 15.7 -0.3 21.6 20th 10.2 +0.1 5.4 14th 68.2 50.9 high 134%
Swansea (Francis Street) 18.4   28.8 20th 7.9   1.9 14th 44.1
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 16.2 -0.8 23.1 20th 5.8 +1.0 0.4 28th 61.6 42.6 high 145%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 17.7 -0.1 26.1 19th 7.4 +1.0 0.6 7th 74.0 42.2 v high 175%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 15.3 +0.1 24.5 19th 7.6 -0.6 3.0 14th 111.6 69.3 high 161%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 14.9 +0.5 24.2 19th 7.6 -0.3 3.2 26th 121.8 83.6 high 146%
Dennes Point 17.0   25.4 19th 8.4   3.4 14th 65.6
Dover 16.0 -0.1 25.7 19th 6.3 -0.1 1.6 7th 131.0 86.5 high 151%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 17.2   26.0 19th 8.8   4.3 14th 57.2
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 16.1 -0.3 25.4 19th 6.4 +0.4 -0.1 7th 176.4 92.8 v high 190%
Grove (Research Station) 16.4   25.5 19th 6.4   -1.2 7th 115.8 64.1 v high 181%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 17.7 +0.7 26.7 19th 8.5 +0.7 3.3 7th 106.6 61.8 high 172%
Hobart Airport 17.6 +0.3 26.3 19th 8.3 +0.8 2.5 7th 64.4 46.5 high 138%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 12.4 -0.9 16.9 9th 7.4 -0.1 3.3 14th 136.0 105.9 high 128%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 16.3 -0.3 28.4 20th 5.8 +0.3 -0.2 7th 66.8 42.8 high 156%
Mount Wellington 6.8 -0.3 17.8 20th -0.9 -0.9 -5.6 14th
Tasman Island 14.5 +1.1 23.1 19th 7.1 -0.4 1.9 14th 112.0 66.1 v high 169%
Tunnack Fire Station 14.4 0.0 22.7 19th 4.3 0.0 -4.0 7th 58.4 54.4 high 107%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 17.5 -0.2 26.3 19th 6.2 +0.4 -0.3 7th 71.4 57.2 high 125%
Maydena Post Office 14.5 -1.1 24.2 19th 4.1 -0.6 -0.9 7th 240.5 121.8 highest 197%
Ouse Fire Station 17.0 -0.7 27.2 20th 6.0 +0.8 -0.8 7th 120.4 55.5 v high 217%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 11.4 -1.1 21.1 20th 2.8 +0.4 -3.9 7th 337.0 161.5 v high 209%
Lake St Clair National Park 11.7 -1.0 20.8 19th 2.3 +0.3 -4.1 7th 428.8 183.5 highest 234%
Liawenee 11.0 -0.5 20.8 20th 0.9 +0.3 -4.3 7th 97.4 69.6 high 140%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 14.9 +0.6 18.4 19th 8.9 +0.2 4.8 25th 86.6 107.8 average 80%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 9.1 -1.7 18.2 19th 1.6 -1.0 -2.9 14th
Low Rocky Point 14.1   19.0 19th 8.4   4.7 7th 139.4 112.0 high 124%
Mount Read 5.9 -1.7 15.7 19th 0.3 -1.0 -3.4 14th 618.4 393.6 v high 157%
Scotts Peak Dam 13.0 -1.4 21.3 19th 4.7 -0.3 0.6 14th 356.2 176.9 v high 201%
Strahan Aerodrome 15.1 -1.0 21.3 19th 7.5 +0.2 1.1 7th 188.2 120.0 high 157%
Strathgordon Village 12.0 -1.6 21.0 20th 4.9 -0.5 0.5 14th 547.8 251.8 v high 218%
Warra 12.6   22.2 20th 3.6   -2.7 7th 463.8
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 16.0 +0.3 23.7 19th 9.5 +0.7 5.2 3rd 92.6 74.3 average 125%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 17.1 +0.4 28.7 20th 10.3 +1.8 2.6 28th 70.6 59.8 average 118%
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 5.9 +0.1 7.4 3rd 1.8 -0.2 -1.9 27th 121.2 76.6 v high 158%

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 Friday 1 November 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.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries