Tasmania in January 2018: mostly very warm and dry

Temperatures were well above normal in Tasmania during January, with several records broken. Rainfall was very much below average across the State until a band of rain and thunderstorms near the end of the month gave above-average totals to the Midlands and parts of the east. A heatwave on the final weekend was followed by a marked cold change.

A mostly dry month

  • Rainfall was below average in the western half of the State, but average or above in the Midland and the east
  • Most of the rain in the Midlands and the east fell as a cold front crossed on the 29th, bringing moderate to locally heavy falls and some thunderstorms
  • York Plains recorded 80 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 30th (its highest January daily rainfall on record), giving it the wettest January since 1996
  • There were some other localised moderate falls from thunderstorms earlier in the month (including 20 mm in 15 minutes at St Helens on the afternoon of the 9th), but many days were dry across the State
  • The State's total rainfall was 35% below the January average, the driest January since 2010

Warm to hot days

  • After a cool first few days there were several spells of warm to locally hot weather, starting on the 6th when temperatures pushed into the low 30s in the south and east
  • The 18th was also very warm in the south and east, then the 19th was warm to hot in the north, peaking at 39.7 °C at St Helens and giving a a few sites in the north their highest temperature on record
  • After a slight easing on the 20th, temperatures gradually increased again before culminating in a heatwave that saw several central and southern sites reaching into the high 30s on the 28th (including 39.6 °C at Campania)
  • A marked cold change following the heatwave brought cool weather for most of the State for the final two days of January, with some sites having their coldest day of the month on the 31st and Marrawah had its coldest January day on record

Record warm nights

  • The heatwave that ended on the 29th brought record warm night time minimum temperatures, with many sites having their warmest January minimum temperature on record on either the 28th or 29th ( in some cases exceeding the old record on both mornings)
  • Several sites had two consecutive nights where the temperature did not drop below 20 °C: Launceston and Devonport were among those where this has never been recorded before
  • The State mean minimum temperature for the 29th was more than ten degrees above average at 19.43 °C, making it the warmest night on record for Tasmania as a whole
  • The 2nd and 3rd were cool mornings, as was the period from the 14th to 17th, but warm nights dominated from the 19th to the 30th
  • A cold change brought snow to the highlands on the morning of the 31st; kunanyi / Mount Wellington dipped to -1.4 °C, some sites saw their lowest temperature since November and their lowest January minimum temperature for several years

A very warm month overall

  • Frequent warm days but only a few cool ones ensured many sites across the State had their highest January mean daily maximum temperature on record or their highest for many years, whilst at several sites (including Hobart, Launceston and Devonport) it was the second-warmest January on record
  • Persistent warmth and some very warm mornings meant most of the State had mean minimum temperatures one or two degrees above average; for many sites this was second-warmest behind January 2016 and Cape Bruny had its highest January mean daily minimum temperature on record
  • Combining maximum and minimum temperatures show that many sites had their highest January mean temperature on record
  • Averaged across Tasmania, the overall State mean temperature was second only to 1961 at 1.84 °C above average, with the mean maximum temperature second-warmest on record at 2.59 °C above average and the State mean minimum temperature ninth-warmest at 1.09 °C above average

A warm month in Hobart

  • Hobart's mean temperature for the month equalled the record from 2003 at 19.3 °C, 2.5 °C warmer than the long-term average
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 24.4 °C, which is 2.7 °C above the long-term average, the second-warmest January, and the third-warmest month (behind January 2003 and February 2001, both on 25.0 °C)
  • Hobart's warmest day was 36.7 °C on the 28th, the highest temperature since the city reached 38.9 °C on 28 January 2014
  • The coolest day was on the 13th when the temperature reached 15.8 °C, one of only four days below 20 °C compared to a long-term January average of about twelve such cool days
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was a 14.3 °C, 2.4 °C above the long-term average and just 0.1 °C cooler than the record from 2016
  • The warmest morning was on the 29th when the minimum temperature was a January record of 23.9 °C, which is also equal second-warmest minimum temperature for any time of year
  • Hobart's coldest morning came just two days later with 8.4 °C on the 31st; there were only three nights below 10 °C compared to a long-term January average of about seven such cool nights
  • Total rainfall for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 22.2 mm, less than half the long-term average of 47.5 mm

Further information

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Extremes in January 2018
Hottest day 39.7 °C at St Helens Aerodrome on the 19th
Warmest days on average 27.4 °C at Cressy Research Station
Coolest days on average 15.8 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Coldest day 4.7 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on the 31st
Coldest night -1.4 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on the 31st
Coolest nights on average 6.2 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) and Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 15.8 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 23.9 °C at Campania (Kincora), Hobart (Ellerslie Road)
and Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) on the 29th
Warmest on average overall 20.0 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest on average overall 11.0 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 151.2 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall8.6 mm at King Island Airport
Wettest day 80.0 mm at York Plains (Handroyd) on the 30th
Strongest wind gust 131 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on the 6th

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 January daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
York Plains (Handroyd) 80.0 on the 30th 55.2 on the 25th in 1996 102
Llewellyn (South Esk River) 43.8 on the 30th 41.0 on the 29th in 2004 24



Highest January total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
January
York Plains (Handroyd) 88.6 138.2 in 1996 42.3



Record lowest January total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
King Island Airport 8.6 = 8.6 in 2008 44 39.1



Record highest January temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 38.2 on the 19th 36.5 on the 4th in 2013 108 20.7
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 32.0 on the 19th 31.5 on the 21st in 1997 24 21.9
Low Head 27.3 on the 15th 27.0 on the 14th in 2015 21 20.4

 

Record highest temperature for any time of year
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 38.2 on 19 Jan 36.5 on 4 Jan 2013 108 17.0
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 32.0 on 19 Jan 31.7 on 12 Dec 1998 25 17.5



Record lowest January daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Marrawah 13.0 on the 31st 13.4 on the 4th in 2000 47 20.2



Record highest January mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 21.2 20.9 in 1974 95 18.3
Fingal (Legge Street) 26.6 26.4 in 1988 31 23.6
Dover 23.7 22.7 in 2016 28 20.8
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 22.0 21.8 in 2008 28 19.5
Lake St Clair National Park 22.1 = 22.1 in 2001 26 19.4
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 20.7 20.2 in 2001 25 19.0
Ross (The Boulevards) 27.2 26.6 in 2008 24 24.5
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 24.1 23.4 in 2016 23 21.9
King Island Airport 23.2 22.2 in 2014 22 20.9
Smithton Aerodrome 23.7 23.5 in 2016 21 21.6
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 22.0 21.1 in 2016 20 19.8
Friendly Beaches 25.0 24.6 in 2013 20 23.1
Sheffield School Farm 24.3 24.0 in 2016 20 22.1
Tunnack Fire Station 24.0 23.6 in 2003 20 21.7

Highest January mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
January
Cape Sorell 21.3 22.2 in 1908* 18.3
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 26.8 27.8 in 1954* 24.0
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 18.7 18.9 in 1981 17.0
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 26.8 26.9 in 1981* 24.4
Marrawah 22.1 22.4 in 1988 20.2

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




Record highest January daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 23.9 on the 29th 23.4 on the 4th in 2013 131 11.9
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 20.7 on the 28th 19.6 on the 31st in 1974 108 13.2
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 19.9 on the 29th 18.7 on the 20th in 1973 62 10.8
Hobart Airport 23.2 on the 29th 21.8 on the 4th in 2013 60 12.1
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 21.9 on the 29th 21.1 on the 17th in 1962 58 10.1
Butlers Gorge 19.4 on the 29th = 19.4 on the 20th in 1959 56 6.4
Burnie (Round Hill) 22.1 on the 28th 21.3 on the 30th in 1988 53 12.7
Marrawah 21.5 on the 29th 20.8 on the 21st in 1997 47 12.0
Bicheno (Council Depot) 19.5 on the 29th 19.0 on the 24th in 2017 43 13.0
Fingal (Legge Street) 20.9 on the 28th = 20.9 on the 30th in 2009 32 10.3
Wynyard Airport 21.3 on the 28th 19.9 on the 30th in 2012 31 11.1
Dover 19.8 on the 29th 18.9 on the 14th in 1998 29 10.3
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 18.6 on the 29th 17.8 on the 3rd in 2001 29 8.4
Devonport Airport 22.0 on the 28th 19.9 on the 30th in 2009 27 12.3
Lake St Clair National Park 19.3 on the 29th 18.5 on the 6th in 1997 27 6.3
Maydena Post Office 19.8 on the 29th 17.6 on the 20th in 2001 26 9.0
King Island Airport 20.0 on the 29th 19.8 on the 14th in 1998 23 12.5
Smithton Aerodrome 22.2 on the 29th 20.0 on the 30th in 2012 22 11.1
Low Head 21.4 on the 29th 20.2 on the 30th in 2012 21 14.3
Sheffield School Farm 19.5 on the 29th 19.4 on the 30th in 2009 21 10.6
Ouse Fire Station 21.1 on the 29th 18.9 on the 30th in 2012 20 10.2

 

Record highest daily minimum temperature for any time of year
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 20.7 on 28 Jan 20.0 on 16 Feb 1982 108 10.1
Butlers Gorge 19.4 on 29 Jan = 19.4 on 20 Jan 1959 59 3.0
Burnie (Round Hill) 22.1 on 28 Jan 21.3 on 30 Jan 1988 54 9.3
Marrawah 21.5 on 29 Jan 20.8 on 21 Jan 1997 48 9.4
Wynyard Airport 21.3 on 28 Jan 21.0 on 12 Mar 2013 34 7.1
Fingal (Legge Street) 20.9 on 28 Jan = 20.9 on 30 Jan 2009 33 5.3
Lake St Clair National Park 19.3 on 29 Jan 18.5 on 6 Jan 1997 29 2.8
Devonport Airport 22.0 on 28 Jan 20.0 on 27 Feb 2012 28 8.3
Maydena Post Office 19.8 on 29 Jan 18.9 on 4 Feb 2010 27 5.4
Smithton Aerodrome 22.2 on 29 Jan 20.7 on 12 Mar 2013 23 7.7
Sheffield School Farm 19.5 on 29 Jan 19.4 on 30 Jan 2009 22 6.8
Low Head 21.4 on 29 Jan 20.7 on 4 Feb 2010 21 10.6
Ouse Fire Station 21.1 on 29 Jan 20.0 on 30 Dec 2002 21 5.6



Record highest January mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 13.6 13.5 in 2016 95 11.4
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 14.5 = 14.5 in 2001 25 13.1
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 13.3 = 13.3 in 2016 20 12.2

Highest January mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
January
Marrawah 13.7 13.8 in 1974 12.0



Record highest January mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 19.3 = 19.3 in 2003 135 16.8
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 17.4 16.9 in 2016 95 14.9
Hobart Airport 19.2 19.0 in 2008 59 17.3
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 11.0 10.9 in 2003 37 9.1
Fingal (Legge Street) 19.0 = 19.0 in 1988 31 16.9
Dover 17.4 17.3 in 2016 28 15.5
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 15.8 15.1 in 2016 28 13.9
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 17.6 17.4 in 2001 25 16.0
Ross (The Boulevards) 19.5 19.0 in 2008 24 17.6
King Island Airport 18.2 17.9 in 2001 22 16.7
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 18.4 18.3 in 2008 21 17.2
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 17.7 17.2 in 2016 20 16.0
Friendly Beaches 19.6 19.0 in 2016 20 18.2

Highest January mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
January
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 15.6 16.5 in 1974 13.9
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 19.0 19.2 in 1981 17.0
Marrawah 17.7 18.0 in 1981 16.1



Summary statistics for January 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2018
Mean for
January
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2018
Total for
January
2018
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2018
Fraction of
January
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 24.1 +2.2 32.0 19th 13.6 +0.6 7.5 14th 29.2 54.5 average 54%
Cape Grim 20.5   27.0 28th 14.6   10.6 31st 13.8
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 20.7 +1.7 26.8 27th 14.5 +1.4 10.8 31st 16.0 36.7 low 44%
Cressy Research Station 27.4 +2.2 35.5 19th 11.1 +0.8 4.5 2nd 34.6 38.2 average 91%
Devonport Airport 23.3 +1.9 27.5 28th 13.7 +1.4 5.4 14th 14.0 43.4 low 32%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 26.8 +2.4 34.2 19th 13.2 +0.9 6.5 14th 20.0 47.0 low 43%
Launceston Airport 27.1 +2.1 36.2 19th 11.1 +0.3 4.7 14th 30.4 34.6 average 88%
Low Head 21.9 +1.5 27.3 15th 15.3 +1.0 10.4 14th 19.4 51.5 low 38%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 22.6 +1.3 32.4 28th 11.9 +1.4 6.1 14th 41.4 75.0 low 55%
Marrawah 22.1 +1.9 30.5 28th 13.7 +1.7 9.0 14th 22.6 48.0 low 47%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 24.4 +1.5 36.5 19th 12.0 +1.2 6.7 31st 56.2 57.3 average 98%
Sheffield School Farm 24.3 +2.2 34.4 19th 11.8 +1.2 5.8 31st 18.6 53.7 low 35%
Smithton Aerodrome 23.7 +2.1 31.1 19th 11.5 +0.4 5.5 8th 20.6 40.3 low 51%
Wynyard Airport 24.1 +2.5 33.8 19th 12.4 +1.3 5.2 3rd 13.4 43.5 v low 31%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 22.5 +1.1 29.2 6th 14.3 +1.3 9.1 31st 48.7 54.5 average 89%
Fingal (Legge Street) 26.6 +3.0 39.2 19th 11.5 +1.2 4.4 16th 47.6 44.8 average 106%
Friendly Beaches 25.0 +1.9 36.5 19th 14.3 +1.1 8.8 17th 40.2 67.6 average 59%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 22.0 +2.5 31.6 28th 9.5 +1.1 3.4 14th 45.0 54.5 average 83%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 24.2 +3.5 38.2 19th 14.8 +1.6 8.8 31st 57.2 45.7 average 125%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 22.0 +0.5 28.6 6th 15.0 +1.3 8.6 31st 61.0 49.7 high 123%
Orford (Aubin Court) 23.2 +1.1 30.7 28th 13.7 +1.8 7.8 31st 86.2 52.2 high 165%
St Helens Aerodrome 24.6 +1.8 39.7 19th 14.1 +0.8 8.5 17th 97.4 64.6 high 151%
Swan Island 22.5 +1.6 28.0 28th 15.8 +0.9 10.5 31st 56.0 46.6 average 120%
Swansea (Francis Street) 23.7   36.5 19th 13.3   8.0 17th 36.8
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 27.2 +2.7 36.3 19th 11.7 +1.1 2.5 16th 45.6 45.7 average 100%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 25.7 +1.4 39.6 28th 12.5 +1.0 4.6 16th 21.2 40.2 average 53%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 22.0 +2.2 32.2 28th 13.3 +1.1 7.5 31st 21.4 43.2 low 50%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 21.2 +2.9 30.5 28th 13.6 +2.2 8.0 31st 26.0 61.3 low 42%
Dennes Point 22.9   32.3 6th 13.8   8.3 31st 24.6
Dover 23.7 +2.9 36.0 28th 11.1 +0.8 6.2 3rd 27.0 53.4 low 51%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 23.4   30.8 6th 14.8   6.9 31st 4.6
Grove (Research Station) 24.7 +1.5 38.6 28th 10.2 +0.4 3.5 14th 26.6 45.2 low 59%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 24.4 +2.7 36.7 28th 14.3 +2.4 8.4 31st 22.2 47.5 low 47%
Hobart Airport 24.7 +2.1 36.5 28th 13.8 +1.7 8.5 31st 25.6 40.5 average 63%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 15.8 +2.4 28.7 28th 6.2 +1.4 -1.4 31st 37.6 90.6 low 42%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 18.7 +1.7 30.5 28th 12.4 +1.6 6.9 31st 43.2 78.5 low 55%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 25.4 +1.5 37.6 28th 11.4 +1.0 3.1 16th 14.4 32.0 low 45%
Tasman Island 19.4 +1.4 28.0 18th 12.9 +1.5 6.9 31st 47.0 69.0 average 68%
Tunnack Fire Station 24.0 +2.3 32.5 19th 10.1 +1.2 1.3 16th 34.8 44.7 average 78%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 26.8 +2.8 39.4 28th 11.2 +1.1 3.4 16th 11.8 40.8 v low 29%
Maydena Post Office 24.3 +2.2 36.5 28th 9.7 +0.7 1.6 16th 34.2 60.8 low 56%
Ouse Fire Station 27.1 +1.7 38.7 28th 10.7 +0.5 2.2 16th 9.0 26.3 low 34%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 21.1 +2.2 32.6 28th 7.1 +0.7 0.6 9th 53.8 95.4 low 56%
Lake St Clair National Park 22.1 +2.7 32.2 28th 7.6 +1.3 2.6 16th 40.4 100.5 low 40%
Liawenee 21.2 +2.4 29.3 19th 6.2 +0.9 0.0 3rd 17.6 51.7 low 34%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 21.3 +3.0 32.0 28th 13.7 +1.9 8.4 31st 65.0 68.6 average 95%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 19.1 +1.5 34.1 28th 8.2 +1.1 0.5 31st 43.8 66.1 average 66%
Low Rocky Point 20.8   30.1 28th 12.7   7.9 31st 60.8 79.2 average 77%
Scotts Peak Dam 22.9 +2.1 37.7 28th 10.4 +1.0 4.0 31st 86.6 102.7 average 84%
Strahan Aerodrome 22.5 +1.7 35.9 28th 11.9 +1.1 5.6 16th 82.0 84.1 average 98%
Warra 21.3 +2.0 35.1 28th 8.6 +0.3 0.5 16th 55.4 104.9 low 53%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 23.2 +2.3 34.7 28th 13.4 +0.9 7.6 24th 8.6 39.1 lowest 22%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 24.2 +2.0 34.7 29th 15.0 +1.6 6.4 17th 101.6 46.2 v high 220%
Hogan Island 23.2 +1.6 34.3 6th 15.6 +0.8 11.7 14th 52.0 38.2 high 136%
Note: From 2017, information about Macquarie Island can be found in the climate summary for the Remote Islands and Antarctica

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists 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. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Thursday 1 February 2018. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites 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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries