Tasmania in May 2019: Mild start, cold finish, dry in the southeast

Mild weather was common until near the end of May, when there were several cold days with snow on the highlands. Westerly winds brought rain to the west, with some heavy falls in the northwest, but parts of the southeast were relatively dry.

Cold fronts bring rain, but little to the east

  • Fresh to strong westerly winds and cold fronts were common during May, bringing rain to the west on most days
  • A complex low and cold front approaching from the west early in the month brought moderate to heavy falls and thunderstorms into the northwest, giving the highest May daily rainfall to a few sites
  • Another front and low brought moderate falls to the northwest around the 10th
  • A sequence of fronts brought moderate rain to the southwest half during the final few days of the month
  • In the southeast, rainfall totals tended to be light even on the wet days
  • Overall, areas in the west and northwest had above average rainfall
  • The east, and especially the southeast had below-average rainfall
  • Total rainfall for Tasmania was about 4% below average
  • It was generally drier than May 2018, but the northwest was wetter this May

A mild start, but a cold finish; warm overall

  • Most days and nights were warmer than average, although there were a few cool spells
  • Mild weather continued long into May, with temperatures in the east reaching into the high teens as late as the 24th
  • A cold spell from the 26th saw many areas struggle to reach even 10 °C for several days, with snow falling on elevated ground
  • Scottsdale had its highest May temperature on record on the 1st, but a few sites had their coldest May day on record on the 28th or 29th
  • Tasmania's mean temperature for May was 0.44 °C above average, with the mean maximum 0.34 °C above average and the mean minimum 0.54 °C above average
  • It was generally cooler than May 2018 but warmer than May 2017

A dry, mild month for Hobart

  • Total rainfall for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 23.4 mm, about half the long-term average
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 15.8 °C, which is 1.3 °C above the long-term average
  • Hobart reached 17 °C on 12 days and didn't reach 12 °C on 2 days; on average May has about 6 of each
  • Warm weather continued well into the month: the warmest day was 19.7 °C on the 15th
  • The coldest weather was at the end of the month: on the 29th the minimum temperature was 3.1 °C and the maximum was 10.1 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 8.2 °C, which is 1.2 °C above the long-term average

Further information

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Extremes in May 2019
Hottest day 24.3 °C at Flinders Island Airport on the 1st
Warmest days on average 17.0 °C at larapuna (Eddystone Point) and St Helens Aerodrome
Coolest days on average 6.3 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day -1.8 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on the 29th
Coldest night -5.2 °C at Liawenee on the 7th
Coolest nights on average 0.7 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 11.3 °C at Hogan Island
Warmest night 16.0 °C at Hogan Island on the 2nd
Warmest on average overall 13.7 °C at Swan Island
Coolest on average overall 3.9 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 500.2 mm at Mount Read
Wettest day 60.8 mm at Mount Read on the 31st
Strongest wind gust 141 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on the 13th
141 km/h at Hogan Island on the 29th

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 May daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Three Hummock Island 42.2 on the 2nd 33.5 on the 12th in 1942 27
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 47.4 on the 2nd 43.0 on the 22nd in 1996 24



Record highest May temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 22.3 on the 1st 22.1 on the 3rd in 1988 40 14.9



Record lowest May daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Dover 8.1 on the 28th = 8.1 on the 30th in 2017 30 14.7
Strahan Aerodrome 8.5 on the 29th 8.8 on the 21st in 1982 27 14.3
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 8.2 on the 28th = 8.2 on the 29th in 2000 23 14.3
Mount Read -0.3 on the 29th -0.2 on the 29th in 2000 23 6.4



Record lowest May temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 3.2 on the 29th 3.5 on the 27th in 2005 23 8.6



Summary statistics for May 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2019
Mean for
May
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2019
Total for
May
2019
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2019
Fraction of
May
average
Northern (district 91)
Cape Grim 14.7   17.6 1st 10.4   5.2 30th 141.8
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 14.9 +0.2 17.8 1st 10.4 +0.2 5.8 30th 141.6 83.0 high 171%
Cressy Research Station 14.7 -0.1 21.1 1st 3.6 +0.1 -2.1 19th 51.0 50.5 average 101%
Devonport Airport 15.7 +0.3 19.1 4th 7.3 +0.5 3.6 7th 48.0 75.1 average 64%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 16.0 +0.2 21.7 1st 5.7 +0.6 -1.5 30th 75.2 65.0 average 116%
Launceston Airport 14.7 0.0 20.2 1st 4.6 +0.3 -2.2 30th 57.2 58.6 average 98%
Low Head 15.5 +0.1 18.7 1st 10.0 +0.6 5.9 7th 75.4 66.3 average 114%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 12.6 -0.3 16.8 18th 7.3 +0.3 2.0 29th 209.4 170.4 high 123%
Marrawah 14.7 0.0 17.5 18th 9.0 -0.1 3.0 28th 155.0 110.2 high 141%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 15.0 +0.1 22.3 1st 5.9 0.0 0.2 30th 74.8 97.6 average 77%
Sheffield School Farm 13.7 +0.1 17.0 18th 5.2 -0.2 0.1 7th 120.0 98.5 high 122%
Smithton Aerodrome 15.5 +0.1 18.3 18th 6.7 +0.4 1.3 7th 160.0 92.0 high 174%
Wynyard Airport 15.5 +0.3 18.5 18th 5.9 +0.6 1.1 7th 81.6 98.2 average 83%
East Coast (district 92)
Fingal (Legge Street) 16.1 +0.8 22.2 2nd 2.5 -0.4 -3.3 23rd 23.6 51.0 low 46%
Friendly Beaches 16.9 +0.8 20.9 2nd 8.4 +0.2 2.9 29th 33.2 55.6 average 60%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 11.9 +0.5 18.7 2nd 3.6 +1.4 -1.1 19th 48.2 73.0 average 66%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 17.0 +1.4 21.0 2nd 9.9 +0.5 3.3 30th 38.0 65.6 low 58%
Orford (Aubin Court) 15.9 +0.2 19.7 13th 6.7 +0.4 1.8 29th 31.0 58.3 average 53%
St Helens Aerodrome 17.0 +0.9 22.6 2nd 7.7 +0.5 3.8 18th 23.8 50.8 average 47%
Swan Island 16.3 +0.4 21.6 2nd 11.1 +0.3 5.5 29th 71.4 57.6 high 124%
Swansea (Francis Street) 16.8   20.1 24th 7.4   2.7 29th 18.4
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 14.2 -0.1 20.2 1st 4.5 +1.2 -1.0 19th 37.4 33.4 average 112%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 16.3 +0.4 21.9 2nd 6.2 +0.4 1.1 29th 24.0 35.6 average 67%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 14.5 +0.2 20.0 2nd 9.1 +0.5 3.2 29th 56.6 69.8 average 81%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 14.3 +0.8 19.5 2nd 9.4 +1.1 3.7 29th 64.0 84.9 low 75%
Dennes Point 15.4   19.9 13th 9.1   5.1 29th 25.2
Dover 14.9 +0.2 18.6 3rd 6.3 +0.5 1.3 29th 70.2 72.8 average 96%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 15.6   19.9 13th 9.1   4.3 29th 28.2
Grove (Research Station) 15.1 +0.1 21.8 2nd 4.7 +0.3 0.2 29th 39.0 67.9 average 57%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 15.8 +1.3 19.7 15th 8.2 +1.2 3.1 29th 23.4 47.2 low 50%
Hobart Airport 16.3 +1.0 21.5 2nd 7.2 +0.6 2.4 29th 16.8 36.3 low 46%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 6.4 +0.8 14.8 1st 1.4 +0.8 -4.2 29th 32.8 71.4 low 46%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 13.1 +0.3 20.6 1st 9.3 +0.8 4.2 29th 126.0 115.8 average 109%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 14.6 +0.4 19.9 2nd 4.7 +0.3 -2.0 7th 19.4 35.6 low 54%
Tasman Island 13.5 +0.3 17.6 2nd 9.1 +0.5 2.6 30th 48.8 73.1 low 67%
Tunnack Fire Station 13.0 +0.7 20.1 1st 3.6 -0.1 -2.7 19th 27.2 47.2 low 58%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 14.9 +0.5 19.7 3rd 3.8 -0.3 -1.0 7th 31.8 46.0 average 69%
Maydena Post Office 12.9 -0.2 16.9 2nd 4.5 +0.1 0.0 29th 100.0 104.0 average 96%
Ouse Fire Station 14.6 -0.2 18.9 18th 3.7 0.0 -1.8 7th 41.6 39.7 average 105%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 10.5 +0.5 15.7 19th 2.5 +0.7 -3.5 7th 159.6 163.2 average 98%
Liawenee 9.4 +0.4 16.7 1st 0.7 +0.5 -5.2 7th 64.6 89.4 average 72%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 14.7 +1.0 19.3 1st 10.0 +0.9 4.8 29th 157.6 129.8 high 121%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 8.7 +0.2 17.2 1st 3.9 +0.5 -1.5 29th 100.0 89.2 high 112%
Low Rocky Point 14.0   19.5 2nd 9.4   3.9 30th
Mount Read 6.3 -0.1 12.5 1st 2.5 +0.3 -2.8 29th 500.2 436.6 average 115%
Scotts Peak Dam 11.7 +0.1 17.6 2nd 5.7 +0.2 -0.2 29th 252.0 190.0 high 133%
Strahan Aerodrome 14.4 +0.1 19.6 1st 8.3 +0.9 1.7 6th 228.2 158.5 high 144%
Warra 11.2 +0.2 18.2 2nd 5.6 +1.1 0.4 7th 127.2 174.1 average 73%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 15.9 +0.3 20.8 1st 9.9 +0.4 2.4 18th 118.6 89.2 high 133%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 16.7 +0.4 24.3 1st 10.1 +1.1 3.2 19th 101.2 79.1 average 128%
Hogan Island 15.9 +0.2 18.9 1st 11.3 -0.2 3.9 30th 124.8 58.2 v high 214%
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 Monday 3 June 2019. 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