Tasmania in May 2017: a cold end to a mild month

Temperatures in Tasmania were above average for most of May. There was some unseasonably warm weather interspersed with some cool days and cold nights, and some particularly cold temperatures at the end of the month. A few days of heavy rain in the north and northeast ensured totals near the East Coast were above average, but much of the State had close to average rainfall.

Mostly above average temperatures, but some cool weather

  • The month brought a mix of cool and mild weather, with temperatures above average overall in most areas
  • An approaching cold front brought a warm day on the 1st, but there was cold weather for the 2nd and 3rd and a cold morning on the 4th
  • Temperatures were unseasonably warm on the 22nd, with 21.1°C at Hobart Airport the warmest temperature ever recorded there so late in the autumn
  • It was a cold day on the 30th, with 8.8 °C at Hobart Airport the coldest May day there since 1989
  • There were several cold mornings scattered through the month, with the 4th, 29th and 31st especially cold
  • The Tasmanian mean temperature for May was 0.14 °C above average, with the mean maximum temperature 0.09 °C above average and the mean minimum temperature 0.18 °C above average

Wet days in the north and east

  • A trough brought localised moderate to heavy falls to the north and the northeast from the 20th to the 21st, with several sites recording over 100 mm and a few sites (notably Fingal and Gladstone) having their highest May daily rainfall on record
  • Total rainfall for the month was close to or a bit below average for much of Tasmania, but above average near the East Coast
  • Cold fronts brought rain and some strong and gusty winds several times through the month, but there were also periods of settled weather dominated by high pressure systems close to the State
  • Averaged across the State, rainfall was 3% below the May average and less than half the total received in the very wet May 2016

Hobart: below average rain, temperatures just above average

  • Hobart received 28.4 mm of rain in May, compared to a long-term average of 46.7 mm
  • Daytime temperatures were a little above the long-term average, with the warmest day 20.7 °C on the 22nd
  • The 30th was a cold day, with Hobart's maximum temperature of 9.0 °C the coldest May day there in 17 years
  • Despite some cold mornings (including 4.1 °C on the 27th), Hobart's mean overnight temperature was more than half a degree above the long-term average

Further information

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Extremes in May 2017
Hottest day 21.8 °C at Hobart Airport on the 1st
Warmest days on average 17.0 °C at Bridport (Sea View Villas)
Coolest days on average 5.4 °C at Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Coldest day -0.6 °C at Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on the 30th
Coldest night -4.6 °C at Liawenee on the 4th
Coolest nights on average -0.1 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 11.5 °C at Hogan Island
Warmest night 14.8 °C at Hogan Island on the 19th
Warmest on average overall 13.8 °C at Hogan Island
Coolest on average overall 3.1 °C at Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 308.0 mm at Mount Read
Wettest day 142.0 mm at Pyengana (Forest Lodge Road) on the 21st
Strongest wind gust 126 km/h at Tasman Island on the 7th

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
Fingal (Legge Street) 102.0 on the 21st 97.8 on the 30th in 1969 118
Gladstone (Old Post Office) 83.0 on the 21st 59.4 on the 19th in 2007 76
Marrawah 50.2 on the 20th 45.0 on the 26th in 1987 47
Wynyard Airport 58.0 on the 21st 57.6 on the 4th in 1997 46
Mathinna (South Esk River) 93.8 on the 21st 46.4 on the 16th in 2003 22
Upper Esk (South Esk River) 72.8 on the 21st 69.4 on the 4th in 2007 22
Smithton Aerodrome 61.6 on the 20th 31.2 on the 2nd in 1997 21



Record lowest May daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Dover 8.1 on the 30th 8.2 on the 29th in 2000 28 14.7



Record highest May mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 17.0 = 17.0 in 2003 22 15.9



Record lowest May temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Low Head 3.1 on the 31st 3.3 on the 29th in 2011 20 9.4



Summary statistics for May 2017
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2017
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2017
Mean for
May
2017
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2017
Total for
May
2017
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2017
Fraction of
May
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 17.0 +1.1 19.4 8th 7.9 +0.1 2.5 31st 63.9 69.7 average 92%
Burnie (Round Hill) 15.7 +0.4 18.0 8th 9.1 +0.8 3.2 31st 101.4 94.5 average 107%
Cape Grim 14.8   17.8 18th 10.4   6.9 31st 98.2
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 14.9 +0.3 17.4 18th 10.3 +0.1 7.0 31st 105.4 81.7 high 129%
Cressy Research Station 14.5 -0.3 17.2 18th 3.7 +0.2 -2.8 3rd 85.0 50.8 high 167%
Devonport Airport 15.7 +0.4 18.4 18th 6.9 +0.1 0.7 31st 116.2 76.4 high 152%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 15.9 +0.1 19.5 18th 4.8 -0.3 -1.5 31st 85.4 65.1 average 131%
Launceston Airport 14.6 -0.1 18.1 6th 4.3 0.0 -1.9 31st 76.0 58.5 average 130%
Low Head 15.7 +0.3 17.8 22nd 9.3 -0.1 3.1 31st   63.8    
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 12.5 -0.4 17.3 22nd 7.3 +0.4 2.2 31st 183.4 170.3 average 108%
Marrawah 15.1 +0.4 18.0 22nd 9.5 +0.4 6.0 16th 179.8 109.8 v high 164%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 14.9 0.0 18.2 18th 5.9 0.0 -1.7 31st 82.8 98.6 average 84%
Sheffield School Farm 13.3 -0.3 15.8 8th 5.4 0.0 0.0 31st 158.2 98.8 high 160%
Smithton Aerodrome 15.5 +0.1 18.3 22nd 6.2 -0.1 -0.3 31st 145.0 90.0 high 161%
Wynyard Airport 15.5 +0.3 18.4 11th 5.4 +0.1 -1.1 31st 139.6 100.1 high 139%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 16.7 +0.1 20.0 1st 8.7 +0.2 3.6 29th 92.3 56.7 high 163%
Fingal (Legge Street) 15.0 -0.2 19.9 22nd 3.1 +0.2 -3.7 4th 123.2 50.7 v high 243%
Friendly Beaches 15.6 -0.5 20.9 1st 7.9 -0.3 2.9 4th 83.2 56.0 high 149%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 11.1 -0.3 16.3 10th 2.3 +0.1 -2.7 4th 97.4 73.3 high 133%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 16.5 +0.9 19.0 5th 9.9 +0.5 3.7 31st 104.0 65.9 high 158%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 14.4 -0.9 18.9 1st 9.9 +0.3 6.9 31st 72.2 39.0 high 185%
Orford (Aubin Court) 14.9 -0.8 20.4 1st 6.8 +0.6 2.6 3rd 66.2 57.7 high 115%
St Helens Aerodrome 16.2 +0.1 19.9 22nd 7.6 +0.4 1.5 3rd 114.6 50.8 high 226%
Swan Island 15.9 0.0 18.4 23rd 11.0 +0.2 5.0 31st 60.2 56.7 high 106%
Swansea (Francis Street) 15.6   19.7 22nd 6.5   1.6 4th 104.0
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 13.9 -0.4 17.2 19th 3.6 +0.3 -4.2 31st 45.6 33.0 high 138%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 15.1 -0.8 20.8 22nd 5.2 -0.6 0.6 17th 28.0 33.5 average 84%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 13.8 -0.5 19.5 22nd 8.5 -0.1 5.7 12th 87.0 70.5 high 123%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 13.8 +0.3 19.2 22nd 8.9 +0.6 6.0 12th 92.6 85.2 average 109%
Dennes Point 14.5   19.6 1st 8.4   4.7 17th 33.6
Dover 13.7 -1.0 20.0 22nd 5.0 -0.8 1.1 12th 81.0 72.6 high 112%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 14.4   21.1 1st 8.7   5.5 12th 80.2
Grove (Research Station) 14.3 -0.7 20.6 22nd 3.9 -0.4 -0.5 4th   60.1    
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 14.7 +0.2 20.7 22nd 7.6 +0.6 4.1 31st 28.4 46.7 average 61%
Hobart Airport 14.9 -0.4 21.8 1st 6.8 +0.2 2.3 27th 29.6 36.3 average 82%
Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 5.4 -0.2 13.4 10th 0.9 +0.3 -2.8 31st 81.2 65.9 average 123%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 12.6 -0.2 17.1 22nd 9.2 +0.8 6.4 3rd 101.6 115.9 average 88%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 13.8 -0.4 19.8 1st 3.7 -0.7 -0.8 27th 27.8 33.4 average 83%
Tasman Island 12.6 -0.6 18.2 22nd 8.7 +0.1 5.0 31st 70.2 73.5 average 96%
Tunnack Fire Station 11.9 -0.4 16.6 1st 3.3 -0.3 -2.3 17th 38.6 48.2 average 80%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 14.5 +0.1 21.0 1st 4.1 0.0 -1.9 31st   45.8    
Maydena Post Office 12.9 -0.2 19.2 22nd 4.1 -0.3 -0.7 16th 82.6 102.4 average 81%
Ouse Fire Station 14.4 -0.4 21.0 22nd 2.9 -0.8 -1.2 27th 34.4 38.8 average 89%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 10.2 +0.2 15.9 22nd 2.0 +0.2 -2.0 27th 112.6 162.5 average 69%
Lake St Clair National Park 9.6 -0.6 15.4 10th 1.5 -0.3 -1.9 10th 144.4 177.4 average 81%
Liawenee 8.7 -0.3 17.3 10th -0.1 -0.3 -4.6 4th 99.6 90.4 high 110%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 14.3 +0.6 17.3 22nd 9.6 +0.5 5.7 31st 161.0 129.5 high 124%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 8.1 -0.4 13.4 22nd 3.2 -0.2 -0.4 31st 85.4 85.0 average 100%
Low Rocky Point 13.9   17.9 22nd 8.7   5.0 12th 165.8 142.4 average 116%
Mount Read 6.3 -0.1 11.5 10th 2.3 +0.1 -1.4 31st 308.0 427.1 low 72%
Scotts Peak Dam 11.8 +0.3 18.6 22nd 5.2 -0.3 0.5 7th 174.8 187.8 average 93%
Strahan Aerodrome 14.1 -0.2 19.8 22nd 7.2 -0.2 0.4 15th 198.2 154.1 high 129%
Warra 10.3 -0.8 16.8 22nd 3.8 -0.8 -1.9 12th 119.4 180.8 average 66%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 15.5 -0.1 19.1 22nd 9.7 +0.3 5.1 10th 70.4 88.5 average 80%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 16.4 +0.1 20.1 6th 9.6 +0.6 3.5 9th 133.4 78.9 high 169%
Hogan Island 16.1 +0.4 20.1 22nd 11.5 0.0 7.7 29th 50.4 52.3 average 96%
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 12 pm on Thursday 1 June 2017. 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.

From 2017, information about Macquarie Island can be found in the climate summary for the Remote Islands and Antarctica

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