Tasmania in January 2020: Hot end, warm overall, rainfall close to average

January 2020 ended with some hot weather, and although there were plenty of cool days mean temperatures for the month were above average in most areas. Rain was above average in the northwest, below average near the East Coast and in the far south, and close to average for most other areas of the State.

Rainfall close to average for most of Tasmania

  • There was little rain in most areas during the first three weeks of the month, apart from the west where a cold front brought moderate falls around the 11th, and localised moderate falls from thunderstorms on the 15th and 16th
  • A series of cold fronts and troughs brought moderate falls to the west and northwest from the 22nd to the 24th, with showers continuing in the west
  • Rainfall totals were above average in the far northwest and on King Island, but below average near the East Coast and in the far south
  • Tasmania's total rainfall for the month was about 7% below average: much wetter than the very dry January 2019

A hot end, but many cool days

  • The final days of the month were very warm, peaking on the 31st when several sites had their highest temperature on record, some sites in the southeast (including Hobart) went over 40 °C, and Hobart Airport's 41.4 °C was the equal-sixth highest temperature ever recorded in Tasmania
  • There were several relatively cool days during the month, especially in the west and north
  • Mean maximum temperatures were above average over most of the State, especially in the southeast, but close to average in the northwest
  • Mean minimum temperatures were very much above average in the eastern third, and above average in almost all areas
  • Tasmania's mean temperature was much cooler than the record warm January 2019 but still 0.99 °C above average
  • The State's mean maximum temperature was 1.05 °C above average, and the mean minimum temperature was 0.93 °C above average

Hobart (Ellerslie Road)

  • Total rainfall for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 33.6 mm, which is 71% of the long-term average of 47 mm
  • Almost half of Hobart's rainfall for the month fell in just three hours early on the 23rd
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 24.3 °C, which is 2.6 °C above the long-term average of 21.7 °C
  • The hottest day was on the 31st with 40.4 °C, the last of an unusual run of three consecutive days over 29 °C and only the ninth time Hobart has registered a temperature over 40 °C in 134 years of record
  • Hobart reached 30 °C or more on six days during the month, compared to a long-term average of about two days that warm
  • The coolest day was on the 17th when the temperature reached 15.6 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 13.8 °C, which is 1.8 °C above the long-term average of 12.0 °C
  • The coldest morning was 9.0 °C on the 17th; one of only two nights below 10 °C
  • The warmest morning was on the 10th when the minimum temperature was 19.8 °C; one of ten nights when the temperature did not drop below 15 °C compared to a long-term average of about four January nights that mild

Further information

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Extremes in January 2020
Hottest day 41.4 °C at Hobart Airport on the 31st
Warmest days on average 25.8 °C at Cressy Research Station
Coolest days on average 14.6 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Coldest day 4.5 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on the 17th
Coldest night -1.6 °C at Butlers Gorge on the 6th
Coolest nights on average 5.1 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Warmest nights on average 15.0 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 20.2 °C at Hogan Island on the 31st
Warmest on average overall 19.2 °C at Campania (Kincora)
Coolest on average overall 9.8 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 225.0 mm at Mount Read
Wettest day 51.4 mm at Lake Margaret Dam on the 23rd
Strongest wind gust 131 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on the 11th

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 temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 34.1 on the 31st 33.3 on the 16th in 1962 64 17.1
Hobart Airport 41.4 on the 31st 40.3 on the 4th in 2013 62 22.7
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 29.8 on the 31st = 29.8 on the 14th in 2014 40 13.6
Strahan Aerodrome 38.2 on the 31st 38.0 on the 14th in 2014 30 20.9
Maydena Post Office 38.2 on the 31st 37.3 on the 4th in 2013 28 22.3
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 35.2 on the 31st 34.9 on the 14th in 2014 24 17.7
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 39.3 on the 31st 38.0 on the 4th in 2013 23 20.0

The values for Hobart Airport, Maydena and Hartz Mountain are records for any time of year, whilst kunanyi / Mount Wellington equalled its annual record.


Summary statistics for January 2020
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2020
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2020
Mean for
January
2020
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2020
Total for
January
2020
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2020
Fraction of
January
average
Northern (district 91)
Cape Grim 19.5   26.8 30th 13.1   9.2 22nd 65.4 41.9 high 156%
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 19.2 +0.1 27.3 30th 13.1 -0.1 9.6 6th 65.2 36.7 high 178%
Cressy Research Station 25.8 +0.4 36.1 31st 10.8 +0.4 4.8 17th 35.8 36.6 average 98%
Devonport Airport 21.9 +0.3 29.8 31st 13.1 +0.7 7.9 1st 31.8 42.6 average 75%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 25.3 +0.8 35.9 31st 13.0 +0.6 8.1 18th 42.4 45.8 average 93%
Launceston Airport 25.3 0.0 37.1 31st 11.2 +0.3 5.6 1st 32.6 32.6 average 100%
Low Head 20.2 -0.4 25.7 31st 14.6 +0.2 9.7 18th 37.0 48.8 average 76%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 20.5 -0.9 31.8 30th 10.8 +0.2 7.2 17th 84.2 72.6 average 116%
Marrawah 20.3 +0.1 29.0 30th 12.1 +0.1 6.0 24th 48.2 47.2 average 102%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 23.6 +0.6 36.6 31st 11.6 +0.7 5.3 1st 57.4 56.1 average 102%
Sheffield School Farm 22.5 +0.2 31.6 31st 10.8 0.0 5.6 1st        
Smithton Aerodrome 21.7 -0.1 28.1 31st 11.1 0.0 3.4 22nd 49.4 39.3 high 126%
Wynyard Airport 22.0 +0.3 27.6 31st 11.9 +0.7 5.4 1st 58.4 43.0 high 136%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 22.6 +1.0 37.0 30th 14.2 +1.2 9.9 12th 32.5 53.7 average 61%
Fingal (Legge Street) 24.8 +1.0 38.4 31st 11.7 +1.3 5.0 1st 22.6 44.3 average 51%
Friendly Beaches 24.4 +1.0 38.5 30th 13.8 +0.5 9.7 1st 29.6 62.8 average 47%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 21.3 +1.6 35.0 31st 9.4 +0.9 3.7 17th 38.7 54.0 average 72%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 22.4 +1.6 33.7 30th 14.3 +1.0 9.2 12th 16.0 45.1 low 35%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 22.0 +0.3 32.2 30th 14.2 +0.3 11.3 18th 20.2 45.5 low 44%
Orford (Aubin Court) 23.7 +1.5 37.5 30th 13.1 +1.1 8.5 1st 30.4 51.5 average 59%
St Helens Aerodrome 23.2 +0.2 36.1 30th 14.0 +0.6 9.5 12th 17.4 58.9 low 30%
Swan Island 20.6 -0.4 25.7 22nd 15.0 0.0 11.8 12th 24.8 42.8 average 58%
Swansea (Francis Street) 24.3   38.1 30th 13.5   8.0 1st 15.7
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 25.5 +0.7 37.6 31st 11.4 +0.7 4.4 17th 34.0 43.9 average 77%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 25.6 +1.0 40.7 31st 12.8 +1.2 6.7 6th 39.6 38.5 average 103%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 21.2 +1.2 39.3 31st 12.0 -0.2 7.9 18th 49.8 42.0 average 119%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 20.3 +1.9 36.9 31st 12.3 +0.8 8.1 5th 46.6 60.9 average 77%
Dennes Point 22.7   37.4 31st 13.5   9.2 17th 30.8
Dover 22.9 +1.9 39.0 31st 11.1 +0.7 5.0 17th 33.0 52.6 average 63%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 23.2   37.2 31st 14.1   9.3 18th 44.8
Grove (Research Station)     39.5 31st 10.5 +0.6 2.5 6th 47.6 42.5 average 112%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 24.3 +2.6 40.4 31st 13.8 +1.8 9.0 17th 33.6 47.0 average 71%
Hobart Airport 24.9 +2.2 41.4 31st 13.3 +1.1 9.4 6th 22.8 39.7 average 57%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 14.6 +1.0 29.8 31st 5.1 +0.3 -0.8 17th 48.8 87.2 average 56%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 17.4 +0.3 34.1 31st 11.2 +0.4 8.7 11th 72.8 78.2 average 93%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 24.6 +0.5 39.2 31st 11.2 +0.7 3.5 17th 49.6 31.8 high 156%
Tasman Island 19.0 +0.7 32.9 31st 11.7 +0.1 8.3 18th 47.2 64.7 average 73%
Tunnack Fire Station 22.8 +0.8 35.2 31st 9.7 +0.7 2.8 6th 28.8 42.1 low 68%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 25.6 +1.6 38.7 31st 10.8 +0.7 3.3 6th 50.2 40.6 high 124%
Maydena Post Office 22.7 +0.4 38.2 31st 8.2 -0.9 1.0 6th 59.6 58.9 average 101%
Ouse Fire Station 25.7 +0.1 40.6 31st 9.9 -0.4 2.2 6th 50.2 26.2 high 192%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 19.5 +0.5 33.7 31st 6.6 +0.2 -1.6 6th 103.0 94.5 average 109%
Liawenee 19.0 -0.1 29.6 30th 5.4 -0.1 -1.4 17th 72.2 50.2 high 144%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 19.5 +1.1 27.1 31st 12.7 +0.8 9.1 6th 67.8 68.0 average 100%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 18.2 +0.5 35.2 31st 6.9 -0.3 1.7 17th 44.2 63.1 average 70%
Low Rocky Point 19.4   36.8 31st 11.7   6.8 17th
Scotts Peak Dam 21.9 +0.9 38.3 31st 9.5 +0.1 4.9 17th 75.0 97.9 low 77%
Strahan Aerodrome 21.4 +0.5 38.2 31st 10.8 -0.1 5.0 6th 96.6 82.9 high 117%
Warra 20.3 +0.7 37.4 31st 8.7 +0.3 2.1 17th 66.8 97.3 average 69%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 21.4 +0.4 30.9 31st 12.2 -0.4 5.7 6th 54.6 38.6 high 141%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 22.8 +0.6 38.5 31st 14.2 +0.7 8.0 22nd 42.8 45.6 average 94%
Hogan Island 21.0 -0.9 33.0 30th 14.2 -0.7 10.8 5th 62.0 38.1 high 163%
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 February 2020. 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