Tasmania in December 2020: wetter than average in the north-east, cooler days in the north

Rainfall was above average across the north-east and parts of the north-west. Elsewhere, rainfall was close to average for December, except in parts of the far south where it was a drier than average month. Parts of northern Tasmania had cooler than average maximum temperatures, but elsewhere daytime and night-time temperatures were mostly typical for the month.

Record rainfall for some north-eastern sites

Coolest December in ten years

  • While temperatures were close to the long-term average across much of the state, it was still Tasmania's coolest December in the last ten years, and noticeably cooler than last month.
  • Early summer snow fell across the Central Highlands on the 2nd, also dusting kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle).
  • The mean maximum temperature for Tasmania was 0.43 °C cooler than average, the lowest since 2010.
  • The mean minimum temperature for Tasmania was 0.11 °C cooler than average, the lowest since 2008.
  • December's mean maximum temperature was more than 1 °C cooler than November's (17.50 °C and 18.75 °C respectively), with December days being cooler than November days only once every 10 years on average.
  • Minimum temperatures across the south-east were more than 8 °C warmer than average on the 15th, delivering a couple of sites their warmest December night on record.

Hobart (Ellerslie Road)

  • Total rainfall for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 72.2 mm, which is 128% of the long-term average of 56.4 mm.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 20.7 °C, which is 0.3 °C above the long-term average of 20.4 °C.
  • The warmest day was 33.5 °C on the 14th, and the coolest day was on the 16th when the temperature reached 15.5 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 11.2 °C, which is 0.3 °C above the long-term average of 10.9 °C.
  • The coldest morning was 7.0 °C on the 8th, and the warmest morning was on the 15th when the minimum temperature was 20.7 °C.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in December 2020
Hottest day 34.9 °C at Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) on the 14th
Warmest days on average 22.0 °C at Cressy Research Station
Coolest days on average 10.6 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
10.6 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day 2.9 °C at Mount Read on the 6th
Coldest night -2.8 °C at Liawenee on the 11th
Coolest nights on average 2.0 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Warmest nights on average 12.8 °C at Bicheno (Council Depot)
Warmest night 21.1 °C at Hobart Airport on the 15th
Warmest on average overall 16.1 °C at Friendly Beaches
Coolest on average overall 6.3 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 320.2 mm at Mount Read
Wettest day 85.4 mm at Gray (Dalmayne Rd) on the 22nd
Strongest wind gust 161 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 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 December daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Mathinna (South Esk River) 55.6 on the 22nd 51.8 on the 19th in 1991 27



Record highest December total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Mathinna (South Esk River) 154.2 128.8 in 2018 24 53.0
Mount Morriston (Macquarie River) 75.6 72.8 in 1991 21 41.2
St Helens Aerodrome 166.0 142.6 in 2008 20 59.3
Upper Esk (South Esk River) 144.0 134.6 in 2005 20 67.2

Highest December total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 139.6 174.8 in 1985* 60.4
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 93.4 145.1 in 1985* 48.9
Launceston (Kings Meadows) 98.2 153.0 in 1985* 50.0
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 111.6 217.6 in 1993 71.9
Pyengana (Forest Lodge Road) 213.8 312.0 in 1993 97.3
Tooms Lake (Tooms River) 97.4 203.6 in 1985* 53.8
Fingal (Legge Street) 106.0 124.8 in 1995* 50.1
Marrawah 95.0 116.2 in 1998 63.9

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




Record highest December daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Strathgordon Village 19.5 on the 15th 17.0 on the 31st in 2002 36 8.3
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 18.3 on the 15th 17.8 on the 7th in 2018 25 5.3



Summary statistics for December 2020
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
December
2020
Diff
from
average
Highest for
December
2020
Mean for
December
2020
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
December
2020
Total for
December
2020
Average
for
December
Rank of
December
2020
Fraction of
December
average
Northern (district 91)
Cape Grim 16.9 -0.7 22.7 15th 11.3 -0.7 8.0 11th 62.4 45.6 high 137%
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 16.9 -0.6 22.6 15th 11.3 -0.7 8.1 11th 74.8 46.1 high 162%
Cressy Research Station 22.0 -1.0 32.0 15th 7.5 -1.2 -0.7 3rd 72.8 45.7 high 159%
Devonport Airport 19.3 -0.5 22.9 23rd 9.9 -0.9 3.6 28th 40.4 52.1 average 78%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 21.8 -0.8 31.8 15th 10.1 -0.7 2.9 8th 93.4 48.9 v high 191%
Launceston Airport 20.9 -1.8 30.5 15th 8.2 -1.0 1.7 8th 72.8 51.0 high 143%
Low Head 18.2 -0.8 20.8 14th 12.0 -0.9 8.5 25th 61.8 44.0 high 140%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 17.5 -1.3 26.3 14th 8.2 -0.7 4.1 28th 95.4 90.7 average 105%
Marrawah 17.5 -0.9 23.3 14th 10.3 -0.4 7.0 11th 95.0 63.9 high 149%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 19.7 -1.2 27.3 15th 9.1 -0.2 2.5 8th 84.0 66.0 high 127%
Sheffield School Farm 18.4 -1.4 27.3 15th 7.9 -1.2 3.4 8th 95.8 66.9 high 143%
Smithton Aerodrome 18.9 -0.9 26.3 15th 9.0 -0.8 3.0 28th 90.0 58.8 high 153%
Wynyard Airport 19.2 -0.6 29.8 15th 9.3 -0.4 3.7 28th 69.8 64.6 average 108%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 19.1 -1.1 25.5 1st 12.8 +1.1 9.0 11th 114.8 67.9 high 169%
Fingal (Legge Street) 20.2 -1.6 31.9 15th 8.4 -0.4 2.3 3rd 106.0 50.1 v high 212%
Friendly Beaches 21.3 -0.7 29.1 1st 10.9 -0.9 6.7 25th 127.4 50.7 v high 251%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 17.0 -1.0 29.5 15th 6.1 -1.0 0.6 25th 111.6 71.9 high 155%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 19.8 +0.4 22.6 15th 12.0 0.0 6.1 8th 139.6 60.4 v high 231%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 19.1 -0.9 26.9 15th 11.6 -0.8 7.2 8th 52.2 49.6 average 105%
Orford (Aubin Court) 20.7 +0.2 29.5 15th 10.0 -0.7 5.4 8th 72.6 62.7 average 116%
St Helens Aerodrome 20.2 -1.2 27.5 15th 11.3 -0.6 4.9 8th 166.0 59.3 highest 280%
Swan Island 19.1 -0.4 24.3 15th 12.7 -0.8 7.3 8th 69.2 48.4 high 143%
Swansea (Francis Street) 20.5   27.3 1st 9.9   5.1 8th 101.2 56.0 v high 181%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 21.2 -1.6 32.0 15th 7.0 -1.8 0.1 3rd 67.2 39.3 high 171%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 21.4 -1.6 33.1 14th 9.3 -1.0 3.4 8th 42.4 42.2 average 100%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 18.8 +0.3 33.6 14th 10.2 -0.5 6.6 10th 56.8 58.8 average 97%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 17.9 +0.8 31.0 14th 10.6 +0.2 6.8 3rd 60.4 75.4 average 80%
Dennes Point 19.8   26.4 14th 11.2   6.7 28th 38.6
Dover 19.3 -0.1 30.8 14th 9.1 0.0 5.3 7th 53.4 70.9 average 75%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 19.8   27.4 15th 11.5   7.6 2nd 58.0
Grove (Research Station) 20.3 -1.0 34.1 14th 8.5 -0.1 3.3 8th 60.4 61.5 average 98%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 20.7 +0.3 33.5 14th 11.2 +0.3 7.0 8th 72.2 56.4 high 128%
Hobart Airport 20.6 -0.2 33.8 14th 10.6 -0.3 6.0 8th 80.2 52.3 high 153%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 10.6 -0.7 24.5 14th 2.0 -1.0 -2.2 8th 101.8 88.6 average 115%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 15.8 +0.1 27.7 14th 9.7 0.0 6.4 2nd 60.4 89.7 low 67%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 20.1 -1.8 33.0 14th 7.8 -1.3 3.1 25th 56.6 40.8 average 139%
Tasman Island 15.7 -1.0 22.8 14th 9.7 -0.6 5.0 10th 74.6 64.6 average 115%
Tunnack Fire Station 17.8 -1.9 29.3 15th 6.3 -1.3 0.9 28th 48.6 53.4 average 91%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 21.4 -0.8 34.9 14th 8.2 -0.9 3.4 25th 36.2 50.5 average 72%
Ouse Fire Station 21.1 -2.1 34.3 14th 7.8 -1.1 2.9 26th 29.6 35.7 average 83%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 15.3 -1.5 28.3 14th 4.8 -0.7 -1.5 11th 133.6 125.6 average 106%
Liawenee 14.3 -2.3 27.3 15th 3.2 -0.8 -2.8 11th 77.4 59.9 high 129%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 18.2 +1.1 25.4 14th 11.1 +0.2 8.4 8th 76.6 80.3 average 95%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 13.5 -1.6 30.3 14th 4.6 -0.7 0.0 8th 85.8 82.6 average 104%
Low Rocky Point 17.9   27.4 14th 10.4   7.1 8th
Mount Read 10.6 -1.5 23.0 14th 3.2 -0.9 -0.6 8th 320.2 296.7 high 108%
Scotts Peak Dam 18.0 -1.0 32.8 14th 7.5 -0.6 3.5 8th 153.8 146.5 average 105%
Strahan Aerodrome 19.4 -0.4 33.1 14th 9.8 0.0 5.7 20th 117.6 96.0 average 123%
Strathgordon Village 16.5 -1.0 30.9 14th 7.9 -0.4 4.1 25th 192.6 198.1 average 97%
Warra 16.0 -1.6 30.0 14th 6.8 -0.2 2.8 8th 132.6 137.9 average 96%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 18.3 -0.8 27.7 14th 10.6 -0.5 5.3 20th 60.6 48.5 average 125%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 19.9 -0.4 31.1 15th 11.8 -0.2 3.5 11th 69.4 58.6 high 118%
Hogan Island 19.4 -0.5 29.2 15th 12.4 -0.9 8.8 8th 41.6 43.7 average 95%
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 Wednesday 6 January 2021. 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

Climate