Tasmania in December 2018: a warm end to the year

December was a warm month for Tasmania, with the final week bringing some especially warm temperatures. Some heavy rain in the northeast gave a wet month there, but rainfall totals were close to average for much of the State.

A warm end to the year

  • Warm weather was dominant in Tasmania during December 2018, with the 5th to the 8th, the 11th to the 16th, and the final week particularly warm
  • The main periods of cool weather were from the 2nd to the 4th, and the 18th to 22nd
  • The hottest day was the 28th, when several sites in the northeast reached into the low 30s; the 6th had also brought very warm weather to the southwest half of the State
  • Most nights were very warm, and temperatures stayed in the mid-teens into the morning of the 8th
  • There were some cold mornings early in the month, and a cold snap dropped temperatures close to zero on and around the Central Plateau on the morning of the 30th
  • Tasmania's mean minimum temperature was record warm 1.96 °C above average, slightly above the previous record from 2017
  • larapuna (Eddystone Point), Marrawah, Launceston, Wynyard and Devonport were among the many sites that had their highest December mean daily minimum temperature on record, in many cases breaking records set only last year
  • It was the State's third-warmest December in terms of mean maximum temperature, 2.82 °C above average (much warmer than December 2017)
  • Wynard and Devonport were among the sites that had their highest December mean daily maximum temperature on record
  • The mean temperature for Tasmania during December was record warm at 2.39 °C above average, almost half a degree warmer than the previous record from 2015
  • Many sites, including Launceston, Devonport, Wynyard, Bushy Park and Cape Bruny had their highest December mean temperature on record

Wet in the northeast

  • Rainfall was above average in the northeast of Tasmania, following moderate to heavy rain around the middle of the month and again a week later
  • Gray received 94.2 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 15th, and a further 79.6 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 16th
  • Memana and Pyengana had their highest total December rainfall for several decades
  • Some areas in the Northwest also received more rain than usual for December
  • Rainfall was average or below average for most of Tasmania, with the State's total rainfall about 12% below average

Hobart (Ellerslie Road)

  • Total rainfall for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 61.0 mm, which is 108% of the long-term average; less rain than in December 2017 and a little more than December 2016
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 22.3 °C, which is 1.9 °C above the long-term average and just a little cooler than December 2017
  • The warmest day was 31.9 °C on the 24th, and the coolest day was on the 20th when the temperature reached 17.0 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 13.3 °C, which is 2.4 °C above the long-term average, and just 0.1 °C cooler than the record-breaking December 2017
  • Hobart's coldest morning was 8.1 °C on the 4th (there are typically about four days each December when the temperature goes below 8 °C)
  • Hobart's warmest morning was on the 7th when the minimum temperature was 18.4 °C, one of eleven mornings when the temperature did not drop below 15 °C (compared to a December average of only about two such mild nights)

Further information

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Extremes in December 2018
Hottest day 34.3 °C at Flinders Island Airport on the 28th
Warmest days on average 25.1 °C at Cressy Research Station
Coolest days on average 14.1 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Coldest day 4.7 °C at Mount Read on the 2nd
Coldest night -1.8 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on the 4th
Coolest nights on average 5.3 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Warmest nights on average 14.6 °C at Hogan Island, Low Head and Swan Island
Warmest night 19.0 °C at Flinders Island Airport on the 8th
Warmest on average overall 19.0 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest on average overall 9.7 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 210.4 mm at Pyengana (Forest Lodge Road)
Wettest day 94.2 mm at Gray (Dalmayne Rd) on the 15th
Strongest wind gust 131 km/h at Hogan Island on the 3rd

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 total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Mathinna (South Esk River) 128.8 113.0 in 1991* 22 50.2

Highest December total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Memana (Babel Farm) 141.6 160.2 in 1970* 59.4
Pyengana (Forest Lodge Road) 210.4 312.0 in 1993 96.7

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




Record highest December mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Cape Sorell 19.9 19.5 in 2015 78 17.0
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 14.1 13.7 in 2003 36 11.2
Wynyard Airport 21.8 21.7 in 2015 32 19.8
Devonport Airport 21.6 21.3 in 2015 27 19.7
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 18.2 17.0 in 2015 22 15.0
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 20.1 19.9 in 2007 21 18.5
Low Head 20.2 20.1 in 2015 20 19.0
Mount Read 15.3 14.5 in 2015 20 11.9
Scotts Peak Dam 23.1 21.9 in 2015 20 18.8

Highest December mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Butlers Gorge 20.2 20.7 in 1960* 16.7
Dover 21.4 21.6 in 1994 19.3
Maydena Post Office 22.5 23.1 in 1994 19.8
Lake St Clair National Park 20.6 20.8 in 1994* 17.4

* 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
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 16.6 on the 8th 16.4 on the 31st in 2002 29 7.0
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 17.8 on the 7th 17.3 on the 12th in 1998 23 5.3



Record highest December mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 14.0 13.7 in 2017 105 12.0
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 11.6 11.4 in 1985 82 9.7
Marrawah 12.4 12.3 in 2017 47 10.7
Bicheno (Council Depot) 13.2 = 13.2 in 2017 43 11.6
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 5.3 4.5 in 2015 36 3.0
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 13.1 12.3 in 2017 35 10.8
Fingal (Legge Street) 10.8 10.3 in 2017 32 8.7
Wynyard Airport 11.8 11.4 in 1992 32 9.7
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 9.3 8.7 in 2017 28 7.0
Devonport Airport 12.8 12.3 in 2017 27 10.7
Ross (The Boulevards) 11.4 10.4 in 2017 25 8.7
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 7.4 6.6 in 2017 22 5.3
Smithton Aerodrome 11.5 11.0 in 2007 22 9.7
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 12.0 = 12.0 in 2005 21 10.7
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 10.7 10.6 in 2017 21 8.9
Sheffield School Farm 10.8 10.0 in 2017 21 9.0
Tunnack Fire Station 9.5 9.1 in 2017 21 7.6
Low Head 14.6 14.1 in 2017 20 12.9
Mount Read 6.1 5.4 in 2015 20 4.0
Ouse Fire Station 10.7 10.3 in 2017 20 8.8
Scotts Peak Dam 9.5 9.3 in 2017 20 8.0

Highest December mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 10.9 11.0 in 1973 9.1



Record highest December mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 15.8 = 15.8 in 2005 95 13.7
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 17.8 17.4 in 2015 81 15.6
Cape Sorell 16.2 16.1 in 2017 78 14.0
Bicheno (Council Depot) 17.6 = 17.6 in 2017 43 15.9
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 9.7 9.1 in 2015 36 7.1
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 19.0 18.6 in 2015 35 16.7
Fingal (Legge Street) 17.0 = 17.0 in 2017 32 15.2
Wynyard Airport 16.8 16.3 in 2017 32 14.7
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 14.7 14.2 in 2017 28 12.5
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 16.2 = 16.2 in 2015 27 14.7
Devonport Airport 17.2 16.7 in 2015 27 15.2
Lake St Clair National Park 13.7 12.7 in 2017 26 11.3
Maydena Post Office 15.9 15.2 in 1994 26 13.7
Ross (The Boulevards) 17.9 17.6 in 1994 25 15.7
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 12.8 11.5 in 2015 22 10.1
Smithton Aerodrome 16.6 16.2 in 2015 22 14.7
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 16.0 15.8 in 2007 21 14.6
Sheffield School Farm 16.0 15.9 in 2015 21 14.3
Tunnack Fire Station 15.3 = 15.3 in 2015 21 13.6
Low Head 17.4 17.0 in 2017 20 15.9
Mount Read 10.6 10.0 in 2015 20 8.0
Ouse Fire Station 17.9 17.4 in 2015 20 16.0
Scotts Peak Dam 16.3 15.4 in 2015 20 13.4

Highest December mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Butlers Gorge 13.3 13.4 in 1973* 11.1

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




Summary statistics for December 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
December
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
December
2018
Mean for
December
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
December
2018
Total for
December
2018
Average
for
December
Rank of
December
2018
Fraction of
December
average
Northern (district 91)
Cape Grim 18.9   25.7 7th 13.2   10.2 2nd 75.0
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 19.1 +1.7 26.6 7th 13.3 +1.4 10.1 2nd 68.0 45.5 high 149%
Cressy Research Station 25.1 +2.2 32.7 28th 10.6 +2.0 2.7 5th 64.8 46.1 high 141%
Devonport Airport 21.6 +1.9 28.7 17th 12.8 +2.1 5.8 1st 46.2 53.0 average 87%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 24.9 +2.4 31.0 7th 13.1 +2.3 4.7 4th 72.8 48.8 high 149%
Launceston Airport 24.0 +1.5 30.8 7th 11.3 +2.2 3.7 4th 64.2 52.2 average 123%
Low Head 20.2 +1.2 24.5 28th 14.6 +1.7 10.7 5th 55.6 44.6 average 125%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 20.8 +2.1 28.3 7th 10.7 +1.8 6.2 1st 74.2 89.6 average 83%
Marrawah 19.6 +1.2 27.0 7th 12.4 +1.7 5.5 3rd 74.6 63.4 high 118%
Sheffield School Farm 21.1 +1.4 27.9 28th 10.8 +1.8 5.2 1st 71.0 68.5 high 104%
Smithton Aerodrome 21.7 +2.0 29.3 28th 11.5 +1.8 3.4 1st 65.8 58.1 average 113%
Wynyard Airport 21.8 +2.0 28.2 8th 11.8 +2.1 3.5 1st 85.2 65.5 high 130%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 21.7 +1.6 31.6 24th 13.2 +1.6 7.0 4th 42.5 67.4 average 63%
Fingal (Legge Street) 23.0 +1.3 32.8 7th 10.8 +2.1 3.5 4th 69.0 50.1 high 138%
Friendly Beaches 22.8 +0.9 30.9 24th 12.9 +1.1 8.1 4th 47.0 47.8 average 98%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 20.2 +2.3 28.7 28th 9.3 +2.3 2.5 5th 50.2 71.8 average 70%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 21.4 +2.1 30.9 28th 14.0 +2.0 7.6 4th 65.2 60.1 average 108%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 20.3 +0.3 28.1 7th 13.7 +1.4 8.6 4th 38.8 50.0 average 78%
Orford (Aubin Court) 21.2 +0.7 29.2 25th 12.5 +1.9 5.4 4th 53.6 62.9 average 85%
St Helens Aerodrome 22.2 +0.9 32.9 7th 13.4 +1.6 6.9 4th 105.4 55.9 high 189%
Swan Island 20.2 +0.7 28.3 28th 14.6 +1.2 10.5 4th 78.4 49.3 high 159%
Swansea (Francis Street) 21.8   33.4 7th 13.0   7.4 4th 92.2
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 24.5 +1.8 33.0 28th 11.4 +2.7 3.0 5th 37.2 38.9 average 96%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 23.9 +1.0 32.4 24th 11.8 +1.6 5.8 11th 46.8 43.4 average 108%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 20.1 +1.6 27.7 16th 12.0 +1.3 7.1 4th 61.0 59.0 average 103%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.1 +2.0 25.2 16th 12.4 +2.0 7.7 4th 61.2 75.7 average 81%
Dennes Point 20.6   30.3 24th 12.9   8.2 4th 47.0
Dover 21.4 +2.1 30.0 24th 10.4 +1.3 4.3 4th 64.0 71.3 average 90%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 21.5   32.4 24th 13.6   9.8 4th 37.0
Grove (Research Station) 22.9 +1.7 32.0 6th 9.9 +1.4 3.7 11th 33.4 60.8 low 55%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 22.3 +1.9 31.9 24th 13.3 +2.4 8.1 4th 61.0 56.6 average 108%
Hobart Airport 22.7 +1.9 32.4 24th 12.9 +2.1 7.2 11th 31.8 52.3 average 61%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 14.1 +2.9 22.6 6th 5.3 +2.3 -1.8 4th 94.8 90.1 average 105%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 17.1 +1.4 25.3 12th 11.6 +1.9 6.4 3rd 93.4 89.8 average 104%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 23.2 +1.3 31.6 28th 10.5 +1.4 4.6 11th 47.6 41.1 average 116%
Tunnack Fire Station 20.6 +1.0 28.1 7th 9.5 +1.9 3.2 11th 48.4 55.1 average 88%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 24.8 +2.7 33.2 6th 10.9 +1.8 4.6 11th 53.0 50.5 average 105%
Maydena Post Office 22.5 +2.7 31.8 6th 9.3 +1.7 3.0 11th 79.2 85.5 average 93%
Ouse Fire Station 25.0 +1.9 33.9 6th 10.7 +1.9 3.5 11th 38.8 36.1 average 107%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 20.2 +3.5 28.2 6th 6.3 +0.8 0.4 11th 100.4 124.8 average 80%
Lake St Clair National Park 20.6 +3.2 29.1 7th 6.8 +1.7 0.3 11th 123.6 130.4 average 95%
Liawenee 19.1 +2.7 27.0 28th 5.8 +1.9 -1.0 1st 52.2 61.2 average 85%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 19.9 +2.9 26.6 6th 12.5 +1.6 8.8 11th 66.6 80.4 average 83%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 18.2 +3.2 28.3 6th 7.4 +2.1 0.6 4th 67.0 81.9 low 82%
Low Rocky Point 19.1   25.8 7th 11.8   7.8 1st 94.2 90.7 average 104%
Mount Read 15.3 +3.4 23.3 27th 6.1 +2.1 0.4 2nd 196.2 285.1 v low 69%
Scotts Peak Dam 23.1 +4.3 32.7 13th 9.5 +1.5 4.3 4th 93.2 142.4 v low 65%
Strahan Aerodrome 21.4 +1.6 30.8 6th 11.1 +1.3 5.0 11th 81.4 94.6 average 86%
Warra 20.0 +2.5 30.0 6th 7.9 +0.9 3.1 22nd 124.4 134.7 average 92%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 20.8 +1.8 29.1 7th 12.4 +1.3 6.2 11th 56.0 48.8 average 115%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 22.0 +1.7 34.3 28th 13.8 +1.9 7.6 5th 136.2 59.0 v high 231%
Hogan Island 20.9 +0.9 29.2 7th 14.6 +1.2 11.3 3rd 65.0 45.8 high 142%
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 Tuesday 9 January 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