Melbourne in January 2016: very hot days and storms

Melbourne experienced a variable January with temperatures spiking several times and severe thunderstorms bringing some record rainfall totals.

  • Hottest day on the 13th, coldest day on the 14th
  • Several other hot days but no sustained heatwaves
  • Severe storm on the 27th brings record rain to Avalon

Most sites around Melbourne recorded average to above average rainfall, with severe thunderstorms mid-month and late in the month bringing significant rain. On the 27th, Avalon Airport had 54 mm in 30 minutes (a rainfall rate expected in fewer than 1% of years) and a January record of 72.0 mm as a daily total, nearly double its previous record. Avalon's monthly total was 86.6 mm, nearly triple its January average of 31.1  mm. Wild storms late in the month brought more rain, with 18.4 mm in 20 minutes at Essendon on the 31st.

Daytime temperatures were variable in Melbourne during January. Very high temperatures from the 10th peaked on the 13th when Melbourne (Olympic Park) recoded 42.2 C, Avalon recorded the highest temperature in the greater Melbourne area of 44.0 C, and temperatures at most sites were at least ten degrees above the January average. The passage of a cold front that night brought thunderstorms and introduced much cooler air, with all sites reporting their coolest day of the month on the 14th. The maximum temperature at Melbourne (Olympic Park) on the 14th was 24.1 C cooler than that of the previous day, falling just short of the citys record for a day-to-day temperature change (24.9 C on 13–14 December 1924). After another warm day on the 18th, the rest of the month was mostly milder with a cool end. Conversely, overnight temperature were remarkably stable with 24 nights in the range of 15–20 C, including a stretch of 13 nights between 15.7 and 17.5 C.

The heavy thunderstorm that swept across Melbourne mid-month also brought damaging winds and dust. A wind gust of 100 km/h was measured at St Kilda Harbour on the 13th. Storms and high winds on the 15th caused the Spirit of Tasmania II to break its moorings at Melbourne's Station Pier, and bathers in Melbourne were forced to flee the beach as a downburst from a massive thunderstorm cell blasted them with raised sand. At the end of the month, a suspected tornado created havoc as a summer storm struck Melbourne's north, with reports of damaged roofs, smashed windows and flash flooding.

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Extremes in January 2016
Hottest day 44.0 °C at Avalon Airport on the 13th
Warmest days on average 28.4 °C at Coldstream
Coolest days on average 24.0 °C at Ferny Creek
Coldest day 13.6 °C at Ferny Creek on the 14th
Coldest night 4.2 °C at Coldstream on the 16th
Coolest nights on average 12.8 °C at Coldstream
Warmest nights on average 16.7 °C at Melbourne (Olympic Park)
Warmest night 20.9 °C at Melbourne Airport on the 28th
Warmest on average overall 21.6 °C at Bundoora (Latrobe University)
Coolest on average overall 18.6 °C at Ferny Creek
Wettest overall 102.8 mm at Ferny Creek
Wettest day 72.0 mm at Avalon Airport on the 28th
Strongest wind gust 100 km/h at St Kilda Harbour - RMYS on the 13th

Record highest January daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Avalon Airport 72.0 on the 28th 37.4 on the 14th in 2015 34



Record lowest January daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
January
Coldstream 16.0 on the 29th 16.5 on the 2nd in 1996 22 27.8



Summary statistics for January 2016
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2016
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2016
Mean for
January
2016
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2016
Total for
January
2016
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2016
Fraction of
January
average
Avalon Airport 26.5 +0.2 44.0 13th 15.5 +1.5 11.6 17th 101.6 33.1 v high 307%
Bundoora (Latrobe University) 27.6 +1.0 43.1 13th 15.3 +1.1 8.5 16th 64.6 45.8 high 141%
Cerberus 25.3 +0.9 42.5 13th 14.8 +1.0 6.5 16th 30.8 37.8 average 81%
Coldstream 28.4 +0.6 42.6 13th 12.8 +1.0 4.2 16th 63.6 43.2 high 147%
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens 25.7 +0.3 36.8 11th 14.3 +0.8 8.6 16th 70.2 52.5 high 134%
Essendon Airport 27.1 +0.7 43.8 13th 15.9 +2.4 9.9 16th 53.8 42.4 high 127%
Ferny Creek 24.0   38.9 13th 13.2   7.8 15th 102.8
Laverton RAAF 26.2 +0.5 43.8 13th 15.9 +2.1 8.7 16th 66.4 39.4 v high 169%
Melbourne (Olympic Park) 26.0   42.2 13th 16.7   11.9 16th 48.0
Melbourne Airport 27.2 +0.8 43.6 13th 15.4 +1.7 8.7 16th 40.4 40.1 average 101%
Moorabbin Airport 26.8 +1.0 42.9 13th 15.3 +1.1 8.7 16th 47.6 44.2 average 108%
Scoresby Research Institute 27.7 +1.5 42.9 13th 15.0 +1.8 7.9 16th 67.0 52.6 high 127%
Viewbank 27.8 0.0 43.8 13th 15.3 +0.9 8.8 16th 38.2 38.4 average 99%

Daily maximum temperatures for January 2016
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Avalon Airport26.525.925.724.527.025.822.922.623.728.338.927.444.020.021.124.031.737.729.227.725.022.823.423.622.428.031.024.019.023.023.5
Bundoora (Latrobe University)27.527.828.024.525.826.322.222.524.433.337.927.743.119.523.532.536.034.332.028.022.922.922.821.729.931.230.418.023.1
Cerberus25.026.124.922.926.224.920.920.921.226.636.425.142.518.519.621.931.736.426.625.324.521.222.221.621.628.430.727.715.822.324.1
Coldstream30.928.127.125.225.228.825.426.128.335.937.732.942.617.821.928.031.935.437.533.628.723.425.022.725.231.430.931.816.024.320.1
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens30.225.723.723.426.523.122.422.423.529.736.827.519.324.432.036.033.226.827.020.622.921.521.228.830.726.015.022.922.6
Essendon Airport27.828.828.825.526.126.123.022.323.431.538.627.643.818.120.424.132.936.932.630.128.023.322.223.322.429.930.128.619.023.220.5
Ferny Creek26.623.021.821.321.023.221.121.122.830.934.030.038.913.617.123.228.431.232.727.925.319.019.717.220.626.526.624.915.120.217.6
Laverton RAAF27.626.426.025.327.024.622.222.022.430.338.026.943.818.819.323.431.837.829.527.125.223.022.522.322.028.829.525.518.322.221.4
Melbourne (Olympic Park)24.227.627.126.025.725.721.320.621.431.536.424.842.218.119.222.332.735.330.929.126.722.821.922.220.929.429.527.518.322.421.8
Melbourne Airport28.727.528.224.525.625.323.422.824.132.138.330.343.618.019.725.032.836.533.531.027.523.722.623.722.329.628.930.719.122.820.6
Moorabbin Airport25.728.525.725.626.926.322.421.222.332.438.227.842.919.020.524.132.537.031.229.425.622.922.822.422.130.131.627.718.223.623.0
Scoresby Research Institute28.927.826.326.225.127.424.225.634.637.131.742.917.420.525.632.335.734.830.328.723.824.021.923.831.130.329.216.724.721.2
Viewbank28.128.828.226.225.728.423.724.126.635.337.729.543.817.620.825.032.735.835.633.228.822.423.623.123.430.929.929.218.124.121.3
Values are the maximum temperature, usually in the 24 hours from 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred in the afternoon of that day.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period

Daily minimum temperatures for January 2016
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Avalon Airport16.716.016.418.317.515.015.915.216.114.614.414.813.517.012.912.211.614.912.318.418.116.017.414.715.615.819.017.014.013.017.0
Bundoora (Latrobe University)19.116.616.716.516.215.215.215.515.015.316.315.015.712.68.512.416.015.117.918.016.516.615.315.513.618.619.713.79.812.3
Cerberus14.716.616.617.517.116.914.716.011.912.514.614.415.711.96.511.615.012.017.017.613.116.316.114.715.919.517.513.710.515.0
Coldstream16.616.716.716.816.212.18.411.810.59.312.511.511.815.49.04.29.111.810.118.015.915.117.013.311.99.615.717.813.48.111.6
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens17.216.014.515.115.415.113.611.815.612.115.115.114.68.611.014.213.816.315.914.414.114.213.914.518.217.012.510.513.7
Essendon Airport20.116.217.015.116.016.515.814.716.415.416.216.315.716.312.59.912.818.616.318.818.817.016.515.315.916.018.220.613.611.213.9
Ferny Creek19.612.712.812.712.912.911.811.410.715.012.915.211.97.87.912.318.614.715.216.414.812.912.812.412.915.616.310.48.912.4
Laverton RAAF18.416.216.816.216.818.216.515.216.716.315.416.314.616.813.38.712.918.613.718.418.417.216.615.216.416.918.419.313.711.514.8
Melbourne (Olympic Park)19.817.117.516.317.117.316.316.216.815.717.217.116.816.113.611.914.918.617.919.319.017.517.316.216.716.519.320.314.412.313.9
Melbourne Airport20.215.716.214.314.115.514.613.416.115.716.715.115.316.511.48.712.420.613.317.518.216.516.214.715.314.817.820.913.011.014.5
Moorabbin Airport19.316.216.316.315.516.314.315.714.814.416.615.815.014.912.78.713.615.815.717.417.315.616.015.315.015.119.320.113.610.512.6
Scoresby Research Institute19.416.716.617.016.515.813.813.415.214.314.115.414.215.210.47.913.520.714.617.018.316.016.015.413.814.717.818.813.29.011.6
Viewbank19.516.716.815.317.015.914.514.715.214.316.315.715.315.012.18.812.816.415.317.917.916.616.515.414.914.318.419.213.79.711.4
Values are the minimum temperature, usually in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred that morning.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period

Daily rainfall for January 2016
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Avalon Airport - - - - - - - - - - 1.6 0.2 - 0.6 - - - - 2.4 1.8 3.0 5.0 - - - - 72.0 2.0 1.0 12.0
Bundoora (Latrobe University) - - - - 2.0 2.0 - - - - - 1.2 - 3.0 1.4 - - - - 1.2 0.6 0.6 5.2 4.6 - - 0.2 0.4 9.6 9.6 23.0
Cerberus - - - - - - -
- - - 0.8 0.2 0.8 1.8 - - - - 1.6 0.2 - 3.8 0.2 - - - 1.6 9.8 4.0 6.0
Coldstream - - - - - - - -
- - 0.4 0.2 3.0 2.8 0.2 - - - 0.6 1.8 1.2 11.4
- 0.2 0.4 3.0 18.0 10.4 10.0
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens - - - - - - 0.2 - - - - 1.0 - 3.0 - - - 2.4 3.2 1.2 4.6 0.1 0.2 - - 20.2 17.8 4.8 11.5
Essendon Airport - - - - - - - -
- - 1.0 - 0.4 1.0 - - - - 1.2 0.6 0.4 7.0 0.4 0.8 - - 0.8 10.2 1.0 29.0
Ferny Creek - - - - - 1.2 -
- - - 2.6 - 13.8 6.0 - - - - 1.6 1.8 0.2 11.4 1.2 1.2 0.2 - 23.6 21.4 10.4 6.2
Laverton RAAF -
- - - - - -
- - 0.4 - 2.0 1.2 0.6 - - - 1.4 0.6 - 3.6
0.2 - - 14.4 13.0 1.0 28.0
Melbourne (Olympic Park) - - - - - - - -
- - 0.8 0.2 0.4 1.0 - - - - 1.0 0.8 1.6 7.0 5.2 0.4 - - 3.6 14.2 1.2 10.6
Melbourne Airport - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 - 0.4 1.4 0.4 - - - 1.6 1.0 0.4 5.2 - 1.2 0.2 - - 12.4 7.6 8.4
Moorabbin Airport - - - - - - - -
- - 0.4 - 0.8 1.8 - - - - 1.8 1.0 1.8 4.6 1.8 - - - 2.6 19.4 1.0 10.6
Scoresby Research Institute - - - - - 0.8 -

- - 1.2 - 6.2 4.0 - - - - 0.6 0.6 1.6 6.8 0.2 - - - 11.2 13.4 4.2 16.2
Viewbank - - - - 0.6 0.8 - -
- - 2.2 - 4.0 1.0 - - - - 0.8 0.8 1.4 5.6
- - - 1.0 7.8 4.6 7.6
Most values are the precipitation in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated. Days marked with → are part of a longer accumulation, which is shown on the final day.
Values over 100 mm have been rounded to the nearest whole millimetre.
Days marked with - have a rainfall report of zero; days left blank have no rainfall report (which often indicates no rain fell).
Rainfalls coloured
according to the amount
0 1.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 25.0 50.0 100 150 200 300 400 600 millimetres

Notes

The Monthly climate summary lists the main features of the weather in Melbourne using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

A climate summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Monday 1 February 2016. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is used for temperature area averages.

Further information

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Enquiries

Climate

Service notice

Network problems on 8 January disrupted processing of observations, affecting some climate information. Missing data are being retrieved and will be processed into our systems over coming weeks.