Victoria in December 2022: below average rainfall

Rainfall in December was below average in large parts of Mallee and Wimmera districts, and above average across much of Gippsland districts. Mean maximum temperatures were below average in north-eastern Victoria, while mean minimum temperatures were below average in much of the state's north.

Below average rainfall

  • State-wide, rainfall was about 14% below the 1961-1990 December average.
  • Rainfall was below average in large parts of Mallee and Wimmera districts.
  • Above average rainfall totals were recorded across much of Gippsland districts.
  • A series of cold fronts and low pressure troughs crossed Victoria between the 5th and 14th bringing thunderstorms, showers and very cold air in their wake.
  • A trough moved through central Victoria on the 22nd with widespread showers and thunderstorms; daily rainfall totals were generally between 10 mm and 20 mm but locally much higher.
  • The highest daily rainfall total in Victoria this month was 60.4 mm at Melbourne Airport to 9am on the 23rd.
  • The last week of the month was generally dry for most of Victoria.
  • Some sites had their highest total December rainfall since at least 1995.

A warm end of the month

  • Mean maximum temperatures were below average in north-eastern Victoria and close to average elsewhere.
  • State-wide, the mean maximum temperature was 0.44 °C below average, the coolest December since 2010.
  • After a generally cold first half of December due to a series of cold fronts, temperatures across Victoria started to increase, culminating in the first heatwave this summer that developed across the state between the 25th and 27th.
  • The highest daily maximum temperature in Victoria this month was 40.9 °C at Walpeup Research on the 27th.
  • Falls Creek and Conbienbar AWS had their coldest December day on record on the 13th and 14th.
  • Gabo Island had its lowest December mean daily maximum temperature since 1996.
  • Mean minimum temperatures were close to average across most of the state, but below average in much of the state's north.
  • There were some unusually cold temperatures, particularly in the first half of December; the lowest daily minimum temperature this month was −5.4 °C at Mt Hotham on the 14th; this was Victoria's coldest December temperature on record; the old December record of −5.2 °C was set also at Mount Hotham on 20 December 1978.
  • Some sites had their lowest December temperature on record.
  • The Victorian mean minimum temperature was 0.10 °C below average.
  • Orbost had its lowest December mean daily minimum temperature on record, while some sites had their lowest December mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years.
  • Overall, Victoria's mean temperature was the coolest since 2008, 0.26 °C below average.

Thunderstorms, flash flooding, hail and snow

  • A cold front brought light snowfalls to the Victorian Alps on the 8th, with more snow on the 14th.
  • Thunderstorms that moved over central Victoria on the 22nd generated heavy rainfall, strong winds and hail, resulting in damage to homes in Geelong and Melbourne's northern suburbs. Thousands of households were left without power due to fallen trees and damaged powerlines, while Melbourne Airport grounded flights because of flooded terminals and the risk of lightning.
  • There is ongoing flooding in catchments in northern Victoria.
  • The strongest wind gust of 141 km/h was recorded at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on the 8th.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in December 2022
Hottest day 40.9 °C at Walpeup Research on the 27th
Warmest days on average 30.1 °C at Mildura Airport
Coolest days on average 11.8 °C at Mount Hotham
Coldest day -0.1 °C at Mount Baw Baw on the 8th
Coldest night -5.4 °C at Mount Hotham on the 14th
Coolest nights on average 4.0 °C at Mount Hotham
Warmest nights on average 14.7 °C at Gabo Island Lighthouse
Warmest night 29.1 °C at Mildura Airport on the 28th
Warmest on average overall 22.2 °C at Mildura Airport
Coolest on average overall 7.9 °C at Mount Hotham
Wettest overall 191.0 mm at Mount Wellington
Wettest day 64.6 mm at Ensay on the 31st
Strongest wind gust 141 km/h at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on the 8th

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


Highest December total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
December
Ensay 161.8 169.2 in 1970 70.5
Combienbar AWS 143.4 149.6 in 1995* 72.2

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




Record lowest December daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Falls Creek 1.8 on the 13th 1.9 on the 18th in 1991 32 15.4
Combienbar AWS 8.4 on the 14th 10.0 on the 10th in 2021 29 23.2



Lowest December mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
December
Gabo Island Lighthouse 19.5 18.4 in 1996 20.0



Record highest December daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Wonthaggi 23.9 on the 28th 23.5 on the 12th in 1998 52 11.8



Record lowest December temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Bairnsdale Airport 2.5 on the 10th 3.1 on the 1st in 1994 42 11.3
Falls Creek -4.8 on the 9th -4.5 on the 26th in 2006 32 6.6
Mount Hotham -5.4 on the 14th -5.0 on the 26th in 2006 32 5.9
Avalon Airport 4.6 on the 10th 4.8 on the 2nd in 1995 28 11.9
Mount Baw Baw -3.1 on the 14th = -3.1 on the 25th in 2006 24 6.0
Orbost 4.4 on the 10th 5.6 on the 13th in 2006 23 13.0



Record lowest December mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Orbost 11.6 = 11.6 in 2006 22 13.0

Lowest December mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
December
Falls Creek 4.6 4.4 in 1993* 6.6
Hunters Hill 10.2 10.0 in 1999 12.2
Gelantipy 8.3 7.9 in 2001 9.6

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




Lowest December mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
December
Rutherglen Research 19.0 18.2 in 2001 20.4
Wangaratta Aero 19.2 17.8 in 2001 20.6



Summary statistics for December 2022
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
December
2022
Diff
from
average
Highest for
December
2022
Mean for
December
2022
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
December
2022
Total for
December
2022
Average
for
December
Rank of
December
2022
Fraction of
December
average
North Mallee (district 76)
Mildura Airport 30.1 -0.3 40.0 27th 14.4 -0.6 6.6 8th 11.0 24.5 average 45%
Ouyen (Post Office) 29.5 -0.9 40.5 26th 13.0 -0.8 5.8 8th 14.7 25.0 average 59%
Walpeup Research 29.6 -0.4 40.9 27th 12.6 -1.0 4.7 8th 10.6 23.8 average 45%
South Mallee (district 77)
Hopetoun Airport 28.8 -2.0 39.7 27th 11.8 -1.3 4.7 8th 6.6 27.4 low 24%
Swan Hill Aerodrome 29.1 -1.7 39.7 27th 12.6 -1.2 5.4 9th 4.8 21.3 low 23%
North Wimmera (district 78)
Kellalac (Warracknabeal Airport) 28.4   40.4 26th 11.3   5.0 8th 4.2
Nhill Aerodrome 27.2 -1.9 40.2 27th 11.0 -1.2 4.9 9th 3.8 27.1 v low 14%
South Wimmera (district 79)
Edenhope Airport 25.1 -1.8 39.5 27th 10.9 -0.2 4.5 9th 6.8 34.3 low 20%
Grampians (Mount William) 16.6 -1.8 29.4 27th 6.7 -1.1 0.1 14th 24.6 55.0 low 45%
Horsham Aerodrome 27.1 -1.6 39.4 27th 10.4 -0.2 3.6 9th 2.2 22.5 lowest 10%
Kanagulk 24.8 -2.5 39.6 27th 10.3 -0.4 4.3 9th 21.6 36.4 average 59%
Longerenong 27.5 -0.4 40.6 27th 10.1 -1.1 2.6 9th 5.8 27.0 low 21%
Pyrenees (Ben Nevis) 20.5 -1.9 34.2 26th 9.4 -0.8 2.0 14th 37.4 43.5 average 86%
Stawell Aerodrome 25.3 -1.4 38.2 27th 11.0 -0.4 4.1 9th 18.6 32.5 average 57%
Lower North (district 80)
Charlton 28.7 -1.3 40.2 26th 11.8 -1.3 5.4 9th 14.8 31.2 average 47%
Echuca Aerodrome 28.3 -0.8 38.5 26th 12.3 -1.2 5.3 10th 17.4 29.8 average 58%
Kerang 28.8 -1.0 38.9 26th 13.1 -0.4 7.1 14th 4.6 27.1 low 17%
Kyabram 27.7 -0.7 38.0 26th 12.4 -0.2 5.6 14th 23.8 33.4 average 71%
Upper North (district 81)
Bendigo Airport 27.0 -0.6 38.2 27th 11.5 -0.5 5.1 13th 27.2 37.9 average 72%
Shepparton Airport 28.3 -0.9 38.6 26th 12.0 -1.0 5.9 10th 40.4 32.2 high 125%
Tatura Inst Sustainable Ag 26.3 -1.4 36.4 27th 11.7 -0.7 5.4 14th 72.2 35.3 high 205%
Yarrawonga 28.7 -1.6 38.4 27th 12.3 -1.1 4.8 14th 23.6 40.0 average 59%
Lower Northeast (district 82)
Benalla Airport 27.4 -1.9 37.3 22nd 12.0 -1.2 4.6 14th 15.4 48.8 low 32%
Corryong Airport 26.4 -2.8 35.5 27th 9.9 -1.7 3.0 9th 79.5 63.5 high 125%
Dartmouth Reservoir 25.0 -2.0 34.0 27th 11.3 -0.5 4.5 15th 54.6 73.7 average 74%
Hunters Hill 20.9 -2.2 31.2 26th 10.2 -2.0 1.5 14th 90.4 78.0 high 116%
Rutherglen Research 28.0 -1.3 37.5 26th 10.1 -1.4 2.8 15th 36.0 44.1 average 82%
Strathbogie 23.6 -1.2 33.6 26th 7.8 -1.7 0.6 14th 50.6 58.0 average 87%
Wangaratta Aero 27.6 -1.7 37.2 26th 10.8 -1.0 3.8 9th 46.2 44.2 average 105%
Upper Northeast (district 83)
Falls Creek 12.7 -2.7 22.0 27th 4.6 -2.0 -4.8 9th 93.6 104.0 average 90%
Mount Buller 12.9 -1.9 23.2 26th 5.2 -1.2 -4.8 14th 126.6 100.1 average 126%
Mount Hotham 11.8 -2.3 21.7 27th 4.0 -1.9 -5.4 14th 107.2 123.2 average 87%
Omeo 21.3 -3.1 32.2 27th 7.5 -1.6 -1.2 10th 74.0 63.1 average 117%
East Gippsland (district 84)
Combienbar AWS 21.0 -2.2 32.9 27th 10.4 -1.1 4.0 14th 143.4 72.2 v high 199%
Gabo Island Lighthouse 19.5 -0.5 24.5 28th 14.7 +0.3 10.3 7th 60.6 67.4 average 90%
Gelantipy 19.2 -2.3 31.3 27th 8.3 -1.3 1.5 10th 140.6 69.4 v high 203%
Lakes Entrance (Eastern Beach Road) 21.3 -1.6 35.0 28th 11.9 -1.3 4.5 10th 98.7 69.1 high 143%
Mallacoota 21.6 -0.7 32.7 27th 13.5 -0.3 7.7 14th 48.4 72.8 average 66%
Mount Nowa Nowa 21.5 -1.2 34.5 26th 11.5 -0.8 4.9 14th 67.4 80.0 average 84%
Orbost 22.8 -1.4 35.3 26th 11.6 -1.4 4.4 10th 104.8 68.8 high 152%
West Gippsland (district 85)
Bairnsdale Airport 22.7 -1.1 35.0 26th 10.5 -0.8 2.5 10th 86.8 61.6 high 141%
Corner Inlet (Yanakie) 20.9   32.1 4th 11.9   4.3 10th 61.8
East Sale 23.1 -0.4 36.1 26th 11.2 -0.2 3.6 10th 51.6 54.1 average 95%
East Sale Airport 23.4   35.7 26th 11.1   4.1 10th 51.0
Morwell (Latrobe Valley Airport) 24.2 -0.3 36.6 26th 11.4 +0.1 3.3 10th 59.2 65.2 average 91%
Mount Baw Baw 12.7 -2.1 25.2 27th 5.0 -1.0 -3.1 14th 183.6 136.5 high 135%
Mount Moornapa 21.8 -1.5 33.7 27th 10.7 -0.7 5.0 10th 91.8 67.4 high 136%
Nilma North (Warragul) 23.0   35.1 26th 11.3   6.2 10th 91.6
Pound Creek 22.2 -0.5 35.8 27th 11.0 -0.4 2.8 10th 54.0 58.1 average 93%
Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse 18.7 -0.2 31.7 27th 13.2 +0.5 9.1 8th 55.4 64.2 average 86%
Yarram Airport 22.2 -1.4 33.0 4th 10.6 -0.7 2.4 10th 69.2 53.6 high 129%
East Central (district 86)
Cerberus 22.5 0.0 37.5 27th 12.2 +0.2 5.0 10th 47.2 52.7 average 90%
Coldstream 25.0 -0.3 36.1 26th 10.0 +0.1 3.4 10th 71.8 58.3 high 123%
Essendon Airport 24.4 -0.2 37.5 27th 12.2 +0.2 6.2 10th 59.0 51.5 average 115%
Ferny Creek 20.7 -1.2 32.3 26th 10.6 -0.7 3.7 14th 115.6 95.1 average 122%
Frankston (Ballam Park) 23.4   36.7 27th 12.5   8.0 16th 55.4
Melbourne (Olympic Park) 23.9   37.3 27th 13.3   8.1 10th 42.4 51.5 average 82%
Melbourne Airport 24.1 -0.6 36.7 27th 11.6 -0.5 5.2 10th 97.6 51.1 v high 191%
Moorabbin Airport 23.6 -0.4 37.9 27th 12.7 0.0 6.9 10th 60.8 59.6 average 102%
Rhyll 22.3 +0.3 33.4 27th 13.4 -0.4 8.3 8th 57.8 44.8 high 129%
Scoresby Research Institute 24.5 +0.3 36.5 27th 11.4 -0.5 4.7 10th 61.8 74.2 average 83%
Viewbank 24.9 -0.9 37.4 27th 11.8 -0.9 5.3 10th 62.6 65.8 average 95%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 23.8 -0.7 38.8 27th 11.9 0.0 4.6 10th 8.4 28.8 low 29%
Breakwater (Geelong Racecourse) 22.5 -1.8 37.7 27th 11.9 -0.7 6.5 10th 32.8 30.2 average 109%
Laverton RAAF 23.6 -0.3 38.4 27th 12.4 +0.3 5.6 10th 38.0 45.8 average 83%
Point Cook RAAF 22.7   38.3 27th 13.0   7.2 14th 37.4
She Oaks 22.6 -1.2 36.3 27th 10.3 -0.1 3.5 10th 57.2 31.2 high 183%
North Central (district 88)
Eildon Fire Tower 22.5 -1.6 32.8 26th 10.6 -0.8 2.9 14th 72.8 50.6 high 144%
Lake Eildon     35.9 27th 11.0 -0.1 4.0 14th 115.5 57.5 v high 201%
Mangalore Airport 26.7 -0.5 37.2 27th 11.1 -0.9 4.5 9th 36.4 39.9 average 91%
Maryborough 25.6 -1.1 36.8 27th 11.3 -0.1 4.9 9th 48.7 37.1 high 131%
Puckapunyal Lyon Hill (Defence) 26.5   37.2 26th 12.1   5.9 8th 26.0
Puckapunyal West (Defence) 25.4   37.0 26th 11.0   4.2 14th 25.0
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 21.5 -0.9 33.5 26th 10.1 -0.2 3.2 14th 41.8 45.6 average 92%
Western Plains (district 89)
Ararat Prison 24.3 -0.6 37.0 27th 10.3 +0.9 2.4 9th 19.5 36.7 average 53%
Ballarat Aerodrome 22.2 -0.5 34.9 27th 9.7 +0.2 4.1 9th 38.8 49.7 average 78%
Westmere 23.5 -2.3 35.7 26th 9.5 +0.2 3.1 9th
West Coast (district 90)
Aireys Inlet 21.4 -0.1 37.8 27th 12.2 -0.1 7.7 8th 25.8 37.9 low 68%
Cape Nelson Lighthouse 19.6 -0.3 39.5 27th 12.9 -0.2 8.9 14th 25.2 39.6 low 64%
Cape Otway Lighthouse 18.8 -1.1 37.3 27th 12.4 +0.3 8.5 7th 42.8 52.1 average 82%
Casterton 22.8 -2.4 37.8 27th 9.8 -0.3 2.6 9th 45.2 38.2 high 118%
Colac (Mount Gellibrand) 22.1 -1.4 37.8 27th 10.2 -0.6 5.0 8th 30.0 34.6 average 87%
Dartmoor 23.3 -1.4 40.7 27th 10.5 -0.3 3.0 9th 41.4 40.0 average 104%
Hamilton Airport 23.0 -1.2 38.5 27th 9.6 0.0 4.3 8th 43.0 42.5 average 101%
Mortlake Racecourse 22.7 -0.9 37.5 27th 10.2 +0.9 4.3 9th 41.0 39.4 average 104%
Port Fairy AWS 20.9 -0.4 39.8 27th 12.6 0.0 8.3 10th 33.8 40.1 average 84%
Portland (Cashmore Airport) 20.2 -0.1 38.4 27th 11.1 +0.1 6.1 9th 49.0 49.5 average 99%
Warrnambool Airport NDB 21.2 -1.4 37.7 27th 10.2 0.0 3.8 20th 44.8 45.4 average 99%

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the third working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Victoria 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 3 January 2023. 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

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