Thursday 1 March 2007


Hot/Dry start and a Stormy/Wet finish to summer in Canberra

Summer 2006/2007 - Main Points:

  • Increased number of thunderstorms.
  • Another hot summer.
  • Large variability of rainfall totals throughout the ACT..
  • Near record number of days of 30°C or above.

Summer 2006/2007

Rainfall: Canberra Airport  recorded a total rainfall for summer of 121.6 mm (average 166.7 mm) with the majority of the rain falling in February (95.2 mm). There were 20 rain days during summer which was slightly below the historic average of  23 rain days. Rainfall totals across the A.C.T. were highly variable during summer mainly due to the shower and thunderstorm activity with readings as high as 239.8 mm for Kambah. and low as 63.4 mm at Hall.

Temperatures:   The trend of above average temperatures continued during summer, with the equal 3rd hottest summer on record with 1980/81 and 1997/98 (the highest was 22.2°C in 2005/06).  The mean daily temperature (the average of daytime and night-time temperatures) was 21.8°C which was well above the long term average of 19.7°C .

Day-time temperatures were particularly hot with the average maximum temperature of  29.5°C (long term average 27°C)  being the 4th highest ever recorded (the highest is 29.9°C in 1990/91 and 2005/06). Night time temperatures (average minimum) were also well above average at 14.3°C ( historic average is 12.7°C) and the 3rd highest on record (historic average 12.4°C).  Summer had 45 days equal to or greater than 30°C, which is equal second highest on record with  last summer (2005/2006) the highest being 51 days in the summer of 1990/1991 . The highest temperature at Canberra Airport during summer was a scorching 40.5°C on the 12th of January (this is the third highest temperature ever recorded, the highest was 42.2°C on the 1/2/1968), while the coldest night (lowest temperature) was 4.8°C on the 26th of December.

Other phenomena:   Canberra had a very stormy summer recording 20thunderstorms (average 11) and the equal 4th highest on record with 1969/70 (highest was 25 in 1960/61).  Some of the storms were severe, the most notable being the storms of the 31st of December (Tuggeranong area) and the 27th of February (Central Canberra around the city).  Both produced large amounts of hail  with size varying in diameter from 2cm to 5cm.and local flash flooding. Sunshine during summer, averaged 9.6 hours per day (average is 9.2 hours per day). It was windier than usual with an average wind run of 208.9 km/day compared to the long term average of 198 km/day.  However, there was double the number of strong wind days with 10 days recorded (average 5 days). The average pressure of 1014.8 hPa was well above the average of 1012.5hPa., indicating the persistence of  high pressure systems during summer.  Evaporation was 793.2 mm well up on the average of 704.2 mm. 


Climate summary for Canberra Airport, Summer 2006/2007


Canberra Airport  (Elev 578 m)


Summer 2006/2007



Historic average

Average maximum
temperature (°C)



Average minimum
temperature (°C)



temperature (°C)



Total rainfall



Number of
rain days



Average daily
sunshine (hours)



Average relative humidity at 3pm (%)



Number of thunderstorms



Number of windy days



Climate averages for Canberra are available, here.

 Daily Extremes for Summer - Canberra Airport


Canberra Airport

Summer 2006/2007

Highest temperature (°C) and date
Warmest day

(12th Jan)

Lowest temperature (°C) and date
Coldest night

(26th Dec)

Lowest maximum temperature (°C) and date
Coldest day

 (12th Dec)

Wettest day (mm) and date

(28th Feb)

Maximum wind gust (km/h) and date

@ 74   (29th Dec)*

 * recorded at Canberra Airport              # new station, historic averages 1996 - 2005

This statement has been prepared based on information available at noon on 01/03/07. Although every effort has been made to check them, it is possible that results in November and summer may change as new information becomes available.

A note about deciles: Deciles are used to give an element (in this case rainfall or temperature) a ranking. Deciles are calculated by arranging the totals in ascending order (from lowest to highest) then splitting them into 10 equal groups (thus the groups are called deciles). The first group would be in decile range one, the second group in decile range two, etc up to the highest annual totals (highest 10 per cent) being in decile range 10.

Averages: Historic average temperatures are based on the period 1961 to 1990 which is a convention of the World Meteorological Organisation. Historic rainfall averages and extremes based on the period 1939 to 2006.

Further information: Contact: Owen Offler on 02 62470411 or email:

A directory of Bureau services is available on poll fax: 1800 630 100

The latest rainfall and temperature maps are available here
Climate averages for New South Wales localities are available here
Daily Weather Observations for selected Australian Capital Territory localities are available here