Wednesday, 2 September 2009 - Seasonal Climate Summary for Canberra area - Product code IDCKGC1xx0

A mild winter for the ACT

  • The 17th consecutive winter with above average maximum temperatures
  • 3rd highest mean minimum temperatures on record
  • Close to average rainfall and sunshine hours

An archive of previous seasonal summaries for Canberra area is also available, as are summaries for other states and many other climate summaries and diagnostics.

Rainfall

Canberra Airport recorded a total winter rainfall of 103.2 mm, slightly below the historical winter average of 128.3 mm. It is the 4th consecutive winter with below average rainfall. There was a total of 36 rain days during winter, the highest number since winter 1990 (when 37 days). The historic average for winter is 31 rain days.

The highest winter total in Canberra suburbs was 142.0 mm at Sullivan Creek (Southwell) while the top rainfall in the ACT was 316.2 mm at Mount Ginini. The driest areas tended to be in southern suburbs, Tralee recording the lowest total of 72.8 mm.

Temperatures

The average maximum temperature at Canberra Airport was 13.2°C, which is 1°C above the historical average of 12.2°C and the 10th warmest in the 71 year record. Canberra has now experienced 17 consecutive winters with above average maximum temperatures. All three winter months experienced above average daytime and night-time temperatures but this was especially so in July and August.

The average minimum temperature for winter for Canberra Airport was 2.3°C which is 1.7°C above the historical average of 0.6°C. This is the third highest average minimum temperature on record for winter and the warmest since 2.8°C in winter 1991. Very mild nights occurred during the last week of August including a record high minimum of 12.0°C on 24 August.

The extreme temperatures in Canberra suburbs during winter ranged from a high of 19.1°C at Tuggeranong AWS on 23 August to a low of −6.0°C at Tuggeranong AWS on 11 June.

Wind

The prevailing winter winds at Canberra Airport were close to the long term averages. During the mornings (9am) the prevailing wind was from the NW for 25% of the time, compared to the expected 21%. During the afternoons (3pm) the prevailing wind direction was W-NW, accounting for 67% of the observations, which is close to what is expected for this season. Six days of strong winds were recorded, below the average of 9 for winter. The highest wind gust in the ACT during winter was 109 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS and 89 km/h at Canberra Airport, both on 25 August.

Other phenomena

There were 2 thunderstorms (on 11 and 29 August) and 1 hail day (11 August) reported at Canberra airport during winter, both close to normal frequencies. Bright sunshine averaged 6.0 hours per day which is normal for winter. There were 38 frosts, well below the winter average of 58, and 17 fogs, close to the average of 20. No official reports of snow occurred at Canberra Airport although moderate snowfalls occurred at times on the Brindabella Ranges SW of Canberra during June and early July.

Further information

NSW Climate Services Centre
NSW Regional Office
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (02) 9296 1555
Email climate.nsw@bom.gov.au

Extremes for the ACT

Hottest day
Highest temperature
19.1°C at Tuggeranong AWS on 23 Aug
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
13.2°C at Canberra Airport
13.2°C at Tuggeranong AWS
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
13.2°C at Canberra Airport and Tuggeranong AWS
3.0°C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
4.1°C at Canberra Airport on 12 Jun
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
−6.0°C at Tuggeranong AWS on 11 Jun
−8.5°C at Mount Ginini AWS on 11 Jun
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
2.0°C at Tuggeranong AWS
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
2.3°C at Canberra Airport
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
12.0°C at Canberra Airport on 24 Aug
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
142.0 mm at Sullivan Creek (Southwell)
316.2 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall
Lowest total rainfall
72.8 mm at Tralee (Melrose Farm)
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
50.0 mm at Bendora Dam on 7 July
Highest wind gust
89 km/h at Canberra Airport on 25 Aug
109 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 25 Aug

Summaries for the ACT

This table is very wide and may not fit if printed.

Summary statistics for winter 2009
Maximum temperatures
for winter
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for winter
(°C)
Rainfall
for winter
(millimetres)
Mean for
winter
2009
Diff
from
average
Highest for
winter
2009
Mean for
winter
2009
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
winter
2009
Total for
winter
2009
Average
for
winter
Rank of
winter
2009
Fraction of
winter
average
Canberra Airport 13.2 +1.0 19.0 23 Aug 2.3 +1.7 −5.8 11 Jun 103.2 127.9 average 81%
Mount Ginini AWS 3.0   10.3 20 Aug −1.7   −8.5 11 Jun 316.2
Tuggeranong 13.2 +0.1 19.1 23 Aug 2.0 +1.4 −6.0 11 Jun 93.6 140.4 low 67%


Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at noon on Wednesday 2 September 2009. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages 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 20 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.

Further information

NSW Climate Services Centre
NSW Regional Office
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (02) 9296 1555
Email climate.nsw@bom.gov.au