Canberra in winter 2010: Wet with warm days, cool nights

  • Wettest winter since 2005
  • Warm days - 18th consecutive winter with above average day-time temperatures
  • Cool nights - coldest night-time temperatures since 2006

Rainfall

After a dry start to winter, Canberra Airport received a total winter rainfall of 151.6 mm, which is above the historical average of 127.8 mm. This is the wettest winter for Canberra since 2005, when 232.8 mm was recorded. In June, Canberra only recorded half of its average rainfall, with 20.2 mm, however, both July and August were wetter than average with 62.2 mm and 69.2 mm respectively (compared to the historical averages of 41.4 mm and 46.0 mm). There were 30 rain days in winter, which is close to the historical average of 31 days. Mount Ginini recorded the most rainfall in the ACT, with a winter total of 332.2 mm.

The above average rainfall experienced in the ACT and NSW during the latter part of winter can, in part, be attributed to two main climate influences - the La Niña event in the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). The IOD moved into sustained negative mode during July and August, contributing to the enhanced rainfall across the ACT and NSW during these months. La Niña events are usually, but not always, associated with enhanced rainfall across eastern Australia, particularly inland regions. For more about La Niña and the IOD please refer to the ENSO Wrap Up.

Temperature

The winter mean maximum temperature for Canberra Airport was 12.7 °C, which is above the historical average of 12.2 °C and the 18th consecutive winter with warmer than average maximum temperatures.

The average minimum temperature for Canberra Airport during winter was 0.7 °C, which is only just above the historical average of 0.6 °C. Although above average, this is the coldest winter since 2006 for average night-time temperatures in Canberra. Both June and July were slightly cooler than usual, however, warmer nights during August brought the overall winter average slightly above average.

As a result of the warmer minimum and maximum temperatures, the overall mean temperature at Canberra Airport was 6.7 °C, also slightly above the historical winter average of 6.4 °C.

The warmest daytime temperature in winter was recorded at Tuggeranong on the 4th June, where it reached 16.8 °C. Conversely, Mt Ginini experienced the coolest day of the season, where the temperature ranged from a minimum of -7.1 °C, to a chilly maximum of -3.1 °C on the 25th August.

Wind

As is common during winter in Canberra, the Airport experienced predominantly northwesterly winds, with 37% of 3pm observations coming from this direction (average 39%).

Other phenomena

Sunshine averaged 6.3 hours per day, above the historical average of 6.0 hours. The sunniest month was August, which averaged 7.1 hours per day. There was one report of hail during the season (average 1) and 1 thunderstorm (average 1). Nil snow was reported (average 1). 41 frosts observed (average 58). 25 fogs observed (average 23).

Further information

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Extremes in winter 2010
Hottest day 16.8 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 4 Jun
Warmest days on average 12.8 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest days on average 12.0 °C at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Coldest day -3.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 25 Aug
Coldest night -7.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 25 Aug
Coolest nights on average 0.7 °C at Canberra Airport
0.7 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest nights on average 1.0 °C at Canberra Airport Comparison
Warmest night 10.1 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 4 Jun
Wettest overall 332.2 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest day 47.0 mm at Nicholls (Gungahlin Lakes) on 14 Jul
Highest wind gust 93 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 17 Jun




Summary statistics for winter 2010
Maximum temperatures
for winter
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for winter
(°C)
Rainfall
for winter
(millimetres)
Mean for
winter
2010
Diff
from
average
Highest for
winter
2010
Mean for
winter
2010
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
winter
2010
Total for
winter
2010
Average
for
winter
Rank of
winter
2010
Fraction of
winter
average
Southern Tablelands (Goulburn-Monaro) (district 70)
Canberra Airport 12.7   16.1 2 Jun 0.7   -5.0 28 Jun 151.6
Canberra Airport Comparison 12.6 +0.4 16.3 2 Jun 1.0 +0.4 -4.8 28 Jun 127.6 127.9 average 100%
Mount Ginini AWS 2.9   7.2 5 Jun     -7.1 25 Aug 332.2
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve 12.0 +0.2 15.5 4 Jun 0.9 -0.1 -5.5 29 Jun 253.4 243.2 average 104%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 12.8   16.8 4 Jun 0.7   -6.7 29 Jun 125.2

Notes

As of March 2010, the official station for Canberra is 70351 'Canberra Airport'. Averages from the previous site, 70014 Canberra Airport Comparison, are used for comparisons.

A Seasonal Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in ACT Monthly Summary 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, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Wednesday 1 September 2010. 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

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries