Canberra in summer 2012-13: A warm, dry summer for Canberra

  • Hottest day on record for Canberra
  • Above average maximum temperatures
  • Below average rainfall

Rainfall

Canberra Airport recorded 141.6 mm of rain during summer, below the historical average of 168.7 mm and the driest summer since 2006/7. The rain fell over 23 days, normal for Canberra, but only 3 recorded more than 10 mm (average 5-6 days), the fewest since 2002/3. Conditions were drier than normal during both December and February but above average in January, as thunderstorm activity brought totals of 43 mm at the airport to 9am on the 27th and up to 65.2 mm at Tuggeranong. Thunderstorms also produced totals of up to 34 mm at Nicholls on December 24, while a coastal low pressure system produced falls of up to 30.6 mm at Tharwa on February 25.

Temperature

Canberra Airport recorded an average maximum temperature of 29.1 °C during summer, 2.0 °C above the historical average. This is the equal 9th warmest summer on record for Canberra, although cooler than recent hot summers in 2009/10, 2006/7 and 2005/6. There were 36 days with temperatures above 30 °C (average 26) and twelve days above 35 °C (average 5), the most since 2005/6.

Temperatures were particularly warm during January, which was the warmest month on record for Canberra, associated with a major heatwave across Australia. Canberra Airport also experienced its hottest day on record during this event when temperatures reached 42 °C on the 18th. For more information on this heatwave see Special Climate Statement 43.

The average minimum temperature at Canberra Airport was 12.8 °C, 0.3 °C above the historical average. Minimum temperatures were slightly above average during both December and January, with cooler temperatures during February. The mean temperature at Canberra Airport during summer was 20.9 °C, 1.1 °C above the historical average.

Further information

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Extremes in summer 2012-13
Hottest day 42.0 °C at Canberra Airport on 18 Jan 2013
Warmest days on average 29.1 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 19.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 8.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 5 Dec 2012
Coldest night -0.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 5 Dec 2012
Coolest nights on average 8.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 13.9 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 20.5 °C at Canberra Airport on 26 Jan 2013
Warmest on average overall 21.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 14.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 267.4 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest day 65.2 mm at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 27 Jan 2013
Highest wind gust 87 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 8 Jan 2013

Summary statistics for summer 2012-13
Maximum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Rainfall
for summer
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2012-13
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2012-13
Mean for
summer
2012-13
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2012-13
Total for
summer
2012-13
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2012-13
Fraction of
summer
average
Canberra Airport 29.1 +2.0 42.0 18 Jan 2013 12.8 +0.3 0.3 6 Dec 2012 141.6 168.7 average 84%
Mount Ginini AWS 19.7   30.5 6 Jan 2013 8.9   -0.9 5 Dec 2012 267.4
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 28.7   40.1 18 Jan 2013 13.9   2.2 6 Dec 2012 173.0

Notes

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 10 am on Friday 1 March 2013. 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