Canberra in autumn 2013: Warm, dry days and cool nights

  • Fourth-driest autumn on record
  • Fifth-warmest maximum temperatures
  • Equal-seventh-coldest minimum temperatures, fewest mild nights since 1994.

Rainfall

Canberra Airport recorded 43.6 mm of rain during autumn, less than a third of the historical average of 140.2 mm. This is the fourth-driest autumn on record for Canberra, and the driest autumn since 13.4 mm fell in 2004. Rainfall was below average across the city, with the highest total outside Mt Ginini at Tharwa with 71.2 mm, half its historical average and the driest autumn since 2008.

The dry autumn was associated with a stronger than normal subtropical ridge during the season, with few major rain events; while 21 days recorded some rain (average 22 days), only two days during the season recorded more than 5 mm at the airport, with 11.8 mm on 1 March and 12.6 mm on 22 March. This is well below the historical average of seven wet days and the equal-third fewest on record; the last autumns with so few rain events were in 2004 and 2005.

Temperature

Canberra Airport recorded a mean maximum temperature of 21.8 °C during autumn, 1.8 °C above the historical average and the fifth-warmest autumn on record. Temperatures were well above average during all three months, associated with the generally dry conditions and several warm spells. There were 24 days reaching 25 °C or higher, the most since 2006 (average 16 days), while only 34 days dropped below 20 °C (average 48 days) and nine dropped below 15 °C (average 16 days).

Notable warm events include 12 consecutive days above 25 °C between 5-16 March; nine consecutive days above 24 °C between 7-15 April, the latest such spell on record; and five consecutive days above 20 °C between 8-13 May.

The mean minimum temperature during autumn was 5.5 °C, 1.3 °C below the historical average. This was the seventh-coldest autumn on record for Canberra, but slightly warmer than 2012 (5.3 °C). Nights were also cooler than normal throughout the season, with only 16 nights reaching at least 10 °C (average 26 nights), the fewest since 1994. The mean temperature was consequently 13.6 °C, 0.2 °C above the historical average.

Further information

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Extremes in autumn 2013
Hottest day 31.8 °C at Canberra Airport on 10 Mar
Warmest days on average 21.8 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 11.8 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 1.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 15 May
Coldest night -4.6 °C at Canberra Airport on 19 May
Coolest nights on average 3.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 6.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 17.6 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 15 Mar
Warmest on average overall 13.7 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 7.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 143.6 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest day 32.2 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on 22 Mar
Highest wind gust 78 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 21 Mar

Summary statistics for autumn 2013
Maximum temperatures
for autumn
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for autumn
(°C)
Rainfall
for autumn
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2013
Mean for
autumn
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2013
Total for
autumn
2013
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2013
Fraction of
autumn
average
Canberra Airport 21.8 +1.8 31.8 10 Mar 5.5 -1.3 -4.6 19 May 43.6 140.2 v low 31%
Mount Ginini AWS 11.8   21.9 7 Mar 3.9   -3.5 2 May 143.6
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 21.2   31.0 10 Mar 6.3   -4.0 19 May 50.0

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 (all years of record).

A Seasonal Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Canberra 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 Monday 3 June 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