Canberra in winter 2013: Warmest winter on record

  • Warmest winter on record for mean temperatures, equal-warmest for maximums
  • Fewest cold days, most warm days.
  • Wettest winter since 2005
  • Most winter rain days since 1981

Rainfall - Above average rain days, with wet start

Canberra Airport recorded 155 mm of rain during winter 2013, slightly above the historical average of 127.8 mm and the wettest winter since 2005. The rain fell over 38 days, above the historical average of 31 days and the most since 39 days in winter 1981, although only three produced totals greater than 10 mm, normal for winter.

Rainfall was well above average during June, which was the wettest since 2007; all of the three winter days that exceeded 10 mm of rain fell during this month, including two days with more than 25 mm of rain. This was followed by close to average rainfall during July but well below average rainfall during August, which was the driest since 2008.

Temperature - Warmest winter on record

The mean maximum temperature at Canberra Airport during winter was 14.0 °C, 1.8 °C above the historical average and the equal-warmest winter on record with winter 2011.

Temperatures were well above average throughout the season, with days more than 1 °C above average during all three months and the warmest July on record. Winter broke records for both the fewest cold days and the most warm days; there were just four days that dropped below 10 °C during the season (average 17 days) while 32 days reached at least 15 °C (average 12 days), reaching 20.8 °C on August 28.

The mean minimum temperature was 1.9 °C, 1.3 °C above the historical average and the warmest winter since 2009, with warmer than average nights throughout the season. Conditions were warmest during July, reflecting a lack of cold nights during winter; only 30 nights dropped to 0 °C or lower during the season (average 43), while 24 reached at least 5 °C (average 14).

The mean temperature was consequently 8.0 °C, 1.6 °C above the historical average and the warmest winter on record, breaking the previous record of 7.8 °C in 2009.

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Extremes in winter 2013
Hottest day 20.8 °C at Canberra Airport on 28 Aug
Warmest days on average 14.0 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 4.2 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day -3.8 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 20 Aug
Coldest night -6.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 20 Aug
Coolest nights on average -1.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 2.1 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 10.2 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 16 Jul
Warmest on average overall 7.9 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest on average overall 1.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 352.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest day 36.0 mm at Tharwa General Store on 26 Jun
Highest wind gust 91 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 12 Aug

Summary statistics for winter 2013
Maximum temperatures
for winter
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for winter
(°C)
Rainfall
for winter
(millimetres)
Mean for
winter
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
winter
2013
Mean for
winter
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
winter
2013
Total for
winter
2013
Average
for
winter
Rank of
winter
2013
Fraction of
winter
average
Canberra Airport 14.0 +1.8 20.8 28 Aug 1.9 +1.3 -6.0 25 Jul 155.0 127.8 average 121%
Mount Ginini AWS 4.2   11.7 28 Aug -1.1   -6.5 20 Aug 352.8
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 13.5   20.2 28 Aug 2.1   -5.5 22 Jun 158.2

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 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 8 am on Monday 2 September 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries