Australian Capital Territory in winter 2018: drier than average with slightly warmer days and slightly cooler nights

Winter 2018 rainfall was below average across the ACT, due in part to a very dry July. Daytime temperatures were slightly above average, while night-time temperatures were slightly below average.

Below average rainfall

  • Winter 2018 was very dry across the ACT
  • Two stations recorded their lowest total winter rainfall on record
  • Two sites in Canberra recorded their lowest total winter rainfall for at least 20 years
  • The total winter 2018 rainfall at Canberra Airport was 64.6 mm making it the driest winter since 1994
  • July rainfall at Canberra Airport was particularly low with only 7.8 mm recorded which is 19% of the July average. June and August recorded 66% and 63%, respectively, of their average rainfall totals
  • Canberra recorded a total of 29 rainy days, a few days below the average of 32

Warm days, especially in July

  • Winter 2018 daytime temperatures in the ACT were 0.7 °C above average
  • Canberra Airport reported a mean July 2018 maximum temperature of 13.3° which is the second warmest July on record behind the 13.4° in 2013
  • Minimum temperatures in winter 2018 were slightly (0.3°) below average away from the mountainous areas around Canberra and 0.8° below average at Mount Ginini
  • Canberra Airport reported 52 frost days during winter, slightly below the winter average of 57

Canberra Airport

  • Total rainfall for Canberra Airport was 64.6 mm, which is 50% of the long-term average of 128.1 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Canberra Airport was 13.5 °C. The warmest day was 19.5 °C on 3 Aug, and the coolest day was on 17 Jun when the temperature reached 8.5 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Canberra Airport was 0.6 °C. The coldest morning was -7.4 °C on 23 Jul, and the warmest morning was on 25 Jul when the minimum temperature was 9.5 °C

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Extremes in winter 2018
Hottest day 19.5 °C at Canberra Airport on 3 Aug
18.7 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 5 Jul
18.5 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 3 Aug
Warmest days on average 13.5 °C at Canberra Airport
13.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
2.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coolest days on average 2.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
13.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
13.5 °C at Canberra Airport
Coldest day -3.2 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 19 Aug
-2.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 7 Aug
-2.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 16 Jun
Coldest night -8.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 20 Aug
-7.9 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 23 Jul
-7.4 °C at Canberra Airport on 23 Jul
Coolest nights on average -2.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
0.3 °C at Canberra Airport
0.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest nights on average 0.3 °C at Canberra Airport
0.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
-2.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest night 9.5 °C at Canberra Airport on 25 Jul
9.0 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 25 Jul
8.6 °C at Canberra Airport on 9 Jun
8.6 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 9 Jun
Warmest on average overall 6.9 °C at Canberra Airport
6.8 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
0.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coolest on average overall 0.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
6.8 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
6.9 °C at Canberra Airport
Wettest overall 232.0 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
101.4 mm at Ginninderra (Charnwood (ACT))
73.8 mm at Nicholls (Gungahlin Lakes)
Driest overall 54.6 mm at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
56.0 mm at Torrens (Darke St)
61.6 mm at Canberra Parliament House
Wettest day 27.2 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on 28 Jun
21.6 mm at Ginninderra (Charnwood (ACT)) on 19 Jun
19.8 mm at Ginninderra (Charnwood (ACT)) on 4 Aug
Strongest wind gust 83 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 1 Aug
83 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 16 Aug
81 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 6 Jul
81 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 31 Jul
81 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 3 Aug
80 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 24 Jul

Record lowest winter total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
winter
Torrens (Darke St) 60.6 67.8 in 1994 35 152.0
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 54.6 72.0 in 2017 22 141.0

Lowest winter total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
winter
Canberra (Australian National Botanic Ga 63.3 56.5 in 1994 153.1
Canberra Parliament House 61.6 34.2 in 1982* 132.4

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported




Summary statistics for winter 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
winter
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
winter
2018
Mean for
winter
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
winter
2018
Total for
winter
2018
Average
for
winter
Rank of
winter
2018
Fraction of
winter
average
Canberra Airport 13.5 0.7 19.5 3 Aug 0.6 -0.3 -7.4 23 Jul 64.6 128.1 v low 50%
Mount Ginini AWS 2.5 -1.0 7.6 3 Aug -2.5 -0.7 -8.0 20 Aug 232.0 272.9 average 85%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 13.3 +0.2 18.7 5 Jul 0.3 -0.4 -7.9 23 Jul 54.6 141.0 lowest 39%
Note: Observations for “Canberra Airport” are taken from the current site (Bureau number 070351), which opened in late 2008.
Comparisons are made against data from the previous site Canberra Airport Comparison (070014), which ran from 1939 to 2010,
combined with the current site from March 2010 onwards.

Notes

The Seasonal climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Australian Capital Territory using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This summary includes data from observing sites in or near the Australian Capital Territory “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Monday 3 September 2018. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites 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 10 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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries