Australian Capital Territory in autumn 2018: drier than average with warm days

Rainfall during autumn 2018 was very much below average across the Australian Capital Territory. Record-breaking heat during April contributed to overall warmer than average daytime temperatures for autumn, while overnight temperatures were closer to average.

Drier than average

  • Canberra Airport recorded 41.8 mm for the season, its driest autumn since 2004 when just 13.4 mm was recorded
  • Canberra Airport had 14 rain days, much less than the autumn average of 22 rain days

Warm days

  • All sites in the ACT had warmer than average mean maximum temperatures during autumn 2018
  • Canberra Airport was the warmest site in the ACT, with a mean maximum temperature for autumn of 22.9 °C
  • April 2018 was a particularly warm month, with Canberra Airport and Tuggeranong each having their warmest April on record
  • Mean maximum temperatures during autumn ranged from 1.6 °C warmer than average at Mount Ginini to 2.8 °C warmer than average at Canberra Airport
  • Overnight temperatures were closer to average, but the mean minimum temperatures were still warmer than average for autumn
  • Mean minimum temperatures ranged from 0.1 °C warmer than average at Tuggeranong to 0.9 °C warmer than average at Mount Ginini
  • Tuggeranong had its highest autumn mean daily maximum temperature on record

Canberra Airport

  • Total rainfall for Canberra Airport was 41.8 mm, which is 30% of the long-term average of 139.7 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Canberra Airport was 22.9 °C. The warmest day was 33.7 °C on 18 Mar, and the coolest day was on 11 May when the temperature reached 12.3 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Canberra Airport was 7.1 °C. The coldest morning was -2.4 °C on 27 May, and the warmest morning was on 13 Apr when the minimum temperature was 17.2 °C

Further information

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Extremes in autumn 2018
Hottest day 33.7 °C at Canberra Airport on 18 Mar
Warmest days on average 22.9 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 13.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 1.8 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 10 May
Coldest night -5.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 11 May
Coolest nights on average 5.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 7.1 °C at Canberra Airport and Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 17.2 °C at Canberra Airport on 13 Apr
Warmest on average overall 15.0 °C at Canberra Airport and Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 9.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 111.2 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 28.0 mm at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Wettest day 22.6 mm at Bendora Dam on 30 Apr
Strongest wind gust 113 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 12 May

Record highest autumn mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 22.8 22.5 in 2016 21 20.9



Summary statistics for autumn 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2018
Mean for
autumn
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2018
Total for
autumn
2018
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2018
Fraction of
autumn
average
Canberra Airport 22.9 +2.8 33.7 18 Mar 7.1 +0.3 -2.4 27 May 41.8 125.4 v low 30%
Mount Ginini AWS 13.5 +1.6 22.4 11 Apr 5.0 +0.9 -5.1 11 May 111.2 195.8 low 57%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 22.8 +1.9 33.3 18 Mar 7.1 +0.1 -3.0 15 May 28.0 109.5 v low 26%
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.

In September 2017 this summary was broadened to include 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 10 am on Friday 1 June 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