Australian Capital Territory in summer 2021-22: Cool days and wet conditions

Summer 2021–22 in the Australian Capital Territory was marked by cool days, with mean maximum temperatures around 2 degrees below average. It was a wetter than average summer, with storms and periods of heavy rain across the season.

Wetter than average

  • Summer 2021–22 was wetter than average across the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Across the season, rainfall was 150 to 200% of the 1961–1990 climatological average.
  • At Canberra Airport 240.8 mm of rain fell, resulting in the wettest summer there since 2011–12.
  • December and January had above average rainfall, with a number of thunderstorms bringing heavy rain, strong winds and hail.
  • February was generally dry, but storms at the start end of the month resulted in monthly totals close to or above average.

Cool days

  • Summer 2021–22 was relatively cool across the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Mean maximum temperatures were between 1.7 and 2.7 °C below the average over recent decades.
  • The mean maximum temperaure at Canberra Airport of 26.1 °C was the coolest for summer since 2011–12.
  • The highest maximum temperature at Canberra Airport was 32.7 °C, which is the coolest since the summer of 1988–1989.
  • Summer mean minimum temperatures were around 0.5 °C below the average over recent decades.
  • February mean minimum temperatures at Canberra Airport were the coolest since 1996.

Canberra Airport

  • Total rainfall for Canberra Airport was 240.8 mm, which is 125% of the average at the current site of 192.5 mm, or 140% of the average over all years of 172.1 mm.
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Canberra Airport was 26.1 °C, which is 2.7 °C below the average at the current site of 28.8 °C, or 1.2 °C below the average over all years of 27.3 °C.
  • The warmest day was 32.7 °C on 15 February, and the coolest day was on 10 December when the temperature reached 14.1 °C.
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Canberra Airport was 12.8 °C, which is 0.5 °C below the average at the current site of 13.3 °C, or 0.1 °C above the average over all years of 12.7 °C
  • The coldest morning was 4.8 °C on 29 December, and the warmest morning was on 29 January when the minimum temperature was 19.8 °C.
  • Note: Observations for “Canberra Airport” are taken from the current site Canberra Airport (070351) which opened in late 2008. Comparisons and averages over all years 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.

    Further information

    Media
    (03) 9669 4057

    Extremes in summer 2021-22
    Hottest day 33.5 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 2 Jan 2022
    Warmest days on average 26.1 °C at Canberra Airport
    26.1 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
    Coolest days on average 17.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
    Coldest day 5.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 10 Dec 2021
    Coldest night 1.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 6 and 11 Dec 2021
    Coolest nights on average 8.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
    Warmest nights on average 13.5 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
    Warmest night 19.8 °C at Canberra Airport on 29 Jan 2022
    Warmest on average overall 19.8 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
    Coolest on average overall 13.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
    Wettest overall 448.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
    Wettest day 81.6 mm at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 27 Feb 2022
    Strongest wind gust 94 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 19 Dec 2021




    Summary statistics for summer 2021-22
    Maximum temperatures
    (°C)
    Minimum temperatures
    (°C)
    Rainfall
    (millimetres)
    Mean for
    summer
    2021-22
    Diff
    from
    average
    Highest for
    summer
    2021-22
    Mean for
    summer
    2021-22
    Diff
    from
    average
    Lowest for
    summer
    2021-22
    Total for
    summer
    2021-22
    Average
    for
    summer
    Rank of
    summer
    2021-22
    Fraction of
    summer
    average
    Canberra Airport 26.1 -2.7 32.7 15 Feb 2022 12.8 -0.5 4.8 29 Dec 2021 240.8 192.5 high 125%
    Mount Ginini AWS 17.6 -1.7 24.0 2 Jan 2022 8.4 -0.4 1.1 6 Dec 2021 448.8 291.5 high 154%
    Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 26.1 -2.2 33.5 2 Jan 2022 13.5 -0.2 6.6 21 Dec 2021 372.6 204.9 v high 182%

    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 9 am on Thursday 3 March 2022. 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

Climate