Canberra in spring 2016: A cool, wet start and a warm finish

Spring was variable in the ACT during 2016, with a cold, wet September followed by closer to average rainfall in the rest of the season. Temperatures were close to normal for the season as a whole, although September was the fifth-warmest on record for minimum temperatures at Canberra Airport.

Wettest spring in 16 years

  • Rainfall was above average across the ACT, with Canberra Airport recording its wettest spring since 2000
  • September was the second-wettest on record for Canberra, with slightly below average rainfall during October and November
  • Canberra Airport recorded 5 mm or more on 18 days, the equal third-highest number on record and the most since 1975 (average is 11 days)
  • Rainfall reached 53.6 mm on 3 September, the second-wettest September day on record for Canberra Airport

Variable temperatures throughout the season

  • Both the average maximum and minimum temperatures were close to average for spring as a whole
  • Daytime temperatures were well above average during November, but below average in both September and October, which were the coolest since 1992 and 2003 respectively
  • Overnight temperatures were the fifth-warmest on record in September, but below average during both October and November
  • Canberra Airport recorded its longest spring warm spell since 2009 on 18-22 November and its coolest September day since 2009 on 2 September

Further information

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Extremes in spring 2016
Hottest day 31.6 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 19 Nov
Warmest days on average 19.7 °C at Canberra Airport
19.7 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest days on average 10.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 1.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 15 Sep
1.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 30 Sep
Coldest night -4.8 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 31 Oct
Coolest nights on average 1.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 6.7 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 15.6 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 23 Nov
Warmest on average overall 13.2 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 6.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 407.0 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 244.8 mm at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Wettest day 53.6 mm at Canberra Airport on 3 Sep
Strongest wind gust 96 km/h at Canberra Airport on 4 Oct
96 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 4 Oct

Summary statistics for spring 2016

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
spring
2016
Diff
from
average
Highest for
spring
2016
Mean for
spring
2016
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
spring
2016
Total for
spring
2016
Average
for
spring
Rank of
spring
2016
Fraction of
spring
average
Canberra Airport 19.7 +0.3 31.2 22 Nov 6.2 +0.2 -1.3 1 Nov 249.6 179.7 high 138.9%
Mount Ginini AWS 10.7 -1.8 22.5 21 Nov 1.9 -1.2 -4.8 31 Oct 407.0 272.2 high 150%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 19.7 -1.3 31.6 19 Nov 6.7 +0.1 -0.5 28 Sep 244.8 188.7 high 130%
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.

Notes

The Seasonal climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists 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. 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 statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Thursday 1 December 2016. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

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.

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.

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