Canberra in autumn 2017: a rainy start and a cool finish

Days were generally warm in Canberra during autumn, with warm March nights followed by cool nights during April and May. Rainfall was above average with the most rain days since autumn 1989, largely as a result of persistent rainfall during March.

Above average rainfall

  • Rainfall was generally above average in Canberra during autumn
  • There were 31 rain days at Canberra Airport, above the autumn average of 23 days and the most autumn rain days since 1989, with persistent rain during March
  • The heaviest rain fell on 20 May, with 31.2 mm recorded at Canberra Airport and 88.0 mm at Mt Ginini

Warm days but some cool nights

  • Daytime temperatures were 0.7 °C above average at Canberra Airport, but cooler than the record-warm autumn 2016
  • Days were warmer than average during both March and May, but slightly below average during April
  • Only seven days had maximum temperatures below 15 °C, half the historical average
  • Minimum temperatures were slightly below average for autumn and the coolest since 2013, with a very warm March but cool nights in April and May
  • Eight nights had minimum temperatures above 15 °C (average four nights), but 23 nights fell below 2 °C (average 17 nights)

Further information

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Extremes in autumn 2017
Hottest day 32.7 °C at Canberra Airport on 12 Mar
Warmest days on average 20.7 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 11.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day -1.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 29 May
Coldest night -5.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 31 May
Coolest nights on average 4.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 7.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 18.2 °C at Canberra Airport on 21 Mar
18.2 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 21 Mar
Warmest on average overall 13.9 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 7.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 270.6 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 151.0 mm at Canberra Airport
Wettest day 88.0 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on 20 May
Strongest wind gust 83 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 25 Apr
83 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 7 May

Summary statistics for autumn 2017

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2017
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2017
Mean for
autumn
2017
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2017
Total for
autumn
2017
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2017
Fraction of
autumn
average
Canberra Airport 20.7 +0.7 32.7 12 Mar 6.6 -0.3 -4.5 30 May 151.0 140.7
average
107%
Mount Ginini AWS 11.7 -0.2 21.6 12 Mar 4.1 0.0 -5.9 31 May 270.6 202.3 high 134%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 20.4 -0.6 31.6 12 Mar 7.3 +0.3 -3.9 30 May 208.2 113.4 v high 184%
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 June 2017. 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.

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