Canberra in autumn 2015: A season of contrasts

  • Close to average conditions
  • Warm, dry March
  • Cool April with heavy rain

Rainfall was close to average during autumn, with 116.4 mm recorded at Canberra Airport, 18% below the historical average. Most of the rain fell during April, which was the wettest for Canberra since 1990, while below average totals and clear conditions persisted during March and May. The majority of the rain was associated with an East Coast Low that developed off the south coast in the first week of April, with Tharwa recording a daily total of 90.2 mm to 9 am on 8 April. In total there were 19 rain days during the season, close to the historical average of 23 days.

The mean maximum temperature was 0.7 °C above average, with very warm days during March followed by the coolest April since 1999. In contrast, the mean minimum temperature was 0.6 °C below average. This was associated with a lack of warm nights rathwe than extreme cold; no nights reached 15 °C during the season (average 4 nights), but only 12 nights fell below 0 °C, close to the historical average of 10 nights.

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Extremes in autumn 2015
Hottest day 32.0 °C at Canberra Airport on 20 Mar
Warmest days on average 20.7 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 11.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 0.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 13 May
Coldest night -5.8 °C at Canberra Airport on 24 May
Coolest nights on average 3.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 6.9 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 17.3 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 24 Mar
Warmest on average overall 13.5 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest on average overall 7.3 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 178.6 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 116.4 mm at Canberra Airport
Wettest day 90.2 mm at Tharwa General Store on 8 Apr
Strongest wind gust 102 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 11 May

Summary statistics for autumn 2015
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2015
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2015
Mean for
autumn
2015
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2015
Total for
autumn
2015
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2015
Fraction of
autumn
average
Canberra Airport 20.7 +0.7 32.0 20 Mar 6.3 -0.6 -5.8 24 May 116.4 141.3 average 82%
Mount Ginini AWS 11.1 -0.8 22.6 19 Mar 3.5 -0.5 -4.4 14 May 178.6 198.4 average 90%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 20.0 -0.9 31.5 19 Mar 6.9 0.0 -4.9 24 May 123.4 109.2 average 113%

Notes

As of March 2010, the official station for Canberra is 70351 'Canberra Airport'. Averages from the previous site, 70014 Canberra Airport Comparison, are used for comparisons.

A Seasonal Climate Summary is prepared to list 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. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

A Climate Summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Monday 1 June 2015. 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.

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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is used for temperature area averages.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries