Canberra in autumn 2016: Warmest autumn on record

Canberra experienced its warmest autumn on record in 2016 for both average maximum and mean temperatures. Rainfall was below average, with only one heavy rain day during the season.

  • Warmest autumn on record for average maximum and mean temperatures
  • Sixth-warmest autumn on record for average minimum temperatures
  • Below average rainfall

Canberra recorded its warmest autumn on record during 2016, with the mean temperature at Canberra Airport 2.4 °C above the historical average and 0.4 °C above the previous record, set in 2007. The average maximum temperature at Canberra Airport was 0.6 °C above the previous record, set in 2005, while the average minimum was the sixth-warmest on record. Both daytime and night-time temperatures were well above average throughout the season, with few cold spells. Only seven days were below 15 °C during the season, well below the average of 16 days, while 29 reached at least 25 °C, the equal second-highest number on record for autumn.

Canberra Airport recorded 82.8 mm of rain during autumn, below the historical average, with dry conditions in both March and April but closer to average rainfall during May. The rain fell over 20 days, close to the historical average, but only one day had more than 10 mm of rainfall, the fewest since 2008 (the average is four days). This was on 9 May, when a cold front produced 28.2 mm at Canberra Airport and 50.8 mm at Mt Ginini.

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Extremes in autumn 2016
Hottest day 35.5 °C at Canberra Airport on 5 Mar
Warmest days on average 23.0 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 13.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day -0.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 27 May
Coldest night -4.5 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 29 May
Coolest nights on average 5.5 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 8.6 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 18.9 °C at Canberra Airport on 11 Mar
Warmest on average overall 15.8 °C at Canberra AirportS
Coolest on average overall 9.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 176.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 82.8 mm at Canberra Airport
Wettest day 50.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on 9 May
Strongest wind gust 87 km/h at Canberra Airport on 18 Mar
87 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 1 May
87 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 23 May

Summary statistics for autumn 2016
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2016
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2016
Mean for
autumn
2016
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2016
Total for
autumn
2016
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2016
Fraction of
autumn
average
Canberra Airport 23.0 +3.0 35.5 5 Mar 8.5 +1.6 -3.9 29 May 82.8 140.7 low 59%
Mount Ginini AWS 13.4 +1.6 25.8 7 Mar 5.5 +1.6 -3.5 29 May 176.8 196.6 average 90%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 22.5 +1.6 34.8 5 Mar 8.6 +1.7 -4.5 29 May 98.2 108.7 average 90%
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 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. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

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 Wednesday 1 June 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.

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

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries