Canberra in spring 2015: Fourth-warmest spring on record

Canberra recorded well above average daytime temperatures during spring, the third-warmest on record, with a particularly hot October. Nights were also warmer than average during October and November but cool in September, while rainfall was 40% below average for the season.

  • Third-warmest mean maximum temperatures on record
  • Fourth-warmest mean temperatures on record
  • Below average rainfall

Canberra recorded its third-warmest mean maximum temperatures on record for spring during 2015. This was largely a result of exceptionally warm days during October, which was the warmest on record for Canberra, but daytime temperatures were also well above average throughout the season. There were 33 days above 25 °C during the season, the second-highest number on record behind 36 days in spring 2014, with eight days above 30 °C (average is 3 days). This included a severe heatwave in early October, which broke early-season temperature records for Canberra with two consecutive days above 31 °C (see Special Climate Statement 52).

Minimum temperatures were also warmer than average for the season, with well above average minimum temperatures during both October and November. In contrast, nights were cool during September - the coolest since 1994. The mean temperature was consequently 2 °C above average, the fourth-warmest spring on record.

Rainfall for spring was 40% below the historical average, with well below average rainfall during both September and October followed by close to average rainfall during November. The rain fell over 19 days, below the spring average of 30 rain days, with the heaviest rain falling associated with thunderstorms in the first two weeks of November.

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Extremes in spring 2015
Hottest day 36.1 °C at Canberra Airport on 20 Nov
Warmest days on average 22.5 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 13.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 2.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 23 Sep
Coldest night -6.0 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 23 Sep
Coolest nights on average 4.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 7.6 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 19.5 °C at Canberra Airport on 26 Nov
Warmest on average overall 14.9 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Coolest on average overall 8.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 174.2 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 107.8 mm at Canberra Airport
Wettest day 51.0 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on 2 Nov
Strongest wind gust 80 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 26 Nov

Summary statistics for spring 2015
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
spring
2015
Diff
from
average
Highest for
spring
2015
Mean for
spring
2015
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
spring
2015
Total for
spring
2015
Average
for
spring
Rank of
spring
2015
Fraction of
spring
average
Canberra Airport 22.5 +3.1 36.1 20 Nov 6.9 +0.9 -3.1 1 Sep 107.8 178.2 low 60%
Mount Ginini AWS 13.6 +1.2 25.0 19 Nov 4.1 +1.0 -6.0 23 Sep 174.2 260.9 low 67%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 22.1 +1.2 34.5 20 Nov 7.6 +1.0 -2.3 1 Sep 154.8 185.9 average 83%
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 9 am on Tuesday 1 December 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.

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

Climate

Service notice

Network problems on 8 January disrupted processing of observations, affecting some climate information. Missing data are being retrieved and will be processed into our systems over coming weeks.