Australian Capital Territory in autumn 2019: warm days and near-average rainfall

Rainfall in the ACT in autumn 2019 was generally close to average. Daytime maximum temperatures were well above average, and overnight minimum temperatures were also above average.

Rainfall close to average

  • Rainfall across the Territory in autumn 2019 was generally close to average. A wet March was followed by a dry April, with May near average.
  • Heavy rain fell in late March. Canberra Airport had 45.2 mm on 30 March, its wettest day since February 2018 and the wettest March day since 2012.

Warm days in autumn 2019

  • Maximum temperatures were significantly above the long-term average, although only slightly above the average of the last decade. All three months were warmer than normal, although none approached record levels.
  • Minimum temperatures were slightly above average.
  • Autumn 2019 had lower mean temperatures than autumn 2018 or 2016.
  • A maximum of 9.1 °C on the 27th was the coldest May (and autumn) day since 2000. Conversely, 3 May was Canberra Airport's warmest May night on record with a minimum of 15.2 °C.

Canberra Airport

  • Total rainfall for Canberra Airport was 132.4 mm, which is 96% of the long-term average of 138.5 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Canberra Airport was 21.7 °C, which is 1.9 °C above the long-term average of 19.8 °C. The warmest day was 34.1 °C on 4 Mar, and the coolest day was on 27 May when the temperature reached 9.1 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Canberra Airport was 7.6 °C, which is 0.8 °C above the long-term average of 6.8 °C. The coldest morning was -2.7 °C on 31 May, and the warmest morning was on 22 Mar when the minimum temperature was 16.7 °C

Significant events

  • Snow settled above 1000 metres elevation on 27 May, with falling snow observed in some places at lower altitudes.

Further information

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Extremes in autumn 2019
Hottest day 34.6 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on 4 Mar
Warmest days on average 21.7 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 12.2 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day -2.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 27 May
Coldest night -6.1 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 30 May
Coolest nights on average 4.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 7.6 °C at Canberra Airport
Warmest night 16.7 °C at Canberra Airport on 22 Mar
Warmest on average overall 14.7 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest on average overall 8.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 260.0 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 132.4 mm at Canberra Airport
Wettest day 46.2 mm at Torrens (Darke St) on 30 Mar
Strongest wind gust 74 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 26 Apr




Summary statistics for autumn 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2019
Mean for
autumn
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2019
Total for
autumn
2019
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2019
Fraction of
autumn
average
Canberra Airport 21.7 +1.9 34.1 4 Mar 7.6 +0.8 -2.7 31 May 132.4 138.5 average 96%
Mount Ginini AWS 12.2 +0.2 24.5 4 Mar 4.6 +0.5 -6.1 30 May 260.0 200.1 high 130%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 21.5 +0.5 34.6 4 Mar 7.6 +0.6 -3.5 31 May 137.0 110.7 high 124%
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,
combined with the current site from March 2010 onwards.

Notes

The Seasonal climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Australian Capital Territory 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 summary includes data from observing sites in or near the Australian Capital Territory “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Monday 3 June 2019. 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.

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