Brisbane in summer 2015-16: A dry season overall

Brisbane had below average rainfall during summer. Mean maximum temperatures were above average at most metropolitan locations. Mean minimum temperatures were near or slightly below average.

  • Below average summer rainfall at all metropolitan sites
  • Warmer than average daytime temperatures
  • Near-average overnight temperatures

Rainfall was below average for summer in Brisbane metropolitan area, with most sites recording less than half their average rainfall. It was a relatively dry December across the city, with only a few notable rainfall events. January rainfall was average or below, and mostly confined to the start of the month, with moderate falls recorded between the 4th and 6th. February was particularly dry, with well below average rainfall recorded, and February totals ranging between about 25 mm and 60 mm. Logan City recorded its lowest total summer rainfall on record, and Archerfield recording its lowest total summer rainfall since 1951.

Mean maximum temperatures were above average at most metropolitan sites for summer. The hottest day occurred in mid-February, with Amberley reaching  38.9 C on the 16th. All metropolitan sites recorded their hottest summer day in February. Daytime temperatures were close to average during December at most sites, followed by near-average maximum temperatures during January. At the end of January, daytime temperatures were around 4C to 5 C above average with the hot conditions continuing into February. Brisbane had a record sixteen consecutive days above 31 C between 14 and 29 February.

Mean minimum temperatures in the Brisbane area were mostly slightly above average for summer. Overnight temperatures for December were slightly below average at all metropolitan stations, despite an unusually warm start to the month. January experienced cooler than usual mean minimum temperatures, with the first three weeks in January particularly cool. By the end of January, above average overnight temperatures were observed, with this pattern persisting into the first week of February, and re-emerging in the third week of February. 

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Extremes in summer 2015-16
Hottest day 38.9 C at Amberley AMO on 16 Feb 2016
Warmest days on average 31.3 C at Amberley AMO
Coolest days on average 28.5 C at Redcliffe
Coldest day 22.2 C at Archerfield Airport on 12 Dec 2015
Coldest night 12.2 C at Amberley AMO on 5 Dec 2015
Coolest nights on average 18.3 C at Amberley AMO
Warmest nights on average 21.4 C at Redcliffe
Warmest night 26.0 C at Brisbane on 19 Feb 2016
Warmest on average overall 25.8 C at Brisbane
Coolest on average overall 24.8 C at Amberley AMO
Wettest overall 271.8 mm at Alderley
Driest overall 159.2 mm at Logan City Water Treatment Plant
Wettest day 78.2 mm at Alderley on 20 Feb 2016
Strongest wind gust 85 km/h at Redcliffe on 15 Jan 2016

Record lowest summer total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 159.2 163.7 in 2013 20 399.6

Lowest summer total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
summer
Archerfield Airport 177.8 103.3 in 1951* 415.1

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported.




Summary statistics for summer 2015-16
Maximum temperatures
(C)
Minimum temperatures
(C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2015-16
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2015-16
Mean for
summer
2015-16
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2015-16
Total for
summer
2015-16
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2015-16
Fraction of
summer
average
Amberley AMO 31.3 +0.5 38.9 16 Feb 2016 18.3 -0.9 12.2 5 Dec 2015 210.8 359.5 low 59%
Archerfield Airport 30.9 +1.0 37.8 1 Feb 2016 19.8 0.0 13.9 6 Dec 2015 177.8 415.1 v low 43%
Brisbane 30.6 +0.8 36.2 2 Feb 2016 21.0 0.0 16.9 5 Dec 2015 101.4* 454.3 N/A N/A
Brisbane Aero 29.0 +0.3 36.3 2 Feb 2016 20.6 -0.2 15.9 4 Dec 2015 160.6 401.5 v low 40%
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 30.1 +0.8 38.0 16 Feb 2016 19.7 -0.4 15.5 6 Dec 2015 159.2 399.6 lowest 40%
Redcliffe 28.5 -0.2 36.4 2 Feb 2016 21.4 -0.2 17.2 5 Dec 2015 244.4 385.8 low 63%
* note: the total rainfall at this site was likely to be more than 101.4 mm, due to missing observations, the summer total is unconfirmed.

Notes

The Seasonal climate summary lists the main features of the weather in Brisbane 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 Tuesday 1 March 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.

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