Greater Brisbane in autumn 2020: drier than usual, near-average temperatures

Autumn rainfall was below average in Greater Brisbane, with most locations reporting less than 50% of their autumn average.

Mean maximum temperatures were close to or slightly above average for autumn. Mean minimum temperatures were close to or slightly cooler than average. A cold outbreak at the end of May saw some very cool days across the southeast.

Dry autumn overall

  • Overall, rainfall was below average in Greater Brisbane, with most location reporting less than 50% of their average autumn rainfall
  • March rainfall was close to average at most locations, with much of the rain falling in the first half of the month
  • A dry April followed, with below to well below average in Greater Brisbane, and inland locations reporting around 10% or less of their April average
  • It was a dry finish to the season, with below average May rainfall across Greater Brisbane, and most locations reported less than 25% of the May average

Temperatures close to average for days, and slightly cooler than usual for nights

  • Mean maximum temperatures were close to the long-term average for most locations in autumn, with some inland sites reporting days slightly warmer than usual
  • Maximum temperatures were close to average on most days during March, but there were some cool days in the first half of the month, especially during periods of rainfall
  • Both mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures were warmer than average for April, with record warm April mean maximum temperatures at Brisbane and Logan
  • There was a cold outbreak on 23 May, with a number of sites reporting their coldest autumn day (lowest maximum temperature) on record
  • Mean minimum temperatures were close to or slightly cooler than usual across Greater Brisbane
  • It was a warm start to the season in March, and Brisbane had its warmest autumn night (highest daily minimum temperature) since 2001
  • Minimum temperatures were above average for the first ten days of the month, before a spell of cooler than average nights from the 12th to the 17th
  • It was a cool end to the season, with cooler than usual mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures in Greater Brisbane during May

Brisbane

  • Autumn rainfall for Brisbane is estimated at 96.4 mm, and 40 % of the long-term average of 243.3 mm. Due to an equipment outage at the Brisbane site means the true rainfall total for March is not known, but  estimated at around 79 mm, and an April total Brisbane of 5.2 mm, along with a May total for Brisbane was 12.2 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Brisbane was 27.1 °C, which is 0.1 °C above the long-term average of 27.0 °C
  • The warmest day was 33.6 °C on 17 April, and the coolest day was on 23 May when the temperature reached 15.1 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Brisbane was 17.3 °C, which is 0.2 °C above the long-term average of 17.1 °C
  • The coldest morning was 10.2 °C on 26 May, and the warmest morning was on 6 March when the minimum temperature was 25.6 °C

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057

Extremes in autumn 2020
Hottest day 35.8 °C at Greenbank (Defence) on 2 March
Warmest days on average 27.8 °C at University of Queensland Gatton
Coolest days on average 24.7 °C at Cape Moreton Lighthouse
Coldest day 13.5 °C at Cape Moreton Lighthouse on 23 May
Coldest night 0.6 °C at Beaudesert Drumley Street on 24 May
Coolest nights on average 12.0 °C at Canungra (Defence)
Warmest nights on average 19.4 °C at Cape Moreton Lighthouse
Warmest night 25.8 °C at Point Lookout on 6 March
Warmest on average overall 22.2 °C at Brisbane
Coolest on average overall 19.1 °C at Canungra (Defence)
Wettest overall 345.0 mm at Point Lookout
Wettest day 89.6 mm at Fort Lytton on 10 March
Strongest wind gust 109 km/h at Cape Moreton Lighthouse on 15 March



Record lowest autumn daily maximum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Cape Moreton Lighthouse 13.5 on 23 May 15.0 on 12 May 1978 111 24.1
Archerfield Airport 15.2 on 23 May 16.4 on 26 May 1990 47 26.5
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 15.4 on 23 May 16.8 on 22 May 2013 28 26.3
Brisbane Aero 15.8 on 23 May 17.6 on 31 May 2000 26 25.9
Point Lookout 14.5 on 23 May 15.9 on 28 May 2000 24 26.4
Beerburrum Forest Station 15.5 on 23 May 16.8 on 29 May 2008 22 26.4
Brisbane 15.1 on 23 May 18.0 on 30 Apr 2015 21 27.0



Record highest autumn daily minimum temperature

New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Point Lookout 25.8 on 6 Mar 25.7 on 3 Mar 2011 24 19.4
Brisbane 25.6 on 6 Mar 25.0 on 26 Mar 2001 21 17.1



Summary statistics for autumn 2020

Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2020
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2020
Mean for
autumn
2020
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2020
Total for
autumn
2020
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2020
Fraction of
autumn
average
Amberley AMO 27.7 +0.8 34.9 17 Apr 13.4 -0.5 3.0 2 May 91.2 191.0 low 48%
Archerfield Airport 27.4 +0.9 34.6 2 Mar 15.1 -0.1 7.5 4 May 93.0 275.3 v low 34%
Beaudesert Drumley Street 27.4 +0.6 33.9 17 Apr 13.7 -0.1 0.6 24 May 66.8 212.0 v low 32%
Beerburrum Forest Station 26.3 -0.1 33.0 2 Mar 15.4 -0.3 8.2 12 May 223.0 407.0 low 55%
Brisbane 27.1 +0.1 33.6 17 Apr 17.3 +0.2 10.2 26 May



Brisbane Aero 26.3 +0.4 31.6 11 Apr 16.5 +0.1 8.6 25 May 157.2 273.5 low 57%
Canungra (Defence) 26.2   34.0 2 Mar 12.0   0.9 24 May 81.0


Cape Moreton Lighthouse 24.7 +0.6 30.0 3 Mar 19.4 +0.4 10.8 24 May 253.2 484.3 low 52%
Greenbank (Defence) 27.5   35.8 2 Mar 13.5   3.3 24 May 91.2


Logan City Water Treatment Plant 26.8 +0.5 33.8 17 Apr 16.1 +0.1 6.8 24 May 175.0 308.5 low 57%
Redcliffe 26.0 +0.2 31.7 11 Apr 17.6 -0.1 10.3 24 May 190.2 290.4 low 65%
Redland (Alexandra Hills) 26.0   31.2 17 Apr 16.4   8.7 24 May 139.6


University of Queensland Gatton 27.8 +1.0 35.2 2 Mar 13.6 -0.1 5.0 2 May 59.8 171.9 low 35%

Notes

The Seasonal climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Greater Brisbane 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 Greater Brisbane “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 10 am on Monday 1 June 2020. 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