Monday, June 2 2008 - Seasonal Climate Summary for Tasmania - Product code IDCKGC27R0

Tasmania in autumn 2008: Mostly settled weather, very little rain

Autumn was another dry season for Tasmania, with very few significant rain events. Rainfalls over most of the state were well below the long term average, and the east was especially dry. Temperatures were generally above normal, particularly during daytime in the southeast.

Summaries are also available for the individual months of March, April and May, as is an archive of previous seasonal summaries for Tasmania, and many other climate summaries and diagnostics.

Details

Very dry: There were very few significant rain events during autumn which meant that the majority of Tasmania received well below average rainfall for this period. The east of the state and the Derwent Valley in particular missed out, with many locations receiving less than half of their normal autumn total. Some sites had their lowest total autumn rainfall on record, including Lewis Hill which received only 38 mm, its lowest total in 77 years of record. Several other sites had their lowest total autumn rainfall for several decades.

Long term rainfall deficits: The lack of rainfall during autumn continues a series of below average rainfalls over recent years. Spring 2005 was the last time most areas of Tasmania received falls significantly above normal, with most seasons since then being drier than normal. The Seasonal Climate Outlook for the next three months does not indicate that winter in Tasmania is likely to be wetter than usual.

Strong winds and locally heavy rain: The weather during autumn was generally settled, with major disruptions on only two occasions. A very deep low pressure system passed close to Tasmania in early April and generated destructive winds across the state. Gusts well over 100 km/h were recorded at several locations and caused extensive damage, particularly in the south. Late in May, a trough triggered intense rainfall in northern parts of the state, especially in the northwest where widespread flash flooding and water damage was sustained between Wynyard and Burnie. More information can be found in the relevant monthly summaries

Warm days: Average daytime temperatures during autumn were up to one and a half degrees above average in southeastern Tasmania and about half a degree above average over the remainder of the state. Hobart and Tarraleah had their highest mean daily maximum temperature for autumn. March was particularly warm, with several locations (including Hobart, Launceston and Burnie) registering their highest autumn daily temperature. Campania (a relatively new site) reached 38.0°C on the 14th of March, setting a new record for the highest autumn temperature in Tasmania. The first three weeks of May were also notable as daytime temperatures were generally above average during this extended period.

Some cold nights: Overall, night time temperatures for autumn were within half a degree of average, with a slight tendency towards warmer than normal nights in the north and cooler than normal nights in the south. There were some particularly cold mornings in May, with a few locations setting a new autumn daily minimum temperature record. The lowest temperature of the season was minus 8.3°C at Lake Leake on the morning of the 22nd of May.

Further information

Melanie Webb
Meteorologist
Tasmania and Antarctica Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 6221 2043
Email climate.tas@bom.gov.au

Extremes

Hottest day
Highest temperature
38.0°C at Campania on 14 Mar
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
19.7°C at Campania 
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
9.2°C at Mount Read
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
−0.4°C at Mount Wellington on 21 May
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
−8.3°C at Lake Leake on 22 May
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
1.9°C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
12.8°C at Hogan Island
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
20.1°C at Hogan Island on 18 Mar
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
838.2 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall
Lowest total rainfall
37.6 mm at Lewis Hill
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
75.8 mm at Elliott Research Station on 27 May
Highest wind gust
169 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on 2 Apr

Records


Record lowest total autumn rainfall
Total rainfall
for autumn 2008 (mm)
Previous lowest
for autumn
Years of
record
Normal for
autumn
Lewis Hill (St Pauls River) 37.6 41.1 in 1972 77 155.1
Orford (Aubin Court) 49.0 55.8 in 1967 56 161.1
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 100.6 119.4 in 1998 34 191.2


Lowest total autumn rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for autumn 2008 (mm)
Most recent lower
for autumn
Years since
lower
Normal for
autumn
Woodbridge 97.6 92.7 in 1945 39 209.8
Taroona (Taroona Crescent) 69.2 60.8 in 1967 36 143.1
St Marys (Clive Street) 77.6 41.5 in 1972 35 262.0
Fort Direction 55.2 39.3 in 1967 34 126.9
Nugent (Twilight Valley) 104.6 102.4 in 1987 21 183.8
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 142.8 104.6 in 1988 20 232.2



Record highest autumn temperature
Highest temperature
in autumn 2008 (°C)
Previous highest
for autumn
Years of
record
Normal for
autumn
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 37.3 on 14 Mar = 37.3 on 13 Mar 1940 122 17.3
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 32.4 on 17 Mar 31.0 on 12 Apr 1985 52 14.5
Swansea Post Office 36.8 on 16 Mar 36.2 on 12 Mar 1998 52 18.5
Hobart Airport 37.0 on 14 Mar 36.5 on 12 Mar 1998 50 18.0
Burnie (Round Hill) 28.9 on 10 Mar 28.1 on 11 Mar 1992 44 17.6
Bicheno (Council Depot) 35.4 on 14 Mar = 35.4 on 2 Mar 2000 34 18.6
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 32.9 on 17 Mar 32.3 on 12 Mar 1998 27 19.0
Fingal (Legge Street) 35.7 on 16 Mar 34.6 on 7 Mar 1991 23 18.3
Wynyard Airport 28.9 on 10 Mar 27.8 on 23 Mar 2007 23 17.4

Record highest autumn temperature for Tasmania

Campania reached 38.0°C on the 14th of March, the highest autumn temperature ever recorded in Tasmania. The previous highest was 37.8°C at New Norfolk on the 7th March 1966. Campania is a relatively new site, having opened in April 2000, so does not yet have sufficient years of record to appear in the table above. It frequently registers the highest temperature in Tasmania on days of hot northerly winds.



Record highest autumn mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for autumn 2008 (°C)
Previous highest
for autumn
Years of
record
Normal for
autumn
** Hobart (Ellerslie Road)18.7= 18.7in 199011317.3
Tarraleah Village 15.4 15.3 in 2002 24 14.1

** The mean in Hobart for 1881 was 19.0°C. However, temperatures recorded before 1895 were not measured in the standard "Stevenson screen", so are not directly comparable to observations made since 1895.




Record lowest autumn temperature
Lowest temperature
in autumn 2008 (°C)
Previous lowest
for autumn
Years of
record
Normal for
autumn
Grove (Comparison) −5.5 on 22 May −4.3 on 29 May 1979 49 6.2
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) −6.0 on 22 May −4.8 on 9 May 1994 48 6.2
Fingal (Legge Street) −8.1 on 22 May −7.6 on 12 May 1994 22 5.4



Summaries

In this table, key sites have been highlighted to make them easier to find. This table is very wide and may not fit if printed.


Summary statistics for autumn 2008
Maximum temperatures
for autumn
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for autumn
(°C)
Rainfall
for autumn
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2008
Diff
from
normal
Highest for
autumn
2008
Mean for
autumn
2008
Diff
from
normal
Lowest for
autumn
2008
Total for
autumn
2008
Normal
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2008
Fraction of
autumn
normal
Northern (district 91)
Bridport 18.5 +0.2 29.0 14 Mar 10.4 +0.9 0.5 23 May 179.5 157.8 normal 114%
Burnie 18.1 +0.5 28.9 10 Mar 11.1 +1.1 3.2 21 May 193.8 219.2 normal 88%
Cape Grim BAPS 17.0 +0.5 26.1 16 Mar 11.5 0.0 6.2 24 May 156.4 179.9 normal 87%
Cressy Research Station 18.8   34.4 16 Mar 5.8   −6.3 22 May 104.4
Devonport Airport 18.1 +0.5 28.4 6 Mar 9.2 +0.7 0.0 21 May 118.4 181.9 low 65%
Launceston 19.6 +0.6 32.9 17 Mar 8.4 +0.9 −1.8 22 May 103.8 148.1 low 70%
Launceston Airport 18.9   34.6 17 Mar 7.0   −3.7 22 May 102.4
Launceston Airport Comparison 18.0 +0.6 33.2 17 Mar 7.3 +0.6 −3.7 22 May 113.2 152.4 low 74%
Low Head 17.7 +0.1 24.8 4 Mar 11.5 +0.5 4.1 22 May 149.0 143.7 normal 104%
Luncheon Hill 16.1 +0.4 32.4 17 Mar 8.1 0.0 1.4 27 Mar 292.6 339.7 normal 86%
Marrawah 17.3 +0.3 29.5 16 Mar 10.4 +0.1 4.8 28 Apr 222.8 252.2 normal 88%
Powranna 18.8 +0.8 35.5 17 Mar 6.9 +0.8 −4.5 22 May
Scottsdale 18.1 0.0 31.4 16 Mar 8.2 +0.4 0.4 21 May 163.4 231.9 low 70%
Sheffield School Farm 16.6 0.0 30.5 17 Mar 7.4 +0.2 −1.0 22 May
Smithton Aerodrome 18.5 +0.7 30.1 14 Mar 8.1 +0.5 −0.5 28 Apr 164.2 173.4 low 95%
Wynyard Airport 18.4 +0.9 28.9 10 Mar 8.0 +0.9 −1.3 22 May 177.8 216.3 normal 82%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno 18.9 +0.3 35.4 14 Mar 10.4 +0.2 2.0 22 May 104.0 172.9 low 60%
Eddystone Point 19.0 +1.0 30.7 14 Mar 11.6 +0.1 4.5 21 May 95.2 189.5 very low 50%
Fingal 18.7 +0.4 35.7 16 Mar 5.2 −0.2 −8.1 22 May 61.6 146.1 very low 42%
Friendly Beaches 19.0 +0.3 35.0 14 Mar 9.9 +0.1 −1.1 22 May 86.6 153.9 low 56%
Lake Leake 15.2 +1.0 32.6 17 Mar 3.5 −0.6 −8.3 22 May 74.8 205.9 very low 36%
Maria Island 17.9   29.6 14 Mar 11.0   4.7 22 May 45.6
Orford 18.6 +0.4 34.9 14 Mar 8.3 0.0 0.3 21 May 49.0 161.1 lowest 30%
Scamander 18.8 +0.2 33.0 14 Mar 9.7 0.0 0.8 22 May 93.0 186.6 very low 50%
St Helens Aerodrome 18.7   34.4 16 Mar 9.4   0.0 22 May 95.6
Swan Island 18.2   29.7 14 Mar 12.6   5.3 21 May 96.4
Swansea Post Office 19.3 +0.8 36.8 16 Mar 8.1 −0.2 −0.1 22 May 48.1 148.7 very low 32%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross 18.8 +1.1 35.3 17 Mar 5.7 +0.2 −6.9 22 May 72.0 94.2 normal 76%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania 19.7   38.0 14 Mar 7.1   −2.3 22 May 46.0
Cape Bruny 16.8 +0.4 34.6 14 Mar 9.8 −0.2 3.9 22 May 110.2 159.7 very low 69%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 16.3 +0.8 34.0 14 Mar 9.9 +0.2 4.0 22 May 142.8 232.2 very low 61%
Dover 17.2 +0.4 36.0 14 Mar 6.5 −0.9 −1.1 22 May 105.0 202.7 very low 52%
Geeveston 17.7 +0.4 35.4 14 Mar 6.1 −0.3 −3.2 22 May 100.6 191.2 lowest 53%
Grove 18.7 +1.2 37.1 14 Mar 5.3 −0.8 −5.5 22 May 68.2 167.6 very low 41%
Grove 18.7   37.2 14 Mar 4.8   −6.0 22 May 71.2
Hobart 18.7 +1.4 37.3 14 Mar 9.2 +0.2 0.7 22 May 56.4 142.7 very low 40%
Hobart Airport 18.7 +0.8 37.0 14 Mar 8.3 −0.4 1.0 22 May 60.4 113.7 very low 53%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 14.9 +0.4 32.4 17 Mar 10.0 +0.5 4.9 21 May 203.8 309.3 low 66%
Melton Mowbray 18.4 +1.1 37.2 17 Mar 6.1 +0.2 −5.0 22 May 49.4 85.6 very low 58%
Mount Wellington 9.4 +1.0 26.1 16 Mar 2.3 +0.1 −4.6 21 May
Tasman Island 15.2   32.8 14 Mar 9.6   3.4 21 May 147.2
Tunnack Fire Station 16.4 +1.0 35.2 16 Mar 5.3 0.0 −5.9 22 May 57.2 131.7 very low 43%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park 19.4 +1.4 36.8 14 Mar 5.0 −1.2 −6.0 22 May
Maydena Post Office 16.6 +0.5 35.2 17 Mar 5.6 +0.2 −3.0 22 May 141.1 250.5 very low 56%
Moogara 15.4 +1.4 32.5 14 Mar 5.8 +0.3 0.5 28 Apr 86.6 166.9 very low 52%
Ouse Fire Station 19.0 +0.6 36.1 16 Mar 4.9 −0.5 −6.3 22 May 59.2
Tarraleah Village 15.4 +1.3 32.3 17 Mar 4.5 +0.6 −3.1 22 May 170.7 268.4 very low 64%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Lake St Clair National Park 14.0 +0.7 30.2 16 Mar 2.7 −0.1 −6.0 22 May 300.0 413.3 very low 73%
Liawenee 12.6   28.6 16 Mar 1.9   −6.5 22 May 179.2
West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain 12.1 +0.7 29.5 17 Mar 4.6 −0.1 −1.5 21 May 131.2 203.8 low 64%
Mount Read 9.2 +0.2 25.5 17 Mar 3.6 +0.2 −3.0 21 May 838.2 922.3 low 91%
Scotts Peak Dam 15.4 +0.7 34.5 17 Mar 6.7 −0.1 1.2 22 May 288.6
Strahan Aerodrome 17.2 +0.5 34.3 17 Mar 8.3 −0.1 1.5 21 May 396.4 351.8 high 113%
Strathgordon Village 14.7 +0.4 31.2 14 Mar 6.7 −0.2 1.1 22 May 442.3 589.8 low 75%
Warra 14.3   32.1 16 Mar 5.9   −1.0 22 May 235.0
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 18.6 +1.0 36.4 17 Mar 10.4 −0.1 3.5 12 Mar 192.4 190.2 normal 101%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 19.4 +0.7 35.4 14 Mar 10.5 −0.3 −1.1 22 May 96.8 189.3 very low 51%
Hogan Island 18.3   35.3 14 Mar 12.8   7.7 28 Apr 117.8
Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 7.2 +0.3 9.7 3 Apr 4.2 +0.6 −0.7 1 May 290.0 276.5 normal 105%


Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 12 pm on Monday 2 June 2008. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Normals 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 "normal" 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, normal in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of normal shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Further information

Melanie Webb
Meteorologist
Tasmania and Antarctica Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (03) 6221 2043
Email climate.tas@bom.gov.au