Tasmania in summer 2009-10: Warm and dry

Despite several days with heavy rainfall and some cool days, summer was warmer than usual across Tasmania and drier than usual in most areas. Several sites in the north had their driest summer for many years. There were very few cool days and several very warm nights and hot days, making it one of the warmest summers on record for Tasmania.

Mostly drier than usual despite some heavy falls

Overall, summer was drier than usual except for a few sites in the central east and Midlands. Several sites in the north had their driest summer for at least 20 years, including Launceston (71 mm). The driest location was Low Head, with just 59 mm in total.

Although it was dry overall there was heavy rain on a number of days: on 4-5 February a cold front brought statewide rain with locally heavy falls in the east, including 112 mm at Mount Barrow; active thunderstorms on 16-17 January brought short and sharp falls to parts of the east with over 30 mm falling at Grove in an hour and 87 mm recorded at Chain of Lagoons; and a trough on 11th February delivered 15 to 25 mm to the northeastern half of the state and even more to the central east and Midlands, including 80 mm at Campbell Town (its highest summer daily rainfall on record). Another front on 17 December brought widespread falls of 25 to 40 mm. Swansea was one of the few sites to have heavy rain on all of these occasions, and in all had five days with falls of over 20 mm; the last time this happened during summer was 1985-86. 

Hobart received 107 mm, 75 % of its average summer rainfall. Mount Read was the wettest location with a total of 605 mm.

A hot summer with few cool days

It was cool during the first three weeks of December and the last few days of February, but apart from that days were mostly warmer than usual so that mean maximum temperatures for summer were around a degree above average in most areas. Looking at these daytime temperatures, Eddystone Point and Wynyard had their warmest summer on record, Cape Bruny had its warmest summer since 1988 and everywhere else had their warmest summer for several years. There were several very hot days, including 9-12 January when Ouse reached 40.7 °C, the 8th highest temperature ever recorded in Tasmania, and Devonport reached 33.2 °C, hotter than it had ever recorded before. The lack of cool days was also notable; in Hobart, for example, the temperature failed to exceed 18 °C on just 8 days; in a typical summer there would be about 22 days that cool.

Hobart's mean maximum temperature of 23.0 °C was almost two degrees above average, the fourth highest value on record for summer. Daytime temperatures in Hobart ranged from 12.4 °C on 17 December to 38.3 °C on 31 December, and the temperature exceeded 30 °C on 8 days. There were 71 consecutive days when maximum temperatures above 18 °C were recorded, the longest run of mild days in recorded history.

Several very warm nights, but some cold ones too

Mean minima for summer were within half a degree of average in most areas, but over a degree above average in the northeast. Launceston's mean minimum temperature of 12.9 °C was its equal highest on record for summer. Warm nights were more common than usual: Hobart had 3 nights when the temperature didn't drop below 20 °C and Launceston had 8 nights over 18 °C. The warmest night was 22.0 °C at Friendly Beaches on 1 January. Dover's minimum of 20.2 °C on 4 February was a record, as was Bicheno's minimum of 19.4 °C on 21 February. 

Although it was warm overall, there were still some very cold nights. Butlers Gorge fell to -2.8 °C on the morning of 27 January, and Liawenee and Lake St Clair fell to -2.6 °C on 24 February. Hobart's coldest temperature was 8.0 °C on 18 December.

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Extremes in summer 2009-10
Hottest day 40.7 °C at Ouse Fire Station on 11 Jan 2010
Warmest days on average 25.5 °C at Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates)
Coolest days on average 13.9 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day 5.5 °C at Mount Read on 4 Dec 2009
Coldest night -2.8 °C at Butlers Gorge on 27 Jan 2010
Coolest nights on average 4.7 °C at Mount Wellington
Warmest nights on average 15.0 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 22.0 °C at Friendly Beaches on 1 Jan 2010
Wettest overall 604.8 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall 58.6 mm at Low Head
Wettest day 111.6 mm at Mount Barrow (South Barrow) on 5 Feb 2010
Highest wind gust 144 km/h at Mount Wellington on 18 Dec 2009

Rainfall maps
Total Percentage Decile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
Temperature maps
Mean Anomaly Decile rank
Mean
daily
maximum
temperatures
Map of Mean maximum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean maximum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean maximum temperature
Mean
daily
minimum
temperatures
Map of Mean minimum temperature Map of Anomaly in mean minimum temperature Map of Decile rank of mean minimum temperature

Record highest summer daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in summer 2009-10 (mm)
Previous highest
for summer
Years of
record
Campbell Town (Elizabeth R) 80.2 on 12 Feb 2010 60.8 on 19 Feb 1977 26



Record lowest total summer rainfall
Total rainfall
for summer 2009-10 (mm)
Previous lowest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Forthside Research Station 62.8 71.0 in 1983 42 163.7

Lowest total summer rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for summer 2009-10 (mm)
Most recent summer
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
summer
Frankford (Rossville) 88.2 79.0 in 1981 28 166.3
Burnie (Round Hill) 73.0 57.3 in 1983 26 150.3
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 71.5 57.1 in 1983 26 121.8
Barrington Post Office 103.4 92.8 in 1987 22 177.9
Yolla (Sea View) 124.6 113.2 in 1987 22 215.6
Waddamana Field Study Centre 104.4 93.8 in 1987 20 164.1



Record highest summer mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for summer 2009-10 (°C)
Previous warmest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Eddystone Point 23.0 22.6 in 2002 50 20.4
Wynyard Airport 22.3 22.1 in 2000 21 20.8

Highest summer mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for summer 2009-10 (°C)
Most recent higher
for summer
Years since
higher
Average for
summer
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.5 19.8 in 1988 21 17.9


Record highest daily minimum temperature *
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in summer 2009-10 (°C)
Previous highest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Bicheno (Council Depot) 19.4 on 21 Feb 2010 19.0 on 18 Feb 1989 36 12.5
Dover 20.2 on 4 Feb 2010 19.7 on 30 Dec 2002 21 9.8
* These are records for any month.

Record highest summer mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for summer 2009-10 (°C)
Previous highest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 12.9 = 12.9 in 1998 25 11.6

Highest summer mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for summer 2009-10 (°C)
Most recent higher
for summer
Years since
higher
Average for
summer
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 11.6 = 11.6 in 1988 21 10.4



Summary statistics for summer 2009-10
Maximum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Rainfall
for summer
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2009-10
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2009-10
Mean for
summer
2009-10
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2009-10
Total for
summer
2009-10
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2009-10
Fraction of
summer
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 21.9 +0.6 28.0 20 Feb 2010 12.9 +0.5 6.0 2 Dec 2009 65.0 124.2 v low 52%
Burnie (Round Hill) 21.8 +1.2 32.7 9 Jan 2010 13.7 +1.3 7.2 11 Dec 2009 73.0 150.3 v low 49%
Cape Grim BAPS 19.3 +0.8 27.0 31 Dec 2009 13.2 +0.3 9.0 11 Dec 2009 104.2 113.7 average 92%
Cressy Research Station 25.3 +1.0 35.6 9 Jan 2010 10.3 +0.8 1.8 25 Dec 2009 117.4
Devonport Airport 22.1 +1.4 33.2 9 Jan 2010 12.4 +0.7 4.9 9 Dec 2009 73.2 130.3 v low 56%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 24.9 +1.2 33.3 9 Feb 2010 12.9 +1.3 6.2 25 Dec 2009 71.5 121.8 v low 59%
Launceston Airport 24.5   33.1 9 Jan 2010 10.9   3.8 9 Dec 2009 100.4
Low Head 20.6 +0.6 25.0 27 Feb 2010 14.4 +0.6 9.5 18 Jan 2010 58.6 112.2 v low 52%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 20.8 +0.7 30.3 31 Dec 2009 10.2 +0.4 5.3 8 Dec 2009 163.8 219.7 low 75%
Marrawah 20.4 +0.7 28.8 31 Jan 2010 12.2 +0.6 7.2 20 Dec 2009 155.2 156.2 average 99%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 23.4 +1.2 31.9 9 Jan 2010 11.4 +1.1 3.9 25 Dec 2009 90.2 163.4 v low 55%
Sheffield School Farm 22.1 +1.1 31.3 9 Jan 2010 10.4 +0.2 4.0 9 Dec 2009 105.6 153.6 low 69%
Smithton Aerodrome 21.4 +0.5 27.8 9 Feb 2010 10.4 -0.4 1.9 21 Jan 2010 105.6 131.9 low 80%
Wynyard Airport 22.3 +1.5 33.6 9 Jan 2010 11.4 +0.8 3.3 9 Dec 2009 94.8 150.2 low 63%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 22.1 +1.2 32.7 31 Dec 2009 13.4 +0.9 8.0 3 Jan 2010 161.3 180.9 average 89%
Eddystone Point 23.0 +2.6 31.8 9 Jan 2010 14.1 +0.8 7.8 9 Dec 2009 76.0 151.6 low 50%
Fingal (Legge Street) 23.5 +1.0 34.4 31 Dec 2009 10.2 +0.6 2.7 9 Dec 2009 110.8 132.7 average 83%
Friendly Beaches 22.7 +0.3 35.3 16 Dec 2009 13.1 +0.5 6.9 18 Dec 2009 111.0 161.5 low 69%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 19.6 +1.0 29.3 31 Dec 2009 8.4 +0.6 0.4 24 Feb 2010 218.4 172.7 high 126%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 21.2   30.2 16 Dec 2009 13.5   9.0 18 Dec 2009 95.0
Orford (Aubin Court) 22.0 +0.6 34.8 31 Dec 2009 12.2 +0.8 6.8 18 Dec 2009 155.6 158.5 average 98%
Scamander 22.0 +0.7 35.1 31 Dec 2009 13.4 +1.2 8.3 3 Jan 2010 100.0 150.6 average 66%
St Helens Aerodrome 22.5   34.0 31 Dec 2009 13.4   7.9 9 Dec 2009 112.4
Swan Island 21.1   28.4 31 Dec 2009 15.0   9.4 19 Jan 2010 105.2
Swansea Post Office 22.5 +0.8 35.3 31 Dec 2009 11.8 +0.4 6.1 24 Feb 2010 177.3 152.3 high 116%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 24.3 +0.7 33.7 12 Jan 2010 10.4 +0.5 2.0 24 Feb 2010 141.2 125.9 average 112%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 21.5 +0.8 37.2 31 Dec 2009     6.9 18 Dec 2009 125.0 154.9 average 81%
Campania (Kincora) 24.5   38.1 31 Dec 2009 10.7   4.5 24 Feb 2010 107.6
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 20.1 +0.9 36.1 31 Dec 2009 12.0 +0.3 7.6 20 Dec 2009 155.8 166.3 average 94%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.4 +1.5 35.2 31 Dec 2009 12.1 +1.0 5.6 12 Dec 2009 175.6 195.2 average 90%
Dover 21.1 +1.1 37.3 31 Dec 2009 9.8 0.0 2.9 20 Dec 2009 141.6 175.4 average 81%
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 22.4 +1.3 37.4 11 Jan 2010 9.5 +0.1 3.5 20 Dec 2009 123.0 178.6 low 69%
Grove (Research Station) 23.0   37.4 11 Jan 2010 8.6   1.7 24 Feb 2010 163.8
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 23.0 +1.8 38.3 31 Dec 2009 12.7 +1.2 8.0 18 Dec 2009 107.2 144.7 low 74%
Hobart Airport 22.9 +1.1 37.1 31 Dec 2009 12.2 +0.6 7.2 27 Jan 2010 103.4 130.7 average 79%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 17.4 +0.8 31.4 4 Feb 2010 11.6 +1.2 8.2 4 Dec 2009 181.0 239.8 low 75%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 23.6 +0.6 36.2 31 Dec 2009 9.6 -0.2 2.6 24 Feb 2010 104.4 103.3 average 101%
Mount Wellington 14.2 +1.6 27.9 11 Jan 2010 4.7 +0.4 -0.9 4 Dec 2009 175.2 248.4 average 71%
Tasman Island 17.9   31.1 31 Dec 2009 11.4   7.1 8 Dec 2009 136.2
Tunnack Fire Station 21.2 +0.4 31.2 12 Jan 2010 8.3 -0.1 1.2 7 Jan 2010 143.4 144.4 average 99%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 25.4 +2.2 39.0 11 Jan 2010 9.6 -0.1 3.3 24 Jan 2010 61.4 126.8 v low 48%
Maydena Post Office 22.1 +0.7 37.2 11 Jan 2010 8.2 -0.2 1.1 24 Jan 2010 135.0 213.6 v low 63%
Ouse Fire Station 25.3 +0.8 40.7 11 Jan 2010 9.2 -0.3 1.8 24 Feb 2010 66.2 93.5 low 71%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 19.3 +1.3 33.0 11 Jan 2010 5.5 -0.5 -2.8 27 Jan 2010 182.4 305.8 v low 60%
Lake St Clair National Park 19.5 +1.0 31.0 11 Jan 2010 5.3 -0.4 -2.6 24 Feb 2010 218.6 319.7 v low 68%
Liawenee 18.6   28.0 16 Dec 2009 4.8   -2.6 24 Feb 2010 135.2
West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 17.2 +0.4 34.4 11 Jan 2010 6.7 +0.2 1.3 4 Dec 2009 152.6 198.9 low 77%
Mount Read 13.8 +0.4 25.5 11 Jan 2010 5.4 +0.2 -0.5 4 Dec 2009 604.8 659.2 low 92%
Scotts Peak Dam 21.3 +1.5 35.8 11 Jan 2010 9.1 +0.3 3.2 20 Dec 2009 251.6 320.0 v low 79%
Strahan Aerodrome 20.9 +0.6 35.6 11 Jan 2010 10.3 0.0 4.6 20 Dec 2009 225.0 220.3 average 102%
Strathgordon Village 19.9 +1.2 33.0 31 Dec 2009 9.1 0.0 4.0 20 Dec 2009 356.8 462.0 low 77%
Warra 19.6   34.8 11 Jan 2010 7.9   1.1 20 Dec 2009 198.0
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 21.3 +1.2 35.2 31 Dec 2009 12.2 +0.1 4.6 24 Jan 2010 116.4 117.0 average 99%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 22.7 +1.1 35.6 12 Jan 2010 13.6 +0.7 4.9 21 Dec 2009 109.9 142.6 average 77%
Hogan Island 21.8   33.8 31 Dec 2009 14.9   10.0 11 Dec 2009 125.0
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 9.0 +0.6 11.9 19 Jan 2010 5.4 +0.4 1.3 14 Dec 2009 272.0 246.9 high 110%




Notes

A Seasonal Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Tasmania 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, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Monday 1 March 2010. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages 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.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries