Tasmania in autumn 2010: a mild season

The switch to cooler weather during May has masked what has been a very mild autumn across Tasmania. Several sites, including Hobart, had their warmest autumn on record, with daytime temperatures especially warm. Local heavy rain in the northeast at the end of May and some moderate falls in other areas meant most of the state had near-average rain for the season, but the southeast was relatively dry

  • Record warm autumn, including Hobart
  • Mild weather dominated until 11 May
  • Dry in the southeast

A record warm autumn

Exceptionally mild temperatures during most of March and April and the first part of May have meant that many sites in Tasmania have had their warmest autumn on record, or their warmest for many years. For some it was the general lack of cool days giving the highest autumn mean daily maximum temperature on record, for others it was many mild nights that ensured the highest autumn mean daily minimum temperature on record. For just a few it was the combination that gave the highest autumn mean temperature on record. Included in all three sets of records is Hobart, where comparable observations extend back to 1896.

Few cool days until mid-May

A cold change on April 24 brought a few days of cooler weather, but temperatures recovered somewhat until another change on May 11 brought the first significant snow to Tasmania's highlands this year. Prior to these, autumn was following the pattern set in summer of lengthy runs of mild days. There were not that many particularly hot days in autumn, apart from 4 March when Ouse Fire Station reached 32.4 °C, Bushy Park 31.7 °C and Fingal with 31.6 °C. The warmest days on average were at Campania (Kincora) with 20.3 °C, compared to the chilly average of 9.4 °C on Mount Wellington (where the temperature did not get above -0.4 °C on 21 May). The autumn mean daily maximum temperature at most sites was above average by at least one degree, making it one of the warmest autumns on record, particularly in the south and east.

Some cold nights, but mild overall

On the morning of 22 May, Liawenee dipped to -10.2 °C, the second-coldest autumn temperature ever recorded in Tasmania (the coldest was -10.5 at the same place on 30 May 2006). There were also some low temperatures on 26 April (when Liawenee dipped to -5.6 °C). These cold nights were more than countered by many mild nights earlier in the season, meaning the mean daily minimum temperature at most sites was above the autumn average, by about half a degree most areas but by over a degree at some northern locations.

A record warm start to the year

Some of the places that registered a record warm autumn have also had a record warm January-to-May. Average maximum temperatures at Hobart and Launceston (among others) were the warmest they have ever been over the period. Hobart's average daily maximum temperature from January to May 2010 was 21.0 °C, 2.0 °C above the long-term average and fully 0.7 °C clear of the 2008 record. Overnight temperatures have also been mild, but not by such large margins.

Average rain in most areas, but dry in the southeast

There were some very heavy rain in the northeast near the end of May, and other significant wet days in the northeast and the west during April; some sites had their highest autumn daily rainfall on record on one of these occasions. This meant that autumn rainfall totals in most areas were close to or slightly above the average. It was a different story in the southeast, where totals were well down on normal.The wettest overall was Mount Read with 1150.0 mm, but Brighton registered just 50.6 mm for the whole season.

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Extremes in autumn 2010
Hottest day 32.4 °C at Ouse Fire Station on 4 Mar
Warmest days on average 20.4 °C at Campania (Kincora)
Coolest days on average 9.4 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day -0.4 °C at Mount Wellington on 21 May
Coldest night -10.2 °C at Liawenee on 22 May
Coolest nights on average 2.4 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 13.9 °C at Hogan Island
Warmest night 20.0 °C at Bicheno (Council Depot) on 26 Mar
Warmest on average overall 16.3 °C at Hogan Island
Coolest on average overall6.3 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 1150.0 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall 50.6 mm at Brighton
Wettest day 191.6 mm at Gray (Dalmayne Rd) on 29 May
Highest wind gust 144 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on 28 Apr

Maps

ObservedAnomalyDecile rank
Total
rainfall
Map of Rainfall totals Map of Percentage of normal rainfall Map of Rainfall deciles
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

Click on a map to show it full size in a pop-up window


Record highest autumn daily rainfall

Highest daily rainfall
in autumn 2010 (mm)
Previous wettest
for autumn
Years of
record
Swansea Post Office 131.6 on 29 May 121.4 on 23 Apr 1960 110
Musselboro (Elverton) 52.2 on 8 Apr 52.0 on 26 May 1987 42
Zeehan (West Coast Pioneers Museum) 84.4 on 12 Apr 80.4 on 18 May 1975 42



Highest total autumn rainfall for at least 20 years

Total rainfall
for autumn 2010 (mm)
Most recent autumn
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
autumn
Lilydale Post Office 263.6 361.2 in 1989 21 220.6



Record highest autumn mean daily maximum temperature

Mean daily maximum
temperature
for autumn 2010 (°C)
Previous warmest
for autumn
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 19.2 18.7 in 2008 115* 17.2
Swansea Post Office 19.7 19.6 in 1972 53 18.5
Eddystone Point 20.1 19.9 in 2007 51 18.1
Hobart Airport 19.5 19.2 in 2007 51 18.0
Bicheno (Council Depot) 20.1 19.9 in 2007 35 18.6
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 20.1 = 20.1 in 2007 26 19.0
Tarraleah Village 15.4 = 15.4 in 2008 25 14.1
* Hobart's temperature record extends back to 1882 at the current site, but prior to 1895 observations were not made in a standard Stevenson screen and may not be directly comparable.

Highest autumn mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years

Mean daily maximum
temperature
for autumn 2010 (°C)
Most recent autumn
at least this warm
Years since
warmer
Average for
autumn
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 16.8 17.2 in 1971 39 15.5
Fingal (Legge Street) 19.3 19.6 in 1990 20 18.3



Record highest autumn daily minimum temperature

Highest daily minimum
temperature
in autumn 2010 (°C)
Previous warmest
for autumn
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 18.5 on 8 Mar 18.3 on 12 Mar 1978 39 7.9
Bicheno (Council Depot) 20.0 on 26 Mar 19.1 on 10 Mar 2001 36 10.2
Dover 17.2 on 26 Mar 16.9 on 23 Mar 2001 21 7.3



Record highest autumn mean daily minimum temperature

Mean daily minimum
temperature
for autumn 2010 (°C)
Previous warmest
for autumn
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 10.3 = 10.3 in 2007 115* 8.9
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 11.0 = 11.0 in 2007 85 9.7
Wynyard Airport 8.8 8.4 in 2007 24 7.2

Highest autumn mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years

Mean daily minimum
temperature
for autumn 2010 (°C)
Most recent autumn
at least this warm
Years since
warmer
Average for
autumn
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 9.2 9.5 in 1989 21 7.9



Record highest autumn mean temperature

Mean daily
temperature
for autumn 2010 (°C)
Previous warmest
for autumn
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 14.8 14.5 in 1990 115* 13.1
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 13.9 = 13.9 in 1971 85 12.6
Eddystone Point 16.2 = 16.2 in 2007 51 14.8
Bicheno (Council Depot) 15.7 = 15.7 in 2007 35 14.4
Wynyard Airport 13.8 13.7 in 2007 24 12.4




Summary statistics for autumn 2010

Maximum temperatures
for autumn
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for autumn
(°C)
Rainfall
for autumn
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2010
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2010
Mean for
autumn
2010
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2010
Total for
autumn
2010
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2010
Fraction of
autumn
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 18.9 +0.6 25.7 17 Mar 10.4 +0.8 2.2 12 May 174.9 159.5 average 110%
Burnie (Round Hill) 18.8 +1.1 25.9 2 Mar 11.6 +1.5 4.2 22 May 207.9 218.7 average 95%
Cape Grim BAPS 17.2 +0.7 26.7 16 Mar 12.0 +0.5 5.5 23 May 227.2 183.6 high 124%
Cressy Research Station 19.2 +0.6 30.2 4 Mar 6.5 +0.9 -5.1 23 May 185.4 120.1 v high 154%
Devonport Airport 18.8 +1.1 25.7 5 Mar 10.1 +1.4 1.6 20 May 174.5 180.7 average 97%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 20.1 +1.1 29.4 5 Mar 8.8 +1.3 -1.6 23 May 206.3 149.9 v high 138%
Launceston Airport 19.0   29.3 4 Mar 7.6   -3.1 23 May 168.4


Low Head 18.4 +0.8 23.6 6 Mar 12.2 +1.1 3.5 23 May 160.8 146.5 high 110%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 16.6 +0.9 29.4 3 Mar 9.1 +1.0 1.8 22 May 357.2 345.7 average 103%
Marrawah 17.4 +0.4 25.5 16 Mar 11.0 +0.7 4.2 23 May 324.6 254.5 high 128%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 18.5 +0.4 28.1 4 Mar 9.2 +1.3 -0.8 22 May 204.0 231.1 average 88%
Sheffield School Farm 17.1 +0.5 27.4 6 Mar 8.0 +0.8 -0.2 22 May 299.6 197.2 v high 152%
Smithton Aerodrome 18.4 +0.6 26.3 17 Mar 8.8 +1.1 -2.4 22 May 239.4 183.2 high 131%
Wynyard Airport 18.8 +1.3 27.4 17 Mar 8.8 +1.6 -2.0 22 May 232.3 218.4 average 106%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 20.1 +1.5 28.3 6 Mar 11.2 +1.0 3.4 22 May 165.2 171.7 average 96%
Eddystone Point 20.1 +2.0 28.7 6 Mar 12.3 +0.8 3.9 12 May 124.8 188.1 low 66%
Fingal (Legge Street) 19.3 +1.0 31.6 4 Mar 5.9 +0.5 -6.4 22 May 180.0 145.9 high 123%
Friendly Beaches 19.8 +1.1 30.9 17 Mar 10.5 +0.6 0.3 23 May 104.0 150.1 average 69%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 15.2 +0.9 25.8 4 Mar 4.6 +0.5 -5.1 23 May 157.4 204.6 average 77%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 18.8   27.2 19 Mar 12.1   5.7 23 May 104.2


Orford (Aubin Court) 18.7 +0.5 28.5 25 Mar 9.5 +1.1 0.4 23 May 184.2 161.6 average 114%
Scamander 19.7 +1.0 30.8 17 Mar 10.5 +0.8 1.0 22 May 100.1 182.8 low 55%
St Helens Aerodrome 19.7   29.7 6 Mar 10.3   1.2 22 May 105.2 134.6 average 78%
Swan Island 18.6   24.4 17 Mar 13.3   6.3 21 May 145.2


Swansea Post Office 19.7 +1.2 29.8 25 Mar 8.4 +0.1 -1.0 23 May 217.5 148.6 high 146%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 18.8 +1.0 30.1 4 Mar 5.8 +0.2 -6.5 23 May 117.0 94.6 average 124%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 20.3   31.2 25 Mar 8.0   -2.3 22 May 58.4 95.8 low 61%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 17.3 +1.0 27.5 25 Mar 10.9 +0.9 4.3 23 May 131.6 161.0 v low 82%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 16.8 +1.3 26.6 25 Mar 11.0 +1.3 4.0 12 May 172.6 231.8 low 74%
Dover 17.7 +0.9 27.9 15 Mar 7.6 +0.3 -1.0 24 May 142.8 202.2 average 71%
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 18.1 +0.8 30.2 7 Mar 7.2 +0.8 -3.3 24 May 145.0 191.6 low 76%
Grove (Research Station) 19.0   30.2 7 Mar 6.2   -3.4 23 May 96.2


Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 19.2 +1.9 29.8 25 Mar 10.3 +1.4 1.1 23 May 72.8 142.5 v low 51%
Hobart Airport 19.5 +1.5 30.5 25 Mar 9.5 +0.8 1.2 23 May 65.0 113.3 low 57%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 15.2 +0.7 24.5 7 Mar 10.7 +1.2 5.2 12 May 258.6 308.4 average 84%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 18.6 +1.2 30.4 4 Mar 6.7 +0.7 -5.1 23 May 80.0 86.6 average 92%
Mount Wellington 9.4 +1.0 22.4 25 Mar 3.2 +1.0 -5.9 22 May



Tasman Island 15.9   26.0 25 Mar 10.8   3.9 12 May 189.4


Tunnack Fire Station 16.4 +0.9 27.5 4 Mar 5.8 +0.4 -6.8 22 May 114.6 131.8 average 87%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 19.8 +1.8 31.7 4 Mar 6.5 +0.3 -4.9 23 May 71.2 131.2 v low 54%
Maydena Post Office 17.0 +0.9 28.2 5 Mar 6.2 +0.7 -3.4 22 May 210.0 248.8 low 84%
Ouse Fire Station 19.1 +0.6 32.4 4 Mar 6.1 +0.7 -4.3 23 May 71.4 88.7 average 80%
Tarraleah Village 15.4 +1.3 26.0 16 Mar     -3.5 22 May 227.8 268.4 average 85%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 14.2 +1.0 26.2 4 Mar 4.0 +0.6 -5.9 24 May 352.2 406.0 average 87%
Lake St Clair National Park 14.1 +0.8 27.2 4 Mar 3.5 +0.6 -4.9 24 May 400.4 400.2 average 100%
Liawenee 13.1   25.6 4 Mar 2.4   -10.2 22 May



West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 12.5 +1.1 26.4 7 Mar 5.5 +0.8 -1.2 12 May 192.2 208.5 low 92%
Mount Read 9.8 +0.8 21.6 4 Mar 4.4 +1.0 -2.4 22 May 1150.0 960.6 high 120%
Scotts Peak Dam 16.0 +1.3 30.9 7 Mar 7.4 +0.6 -0.5 24 May 421.8


Strahan Aerodrome 17.6 +0.9 27.8 7 Mar 9.0 +0.6 -0.4 21 May 434.6 342.9 high 127%
Strathgordon Village 15.1 +0.8 26.0 16 Mar 7.4 +0.5 -0.4 22 May 614.5 592.1 average 104%
Warra 14.7   28.4 7 Mar 6.5   -2.5 22 May 336.8


King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 18.4 +0.7 28.0 15 Mar 11.6 +1.1 1.2 22 May 190.2 190.8 average 100%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 19.5 +0.8 30.1 17 Mar 11.0 +0.3 -0.2 23 May 135.0 188.0 low 72%
Hogan Island 18.8   28.7 17 Mar 13.9   8.3 12 May 166.0


Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 7.1 +0.2 9.8 9 Mar 3.8 +0.2 -0.7 15 Apr 287.2 276.3 average 104%

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 Tuesday 1 June 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.

Hobart's temperature record extends back to 1882 at the current site, but prior to 1895 observations were not made in a standard Stevenson screen and may not be directly comparable.

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
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