Tasmania in winter 2010: Mild days, cold nights and some heavy rain

Heavy rain fell on a number of days during winter, but overall rainfall was near average over most of the state. Nights were frequently very cold, especially in the southern Midlands and Derwent Valley. Daytime temperature were mostly warmer than usual.

  • Wettest winter day on record for some sites
  • Several cold nights through the season
  • Cold days and snow in August, but mostly mild days
  • Still a very dry year so far in the southeast

Rainfall mostly near average

Winter rainfall was near average over most of the state, though it was drier than usual at some sites in the southeast and wetter than usual in parts of the northeast. Cold fronts brought most of the wet weather, especially in June and August, but the heaviest falls came with a deep low pressure system that passed near Flinders Island on 11 August. On this day eastern and central areas received 50 to 100 mm, and falls of over 100 mm were not uncommon. Mount Wellington had 199.0 mm in 24 hours, and was one of several sites that had their wettest winter day on record. 

For the whole of winter, Tunbridge was the driest with a total of 73 mm, having missed out on most of the heavy rain in August. Mount Read, as usual, was the wettest site with 1120 mm.

Mostly warmer than usual days

Daytime temperatures were much milder than usual for winter, averaging around half a degree warmer than usual in most areas and up to one and half degrees warmer than usual in the southeast. A number of sites had their warmest winter days on average in around five years. Mild days were common throughout the season, while very cold days were rare and mostly confined to August. This was unusual — August is usually the warmest month of winter, but in 2010 almost all of the snow events occurred during August. As often occurs in winter, there were a few days in the Derwent Valley and Midlands when fog persisted all day, keeping temperatures down. This happened on the 2nd of July, when Ross struggled to reach 4.0 C, its coldest day in over 15 years, and Launceston reached only 7.8 C, its coldest day since July 2007.

Temperatures over 18 C were recorded in all winter months, but the warmest day was 18.4 C at Bicheno on 12 July and again at Hobart on 15 August. Bicheno also had the warmest days on average, with 15.1 C.

Many cold nights

While winter days were generally warmer than usual, nights were more often than not cooler than usual except in the west. Average overnight temperatures were near average in the west but below average elsewhere, by as much as one to two degrees in the southern Midlands and Derwent Valley. Ross was one such cold location, with its temperature falling to at least -3 C on 20 nights; in a typical winter this occurs just 10 times. Ross even dipped to -6.3 C on 27 June, not much warmer than the lowest winter temperature of -7.9 C at Liawenee on July 25th. Liawenee had the coolest nights on average (-1.4 C).

The warmest nights were those that were windy, cloudy and raining. This was the case on June 25th, when Eddystone Point had the warmest winter night (13.3 C). The warmest nights on average were 9.1 C at Hogan Island.

The year so far

Despite a cool August, many sites in Tasmania have still had their warmest January to August on record, including Hobart and Launceston. Overnight temperatures are just slightly above average in most areas, but daytime temperatures are half to one degree warmer than usual in most areas, and even more in the southeast. 

Rainfall for the year to date is near normal in the north of the state, but remains below average in the south. Even with the heavy rain in the east during August, it has still been one of the driest first 8 months of the year on record for southeastern Tasmania.

Relatively warm and dry on Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island — 1500 km southeast of Hobart but technically part of Tasmania — had its warmest winter since 1989, with a mean temperature of 3.9 C, an average maximum temperature of 5.6 C and an average minimum temperature of 2.3 C, all around half a degree warmer than usual. It was also the driest winter since 1983, with just 179 mm compared to the long term average of 221 mm.

Further information

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Extremes in winter 2010
Hottest day 18.4 C at Bicheno (Council Depot) on 12 Jul
and at Hobart (Ellerslie Road) on 15 Aug
Warmest days on average 15.1 C at Bicheno (Council Depot)
Coolest days on average 3.2 C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day -2.0 C at Mount Wellington on 16 Aug
Coldest night -7.9 C at Liawenee on 25 Jul
Coolest nights on average -1.4 C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 9.1 C at Hogan Island
Warmest night 13.3 C at Eddystone Point on 25 Jun
Warmest on average overall 11.2 C at Hogan Island
Coolest on average overall 1.1 C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 1120.2 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall 72.6 mm at Tunbridge (Austin-Vale)
Wettest day 199.0 mm at Mount Wellington on 12 Aug
Highest wind gust 144 km/h at Swan Island on 18 Jun

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 winter daily rainfall

Highest daily rainfall
in winter 2010 (mm)
Previous wettest
for winter
Years of
record
Bothwell (Cluny) 72.2 on 12 Aug 58.4 on 5 Jun 1923 96
Waddamana Field Study Centre 62.8 on 12 Aug 53.3 on 17 Aug 1970 85
Tarraleah Village 72.0 on 12 Aug 63.5 on 5 Aug 1947 74
Pyengana (Forest Lodge Road) 135.6 on 11 Aug 110.7 on 20 Aug 1967 49
Risdon Vale (Poplar Road) 84.6 on 12 Aug 62.0 on 11 Jul 1967 31
Mount Wellington 199.0 on 12 Aug 114.2 on 26 Jun 2009 30
Tea Tree (The Point) 59.2 on 12 Aug 51.4 on 3 Jul 1990 25
Richmond (Strathayr) 46.4 on 12 Aug 41.0 on 3 Jul 1990 23





Summary statistics for winter 2010
Maximum temperatures
for winter
(C)
Minimum temperatures
for winter
(C)
Rainfall
for winter
(millimetres)
Mean for
winter
2010
Diff
from
average
Highest for
winter
2010
Mean for
winter
2010
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
winter
2010
Total for
winter
2010
Average
for
winter
Rank of
winter
2010
Fraction of
winter
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 13.7 0.0 16.4 2 Aug 5.7 -0.1 0.5 27 Jun 311.9 251.7 high 124%
Burnie (Round Hill) 13.6 +0.5 17.4 2 Aug 6.7 +0.5 1.9 26 Aug 295.4 338.5 average 87%
Cape Grim BAPS 13.0 +0.3 16.0 4 Jun 8.3 -0.1 4.0 7 Aug 279.4 278.6 average 100%
Cressy Research Station 12.2 -0.2 15.8 22 Jul 1.3 -0.6 -4.6 13 Jun 190.8 196.3 average 97%
Devonport Airport 13.4 +0.4 16.8 12 Aug 4.5 -0.4 -0.8 13 Jun 250.9 265.4 average 95%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 13.4 +0.3 16.8 12 Aug 2.9 0.0 -2.4 13 Jun 284.9 231.0 high 123%
Launceston Airport 12.1   16.3 22 Jul 2.1   -3.7 27 Jun 218.4
Low Head 13.2 +0.1 17.0 12 Aug 6.8 -0.4 2.4 27 Jun 288.2 227.7 high 127%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 11.0 0.0 14.9 1 Jun 5.1 -0.1 1.6 19 Jul 544.0 543.5 average 100%
Marrawah 12.8 +0.2 15.6 3 Jun 7.3 +0.3 2.5 7 Aug 385.0 393.1 average 98%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 12.2 -0.2 15.3 22 Jul 3.7 -0.2 -1.3 17 Aug 387.4 345.7 high 112%
Sheffield School Farm 11.3 -0.1 15.1 22 Jul 3.3 -0.4 -2.1 27 Jun 393.4 369.9 average 106%
Smithton Aerodrome 13.5 0.0 16.5 1 Jun 4.1 -0.9 -2.2 7 Aug 275.4 323.1 average 85%
Wynyard Airport 13.5 +0.5 16.5 22 Jul 3.5 -0.4 -1.8 27 Jun 333.4 355.1 average 94%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 15.1 +0.7 18.4 12 Jul 6.5 +0.2 2.0 8 Aug 160.4 164.7 average 97%
Eddystone Point 14.6 +1.1 18.0 4 Jun 7.3 -0.1 1.7 28 Aug 208.4 223.8 average 93%
Fingal (Legge Street) 12.7 0.0 16.4 22 Jul 0.6 -0.3 -4.9 13 Jun 189.0 179.6 average 105%
Friendly Beaches 14.3 +0.1 17.6 15 Aug 5.6 -0.5 1.2 9 Jul 165.6 147.5 average 112%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 9.0 0.0 12.8 22 Jul -0.2 -0.7 -5.8 27 Jun 240.8 242.6 average 99%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 13.4   16.7 12 Jul 7.5   4.2 10 Jun 120.0
Orford (Aubin Court) 13.4 -0.1 17.2 25 Jun 3.6 -0.4 -1.0 23 Jun 141.5 172.7 average 82%
Scamander 14.6 +0.3 17.8 26 Jul 5.0 -0.1 1.1 17 Aug 229.5 172.0 high 133%
St Helens Aerodrome 14.0   17.1 30 Aug 4.7   -0.3 17 Aug 215.8 170.6 high 126%
Swan Island 13.7   16.9 24 Jun 8.4   2.8 27 Jun 178.8
Swansea Post Office* 14.2 +0.4 18.3 2 Jun 2.5 -1.6 -2.5 3 Jul 142.6 149.2 average 96%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 12.0 +0.2 15.9 22 Jul 0.7 -1.2 -6.3 27 Jun 119.6 127.8 average 94%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 13.2 +0.4 18.0 12 Jul 6.0 0.0 1.8 17 Aug 112.2 159.7 low 70%
Campania (Kincora) 14.3 +0.7 17.8 2 Jun 2.4 -1.4 -2.7 15 Jun 90.2 127.1 low 71%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 12.6 +0.2 16.3 15 Aug 6.7 -0.1 2.7 7 Aug 186.0 240.5 low 77%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 12.3 +0.7 15.8 25 Jun 6.8 +0.4 2.0 27 Aug 236.0 278.8 average 85%
Dover 13.1 +0.5 16.6 3 Jun 2.8 -1.0 -1.1 7 Aug 192.0 254.3 low 76%
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 12.8 +0.4 15.7 9 Aug 1.8 -0.6 -2.8 16 Jun 226.6 265.8 average 85%
Grove (Research Station) 13.4   17.4 15 Aug 0.9   -4.1 27 Jun 173.4
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 13.7 +1.5 18.4 15 Aug 5.1 +0.1 1.2 27 Jun 124.2 159.8 average 78%
Hobart Airport 14.1 +1.2 18.0 19 Aug 4.2 -0.2 -0.8 10 Jul 74.2 121.8 low 61%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 11.3 +0.1 15.5 24 Jun 7.5 +0.7 3.4 17 Aug 314.2 370.7 average 85%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 12.5 +0.6 16.6 15 Aug 0.8 -1.5 -6.0 27 Jun 88.2 114.4 average 77%
Mount Wellington 3.2 +0.4 9.0 3 Aug -1.0 +0.4 -5.5 7 Aug 322.0 217.4 high 148%
Tasman Island 11.3   15.3 12 Jul 6.9   1.8 17 Aug 192.0
Tunnack Fire Station 10.2 +0.2 14.5 2 Jun 0.7 -1.4 -6.1 7 Aug
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 13.2 +1.4 17.6 2 Jun 0.6 -1.4 -3.9 8 Aug 102.4 151.1 low 68%
Maydena Post Office 11.1 0.0 15.0 17 Jul 2.2 -0.2 -2.0 2 Aug 253.6 357.3 low 71%
Ouse Fire Station 12.7 +0.3 16.8 22 Jul 0.2 -1.4 -4.4 9 Jul 92.0 162.0 v low 57%
Tarraleah Village 9.0 +0.2 12.5 31 Jul 1.1 +0.5 -5.0 7 Aug 321.7 343.4 average 94%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 8.2 +0.7 12.2 13 Aug 0.0 +0.1 -6.2 2 Jul 460.0 510.0 average 90%
Lake St Clair National Park 7.7 0.0 11.4 30 Jul 0.1 0.0 -4.7 2 Jul 506.6 619.5 low 82%
Liawenee 6.2   12.0 3 Aug -1.4   -7.9 25 Jul 329.2
West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 6.3 -0.2 11.9 9 Aug 1.7 0.0 -2.4 17 Aug 266.2
Mount Read 3.7 -0.4 7.3 22 Jun 0.3 -0.1 -3.5 17 Aug 1120.2
Scotts Peak Dam 10.0 +0.4 15.1 9 Aug 3.6 +0.1 -1.5 7 Aug 567.6
Strahan Aerodrome 12.8 +0.2 16.5 9 Aug 5.5 +0.1 -0.2 7 Aug 584.6 474.3 average 123%
Strathgordon Village 9.7 +0.2 13.7 13 Jul 3.6 +0.2 -0.5 7 Aug 679.4 776.5 average 87%
Warra 9.2   12.1 30 Aug 2.7   -3.3 7 Aug 410.8
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 13.7 +0.2 16.2 4 Jun 7.4 -0.3 2.5 8 Jul 382.6 328.8 high 116%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 13.9 +0.2 17.0 3 Jun 6.0 -0.6 -1.7 27 Jun 159.5 231.0 low 69%
Hogan Island 13.2   16.8 1 Jun 9.1   2.6 20 Aug 248.8
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 5.6 +0.6 8.3 14 Jul 2.3 +0.7 -3.4 12 Jun 178.6 221.5 low 81%
* Observations at Swansea have been taken from a new site since September 2008; the new location tends to have lower temperatures during nights in winter than the old site.


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 9 am on Wednesday 1 September 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