Tasmania in summer 2010-11: Wet in the north, cooler than usual days

Parts of northern Tasmania had its wettest summer on record after several days of heavy rain, including extremely heavy rain around 14 January. Most other areas of the state were also wetter than usual. Daytime temperatures were cooler than usual overall, though there were a few hot days, and nights were near average after both warm and cool periods.

  • 2nd-wettest summer day on record: 282 mm at Falmouth
  • Several floods in the north
  • A few days with mountain snow

Record wet in the north

Several days of heavy rain, including record-breaking rain in January, gave parts of northern Tasmania its wettest summer on record. Many sites in the north had their highest total summer rainfall on record or for many years, with rainfall totals twice their typical summer values. Much of the rain fell between the 10th and 14th of January, when a trough of low pressure persisted over the state for a few days and brought extremely heavy rain to the northwest and northeast. Falmouth received 282 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on 13 January, making it Tasmania's second-wettest summer day on record (the wettest was 23 December 1993, when Falmouth recorded 289 mm). A number of sites had their wettest summer day on record; a special climate statement gives further details about this event. Other particularly wet days in the north included 19 February, when a low pressure system crossed the state bringing 77 mm to Scamander and over 50 mm to many areas, and several days in December when severe thunderstorms brought locally heavy falls.

Elsewhere in the state, summer was wetter than usual except for a few sites in the southeast and central west. The only site to register less than 100 mm was Campania, with a total of 95.4 mm. Mount Read in the western highlands was the wettest site with 688 mm, but Gray in the northeast highlands was not far behind with 639 mm and a number other sites in the northwest and northeast also had over 500 mm.

A cool summer, especially compared to last year

Few hot days and several cool periods meant that summer daytime temperatures were cooler than usual, especially inland. Average maximum temperatures were around a degree cooler than usual, and about two degrees cooler than last summer at many sites. For most areas, it was the coolest summer since 2001. While much of the Midlands, Derwent Valley and southeast had average maximum temperatures of at least 23 °C last summer, this year Launceston, with 23.1 °C, was the only site this warm. 

Cloudy conditions and a lack of sunshine meant several days felt cooler than they might otherwise have been. There were still some hot days, notably 7-8 January across the state, 15 January in the east, 30 January and 1 February in the north and east and 13-15 February in the south and west. Temperatures reached 35.0 °C at both Fingal and Flinders Island Airport on 1 February. But cool periods were more common and included much of December, 6 February and 20-21 February when many areas only reached the mid-teens and snow fell on the mountains. Mount Wellington had the coldest day of summer, reaching only 2.9 °C on 21 December.

Many warm nights but some cold ones too

Overall, night time temperatures were near average after both warm and cool periods. The warmest nights occurred between 7 and 15 January when cloud, rain and moist easterly winds inhibited cooling. This gave Bicheno 9 nights in a row over 15 °C, something that has only happened once before, and the warmest night of summer with Flinders Island (20.8 °C), Launceston (20.2 °C) and Strahan (20.1 °C) all not falling below 20 °C on 14 January. Other nights above 20 °C included Flinders Island Airport on 1 February and Strahan on 8 December. 

There were also some nights that were much cooler than usual, mainly in the second half of December but also on a few occasions during February. These generally occurred when light winds and clear skies developed behind cold fronts. This was the situation on 27 December, when the coldest summer temperature for most sites was registered. Mount Wellington fell to -3.3 °C on this morning, and Cape Grim, with 6.9 °C, had its lowest summer temperature on record.

An average summer for Hobart, but cool compared to last year

Hobart's average maximum temperature for summer was 21.1 °C, right on average but nearly 2 degrees cooler than last year. A major difference was the number of hot days: last summer had 8 days over 30 °C whereas this summer there were only 2 days this warm. Cool days were also more common than last summer, with over 30 days when the temperature didn't reach 20 °C. There were few especially cold days, with just 9 days below 18 °C (compared to 5 last year and 22 in a typical summer). Overnight temperatures were slightly warmer than usual, with an average minimum temperature of 12.1 °C. The warmest night was 19.0 °C on 15 January.

Hobart's rainfall was also average with a total of 145 mm, but wetter than last year's 108 mm. The rain was much more consistent this year, with rain falling on 43 days this summer compared to just 21 days last summer. This also made it less sunny: on average there were 2 hours less sunshine each day this summer compared to last summer. The heaviest rain fell with a low pressure system on 19 February, bringing 22 mm for the day.

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Extremes in summer 2010-11
Hottest day 35.0 °C at Fingal (Legge Street) and Flinders Island Airport on 1 Feb 2011
Warmest days on average 23.1 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest days on average 12.0 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day 2.9 °C at Mount Wellington on 21 Dec 2010
Coldest night -3.3 °C at Mount Wellington on 27 Dec 2010
Coolest nights on average 3.7 °C at Mount Wellington
Warmest nights on average 14.5 °C at Hogan Island
Warmest night 20.8 °C at Flinders Island Airport on 14 Jan 2011
Warmest on average overall 17.6 °C at Flinders Island Airport and Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest on average overall 7.8 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 688.4 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall 95.4 mm at Campania (Kincora)
Wettest day 282.0 mm at Falmouth (Glencoe) on 13 Jan 2011
Highest wind gust 157 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on 10 Dec 2010

Maps

Observed Anomaly Decile 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 summer daily rainfall

Highest daily rainfall
in summer 2010-11 (mm)
Previous wettest
for summer
Years of
record
Yolla (Sea View) 131.0 on 14 Jan 2011 127.0 on 28 Dec 1934 105
Tomahawk (Carisbrooke) 123.2 on 13 Jan 2011 94.8 on 23 Dec 1993 47
Wynyard Airport 115.6 on 13 Jan 2011 66.0 on 25 Jan 1996 40
Mawbanna (Harby Hills) 72.8 on 13 Jan 2011 60.4 on 23 Dec 1993 30
Scamander 278.0 on 13 Jan 2011 116.4 on 29 Jan 2004 29
Loongana (Serendipity) 130.6 on 14 Jan 2011 90.0 on 11 Dec 1986 28


Record highest total summer rainfall

Total rainfall
for summer 2010-11 (mm)
Previous wettest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Frankford (Rossville) 403.6 400.8 in 1944 117 168.3
Latrobe (Coal Road) 419.0 365.3 in 1937 109 149.6
Yolla (Sea View) 584.2 476.9 in 1916 106 219.0
Ulverstone (Knights Road) 413.1 327.0 in 1993 105 152.4
Mole Creek 514.8 436.2 in 1955 96 182.5
Burnie (Round Hill) 365.7 288.8 in 1993 66 153.5
Devonport Airport 282.4 247.2 in 2003 47 133.6
Barrington Post Office 498.4 331.6 in 1970 44 185.2
Forthside Research Station 407.4 341.7 in 1993 44 167.1
Marrawah 267.8 264.3 in 1974 40 159.0
Wynyard Airport 420.7 296.6 in 1995 38 157.4
King Island Airport 249.8 219.6 in 1976 36 120.8
Scamander 576.6 327.8 in 2007 26 167.6
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 217.0 205.8 in 1989 23 118.2

Highest total summer rainfall for at least 20 years

Total rainfall
for summer 2010-11 (mm)
Most recent summer
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
summer
Deal Island 282.7 303.0 in 1934 73 127.7
City of Melbourne Bay 243.4 252.8 in 1953 57 148.2
Naracoopa 259.0 261.6 in 1953 54 141.0
Lorinna 433.8 439.5 in 1934 38 215.0
Memana (Babel Farm) 252.8 263.7 in 1970 34 152.4
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 278.8 291.8 in 1985 25 166.3
Ringarooma (Charles Street) 291.8 315.0 in 1985 24 197.0



Record lowest summer temperature

Lowest temperature
in summer 2010-11 (°C)
Previous coolest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 6.9 on 27 Dec 2010 7.0 on 6 Dec 2002 20 12.9





Summary statistics for summer 2010-11

Maximum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Rainfall
for summer
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2010-11
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2010-11
Mean for
summer
2010-11
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2010-11
Total for
summer
2010-11
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2010-11
Fraction of
summer
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 20.4 -1.0 25.5 7 Jan 2011 12.3 -0.1 4.5 28 Dec 2010 249.3 132.6 v high 188%
Burnie (Round Hill) 20.5 -0.1 30.6 30 Jan 2011 12.6 +0.2 6.0 27 Dec 2010 365.7 153.5 highest 238%
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 18.1 -0.4 23.8 8 Jan 2011 12.6 -0.3 6.9 27 Dec 2010 217.0 118.2 highest 184%
Cressy Research Station 22.4 -2.0 31.5 1 Feb 2011 9.5 -0.1 -0.5 28 Dec 2010 221.6


Devonport Airport 20.3 -0.5 28.3 30 Jan 2011 11.9 +0.2 3.9 28 Dec 2010 282.4 133.6 highest 211%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 23.1 -0.6 30.3 7 Jan 2011 12.2 +0.5 3.7 28 Dec 2010 188.6 124.8 high 151%
Launceston Airport 22.6   31.0 1 Feb 2011 10.1   1.3 28 Dec 2010 148.0


Low Head 19.7 -0.3 24.1 1 Feb 2011 13.8 0.0 6.5 28 Dec 2010 227.6 121.1 high 188%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 18.8 -1.4 27.3 7 Jan 2011 9.8 0.0 2.8 27 Dec 2010 326.4 226.8 high 144%
Marrawah 18.8 -0.9 25.0 1 Feb 2011 11.8 +0.2 6.0 27 Dec 2010 267.8 159.0 highest 168%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 20.9 -1.3 31.8 1 Feb 2011 10.6 +0.3 2.8 28 Dec 2010 278.8 166.3 v high 168%
Sheffield School Farm 19.8 -1.3 28.9 30 Jan 2011 9.7 -0.5 2.8 27 Dec 2010



Smithton Aerodrome 20.1 -0.8 27.2 1 Feb 2011 10.7 -0.1 3.2 30 Dec 2010 240.4 139.7 v high 172%
Wynyard Airport 20.7 -0.1 30.8 30 Jan 2011 10.7 0.0 3.9 28 Dec 2010 420.7 157.4 highest 267%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 20.4 -0.6 30.7 15 Jan 2011 12.8 +0.3 5.5 28 Dec 2010 270.2 182.0 high 148%
Eddystone Point 21.6 +1.1 31.9 1 Feb 2011 13.3 -0.1 7.1 22 Dec 2010 231.8 152.4 high 152%
Fingal (Legge Street) 21.6 -0.9 35.0 1 Feb 2011 9.6 0.0 0.3 28 Dec 2010



Friendly Beaches 21.5 -0.9 31.3 15 Jan 2011 12.3 -0.4 6.0 27 Dec 2010 244.6 169.1 high 145%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 17.9 -0.7 28.4 8 Jan 2011 7.9 +0.1 0.3 28 Dec 2010 200.8 172.9 high 116%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 19.7   29.4 15 Jan 2011 12.7   7.2 27 Dec 2010 161.6


Orford (Aubin Court) 20.3 -1.1 29.6 15 Jan 2011 11.5 0.0 5.3 27 Dec 2010 184.0 158.9 high 116%
Scamander 20.8 -0.5 33.7 1 Feb 2011 12.6 +0.3 5.3 27 Dec 2010 576.6 167.6 highest 344%
St Helens Aerodrome 21.4   32.4 1 Feb 2011 12.6   5.3 28 Dec 2010 319.8


Swan Island 20.0   25.8 1 Feb 2011 14.2   8.6 28 Dec 2010 195.0


Swansea Post Office 21.1 -0.6 31.5 15 Jan 2011 11.1 -0.3 2.0 28 Dec 2010 175.6 152.5 high 115%
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 22.5 -1.2 30.7 30 Jan 2011 9.8 -0.1 0.0 28 Dec 2010 168.6 128.2 high 132%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 22.5 -1.1 34.7 8 Jan 2011 10.4 -0.4 3.4 13 Dec 2010 95.4 104.6 average 91%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 18.5 -0.7 31.2 7 Jan 2011 11.3 -0.4 5.0 27 Dec 2010 195.0 168.5 high 116%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 17.8 -0.1 29.8 7 Jan 2011 11.5 +0.3 4.6 22 Feb 2011 233.4 195.6 high 119%
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 20.1 -1.0 32.0 7 Jan 2011 9.9 +0.5 3.4 27 Dec 2010 208.8 179.4 high 116%
Grove (Research Station) 20.7   32.2 7 Jan 2011 9.0   2.6 6 Feb 2011 179.8


Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 21.1 -0.1 33.6 8 Jan 2011 12.1 +0.5 6.4 27 Dec 2010 145.2 144.7 average 100%
Hobart Airport 21.4 -0.4 34.4 8 Jan 2011 11.8 +0.2 5.4 21 Feb 2011 109.0 130.4 average 84%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 16.0 -0.7 26.6 8 Dec 2010 10.8 +0.3 5.5 27 Dec 2010 311.4 240.4 high 130%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 21.4 -1.7 33.8 8 Jan 2011 9.7 -0.1 3.6 27 Dec 2010 107.6 103.6 average 104%
Mount Wellington 12.0 -0.7 23.1 8 Jan 2011 3.7 -0.6 -3.3 27 Dec 2010 396.4 253.7 high 156%
Tasman Island 16.4   25.9 7 Jan 2011 10.7   4.5 27 Dec 2010 241.4


Tunnack Fire Station 19.2 -1.6 28.6 8 Jan 2011 8.1 -0.3 0.7 12 Feb 2011 186.8 147.5 high 127%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 22.6 -0.7 32.5 7 Jan 2011 10.0 +0.3 3.0 16 Dec 2010 159.0 127.0 high 125%
Maydena Post Office 19.4 -2.0 29.8 7 Jan 2011 8.8 +0.4 2.5 27 Dec 2010 272.0 216.8 high 125%
Ouse Fire Station 22.8 -1.8 32.1 7 Jan 2011 9.7 +0.2 2.5 27 Dec 2010 128.2 96.4 high 133%
Tarraleah Village 18.5 -0.5 27.2 8 Jan 2011     2.1 21 Feb 2011



Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 17.1 -0.9 27.7 7 Jan 2011 6.5 +0.5 0.2 31 Dec 2010 315.8 306.0 average 103%
Lake St Clair National Park 17.6 -1.0 26.6 8 Jan 2011 6.1 +0.4 -0.2 31 Dec 2010 322.8 319.9 average 101%
Liawenee 16.7   24.5 8 Jan 2011 4.9   -1.7 27 Dec 2010 267.2


West Coast (district 97)
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 14.7 -2.1 25.9 7 Jan 2011 5.8 -0.7 -1.1 27 Dec 2010 241.4 201.9 high 120%
Mount Read 12.3 -1.1 21.1 14 Feb 2011 5.0 -0.3 -2.3 27 Dec 2010 688.4 683.1 average 101%
Scotts Peak Dam 19.0 -1.0 31.2 7 Jan 2011 8.7 -0.1 1.5 27 Dec 2010 395.8 326.8 high 121%
Strahan Aerodrome 19.5 -0.8 29.8 13 Jan 2011 10.8 +0.5 5.1 27 Dec 2010 292.0 230.7 high 127%
Strathgordon Village 17.8 -0.9 27.4 7 Jan 2011 9.1 0.0 2.5 27 Dec 2010 494.6 462.7 average 107%
Warra 17.0   28.1 7 Jan 2011 7.6   0.5 27 Dec 2010 392.8


King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 19.5 -0.7 31.6 7 Jan 2011 12.2 +0.1 5.8 30 Dec 2010 249.8 120.8 highest 207%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 21.5 -0.1 35.0 1 Feb 2011 13.7 +0.8 4.5 31 Dec 2010 204.2 143.5 high 142%
Hogan Island 20.4   31.2 1 Feb 2011 14.5   8.3 27 Dec 2010 222.8


Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 8.7 +0.3 11.5 20 Dec 2010 5.1 +0.1 1.4 6 Dec 2010 333.0 248.4 v high 134%


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 Tuesday 1 March 2011. 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