Tasmania in spring 2012: dry with warm days

Spring rainfall was generally below average following dry conditions in October and November, though a few areas received close to average spring rain. Maximum temperatures were up to one degree warmer than normal, whilst minimum temperatures were close to average.

  • Below average spring rainfall for most
  • Tea Tree's wettest spring day on record
  • Warmest spring day on record at Strahan and Lake St Clair
  • Warmest spring night on record for a few sites
  • Many strong wind events

Monthly summaries have also been prepared for September, October and November.

A wet start and a dry finish

Spring rainfall was generally below average across Tasmania, although a few areas received close to average spring rain. This was largely a result of dry conditions in October and November, which outweighed average to above average rainfall in September. Hobart Airport was the driest location recording only 93 mm.

The wettest periods of spring were all in September, with the heaviest rainfall observed between the 5th and the 9th. A cold front on 5 September produced the highest daily rainfall totals, with up to around 50 mm recorded in the north, west and central areas. Liffey (Gulf Road) recorded 52 mm in the 24 hours to 9am on 6 September with this event, the wettest day in Tasmania this spring. A low pressure system in the Tasman Sea produced heavy rain in the southeast on 21 September. Tea Tree recorded 37 mm in the 24 hours to 9am on 22 September, its highest spring daily rainfall on record.

The wettest overall was Mount Read with at least 970 mm (some snow is likely to have been lost), followed by Lake Margaret Power Station with 849.8 mm.

A very warm end to spring, but there were cold days too

Most sites had their warmest day of spring on 30 November when warm air from a heatwave affecting the southeastern mainland was brought over Tasmania; Orford reaching 34.2 °C. The 29th was also very warm, with both Strahan and Lake St Clair recording their highest spring temperature on record. There were several other warm days, with notable early spring warmth on 4 and 5 September when temperatures rose into the low twenties on the East Coast and mid-teens elsewhere.

There were many cold spring days too: on 6 October Scamander and Strahan recorded their coldest October day on record in the wake of a cold front. 29 September was particularly cold when a trough brought showers, thunderstorms, hail and snow down to 400 m. Mount Wellington recorded a maximum temperature of only -1.8 °C on this day, the coldest day of spring.

Overall, spring days were up to one degree warmer than average in most areas, with some sites up to two degrees warmer than normal, though days were not as warm as spring last year. Mount Wellington recorded its highest spring mean daily maximum temperature on record, whilst Launceston observed its warmest spring days in 22 years.

A mix of both warm and cold nights

The morning of 30 November was notably warm, when temperatures in the mid to high teens were common and Cape Bruny, Strathgordon and Lake St Clair set new spring minimum temperature records. Strahan observed the warmest night of the season on this morning, with 19.3 °C. The morning of 6 November was also warm, with minimum temperatures up around 15 degrees in most areas.

There were also some very cold nights in spring, especially at the start of September when Liawenee recorded a minimum of -7.0 °C on the 1st, and -6.2 °C on the 4th. There were also many cold nights through October, and a few in November.

Overall, minimum temperatures were generally close to average for spring.

Many strong wind events

There were several strong wind events this spring. 6 to 9 September saw a series of vigorous cold fronts produce wind gusts in excess of 100 km/h. The strongest wind gust of 159 km/h was recorded at Hogan Island on the 7th, with a wind gust of 156 km/h observed at Mount Wellington on the 9th. On 4 October an intense low pressure system passed to the south of Tasmania, producing wind gusts in excess of 130 km/h at exposed sites and 90 to 100 km/h in urban areas. The strong winds in both events felled trees and caused damage to property and widespread power outages. Some weak tornadoes were seen around Hobart on 9 November, but these did not result in especially strong winds.

Warm and dry in Hobart

Both maximum and minimum temperatures were warmer than average in Hobart this spring, by 1 °C for maximums and 0.8 °C for minimums. Days above 20 °C were spread throughout, but the warmest day was on the last day of the season, when the temperature rose to 33.7 °C. There were also a few cold spring days, most of those in September, but none were especially cold.

September saw many warmer than average nights, with a few in October and November. Most of the cold nights were in September, with the lowest spring temperature of 2.8 °C observed on the 1st.

The 29th and 30th of November were the warmest this spring. Hobart having dipped to 18.8 °C at 9 am on the 29th, it rose to 30.2 °C that afternoon. The night of the 29th/30th was very warm, with the temperature only falling to 22.1 °C around 6 am on the 30th. The overnight minimum of 22.1 °C is not an "official" record, but the 18.8 °C is still Hobart's 5th-warmest spring minimum.

Hobart's spring rainfall of 122 mm was almost 50 mm below the long-term average of 169 mm. It rained on 40 days of spring, which is close to the average of 45 days, but daily totals were typically in the order of a few millimetres or less. The wettest days were on 7 and 21 September when close to 15 mm was recorded in the 24 hours to 9am on the 8th and 22nd respectively.

Further information

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Extremes in spring 2012
Hottest day34.2 °C at Orford (Aubin Court) on 30 Nov
Warmest days on average18.8 °C at Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates)
Coolest days on average8.4 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day-1.8 °C at Mount Wellington on 29 Sep
Coldest night-7.0 °C at Liawenee on 1 Sep
Coolest nights on average0.9 °C at Mount Wellington
Warmest nights on average 10.4 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night19.3 °C at Strahan Aerodrome on 30 Nov
Warmest on average overall13.7 °C at Larapuna (Eddystone Point)
Coolest on average overall4.6 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall970.4 mm at Mount Read*
849.8 mm at Lake Margaret Power Station
Driest overall93.0 mm at Hobart Airport
Wettest day52.4 mm at Liffey (Gulf Road) on 6 Sep
Highest wind gust159 km/h at Hogan Island on 7 Sep
156 km/h at Mount Wellington on 9 Sep

* The true total at Mount Read is probably higher, as it is likely some snow was lost.


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 spring daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in spring 2012 (mm)
Previous wettest
for spring
Years of
record
Tea Tree (The Point) 36.8 on 22 Sep 35.2 on 12 Sep 2005 27



Record highest spring temperature
Highest temperature
in spring 2012 (°C)
Previous warmest
for spring
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Strahan Aerodrome 32.7 on 29 Nov 31.9 on 22 Nov 1997 24 16.0
Lake St Clair National Park 28.7 on 29 Nov 28.0 on 8 Nov 2009 23 12.7



Record highest spring mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for spring 2012 (°C)
Previous warmest
for spring
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Mount Wellington 8.4 8.3 in 2007 28 7.0

Highest spring mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for spring 2012 (°C)
Most recent spring
at least this warm
Years since
warmer
Average for
spring
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 18.7 19.3 in 1987* 22 18.0

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a higher value has gone unreported.




Record highest spring daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in spring 2012 (°C)
Previous warmest
for spring
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 17.7 on 30 Nov 17.5 on 12 Oct 2006 56 8.0
Strathgordon Village 17.8 on 30 Nov 16.2 on 3 Nov 2005 31 5.6
Lake St Clair National Park 15.6 on 30 Nov 14.2 on 30 Nov 2003 23 2.2



Summary statistics for spring 2012
Maximum temperatures
for spring
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for spring
(°C)
Rainfall
for spring
(millimetres)
Mean for
spring
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
spring
2012
Mean for
spring
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
spring
2012
Total for
spring
2012
Average
for
spring
Rank of
spring
2012
Fraction of
spring
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 16.6 +0.1 23.0 30 Nov 7.8 -0.5 1.4 28 Oct 113.6 180.2 low 63%
Burnie (Round Hill) 16.9 +0.9 25.8 30 Nov 8.8 +0.6 3.3 1 Sep 182.9 242.3 low 75%
Cape Grim 14.4   21.6 30 Nov 9.6   4.9 29 Sep 171.6
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 15.0 +0.4 22.0 30 Nov 9.5 0.0 4.7 29 Sep 177.4 192.2 average 92%
Cressy Research Station 17.7 +0.3 29.9 30 Nov 5.1 -0.3 -2.4 15 Sep 138.2 163.6 average 84%
Devonport Airport 16.4 +0.5 23.7 5 Nov 7.3 -0.2 -0.3 1 Sep 159.8 196.4 average 81%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 18.7 +0.7 28.1 30 Nov 7.0 0.0 0.2 7 Oct 162.4 167.6 average 97%
Launceston Airport 17.9   28.8 30 Nov 5.4   -1.4 4 Sep 137.8
Low Head 15.6 +0.1 21.0 29 Nov 9.6 -0.1 3.9 7 Oct 95.8 165.3 v low 58%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 15.4 +0.6 25.7 30 Oct 6.5 +0.2 0.5 1 Sep 370.2 405.5 average 91%
Marrawah 15.4 +0.3 22.5 29 Nov 8.7 +0.4 3.7 1 Sep 205.6 263.6 low 78%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 16.9 +0.5 27.7 30 Nov 6.0 -0.1 -0.9 2 Sep 153.4 250.1 low 61%
Sheffield School Farm 16.2 +0.8 26.3 30 Nov 5.8 -0.2 -0.4 1 Sep
Smithton Aerodrome 16.6 +0.1 26.3 30 Nov 6.8 -0.5 -0.3 1 Sep 164.2 239.0 v low 69%
Wynyard Airport 17.0 +0.9 28.7 30 Nov 6.3 0.0 -0.9 1 Sep 203.2 260.3 low 78%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 17.4 +0.1 26.2 4 Oct 8.8 +0.2 3.0 15 Sep 140.8 157.6 average 89%
Fingal (Legge Street) 18.0 +0.6 31.6 30 Nov 4.6 -0.5 -3.4 15 Sep 124.4 148.7 average 84%
Friendly Beaches 18.4 +0.3 34.0 30 Nov 8.3 -0.5 0.8 2 Sep 156.2 149.9 average 104%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 14.2 +0.6 27.0 30 Nov 3.6 0.0 -4.5 2 Sep 162.5 208.9 low 78%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 18.1 +1.7 26.9 30 Nov 9.4 +0.1 4.2 11 Oct 136.2 193.0 low 71%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 16.5   30.8 30 Nov 9.5   4.6 8 Sep 98.0
Orford (Aubin Court) 17.3 +0.1 34.2 30 Nov 7.8 +0.5 0.8 15 Sep 125.7 175.9 low 71%
Scamander 17.9 +0.3 31.2 30 Nov 8.0 -0.3 1.5 25 Sep 131.7 180.1 low 73%
St Helens Aerodrome 17.9 +0.4 29.1 30 Nov 8.0 -0.2 1.4 2 Sep 152.4 192.3 low 79%
Swan Island 16.3 +0.3 24.8 30 Nov 10.4 +0.1 5.1 7 Oct
Swansea (Francis Street) 17.7   33.4 30 Nov 7.2   -0.2 2 Sep 104.9
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 17.7 +0.6 30.9 30 Nov 5.1 0.0 -3.1 15 Sep 139.0 144.0 average 97%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston)     32.7 30 Nov 8.4 +0.4 3.7 8 Sep 143.2 163.3 average 88%
Campania (Kincora) 18.2 0.0 34.1 30 Nov 6.9 +0.2 0.4 3 Nov 129.8 133.7 average 97%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 15.9 +0.4 28.6 30 Nov 8.4 0.0 4.2 30 Sep 238.8 198.3 high 120%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 15.2 +0.8 28.4 30 Nov 8.5 +0.5 3.1 25 Sep 241.6 240.4 average 100%
Dover 16.6 +0.5 30.5 30 Nov 6.4 0.0 1.0 7 Oct 215.0 240.2 average 90%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 17.3   34.1 30 Nov 9.0   2.6 2 Sep 111.4
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 17.1 +0.7 29.2 30 Nov 6.3 +0.2 -1.9 2 Sep 226.2 254.8 average 89%
Grove (Research Station) 17.5   31.0 30 Nov 5.5   -1.3 2 Sep 157.1
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 17.9 +1.0 33.7 30 Nov 8.6 +0.8 2.8 1 Sep 121.8 169.1 low 72%
Hobart Airport 17.9 +0.7 33.9 30 Nov 8.1 +0.5 1.9 2 Sep 93.0 132.6 low 70%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 13.5 +0.2 26.2 29 Nov 8.1 +0.6 2.9 24 Sep 247.2 307.7 low 80%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 17.2 +0.2 31.5 30 Nov 5.7 -0.1 -0.6 2 Sep 124.4 136.1 average 91%
Mount Wellington 8.4 +1.4 22.7 30 Nov 0.9 +0.7 -5.4 1 Sep
Tasman Island 14.0 +0.2 29.2 30 Nov 8.0 +0.3 2.8 8 Sep 224.2 204.9 average 109%
Tunnack Fire Station 14.9 +0.2 29.9 30 Nov 4.4 -0.2 -2.5 3 Nov 185.2 186.7 average 99%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 18.8 +1.1 32.0 30 Nov 5.8 +0.1 -2.4 2 Sep 125.4 164.3 low 76%
Maydena Post Office 16.2 +0.5 30.6 29 Nov 5.3 +0.4 -1.4 1 Sep 268.9 348.3 low 77%
Ouse Fire Station 18.7 +0.6 32.6 29 Nov 5.4 0.0 -3.1 1 Sep 111.2 164.1 v low 68%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 13.4 +1.1 29.0 29 Nov 2.7 +0.3 -5.3 2 Sep 429.8 467.7 average 92%
Lake St Clair National Park 13.6 +0.9 28.7 29 Nov 2.3 +0.1 -4.1 4 Sep 501.8 529.4 average 95%
Liawenee 12.5 +0.7 25.5 30 Nov 1.0 +0.1 -7.0 1 Sep 176.2 258.8 v low 68%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 15.8 +1.5 26.1 29 Nov 9.2 +0.5 4.1 1 Sep 237.2 320.6 low 74%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 11.5 +0.5 27.1 29 Nov 3.1 +0.2 -1.9 30 Sep
Low Rocky Point 15.5   26.1 29 Nov 8.4   3.4 1 Sep
Scotts Peak Dam 15.9 +1.1 33.8 29 Nov 5.7 +0.3 0.7 1 Sep 505.6 493.6 average 102%
Strahan Aerodrome 16.6 +0.6 32.7 29 Nov 7.5 +0.2 0.5 1 Sep 374.0 376.1 average 99%
Strathgordon Village 14.5 +0.7 30.8 29 Nov 5.9 +0.3 0.5 1 Sep 666.3 707.0 average 94%
Warra 14.1   29.7 29 Nov 4.4   -1.4 3 Nov 471.8
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 16.2 +0.3 23.7 24 Nov 9.1 +0.1 4.2 9 Oct 160.0 218.0 low 73%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 17.6 +0.8 30.2 30 Nov 8.7 -0.1 1.0 2 Sep
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 6.0 +0.1 9.0 13 Nov 2.1 0.0 -3.5 3 Nov 260.8 223.3 high 117%

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 Monday 3 December 2012. 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