Tasmania in summer 2012-13: A warm and dry summer

Summer 2012–13 brought record high temperatures and relatively little rain to Tasmania.

  • Hottest day on record at sites including Hobart
  • Warmer than average overall
  • Below average summer rain for most
  • Driest summer in 10 years for sites in the southeast

Monthly summaries have also been prepared for December, January and February. The extreme heat that affected large parts of Australia in late December and early January is discussed in a Special Climate Statement.

Record summer heat

Summer 2012–13 saw a number of very warm days, with the most notable on 4 January when Hobart reached 41.8 °C and several other highest summer temperature records were broken in the East, Southeast and Derwent Valley districts. At the other extreme, (Maydena equalled its coldest summer day on record) on 4 December, but through the season there was more warm weather than cold. Some sites recorded their highest summer mean maximum temperature on record, and overall summer mean maximum temperatures were up to 2 degrees above average.

Mild nights, but a few cold ones too

Minimum temperatures were warmer than average in summer, by up to one degree in most areas. The highest minimum temperatures coincided with the hot days around 4 January, and also in the second half of February when minima above 15 °C were common.

Most nights were mild, but there were a few cold ones; the coldest were around 4 and 5 December, and 2 February where temperatures fell below 8 °C in most areas. Mount Wellington's -2.7 °C on the morning of 5 December was the coldest temperature for this summer. Overall, summer mean minimum temperatures were about a degree above average.

Below average summer rain, especially in the southeast

Summer rainfall was below average in most areas of Tasmania, especially in the southeast where many sites observed their driest summer since the record dry 2002–03. Though there were many days of rain in the southeast, daily totals were usually small; the wettest day was on 31 January when a cold front brought falls of up to around 20 mm, with isolated falls up to 30 mm.

Elsewhere in the state, the heaviest rainfall event was overnight on 14 December, when a low produced heavy rainfall in the northwest. Ulverstone (Knights Road) recorded 78 mm over the 24 hours to 9am on the 15th, the wettest day of summer 2012–13 and Ulverstone's wettest December day on record.

Dennes Point in the southeast was Tasmania's driest location with a summer total of only 52 mm. Lake Margaret Power Station in the west was the wettest site with 472 mm.

Warmest summer days on record in Hobart

Hobart's mean summer maximum temperature of 23.3 °C was its warmest on record, beating the previous record of 23.2 °C set in the summer of 2000–01 and 1899–1900. There were more warm days than cold, and more hot days than is usual for summer. In addition to observing its hottest day on record with 41.8 °C on 4 January, the temperature rose above 30 degrees on 8 days, a few days more than the summer average of 5.

Minimum temperatures were also warmer than average, by 1.4 °C. There were many warmer than average nights; the temperature did not fall below 16 °C on 16 days, almost triple Hobart's summer average of 6 such mild nights. The highest minimum temperature was 23.4 °C on 4 January, Hobart's highest January minimum temperature on record (but short of the 24.7 °C on 4 February 1912).

Hobart recorded 57 mm of rain, about a third of the summer average of 145 mm. This is Hobart's driest summer since the record dry 2002–03 when only 27 mm was recorded. At least 100 mm of rain has fallen every summer since then. February was the wettest month with 23 mm, of which 10 mm came from a front that crossed on 31 January.

Destructive bushfires

There were many bushfires in summer, the most destructive of those in January. Hundreds of properties were destroyed, with tens of thousand hectares of land burnt, and thousands of people left without power.

Further information

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Extremes in summer 2012-13
Hottest day41.8 °C at Hobart (Ellerslie Road) on 4 Jan 2013
Warmest days on average25.3 °C at Cressy Research Station
Coolest days on average13.9 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day2.4 °C at Mount Wellington on 4 Dec 2012
Coldest night-2.7 °C at Mount Wellington on 5 Dec 2012
Coolest nights on average4.7 °C at Mount Wellington
Warmest nights on average14.7 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night23.4 °C at Hobart (Ellerslie Road) on 4 Jan 2013
Warmest on average overall18.5 °C at Larapuna (Eddystone Point)
Coolest on average overall9.3 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall471.7 mm at Lake Margaret Power Station
Driest overall52.4 mm at Dennes Point
Wettest day78.0 mm at Ulverstone (Knights Road) on 15 Dec 2012
Highest wind gust 143 km/h at Hogan Island on 5 Dec 2012
137 km/h at Mount Wellington on 3 Jan 2013

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


Lowest total summer rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for summer 2012-13 (mm)
Most recent summer
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
summer
Waratah (Mount Road) 170.6 108.5 in 1960* 29 341.8
Taroona (Taroona Crescent) 61.2 49.6 in 1983* 26 161.1
Memana (Babel Farm) 78.2 63.1 in 1984* 23 152.7

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




Record highest summer temperature
Highest temperature
in summer 2012-13 (°C)
Previous warmest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 41.8 on 4 Jan 2013 40.8 on 4 Jan 1976 128 21.2
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 36.5 on 4 Jan 2013 36.1 on 16 Jan 1960 56 20.5
Hobart Airport 40.3 on 4 Jan 2013 40.1 on 3 Jan 1991 55 21.8
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 40.3 on 4 Jan 2013 39.5 on 20 Jan 1973 53 23.3
Orford (Aubin Court) 38.8 on 4 Jan 2013 = 38.8 on 15 Feb 1982 45 21.4
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 40.0 on 4 Jan 2013 39.5 on 26 Jan 1994 29 21.1
Dover 39.6 on 4 Jan 2013 39.0 on 3 Jan 1991 24 20.1
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 41.0 on 4 Jan 2013 38.5 on 21 Jan 1997 22 20.7
Maydena Post Office 37.3 on 4 Jan 2013 37.2 on 11 Jan 2010 21 21.3



Record lowest summer daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in summer 2012-13 (°C)
Previous coolest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Maydena Post Office 9.4 on 4 Dec 2012 = 9.4 on 27 Dec 2004 21 21.3



Record highest summer mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for summer 2012-13 (°C)
Previous warmest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 23.3 23.2 in 2000 130 21.2
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 23.2 23.1 in 2009 53 20.5
Fingal (Legge Street) 24.4 = 24.4 in 2000 26 22.5
Dover 21.2 = 21.2 in 2000 22 20.1



Summary statistics for summer 2012-13
Maximum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Rainfall
for summer
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2012-13
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2012-13
Mean for
summer
2012-13
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2012-13
Total for
summer
2012-13
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2012-13
Fraction of
summer
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 21.6 +0.3 28.9 25 Feb 2013 12.1 -0.4 4.2 5 Dec 2012 98.8 128.2 average 77%
Burnie (Round Hill) 22.0 +1.4 31.4 5 Jan 2013 12.8 +0.4 5.6 5 Dec 2012 127.8 152.8 average 84%
Cape Grim 19.0   30.0 4 Jan 2013 13.3   7.5 5 Dec 2012 88.2
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 19.4 +0.8 29.9 4 Jan 2013 13.2 +0.3 7.3 5 Dec 2012 103.4 116.5 average 89%
Cressy Research Station 25.3 +1.0 36.4 4 Jan 2013 9.4 -0.3 2.0 2 Feb 2013 99.0 104.7 average 95%
Devonport Airport 21.7 +0.9 26.4 8 Jan 2013 12.1 +0.3 3.8 5 Dec 2012 108.6 132.9 average 82%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 24.7 +0.9 33.7 4 Jan 2013 11.9 +0.2 4.5 6 Dec 2012 99.5 123.4 average 81%
Launceston Airport 24.4   34.3 4 Jan 2013 10.1   2.3 17 Dec 2012 101.0
Low Head 20.2 +0.1 24.9 4 Jan 2013 14.0 +0.2 6.8 5 Dec 2012 83.6 117.4 low 71%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 20.8 +0.7 33.5 4 Jan 2013 10.3 +0.4 4.2 5 Dec 2012 174.8 220.8 low 79%
Marrawah 20.5 +0.8 33.2 4 Jan 2013 12.4 +0.7 7.0 4 Dec 2012 118.4 157.7 low 75%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 23.1 +0.9 34.1 4 Jan 2013 10.5 +0.1 2.7 6 Dec 2012 115.2 164.2 low 70%
Sheffield School Farm 21.7 +0.6 31.2 4 Jan 2013 10.1 -0.1 2.5 5 Dec 2012
Smithton Aerodrome 21.5 +0.6 29.0 25 Feb 2013 10.5 -0.3 3.0 15 Jan 2013 102.0 135.5 low 75%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 22.0 +1.0 38.1 4 Jan 2013 13.2 +0.7 6.7 5 Dec 2012 112.1 180.3 average 62%
Fingal (Legge Street) 24.4 +1.9 38.1 4 Jan 2013 9.6 -0.1 1.9 17 Dec 2012 89.4 132.4 low 68%
Friendly Beaches 23.4 +1.0 40.0 4 Jan 2013 12.9 +0.2 6.4 5 Dec 2012 146.0 162.9 average 90%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 19.8 +1.2 32.1 4 Jan 2013 8.1 +0.3 0.2 2 Feb 2013 122.9 172.0 low 71%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 23.2 +2.7 36.5 4 Jan 2013 13.7 +0.3 6.6 5 Dec 2012 132.6 152.2 average 87%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 21.3   35.2 4 Jan 2013 13.3   7.3 5 Dec 2012 138.6
Orford (Aubin Court) 22.5 +1.1 38.8 4 Jan 2013 12.0 +0.5 5.5 5 Dec 2012 107.6 158.3 low 68%
Scamander 22.3 +1.0 38.5 4 Jan 2013 13.0 +0.7 6.0 5 Dec 2012 106.8 161.4 average 66%
St Helens Aerodrome 22.7 +1.0 36.5 4 Jan 2013 12.9 +0.3 4.9 5 Dec 2012 112.6 165.6 low 68%
Swan Island 21.0 +0.7 29.4 4 Jan 2013 14.7 +0.3 6.7 5 Dec 2012 75.6 135.5 low 56%
Swansea (Francis Street) 23.4   39.6 4 Jan 2013 11.8   5.0 5 Dec 2012 99.0
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 24.4 +0.7 36.3 4 Jan 2013 9.9 0.0 1.2 5 Dec 2012 99.0 123.5 average 80%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 21.7 +1.0 41.0 4 Jan 2013 12.3 +0.5 6.0 4 Dec 2012 71.4 152.1 low 47%
Campania (Kincora) 24.7 +1.1 41.1 4 Jan 2013 11.4 +0.6 4.9 2 Feb 2013 74.6 104.7 low 71%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 20.0 +0.8 38.0 4 Jan 2013 11.9 +0.2 6.0 5 Dec 2012 113.6 164.4 low 69%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.3 +1.4 37.2 4 Jan 2013 12.0 +0.8 5.0 9 Jan 2013 120.1 194.8 low 62%
Dennes Point 22.0   40.5 4 Jan 2013 12.7   6.4 5 Dec 2012 52.4
Dover 21.2 +1.1 39.6 4 Jan 2013 9.7 -0.1 3.0 5 Dec 2012 123.2 174.8 low 70%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 22.0   34.4 3 Jan 2013 13.4   5.8 5 Dec 2012 61.2
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 22.1 +1.0 40.0 4 Jan 2013 10.2 +0.7 2.9 26 Dec 2012 93.2 176.5 v low 53%
Grove (Research Station) 23.3   40.9 4 Jan 2013 9.0   1.5 10 Dec 2012 82.7
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 23.3 +2.1 41.8 4 Jan 2013 13.0 +1.4 6.8 2 Feb 2013 56.8 144.0 v low 39%
Hobart Airport 23.5 +1.7 40.3 4 Jan 2013 12.3 +0.7 6.0 5 Dec 2012 67.0 129.4 low 52%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 17.1 +0.4 31.7 18 Feb 2013 11.3 +0.8 5.6 4 Dec 2012 180.8 239.7 low 75%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 23.4 +0.4 39.2 4 Jan 2013 9.9 +0.1 2.0 10 Dec 2012 79.4 102.4 low 78%
Mount Wellington 13.9 +1.2 29.5 4 Jan 2013 4.7 +0.4 -2.7 5 Dec 2012
Tasman Island 18.0 +0.7 37.7 4 Jan 2013 11.2 +0.2 4.9 5 Dec 2012 144.6 182.5 low 79%
Tunnack Fire Station 21.6 +0.9 36.3 4 Jan 2013 8.2 -0.2 0.0 23 Jan 2013 124.8 144.6 low 86%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 25.0 +1.7 40.3 4 Jan 2013 10.0 +0.3 2.6 10 Dec 2012 57.0 126.3 v low 45%
Maydena Post Office 21.7 +0.4 37.3 4 Jan 2013 8.4 0.0 1.2 10 Dec 2012 127.6 208.2 v low 61%
Ouse Fire Station 24.9 +0.4 39.9 4 Jan 2013 9.8 +0.2 1.5 10 Dec 2012 61.6 92.6 low 67%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 18.6 +0.5 32.3 4 Jan 2013 6.4 +0.4 -0.3 2 Feb 2013 201.0 302.2 low 67%
Lake St Clair National Park 18.8 +0.2 32.8 4 Jan 2013 6.1 +0.3 -0.6 2 Feb 2013 245.0 311.4 low 79%
Liawenee 18.4 +0.9 30.6 4 Jan 2013 4.9 +0.3 -1.8 10 Dec 2012 100.2 161.9 low 62%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 19.9 +2.0 27.3 4 Jan 2013 12.6 +1.0 6.2 5 Dec 2012 180.8 218.2 low 83%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 16.6 -0.1 33.6 4 Jan 2013 6.6 +0.1 -0.4 5 Dec 2012 142.0 197.7 low 72%
Low Rocky Point 19.7   32.5 4 Jan 2013 11.6   6.9 5 Dec 2012 245.2 244.1 average 100%
Scotts Peak Dam 20.9 +0.9 35.1 4 Jan 2013 9.1 +0.2 2.3 5 Dec 2012 312.6 324.2 average 96%
Strahan Aerodrome 21.1 +0.8 35.3 4 Jan 2013 10.7 +0.4 5.0 5 Dec 2012 250.2 241.9 average 103%
Strathgordon Village 19.4 +0.7 34.8 4 Jan 2013 9.2 +0.1 2.0 10 Dec 2012 338.3 456.1 low 74%
Warra 19.2   35.7 4 Jan 2013 7.7   0.9 26 Dec 2012 276.4
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 21.3 +1.1 37.8 4 Jan 2013 12.8 +0.7 5.3 15 Jan 2013 85.4 119.2 low 72%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 22.7 +1.1 38.6 4 Jan 2013 13.9 +1.0 4.8 10 Dec 2012 79.1 142.5 v low 56%
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 8.5 +0.1 11.2 10 Jan 2013 5.1 +0.1 1.8 13 Feb 2013 314.6 248.8 v high 126%

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 Friday 1 March 2013. 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries