Tasmania in winter 2013: Wetter and warmer than usual

Winter was wetter than average across Tasmania due to a wet July and August, despite a dry June. Both maximum and minimum temperatures were warmer than average.

  • Wetter than average
  • Flooding in the north in August
  • Warmer-than-average days and nights
  • Launceston's warmest winter days on record
  • A record low −12.2 °C at Liawenee in July

Monthly summaries have also been prepared for June, July and August.

A wet winter overall

Winter was wetter than average in all areas except the east coast where totals were close to average. This was due to above-average totals across most of the state during July and persistent rain across the north and west in August, which outweighed the dry conditions seen in June. July rainfall saturated catchments, contributing to flooding events in the north when it continued to rain throughout August. Even though overall monthly rainfall totals were higher in August, individual rainfall events delivered higher daily totals in July; the wettest single day was at Mount Wellington with 100.4 mm on 22 July. A few sites observed their highest winter daily rainfall on record, all in July. A few locations also had their highest total winter rainfall on record, or their highest total winter rainfall for at least 20 years, including Wynyard and Scottsdale.

Mount Read was the wettest location with at least 1351.8 mm (it is likely snow was blown away on several days). The driest overall was Swansea (Francis Street) with 126.7 mm.

Mild winter days

There were periods of mild day-time temperatures throughout winter: the first 11 days of June, throughout July (maximum temperatures were warmest on record for July) and over the last 9 days of August. Several sites had their warmest day of the season during mid-winter when temperatures rose into the high teens around 18 and 19 July, breaking July records at some locations. Bushy Park's 19.8 °C on 19 July was the highest temperature of the season.

There were a few cold winter days, mostly in June and August. The coldest were around 20 August, when there were reports of snow to 400 m and small hail, and on 6 July when Mount Wellington recorded the coldest day of the month with a maximum of only −3.0 °C.

Overall, mean maximum temperatures were up to one degree above average. Launceston had its highest winter mean maximum temperature on record.

Mild winter nights, but some exceptional cold too

Mean winter minima were also warmer than average, by up to one degree. The warmest nights were generally at the beginning of both June and July, and around 19 July, when minima were 2 °C to 4 °C above average due to northerly winds and cloudy conditions. Friendly Beaches and Flinders Island Airport observed the highest minimum of the month with 14.4 °C on 1 June and 19 July respectively. Cape Grim had its warmest winter night on record with a minimum of 13.2 °C on 1 June. Bicheno had it's warmest winter mean minimum temperature on record

There were also some very cold winter mornings. The morning of 9 July was exceptionally cold; Liawenee's temperature dropped to −12.2 °C, its lowest temperature ever recorded and Tasmania's second-coldest July temperature on record. This was after Liawenee equalled its previous record with a low of −11.2 °C on 23 June (previously set on 23 July 2011). The morning of 21 August was also particularly cold; several sites observed their coldest August morning in several years, including Hobart with −0.4 °C, its coldest winter morning in 18 years. Note that this record is not listed in the records table below as Liawenee only has 13 years of temperature records.

Snow

There were several days of snow this winter. The first reasonable snow falls of the season were observed to around 1000 m on 16 June, which was later followed by heavier falls down to around 500 m in the Central Highlands and down to 800m on Ben Lomond on 4 July and 5 July. In August, there were reports of thick snow in the northwest around the 13th, which closed the Anthony Road between Tullah and Queenstown. Later that month a series of cold fronts brought snow showers between the 18th and 21st, which settled down to around 400 m on the 20th. The low-level snow resulted in a number of road closures in the northwest.

Hobart: a mild but wet winter

Winter temperatures were warmer than average in Hobart, by +1.4 °C for maximum temperatures and by +1.0 °C for minimum temperatures. There were an unusually high number of warm days during winter; the temperature rose to 16 °C or more on 23 days, which is six times the winter average of 4 days. There were also more mild nights than usual; the temperature remained at 10 °C or above on 8 days, almost triple the winter average of 3 days. The coldest morning was on the 21st when the temperate dropped to −0.4 °C, Hobart's coldest winter morning in 18 years.

Hobart recorded 213.4 mm of rain, close to 50 mm above the winter average of 159.5 mm. Almost half of this was recorded in July. The wettest day was 21 July when 43 mm was recorded over the 24 hours to 9am on the 22nd, associated with a cold front. It rained on 46 days, which is 1 day above average for winter.

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Extremes in winter 2013
Hottest day19.8 °C at Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) on 19 Jul
Warmest days on average15.1 °C at Bicheno (Council Depot)
Coolest days on average3.5 °C at Mount Wellington
Coldest day-3.0 °C at Mount Wellington on 6 Jul
Coldest night-12.2 °C at Liawenee on 9 Jul
Coolest nights on average-1.1 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average9.2 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night14.4 °C at Friendly Beaches on 1 Jun
14.4 °C at Flinders Island Airport on 19 Jul
Warmest on average overall 11.5 °C at King Island Airport and Swan Island
Coolest on average overall1.4 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 1351.8 mm at Mount Read*
Driest overall126.7 mm at Swansea (Francis Street)
Wettest day100.4 mm at Mount Wellington on 22 Jul
Highest wind gust161 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on 5 Jul
161 km/h at Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) on 19 Aug

* 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 winter daily rainfall
Highest daily rainfall
in winter 2013 (mm)
Previous wettest
for winter
Years of
record
Orielton (East Orielton Road) 74.4 on 22 Jul 61.0 on 28 Aug 1981 45
Three Hummock Island 55.8 on 5 Jul 43.0 on 3 Jun 2007 22
Low Rocky Point 60.4 on 4 Jul 54.0 on 25 Jul 2003 20



Record highest total winter rainfall
Total rainfall
for winter 2013 (mm)
Previous wettest
for winter
Years of
record
Average for
winter
Naracoopa 599.5 556.9 in 1947 96 367.0
City of Melbourne Bay 665.4 639.2 in 1947 81 395.2
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 462.0 441.2 in 2009 24 289.3

Highest total winter rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for winter 2013 (mm)
Most recent winter
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
winter
Wynyard Airport 545.8 636.1 in 1955* 33 359.0
Latrobe (Coal Road) 507.2 578.7 in 1981* 31 347.6
Huonville (Tutton Avenue) 325.8 362.8 in 1974* 29 211.0
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 486.0 543.4 in 1991 22 345.7
Burnie (Round Hill) 449.3 561.4 in 1991* 21 339.8

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




Record highest winter mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for winter 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for winter
Years of
record
Average for
winter
Cape Sorell 13.3 13.2 in 2011 73 12.0
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 13.8 13.7 in 2005 29 13.2



Record highest winter daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in winter 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for winter
Years of
record
Average for
winter
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 13.2 on 1 Jun 13.0 on 3 Aug 2005 21 8.4



Record highest winter mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for winter 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for winter
Years of
record
Average for
winter
Bicheno (Council Depot) 7.3 7.2 in 2009 38 6.4




Highest winter mean temperature for at least 20 years
Mean daily
temperature
for winter 2013 (°C)
Most recent winter
at least this warm
Years since
warmer
Average for
winter
Bicheno (Council Depot) 11.2 11.3 in 1988 25 10.4



Summary statistics for winter 2013
Maximum temperatures
for winter
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for winter
(°C)
Rainfall
for winter
(millimetres)
Mean for
winter
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
winter
2013
Mean for
winter
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
winter
2013
Total for
winter
2013
Average
for
winter
Rank of
winter
2013
Fraction of
winter
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 14.0 +0.4 17.7 18 Jul 6.1 +0.3 -1.1 21 Aug 374.9 253.8 v high 148%
Burnie (Round Hill) 14.0 +0.9 17.7 3 Jun 7.4 +1.1 1.3 21 Aug 449.3 339.8 high 132%
Burnie NTC AWS 13.2   16.6 3 Jun 8.0   2.4 21 Aug
Cape Grim 13.2   16.3 18 Jul 8.8   4.2 20 Jun 504.8
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 13.4 +0.7 16.6 15 Jul 8.8 +0.4 4.4 20 Jun 462.0 289.3 highest 160%
Cressy Research Station 12.7 +0.3 16.7 1 Jul 2.7 +0.7 -5.4 23 Jun 261.4 198.1 high 132%
Devonport Airport 13.6 +0.5 17.2 3 Jun 5.7 +0.8 -0.9 21 Aug
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 13.8 +0.6 18.4 18 Jul 4.1 +1.2 -3.1 9 Jul 357.1 233.5 high 153%
Launceston Airport 12.5   16.8 18 Jul 3.4   -4.3 9 Jul 331.4
Low Head 13.4 +0.3 16.0 31 Aug 7.9 +0.7 0.5 21 Aug 354.0 231.1 high 153%
Marrawah 13.3 +0.7 16.8 15 Jul 7.7 +0.6 1.8 21 Aug 564.6 395.5 v high 143%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 12.5 +0.1 17.1 18 Jul 4.7 +0.8 -2.0 21 Aug 486.0 345.7 v high 141%
Sheffield School Farm 11.5 +0.1 15.4 3 Jun 3.8 +0.1 -2.4 21 Aug 557.0 378.8 high 147%
Smithton Aerodrome 13.9 +0.4 16.9 15 Jul 5.1 +0.2 -2.2 20 Jun 483.8 333.0 v high 145%
Wynyard Airport 13.6 +0.5 16.9 27 Aug 4.1 +0.2 -2.5 21 Aug 545.8 359.0 v high 152%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 15.1 +0.7 19.7 3 Jun 7.3 +0.9 1.6 10 Jul 142.0 163.7 average 87%
Fingal (Legge Street) 13.1 +0.4 18.3 1 Jul 1.9 +0.9 -5.9 9 Jul 204.4 180.8 high 113%
Friendly Beaches 14.6 +0.5 19.4 31 Aug 6.9 +0.8 0.2 5 Aug 172.4 151.1 average 114%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 9.3 +0.3 13.9 31 Aug 1.5 +1.0 -6.7 10 Jul 252.7 242.6 average 104%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 14.5 +1.0 18.0 3 Jun 8.4 +1.0 1.9 21 Aug 212.4 222.7 average 95%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 13.5   18.5 4 Jun 8.2   3.7 21 Aug 140.2 123.6 high 113%
Orford (Aubin Court) 13.8 +0.4 19.4 31 Aug 4.6 +0.6 -2.1 21 Aug 197.9 172.0 high 115%
Spring Bay NTC AWS 13.9   19.6 4 Jun 7.0   2.0 10 Jul
St Helens Aerodrome 14.3 +0.4 19.2 4 Jun 6.0 +0.8 -0.9 21 Aug
Swan Island 13.8 +0.2 17.6 18 Jul 9.2 +0.5 2.2 21 Aug 276.6
Swansea (Francis Street) 14.6   19.5 1 Jul 5.2   -2.1 9 Jul 126.7
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 12.1 +0.3 17.6 1 Jul 2.7 +0.9 -6.6 10 Jul 149.8 128.2 average 117%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 13.3 +0.5 18.5 6 Jun 6.6 +0.6 2.2 21 Jun 204.0 159.7 high 128%
Campania (Kincora) 13.8 +0.1 19.2 6 Jun 4.5 +0.8 -3.2 24 Jun 180.4 128.7 high 140%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 12.7 +0.3 18.5 19 Jul 7.3 +0.5 2.2 21 Aug 267.8 241.5 average 111%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 12.6 +1.0 18.3 19 Jul 7.3 +0.9 2.3 21 Aug 272.3 278.3 average 98%
Dennes Point 13.2   17.8 6 Jun 7.1   1.5 21 Jun 188.6
Dover 13.0 +0.3 18.8 30 Aug 4.7 +0.9 -1.5 21 Aug 357.4 255.7 high 140%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 13.2   18.9 6 Jun 7.1   1.6 10 Jul 143.4
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 12.8 +0.3 18.9 19 Jul 3.8 +1.4 -3.4 25 Jun 356.8 270.0 high 132%
Grove (Research Station) 13.0   18.8 19 Jul 3.0   -4.0 21 Aug 270.0
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 13.6 +1.4 19.7 30 Aug 6.0 +1.0 -0.4 21 Aug 213.4 159.9 high 133%
Hobart Airport 13.8 +0.9 19.6 1 Jul 5.5 +1.0 0.3 10 Jul 149.8 122.8 high 122%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 11.8 +0.6 17.8 31 Aug 7.7 +0.9 2.5 6 Jul 488.0 370.7 high 132%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 12.3 +0.4 17.6 31 Aug 3.0 +0.8 -4.9 22 Jun 176.8 119.7 high 148%
Mount Wellington 3.5 +0.6 9.5 5 Jun -0.8 +0.6 -7.3 21 Aug
Tasman Island 11.7 +0.5 17.7 31 Aug 7.3 +0.5 2.9 6 Jul 208.2 216.4 average 96%
Tunnack Fire Station 10.2 +0.2 14.9 4 Jun 2.0 0.0 -5.6 21 Jun
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 13.1 +1.3 19.8 19 Jul 2.1 +0.2 -5.0 24 Jun
Maydena Post Office 11.0 -0.1 17.9 19 Jul 3.0 +0.6 -3.5 22 Jun 454.3 364.4 high 125%
Ouse Fire Station 12.7 +0.3 19.2 19 Jul 2.1 +0.6 -7.8 24 Jun 172.8 159.3 average 108%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 8.4 +0.9 13.5 31 Aug 0.8 +0.9 -6.7 10 Jul
Lake St Clair National Park 7.9 +0.2 13.7 31 Aug 0.6 +0.4 -6.6 21 Aug        
Liawenee 6.3 +0.1 12.4 4 Jun -1.1 +0.1 -12.2 9 Jul 414.0 370.6 high 112%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 13.3 +1.3 18.3 29 Aug 8.4 +1.1 3.5 24 Jun 409.8 449.2 average 91%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 6.2 -0.3 11.8 28 Jul 1.8 +0.1 -2.8 21 Aug
Low Rocky Point 13.1   18.3 31 Aug 7.5   0.9 25 Jun 513.8 424.2 high 121%
Scotts Peak Dam 10.0 +0.3 15.7 29 Aug 4.0 +0.5 -1.0 25 Jun 706.0 615.9 average 115%
Strahan Aerodrome 13.0 +0.4 18.6 31 Aug 6.0 +0.6 -1.9 22 Jun 663.0 507.0 high 131%
Warra 9.3   16.0 19 Jul 2.9   -3.4 21 Jun 717.4
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 14.4 +0.8 19.6 31 Aug 8.5 +0.8 1.1 9 Jul
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 14.4 +0.7 19.5 18 Jul 7.7 +1.1 -1.6 21 Aug 276.9 231.3 high 120%
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 5.1 +0.1 7.5 20 Aug 1.6 0.0 -8.5 25 Jul 278.2 223.7 high 124%

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 11 am on Sunday 1 September 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

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(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries