Tasmania in autumn 2020: wet, with cooler days and warmer nights

Rainfall in Tasmania during autumn was above to very much above average in most areas, except for parts of the Central Plateau and Upper Derwent Valley districts where totals were closer to average. Overall, it was Tasmania's wettest autumn since 1975. Daytime temperatures were generally cooler than average, particularly in the east, but nights tended to be warmer than average.

Wettest autumn since 1975

Coolest autumn since 2015

  • Tasmania had its overall coolest autumn mean temperature since 2015, 0.28 °C below average
  • Daytime temperatures were generally slightly cooler than average in most areas, including areas of below average in the east and far northwest
  • The mean maximum temperature was 0.80 °C below average, the lowest for autumn since 2015
  • Increased cloud cover reduced solar radiation, keeping daytime temperatures down, but also reducing heat loss at night-time
  • Night-time temperatures for autumn were warmer than average across the State, particularly during April
  • Tasmania's mean minimum temperature was 0.23 °C above average
  • On 26 May, Ouse Fire Station had its coldest autumn day on record
  • Cool days, particularly during March and April, resulted in some sites in the State's east having their lowest autumn mean daily maximum temperature on record or their lowest autumn mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
  • Year-to-date mean and maximum temperatures have been close to average across Tasmania
  • Year-to-date minimum temperatures have been above average across the State

Hobart (Ellerslie Road)

  • Total rainfall for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 165.8 mm, which is 117% of the long-term average of 141.8 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 17.6 °C, which is 0.3 °C above the long-term average of 17.3 °C
  • The warmest day was 27.3 °C on 17 March, and the coolest day was on 25 May when the temperature reached 11.2 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 9.6 °C, which is 0.6 °C above the long-term average of 9.0 °C
  • The coldest morning was 0.9 °C on 26 May, and the warmest morning was on 6 March when the minimum temperature was 15.4 °C

Severe winds at times

  • Wind gusts over 140 km/h were recorded at Hogan Island during both April and May, with 146 km/h on 5 April the strongest
  • On 2 May, many sites across the State recorded wind gusts in excess of 100 km/h as an intense low pressure system and cold front passed over Tasmania

Further information

Media
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Extremes in autumn 2020
Hottest day 28.9 °C at Fingal (Legge Street) on 12 Mar
Warmest days on average 18.2 °C at Friendly Beaches and Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest days on average 7.8 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day 0.3 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on 17 Apr
Coldest night -7.9 °C at Liawenee on 25 May
Coolest nights on average 2.1 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Warmest nights on average 12.2 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 18.4 °C at Friendly Beaches on 13 Mar
Warmest on average overall 14.9 °C at Swan Island
Coolest on average overall 5.0 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 1219.2 mm at Mount Read
Wettest day 131.4 mm at Mount Wellington (The Springs) on 16 Mar
Strongest wind gust 146 km/h at Hogan Island on 5 Apr

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 autumn daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Campbell Town (Greenhill) 46.0 on 6 Mar =46.0 on 26 May 2012 76
Orford (Aubin Court) 121.4 on 3 Apr 91.1 on 23 Mar 1983 68
Ross (Rose Villa) 62.0 on 6 Mar 48.3 on 27 Apr 1973 50
Mount Barrow (South Barrow) 108.4 on 6 Mar 107.8 on 24 Mar 2011 28
Little Swanport (Wineglass Cottage) 130.0 on 3 Apr 89.0 on 26 May 2012 25
Woodlea Nursery 110.4 on 6 Mar 91.2 on 25 Apr 2009 24
Lemana (Woodlands) 51.4 on 6 Mar 51.0 on 17 Mar 2001 23
Targa (Mountain Views) 69.6 on 6 Mar 69.4 on 25 Apr 2009 23
Scotts Peak Dam 75.0 on 2 May 52.0 on 29 May 2000 22



Record highest autumn total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 296.4 225.0 in 2010 40 158.6
Deviot Jetty 359.6 339.9 in 1989 28 190.0
Ross (The Boulevards) 208.4 170.8 in 2003 27 107.2
Meander (Meander River) 421.2 296.4 in 2007 23 194.7
Llewellyn (South Esk River) 218.2 201.6 in 2011 22 102.6
Low Head 279.4 268.6 in 2011 22 172.0
Mount Seymour 220.2 205.4 in 2001 22 112.0
Quamby Bluff 533.0 468.8 in 1997 22 316.0
Targa (Mountain Views) 535.4 429.8 in 2010 22 292.6
Kimberley (Mersey River) 319.6 283.6 in 2013 20 181.8
Lemana (Woodlands) 305.4 277.3 in 2012 20 198.6
Mount Barrow (South Barrow) 672.2 629.8 in 1968 20 375.3
Nunamara Offtake (St Patricks River) 441.0 311.0 in 2016 20 204.0
Weymouth (Tam O'Shanter) 271.4 270.6 in 2011 20 181.2

Highest autumn total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
autumn
Launceston (Kings Meadows) 299.3 351.1 in 1931* 158.8
Savage River Mine 608.4 751.6 in 1975* 468.0
Orford (Aubin Court) 259.6 296.3 in 1986* 159.6
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 375.6 376.6 in 1989 231.9
Wynyard Airport 315.4 351.5 in 1965* 219.6
Devonport Airport 260.9 297.8 in 1992 183.5
Forthside Research Station 327.2 346.8 in 1992 215.8
Barrington Post Office 358.5 395.8 in 1992* 252.5
Westbury (Birralee Road) 246.4 260.4 in 1992* 171.9
Kimberley (Siding) 312.6 325.2 in 1992* 212.8
Cape Sorell 378.0 387.7 in 1970* 320.8
Northdown (Hamley) 292.8 308.4 in 1992* 185.2

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




Record lowest autumn daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Ouse Fire Station 4.2 on 26 May 4.4 on 30 May 2006 22 18.5



Record lowest autumn mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 16.6 = 16.6 in 2015 40 18.0
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 14.4 14.5 in 2006 24 15.8
Sheffield School Farm 15.3 15.5 in 2006 23 16.7
Mount Read 7.8 8.0 in 1997 22 9.1
Cressy Research Station 17.0 17.3 in 2006 20 18.6

Lowest autumn mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
autumn
Ross (The Boulevards) 16.3 =16.3 in 1996 17.9
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 15.7 15.6 in 1998 16.7



Summary statistics for autumn 2020
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2020
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2020
Mean for
autumn
2020
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2020
Total for
autumn
2020
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2020
Fraction of
autumn
average
Northern (district 91)
Cape Grim 15.6   21.9 12 Mar 11.2   5.1 25 May 257.8 227.0 high 114%
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 15.7 -1.0 22.1 12 Mar 11.1 -0.5 5.3 25 May 269.4 196.8 high 137%
Cressy Research Station 17.0 -1.6 26.5 12 Mar 6.7 +0.9 -1.8 23 May 234.4 138.6 v high 169%
Devonport Airport 17.1 -0.8 23.6 6 Mar 9.3 +0.4 1.5 22 May 260.9 183.5 high 142%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 18.2 -0.9 27.3 12 Mar 8.1 +0.5 -0.4 23 May 296.4 158.6 highest 187%
Launceston Airport 16.8 -1.7 26.8 12 Mar 7.1 +0.3 -0.5 23 May 299.4 160.8 v high 186%
Low Head 16.9 -0.8 22.1 6 Mar 11.3 0.0 4.0 23 May 279.4 172.0 highest 162%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 14.4 -1.4 23.3 12 Mar 8.1 -0.3 2.7 24 May 420.6 356.6 high 118%
Marrawah 16.0 -1.0 22.0 12 Mar 10.1 -0.3 4.5 25 May 359.0 261.6 v high 137%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 16.6 -1.4 25.6 12 Mar 8.1 +0.1 1.1 14 May 375.6 231.9 v high 162%
Sheffield School Farm 15.3 -1.4 22.7 12 Mar 7.2 -0.1 -0.1 23 May 373.0 236.6 v high 158%
Smithton Aerodrome 17.0 -0.9 23.2 12 Mar 8.3 +0.4 0.3 25 May 270.6 205.9 high 131%
Wynyard Airport 16.9 -0.8 22.1 6 Mar 7.8 +0.4 -1.6 25 May 315.4 219.6 v high 144%
East Coast (district 92)
Fingal (Legge Street) 17.3 -1.1 28.9 12 Mar 5.7 +0.3 -2.8 14 May 251.0 146.7 high 171%
Friendly Beaches 18.2 -0.7 27.3 12 Mar 9.8 -0.2 3.8 22 May 224.4 159.3 high 141%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 13.6 -0.8 24.1 12 Mar 4.4 +0.2 -3.7 22 May 232.5 202.3 high 115%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 127.8 187.5 low 68%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 16.4 -1.3 23.1 12 Mar 11.1 -0.3 6.2 26 May 155.2 109.6 high 142%
Orford (Aubin Court) 17.5 -0.7 26.0 29 Mar 8.5 0.0 1.0 26 May 259.6 159.6 high 163%
St Helens Aerodrome 17.9 -0.7 24.7 13 Mar 9.4 -0.2 2.3 14 May 187.8 165.6 high 113%
Swan Island 17.6 -0.7 24.6 12 Mar 12.2 -0.5 6.5 10 May 150.2 161.8 average 93%
Swansea (Francis Street) 17.7   28.7 12 Mar 8.3   0.9 22 May 162.0
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 16.3 -1.6 26.7 12 Mar 6.0 +0.3 -3.9 23 May 208.4 107.2 highest 194%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 17.9 -1.2 28.5 12 Mar 7.8 0.0 -1.3 26 May 151.8 102.8 high 148%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 15.9 -0.7 25.7 12 Mar 9.7 -0.5 4.1 26 May 265.6 180.4 v high 147%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 15.4 -0.2 25.2 12 Mar 9.8 +0.1 4.2 26 May 226.0 230.6 average 98%
Dennes Point 16.5   25.1 17 Mar 10.0   2.9 26 May 202.4
Dover 16.1 -0.9 27.8 12 Mar 6.9 -0.4 -0.5 26 May 255.8 202.7 high 126%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 16.8   25.8 12 Mar 10.4   3.1 26 May 197.4
Grove (Research Station) 17.1 -1.0 26.7 17 Mar 6.2 +0.1 -2.3 27 May 184.8 155.8 average 119%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 17.6 +0.3 27.3 17 Mar 9.6 +0.6 0.9 26 May 165.8 141.8 high 117%
Hobart Airport 17.6 -0.5 28.0 12 Mar 9.1 +0.3 0.5 26 May 157.4 112.9 high 139%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 7.9 -0.6 16.3 17 Mar 2.1 -0.2 -3.3 5 Apr 311.0 234.8 high 132%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 13.8 -0.7 24.7 28 Mar 9.4 -0.2 4.2 5 Apr 321.6 308.1 average 104%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 16.5 -1.1 28.1 12 Mar 6.6 +0.4 -2.9 27 May 154.6 97.4 high 159%
Tasman Island 14.5 -0.7 22.6 12 Mar 9.7 -0.3 5.2 5 Apr 298.2 211.3 high 141%
Tunnack Fire Station 14.5 -1.2 24.4 12 Mar 5.8 +0.4 -3.5 23 May 226.4 135.4 high 167%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 17.7 -0.4 27.4 17 Mar 5.9 -0.3 -2.9 26 May 144.6 130.5 average 111%
Maydena Post Office 15.3 -1.0 25.5 28 Mar 5.6 -0.1 -1.2 26 May 271.6 254.0 average 107%
Ouse Fire Station 17.4 -1.1 27.8 12 Mar 5.5 -0.1 -3.6 27 May 148.4 102.0 v high 145%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 12.5 -0.8 21.6 12 Mar 3.9 +0.4 -3.2 27 May 424.2 405.8 average 105%
Lake St Clair National Park 12.6 -0.8 21.8 11 Mar 3.6 +0.5 -4.3 26 May 546.6 423.2 high 129%
Liawenee 11.1 -1.4 19.0 12 Mar 2.4 +0.5 -7.9 25 May 280.2 222.8 high 126%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 15.8 +0.1 22.1 12 Mar 10.6 +0.2 4.5 25 May 378.0 320.8 high 118%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 10.3 -1.2 22.4 12 Mar     -0.6 5 Apr 280.2 234.2 high 120%
Low Rocky Point 15.2   26.4 12 Mar 9.8   3.2 25 May
Mount Read 7.8 -1.3 17.0 12 Mar 3.0 -0.6 -1.9 5 Apr 1219.2 1009.4 high 121%
Scotts Peak Dam 13.9 -1.1 26.1 28 Mar 6.7 -0.3 1.1 26 May 659.0 441.8 v high 149%
Strahan Aerodrome 16.3 -0.6 27.9 12 Mar 8.9 +0.3 0.6 25 May 552.6 381.3 v high 145%
Warra 12.7 -1.2 23.8 12 Mar 6.3 +0.3 -0.6 26 May 390.0 405.8 average 96%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 17.2 -0.7 27.7 12 Mar 10.8 0.0 1.3 25 May 229.8 196.2 high 117%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 18.0 -0.8 27.0 13 Mar 10.9 +0.1 1.9 22 May 192.2 186.5 average 103%
Hogan Island 17.2 -1.0 26.3 12 Mar 12.1 -0.9 6.6 10 May 178.4 155.7 high 115%
Note: From 2017, information about Macquarie Island can be found in the climate summary for the Remote Islands and Antarctica

Notes

The Seasonal climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists 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. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Monday 1 June 2020. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

Averages for individual sites 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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057