Tasmania in summer 2019-20: record hot days, rain below average

Tasmania saw plenty of hot weather during December and January, but in February days were mostly cooler than average. Rainfall was below average for most of the State, despite a wet December in the west and some wet days in the northeast during February.

Below average rainfall for most of Tasmania

  • Most of the State had less than average summer rainfall, with some sites in the southeast having only half of their summer average
  • The west had a wet December, and summer rainfall totals were close to or slightly above average there
  • Some wet days in the northeast and on King Island during February meant summer totals were average or above there
  • Overall, Tasmania's summer rainfall was about 5% below average

Record hot days, record cool days, cool in February, warm overall

  • Tasmania saw plenty of hot weather during December and January, but in February days were mostly cooler than average
  • Some sites had their highest temperature on record either on 30 December or 31 January, with the highest temperature in the State over 40 °C on both days
  • Friendly Beaches reached 41.9 °C on 30 December, the second-highest temperature ever reported in Tasmania (just behind Scamander's 42.2 °C on 30 January 2009)
  • There was also some very cool days, including 2 and 3 December which saw several sites have their coldest summer day on record
  • Night-time temperatures were above average in most areas apart from the northwest: Marrawah had its lowest summer mean daily minimum temperature since 1995
  • Taken across all of summer, temperatures were above average for most of the State away from the far northwest
  • Tasmania's mean maximum temperature for the summer was 0.27 °C above average, the mean minimum temperature was 0.32 °C above average, and the overall mean temperature was 0.29 °C above average; all considerably cooler than last summer

Little rain and some hot days for Hobart

  • Total rainfall for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 65.4 mm, which is 46% of the long-term average of 142.7 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 22.3 °C, which is 1.0 °C above the long-term average of 21.3 °C
  • Hobart recorded 40.8 °C on 30 December and 40.4 °C on 31 January: Hobart has only reached 40 °C on nine days over 134 years of record, and two of those days were this summer
  • A maximum temperature of 40.8 °C on 30 December was the equal-second highest temperature ever recorded at the Ellerslie Road site, behind 41.8 °C on 4 January 2013 and equal to 4 January 1976
  • The coolest day was on 3 February when the temperature reached 15.1 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 12.4 °C, which is 0.7 °C above the long-term average of 11.7 °C
  • The coldest morning was 5.8 °C on 4 December, and the warmest morning was on 1 February when the minimum temperature was 19.9 °C

Further information

Media
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Extremes in summer 2019-20
Hottest day 41.9 °C at Friendly Beaches on 30 Dec 2019
Warmest days on average 24.6 °C at Cressy Research Station
Coolest days on average 13.0 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Coldest day 1.4 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on 3 Feb 2020
Coldest night -4.0 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on 4 Dec 2019
Coolest nights on average 3.7 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Warmest nights on average 14.1 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 21.4 °C at Campania (Kincora) on 1 Feb 2020
Warmest on average overall 18.2 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest on average overall 8.4 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 899.6 mm at Mount Read
Wettest day 81.2 mm at Mount Read on 6 Dec 2019
Strongest wind gust 135 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on 27 Feb 2020
133 km/h at Hogan Island on 3 Dec 2019

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 summer daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Swan Island 73.2 on 19 Feb 2020 62.4 on 11 Dec 2004 20



Highest summer total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
higher
Average for
summer
Lake Margaret Dam 775.6 1274.4 in 1986* 654.2
Lake Margaret Power Station 648.7 704.0 in 1998* 517.5

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




Record highest summer temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Hobart Airport 41.4 on 31 Jan 2020 40.3 on 4 Jan 2013 62 22.0
Orford (Aubin Court) 39.7 on 30 Dec 2019 38.8 on 4 Jan 2013 52 21.5
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 29.8 on 31 Jan 2020 = 29.8 on 14 Jan 2014 40 12.9
Maydena Post Office 38.2 on 31 Jan 2020 37.3 on 4 Jan 2013 28 21.5
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 35.2 on 31 Jan 2020 34.9 on 14 Jan 2014 25 16.7
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 39.3 on 31 Jan 2020 38.0 on 4 Jan 2013 23 19.5
Friendly Beaches 41.9 on 30 Dec 2019 40.0 on 4 Jan 2013 23 22.7
Tunnack Fire Station 37.4 on 30 Dec 2019 = 37.4 on 25 Jan 2003 23 21.0
Each of these except Cape Bruny is also a record for any time of year


Record lowest summer daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 8.9 on 2 Dec 2019 = 8.9 on 6 Dec 1969 64 16.7
Strahan Aerodrome 12.7 on 2 Dec 2019 = 12.7 on 5 Dec 2002 32 20.5
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 11.9 on 2 Dec 2019 12.0 on 5 Dec 2002 29 18.8
Maydena Post Office 8.5 on 3 Dec 2019 9.4 on 4 Dec 2012 28 21.5
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 2.4 on 3 Dec 2019 3.6 on 4 Dec 2012 25 16.7
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 10.0 on 2 Dec 2019 = 10.0 on 25 Dec 2006 25 20.3
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 10.4 on 2 Dec 2019 11.4 on 4 Dec 2012 23 19.5
Scotts Peak Dam 6.6 on 2 Dec 2019 8.0 on 5 Dec 2002 22 20.4



Record lowest summer temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) -1.2 on 4 Dec 2019 -1.1 on 27 Dec 2010 25 6.6
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 4.9 on 4 Dec 2019 5.0 on 12 Dec 2015 23 11.8



Lowest summer mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Average for
summer
Marrawah 11.2 10.6 in 1995 11.8



Summary statistics for summer 2019-20
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2019-20
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2019-20
Mean for
summer
2019-20
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2019-20
Total for
summer
2019-20
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2019-20
Fraction of
summer
average
Northern (district 91)
Cape Grim 18.4   26.8 30 Jan 2020 12.4   7.4 2 Dec 2019 157.4
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 18.2 -0.6 27.3 30 Jan 2020 12.4 -0.6 7.0 2 Dec 2019 159.6 116.6 high 137%
Cressy Research Station 24.6 +0.1 37.0 30 Dec 2019 9.8 -0.1 1.4 22 Dec 2019 80.2 104.7 low 77%
Devonport Airport 21.4 +0.4 29.8 31 Jan 2020 12.1 +0.2 4.8 4 Feb 2020 84.9 130.7 low 65%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 24.3 +0.4 35.9 31 Jan 2020 12.1 +0.2 4.2 4 Feb 2020 110.7 124.9 average 89%
Launceston Airport 24.0 -0.1 37.1 31 Jan 2020 10.2 -0.2 1.4 4 Dec 2019 101.0 115.1 average 88%
Low Head 19.6 -0.6 26.3 12 Feb 2020 13.5 -0.5 8.1 4 Feb 2020 86.0 117.0 average 74%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 19.7 -0.6 31.8 30 Jan 2020 9.9 -0.2 3.7 4 Dec 2019 255.6 217.9 average 117%
Marrawah 19.5 -0.4 29.0 30 Jan 2020 11.2 -0.6 6.0 6 Dec 2019 162.4 155.1 average 105%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 22.4 +0.1 36.6 31 Jan 2020 10.7 +0.2 3.6 4 Feb 2020 148.4 162.3 average 91%
Sheffield School Farm 21.4 +0.1 32.3 30 Dec 2019 9.8 -0.5 3.3 4 Feb 2020   153.4    
Smithton Aerodrome 21.0 -0.2 28.3 28 Dec 2019 10.5 -0.3 1.5 4 Feb 2020 143.6 132.6 average 108%
Wynyard Airport 21.3 +0.2 31.1 28 Dec 2019 11.2 +0.3 3.3 4 Feb 2020 124.6 153.5 average 81%
East Coast (district 92)
Fingal (Legge Street) 23.4 +0.6 39.3 30 Dec 2019 10.2 +0.4 2.6 4 Feb 2020 72.4 132.9 low 54%
Friendly Beaches 22.8 +0.1 41.9 30 Dec 2019 12.5 -0.3 6.8 4 Feb 2020 153.4 170.0 average 90%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 19.5 +0.6 35.0 31 Jan 2020 8.2 +0.2 0.5 22 Feb 2020 119.7 169.6 low 71%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 21.2 +0.8 33.7 30 Jan 2020 13.5 +0.4 6.0 4 Dec 2019 123.2 150.8 average 82%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 20.3 -0.6 35.5 30 Dec 2019 12.9 -0.4 6.8 4 Dec 2019 81.2 134.6 low 60%
Orford (Aubin Court) 21.7 +0.2 39.7 30 Dec 2019 11.9 +0.3 5.7 1 Dec 2019 98.2 157.0 low 63%
St Helens Aerodrome 22.0 -0.1 36.8 30 Dec 2019 12.8 -0.1 5.9 4 Dec 2019 159.0 171.7 average 93%
Swan Island 19.8 -0.8 28.2 30 Dec 2019 14.1 -0.5 9.3 22 Dec 2019 145.8 132.7 average 110%
Swansea (Francis Street) 22.2   41.1 30 Dec 2019 12.1   5.7 4 Feb 2020 87.1
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 23.9 0.0 37.8 30 Dec 2019 10.1 +0.1 -0.2 4 Feb 2020 88.2 118.5 average 74%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 23.7 -0.1 40.7 31 Jan 2020 11.3 +0.2 4.0 22 Feb 2020 73.2 111.3 low 66%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 19.5 0.0 39.3 31 Jan 2020 11.0 -0.8 4.9 4 Dec 2019 144.4 154.6 average 93%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 18.8 +0.8 38.0 30 Dec 2019 11.4 +0.2 5.5 4 Dec 2019 139.3 192.0 low 73%
Dennes Point 20.8   37.4 31 Jan 2020 12.3   5.1 4 Dec 2019 85.8
Dover 21.1 +0.7 39.0 31 Jan 2020 9.8 -0.1 3.5 4 Dec 2019 122.0 173.0 low 71%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 21.2   39.0 30 Dec 2019 12.8   6.6 4 Dec 2019 104.6
Grove (Research Station)     39.5 31 Jan 2020 9.3 +0.1 1.6 22 Feb 2020 121.6 151.3 low 80%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 22.3 +1.0 40.8 30 Dec 2019 12.4 +0.7 5.8 4 Dec 2019 65.4 142.7 v low 46%
Hobart Airport 22.5 +0.5 41.4 31 Jan 2020 12.0 +0.3 6.0 4 Dec 2019 58.2 126.8 v low 46%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 13.0 +0.1 29.8 31 Jan 2020 3.7 -0.7 -4.0 4 Dec 2019 150.0 254.6 low 59%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 16.1 -0.6 34.1 31 Jan 2020 10.3 -0.3 5.0 3 Dec 2019 237.6 237.7 average 100%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 22.8 -0.4 39.7 30 Dec 2019 9.7 -0.3 2.6 17 Feb 2020 77.2 102.6 low 75%
Tunnack Fire Station 21.2 +0.2 37.4 30 Dec 2019 8.2 -0.3 -0.2 4 Feb 2020 68.4 135.4 low 51%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 23.9 +0.5 39.7 30 Dec 2019 9.8 0.0 2.1 22 Feb 2020 98.4 125.6 low 78%
Maydena Post Office 20.5 -1.0 38.2 31 Jan 2020 7.8 -0.7 1.0 6 Jan 2020 238.4 209.7 average 114%
Ouse Fire Station 24.0 -0.6 40.6 31 Jan 2020 9.3 -0.4 1.6 22 Feb 2020 99.2 92.6 average 107%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 18.1 -0.1 33.7 31 Jan 2020 6.0 -0.1 -1.6 6 Jan 2020 368.0 301.0 high 122%
Liawenee 17.9 0.0 31.1 30 Dec 2019 4.6 -0.2 -2.4 4 Dec 2019 134.4 149.7 average 90%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 18.8 +0.7 27.4 30 Dec 2019 11.9 +0.2 6.9 4 Dec 2019 192.4 215.1 average 89%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 16.0 -0.7 35.2 31 Jan 2020 5.6 -1.0 -1.2 4 Dec 2019 208.6 200.9 average 104%
Low Rocky Point 18.5   36.8 31 Jan 2020 11.1   6.8 17 Jan 2020
Scotts Peak Dam 20.3 -0.1 38.3 31 Jan 2020 8.4 -0.6 1.9 4 Dec 2019 391.4 320.3 high 122%
Strahan Aerodrome 20.3 -0.2 38.2 31 Jan 2020 10.4 -0.1 5.0 6 Jan 2020 310.6 246.7 high 126%
Warra 18.2 -0.5 37.4 31 Jan 2020 7.7 -0.2 1.0 4 Dec 2019 358.6 312.3 average 115%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 20.1 -0.4 34.1 30 Dec 2019 11.8 -0.5 3.1 23 Dec 2019 155.4 118.0 high 132%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 21.6 -0.2 40.5 30 Dec 2019 13.4 +0.3 4.4 4 Feb 2020 162.4 144.0 average 113%
Hogan Island     33.0 30 Jan 2020 13.5 -1.1 8.0 2 Dec 2019 133.0 124.8 average 107%
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 2 March 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
Enquiries