Tasmania in summer 2018-19: very warm and mostly dry

Tasmania had a very warm summer, with prolonged warm weather through January more than making up for some cooler days in February. Rainfall was below average in most of the State, especially the southwest, but thunderstorms gave above average rain to parts of the northeast highlands.

A very warm summer

  • Overall it was Tasmania's second-warmest summer on record, with the mean temperature 1.60 °C above average; a little cooler than the record warm summer of 2015-16
  • The Tasmanian mean temperature was record warm in December and January, contrasted with a generally cool February
  • Daytime maximum temperatures were record warm in the east, and the State mean maximum temperature was third-warmest on record at 1.85 °C above average
  • Days were especially warm during January, with little cool weather between late December and early February, but there were many cool days in February
  • Night-time minimum temperatures were above average in all months, and record warm in December
  • Summer mean minimum temperatures were very much above average across the State, and Tasmania's mean minimum temperature was third-warmest on record at 1.35 °C above average
  • Several sites, mostly in the southeast and including Hobart, had their warmest summer on record, mostly because of record mean daily maximum temperature with a few also having their highest mean daily minimum temperature on record
  • A feature of the summer was persistently warm days, especially during December and January, but few especially cool days
  • Tasmania missed most of the extreme heat that affected the mainland (as detailed in the Special Climate Statement Widespread heatwaves during December 2018 and January 2019)
  • No individual daily temperature records were broken, although Hobart Airport's maximum of 40.1 °C on the 25 January was the equal second-highest temperature ever recorded there (behind 40.3 °C on 4 January 2013)

Dry during mid-summer, but localised heavy rain

  • Rainfall was below average for most of the State, and especially low in the southwest and the southern Midlands
  • Most areas had little if any rain for about 6 weeks from late December to early February; January was Tasmania's second-driest on record (the State average rainfall was less than 0.1 mm wetter than January 1939)
  • Rainfall was above average in most areas during February
  • There was moderate to heavy rain and localised thunderstorms in the northeast around 14-15 December and again on 7 February, ensuring those areas had a wetter than average summer
  • Total summer rainfall was about 22% below average, drier than summer 2017-18 and only a little wetter than summer 2012-13

Thunderstorms, fires and smoke

  • Lightning strikes onto dry vegetation in late December and again in mid-January led to numerous bushfires; there were 70 fires active between 23 and 26 January
  • These fires burnt about 200 000 ha, including over 88 000 ha in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area; there were also 7 properties lost
  • Smoke from the fires caused poor air quality in the south of the state from 18 January to 3 February, including at locations well removed from the actual fires

Record warm summer for Hobart

  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was a record warm 23.7 °C, which is 2.4 °C above the long-term average
  • Hobart's warmest day was 37.9 °C on 25 January, one of 9 days over 30 °C; Hobart has previously averaged about 4 days over 30 °C each summer
  • Hobart had a record 31 consecutive days when it reached at least 20 °C, from 23 December to 22 January
  • The only day that didn't reach 17 °C was 23 February (16.8 °C); Hobart has previously averaged about 13 days that cool each summer
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 13.7 °C, which is 2.1 °C above the long-term average and equals the record from summer 2015-16
  • The coldest morning was 8.0 °C on 13 February, one of only 9 minimum temperatures below 10 °C (compared to a summer average of about 24 such cool nights)
  • Hobart's warmest morning was on 29 January when the minimum temperature was 19.1 °C
  • Total rainfall for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 96.8 mm, which is 67% of the long-term average of 143.6 mm
  • Hobart had 61.0 mm of rainfall during December, but only 0.4 mm of rain was recorded in Hobart during January; a further 21 mm fell in less than 2 hours on the morning of 7 February

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in summer 2018-19
Hottest day 40.1 °C at Hobart Airport on 25 Jan 2019
Warmest days on average 25.9 °C at Cressy Research Station
Coolest days on average 14.7 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day 3.5 °C at Mount Read on 12 Feb 2019
Coldest night -2.6 °C at Liawenee on 1 Feb 2019
Coolest nights on average 5.2 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Warmest nights on average 15.6 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 20.1 °C at Flinders Island Airport on 18 Jan and 3 Feb 2019
Warmest on average overall 19.3 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest on average overall 10.0 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 628.8 mm at Mount Read
Wettest day 95.5 mm at Goulds Country on 15 Dec 2018
Strongest wind gust 131 km/h at Hogan Island on 3 Dec 2018

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 mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 23.7 23.3 in 2012 136 21.3
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 20.0 19.9 in 2015 95 18.0
Cape Sorell 20.3 20.2 in 2015 78 18.0
Hobart Airport 24.0 23.7 in 2000 60 21.9
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 14.9 14.7 in 2004 36 12.8
Fingal (Legge Street) 24.6 24.5 in 2017 32 22.8
Dover 22.3 = 22.3 in 2015 28 20.3
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 21.0 20.5 in 2015 28 18.9
Lake St Clair National Park 20.4 = 20.4 in 2000 26 18.8
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 20.9 20.6 in 2015 21 19.4
Friendly Beaches 24.5 24.1 in 2000 21 22.7
Tunnack Fire Station 22.7 = 22.7 in 2000 21 20.9
Ouse Fire Station 25.8 = 25.8 in 2002 20 24.6
Scotts Peak Dam 22.4 22.2 in 2015 20 20.3



Record highest summer mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 13.7 = 13.7 in 2015 136 11.6
Cape Sorell 13.1 = 13.1 in 2015 78 11.7
Flinders Island Airport 14.5 14.4 in 2017 55 13.0
Low Head 15.0 = 15.0 in 2015 20 14.0



Record highest summer mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 18.7 18.3 in 2015 136 16.5
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 16.4 = 16.4 in 2015 94 14.6
Hobart Airport 18.6 18.4 in 2015 60 16.8
Flinders Island Airport 18.8 = 18.8 in 2015 55 17.4
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 15.0 14.8 in 2015 28 13.4
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 16.7 16.6 in 2015 21 15.6
Friendly Beaches 18.9 18.8 in 2015 21 17.7
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 17.6 = 17.6 in 2015 21 16.5

Highest summer mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
summer
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 10.0 10.2 in 1992* 8.6

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




Summary statistics for summer 2018-19
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2018-19
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2018-19
Mean for
summer
2018-19
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2018-19
Total for
summer
2018-19
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2018-19
Fraction of
summer
average
Northern (district 91)
Cape Grim 19.7   25.7 7 Dec 2018 13.9   9.5 13 Feb 2019 114.8
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 19.7 +1.0 26.6 7 Dec 2018 13.8 +0.8 9.0 11 Jan 2019 112.2 115.3 average 97%
Cressy Research Station 25.9 +1.5 34.9 25 Jan 2019 10.6 +0.8 1.4 1 Feb 2019 109.0 106.2 average 103%
Devonport Airport 22.6 +1.6 32.2 20 Jan 2019 13.0 +1.1 4.2 1 Feb 2019 85.1 131.5 low 65%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 25.5 +1.6 32.3 21 Jan 2019 13.1 +1.2 4.7 4 Dec 2018 131.8 125.3 average 105%
Launceston Airport 25.0 +0.9 33.7 25 Jan 2019 11.1 +0.8 3.2 1 Feb 2019 123.8 116.0 average 107%
Low Head 21.0 +0.8 24.6 30 Jan 2019 15.0 +1.0 9.9 1 Feb 2019 89.0 118.5 average 75%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 21.2 +0.9 30.4 4 Jan 2019 10.9 +0.9 4.2 13 Feb 2019 161.6 216.1 low 75%
Marrawah 20.7 +0.9 27.8 25 Jan 2019 12.7 +1.0 5.5 3 Dec 2018 137.0 154.9 average 88%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 23.7 +1.4 33.7 25 Jan 2019 11.7 +1.2 3.3 4 Dec 2018 163.0 162.7 average 100%
Sheffield School Farm 22.5 +1.3 33.0 22 Jan 2019 11.1 +0.9 4.0 1 Feb 2019 146.2 159.6 average 92%
Smithton Aerodrome 22.6 +1.5 29.3 28 Dec 2018 11.4 +0.6 1.5 1 Feb 2019 116.2 132.1 average 88%
Wynyard Airport 22.7 +1.6 33.1 22 Jan 2019 11.9 +1.1 3.1 1 Feb 2019 142.4 154.1 average 92%
East Coast (district 92)
Fingal (Legge Street) 24.6 +1.8 38.7 25 Jan 2019 10.4 +0.7 2.5 13 Feb 2019 117.0 133.3 average 88%
Friendly Beaches 24.5 +1.8 39.4 4 Jan 2019 13.4 +0.6 7.0 24 Feb 2019 101.8 170.8 low 60%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 21.0 +2.1 31.9 25 Jan 2019 8.9 +1.0 0.9 1 Feb 2019 108.5 170.0 low 64%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 23.1 +2.7 32.7 25 Jan 2019 14.6 +1.6 7.5 13 Feb 2019 105.2 151.1 low 70%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 21.9 +1.1 34.6 25 Jan 2019 14.2 +0.9 8.6 4 Dec 2018 79.8 139.1 v low 57%
Orford (Aubin Court) 22.9 +1.4 37.3 4 Jan 2019 12.7 +1.2 5.4 4 Dec 2018 144.4 157.8 average 92%
St Helens Aerodrome 23.5 +1.5 36.5 25 Jan 2019 13.6 +0.8 6.9 4 Dec 2018 160.4 172.8 average 93%
Swan Island 21.4 +0.8 29.1 25 Jan 2019 15.6 +1.0 9.2 13 Feb 2019 117.0 131.9 average 89%
Swansea (Francis Street) 23.8   38.6 25 Jan 2019 12.8   5.4 1 Feb 2019 129.8
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 25.5 +1.7 36.2 25 Jan 2019 10.9 +0.9 1.0 1 Feb 2019 71.4 119.6 low 60%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 25.1 +1.3 39.8 25 Jan 2019 12.0 +1.0 3.7 27 Feb 2019 120.0 113.4 average 106%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 20.9 +1.5 33.0 25 Jan 2019 12.4 +0.6 6.2 13 Feb 2019 119.8 155.1 low 77%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 20.0 +2.0 32.8 25 Jan 2019 12.8 +1.6 6.8 13 Feb 2019 129.0 192.4 low 67%
Dennes Point 21.9   36.2 25 Jan 2019 13.4   8.2 4 Dec 2018 90.8
Dover 22.3 +2.0 34.8 25 Jan 2019 10.6 +0.7 4.3 4 Dec 2018 119.2 173.6 low 69%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 22.9   37.9 25 Jan 2019 14.0   8.2 13 Feb 2019 89.2
Grove (Research Station) 23.8 +1.4 36.7 25 Jan 2019 10.1 +0.9 1.6 27 Feb 2019   151.1    
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 23.7 +2.4 37.9 25 Jan 2019 13.7 +2.1 8.0 13 Feb 2019 96.8 143.3 low 68%
Hobart Airport 24.0 +2.1 40.1 25 Jan 2019 13.1 +1.4 7.2 11 Dec 2018 80.4 127.9 low 63%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 14.9 +2.1 26.8 25 Jan 2019 5.2 +0.8 -1.8 4 Dec 2018 178.0 257.6 low 69%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 17.1 +0.4 25.6 25 Jan 2019 11.7 +1.2 6.4 3 Dec 2018 239.2 237.7 average 101%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 24.6 +1.5 38.1 4 Jan 2019 10.8 +0.9 2.4 27 Feb 2019 86.0 103.7 average 83%
Tunnack Fire Station 22.7 +1.8 35.5 25 Jan 2019     -1.7 27 Feb 2019   138.4    
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 25.6 +2.2 37.7 4 Jan 2019 10.4 +0.7 2.4 27 Feb 2019   125.5    
Maydena Post Office 22.7 +1.3 34.4 25 Jan 2019 9.1 +0.6 0.6 27 Feb 2019 148.6 208.6 low 71%
Ouse Fire Station 25.8 +1.2 38.1 4 Jan 2019 10.5 +0.8 2.0 27 Feb 2019 69.6 92.3 low 75%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Lake St Clair National Park 20.4 +1.6 32.3 16 Jan 2019 6.5 +0.7 -0.4 1 Feb 2019 276.8 312.1 low 89%
Liawenee 19.8 +2.0 31.4 15 Jan 2019 5.9 +1.1 -2.6 1 Feb 2019 101.4 150.6 low 67%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 20.3 +2.3 26.7 15 Jan 2019 13.1 +1.4 7.9 13 Feb 2019 156.4 215.3 low 73%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 17.7 +1.0 29.3 4 Jan 2019 7.3 +0.8 0.0 13 Feb 2019 167.4 200.5 low 83%
Low Rocky Point 19.1   26.2 25 Jan 2019 12.2   6.4 13 Feb 2019 239.8 240.6 average 100%
Mount Read 14.7 +1.2 25.3 4 Jan 2019 6.0 +0.6 -0.6 13 Feb 2019 628.8 668.7 average 94%
Scotts Peak Dam 22.4 +2.1 34.1 15 Jan 2019 9.5 +0.5 3.7 13 Feb 2019 257.0 316.6 low 81%
Strahan Aerodrome 21.4 +0.9 32.4 4 Jan 2019 11.5 +1.1 5.0 11 Dec 2018 261.8 244.7 high 107%
Warra 20.2 +1.6 33.1 4 Jan 2019 8.6 +0.8 2.9 13 Feb 2019   309.3    
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 21.5 +1.1 29.7 30 Jan 2019 13.2 +0.9 6.2 11 Dec 2018 106.8 117.1 average 91%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 23.1 +1.4 38.4 25 Jan 2019 14.5 +1.5 6.1 24 Feb 2019 172.8 143.8 average 120%
Hogan Island 22.0 +1.0 36.2 25 Jan 2019 15.3 +0.8 7.8 13 Feb 2019 104.2 124.2 low 84%
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 10 am on Friday 1 March 2019. 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