Tasmania in summer 2013-14: a warm, dry and windy season

After a relatively cool start to summer, Tasmania had some hot days through January and February, and was warm overall. Rainfall was below average in most parts of the state. There were several days with strong and damaging winds

  • A relatively dry summer in most parts
  • Warmer than average days, after a cool start
  • Warmer than average nights
  • Several windy days

Separate summaries have also been prepared for December 2013, January 2014 and February 2014.

A relatively dry summer in most parts

Much of December, and the first week of January, saw Tasmania under the influence of persistent westerly winds. These brought rain to the western half, but left the southeast and parts of the north relatively dry. During late January and into February high pressure systems came to dominate and brought little rain. Some troughs crossing during February brought locally very heavy falls, but some areas on the North Coast had almost no rain (apart from the odd day with a fraction of a millimetre) after 6 January. Thunderstorms and heavy rain associated with the passage of a trough on the evening of 15 February gave a few sites near the Midlands their highest summer daily rainfall on record.

Overall, most parts of the state had a relatively dry summer, with the East Coast, the Central North and the northern Midlands markedly drier than usual. A few sites had their lowest total summer rainfall on record or their lowest total summer rainfall for many years.

Mount Read recorded 162.6 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on 21 February, the wettest day the site has recorded in its 18-year history. Unfortunately a data outage at this remote site means several values from early January are missing, so while the true total for the season is unknown it was at least 669.0 mm. The highest total from a site with no missing values is 555.4 mm nearby at Lake Margaret Power Station

Warmer than average days, after a cool start

Westerly winds and frequent cold fronts in the first five weeks of summer prevented temperatures getting especially high in Tasmania, and there were some very cool days: Bridport's 15.0 °C on 21 December was the coolest summer day ever recorded there. There was also unseasonably cold weather on 20 and 21 February, especially in the west where a sudden change to cold, wet and windy weather was implicated in the death of a tourist near Cradle Mountain.

From mid-January there were several days when hot air was drawn from the mainland across Tasmania ahead of cold fronts. One of the most significant multi-day heatwaves on record affected southeast Australia from 13 to 18 January (as detailed in Special Climate Statement 48); in Tasmania the main impact was in the western half. Bushy Park reached 40.2 °C on the 14 January and Melton Mowbray 40.1 °C. Later in the month Hobart Airport reached 39.7 °C on 28 January. These temperatures are all in the top 50 ever recorded in Tasmania (many of the others in that top 50 are either from 4 January 2013, or late January 2009). Mount Wellington had a record high temperature of 29.8 °C on 14 January, Lake St Clair's 33.9 °C two days later was also a record, whilst Scotts Peak Dam's 38.6 °C on 14 January equalled the highest temperature ever observed at any site in western Tasmania.

Taken across the season, daytime maximum temperatures were above the long-term average at all sites, typically by about one degree.

Warmer than average nights

Relatively cool nights were prevalent through December and January, but were less common in February. The lowest temperature was right at the end of the season when Liawenee dipped to -2.8 °C on 28 February, but Mount Wellington had -2.5 °C on 6 December and Liawenee fell to -2.2 °C on 3 January. There were several mild nights, with the most marked 15 January when Flinders Island Airport dipped to only 22.3 °C and Liawenee to 21.0 °C.

Overall, overnight minimum temperatures were close to the long-term average, but most areas were a little warmer than usual for summer.

Several windy days

There were many windy days through summer, and damage resulted on several occasions. The elevated and very exposed Mount Wellington recorded gusts to 128 km/h on 29 December, 165 km/h on 2 January and 156 km/h on 9 February. Many other sites reported gusts in excess of 100 km/h through the season, although these were less common in February.

Damage was particularly marked on 9 February, especially in the south where fallen trees, power outages, structure damage and blocked roads were common. A man was killed when a falling tree hit a car on the Channel Highway just north of Margate

Hobart: a warm, dry and windy summer

Hobart's mean daily maximum temperature for the summer was 22.6 °C, which is 1.4 °C above the long-term average but below the record 23.3 °C from last year. The highest temperature for the summer was 38.9 °C on 28 January (the equal-16th warmest temperature recorded in Hobart), which was one of the 8 days above 30 °C this summer (the long-term average is about 5 such hot days). The coldest day was 15.3 °C on 20 December.

Nights were also warmer than usual in Hobart, with a mean daily minimum temperature for the summer of 12.4 °C, which is 0.8 °C above average. The coldest temperature was 7.7 °C on the morning of 6 December, whilst the warmest night was 2–3 February, when it stayed above 20 °C (the minimum reported was 18.9 °C, the temperature it had been at 9 am on the 2nd).

Hobart had a total of 72.0 mm of rain over the summer, just half the long-term average of 143.4 mm. Each month was relatively dry (28.2 mm in December, 16.2 mm in January and 27.6 mm in February). The heaviest burst of rain was on the evening of 15 February, when over 18 mm was recorded in the city.

Strong and gusty winds affected Hobart through December and early January, with several gusts over 80 km/h. The strongest wind for the season was on 9 February, when a gust to 130 km/h was recorded at the Bureau's observation site in Ellerslie Road, Battery Point. This equals the record summer gust from 1 January 1979. It is also the strongest gust recorded using the current instrument, which was installed in 1994, although short of the 150 km/h (recorded using a different instrument) on 28 September 1965.

Further information

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Extremes in summer 2013-14
Hottest day 40.2 °C at Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) on 14 Jan
Warmest days on average 25.2 °C at Ouse Fire Station
Coolest days on average 14.4 °C at Mount Wellington and Mount Read
Coldest day 3.1 °C at Mount Read on 10 Dec 2013
Coldest night-2.8 °C at Liawenee on 28 Feb 2014
Coolest nights on average 5.1 °C at Mount Wellington and Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 14.3 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 22.3 °C at Flinders Island Airport on 15 Jan 2014
Warmest on average overall 18.3 °C at Launceston (Ti Tree Bend)
Coolest on average overall 9.7 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall* 669.0 mm* at Mount Read
555.4 mm at Lake Margaret Power Station
Driest overall 46.0 mm at Swansea (Francis Street)
Wettest day 162.6 mm at Mount Read on 21 Feb 2014
Highest wind gust 165 km/h at Mount Wellington on 2 Jan 2014

*Note that some reports are missing from Mount Read during January, and the actual total is almost certainly higher. Strathgordon Village has the highest total without missing values.


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
Highest daily rainfall
in summer 2013-14 (mm)
Previous wettest
for summer
Years of
record
Below Craigbourne Dam (Coal River) 64.4 on 16 Feb 2014 55.4 on 31 Jan 2012 21
Mount Morriston (Macquarie River) 87.4 on 16 Feb 2014 61.4 on 18 Jan 2010 21
Ross (Macquarie River) 46.6 on 16 Feb 2014 39.8 on 29 Jan 2004 21



Record lowest total summer rainfall
Total rainfall
for summer 2013-14 (mm)
Previous driest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Campbell Town (Elizabeth R) 54.2 57.4 in 2002 25 123.9
Deviot Jetty 61.0 69.0 in 2009 22 144.4

Lowest total summer rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for summer 2013-14 (mm)
Most recent summer
at least this dry
Years since
drier
Average for
summer
Frankford (Rossville) 74.4 60.1 in 1980 33 168.2
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 59.7 57.1 in 1983* 29 123.6
Barrington Post Office 102.8 92.8 in 1987 26 184.0
Westbury (Birralee Road) 64.6 52.8 in 1983* 25 131.1

* 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 2013-14 (°C)
Previous warmest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Mount Wellington 29.8 on 14 Jan 2014 29.6 on 25 Feb 1995 34 12.7
Lake St Clair National Park 33.9 on 16 Jan 2014 33.0 on 20 Jan 1997 24 18.6



Record lowest summer daily maximum temperature
Lowest daily maximum
temperature
in summer 2013-14 (°C)
Previous coolest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 15.0 on 21 Dec 2013 = 15.0 on 8 Feb 2008 20 21.3



Record highest summer mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for summer 2013-14 (°C)
Previous warmest
for summer
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 20.1 = 20.1 in 2000 23 18.7



Summary statistics for summer 2013-14
Maximum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for summer
(°C)
Rainfall
for summer
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2013-14
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2013-14
Mean for
summer
2013-14
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2013-14
Total for
summer
2013-14
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2013-14
Fraction of
summer
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 21.6 +0.3 31.0 15 Jan 2014     4.5 6 Dec 2013 112.0 127.3 average 88%
Burnie (Round Hill) 21.7 +1.1 30.2 18 Jan 2014 13.0 +0.6 5.3 6 Dec 2013 104.0 152.1 low 68%
Burnie NTC AWS 19.7   29.0 28 Jan 2014 13.6   8.1 6 Dec 2013
Cape Grim 18.5   27.6 28 Jan 2014 13.0   8.4 1 Dec 2013 103.8
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 18.7 +0.1 27.4 28 Jan 2014 13.0 +0.1 8.5 6 Dec 2013 95.2 115.7 average 82%
Cressy Research Station 24.4 0.0 35.4 14 Jan 2014 9.3 -0.3 1.4 30 Dec 2013 58.6 100.9 low 58%
Devonport Airport 21.3 +0.5 27.4 9 Feb 2014 11.8 0.0 3.2 6 Dec 2013 73.5 131.7 v low 56%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 24.8 +1.0 34.6 14 Jan 2014 11.8 +0.1 5.0 30 Dec 2013 59.7 121.6 v low 49%
Launceston Airport 24.5   35.7 14 Jan 2014 9.7   3.4 14 Dec 2013 64.2 99.3 v low 65%
Low Head 20.3 +0.2 25.9 2 Feb 2014 13.8 0.0 7.8 6 Dec 2013 52.4 113.4 v low 46%
Marrawah 19.9 +0.1 32.8 15 Jan 2014 11.9 +0.2 7.2 5 Dec 2013 109.0 156.6 low 70%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 23.1 +0.9 33.8 15 Jan 2014 10.4 0.0 3.9 6 Dec 2013 110.2 162.9 low 68%
Sheffield School Farm 21.9 +0.8 32.2 15 Jan 2014 9.8 -0.3 4.4 5 Dec 2013 93.4 151.6 v low 62%
Smithton Aerodrome 21.4 +0.5 34.1 15 Jan 2014 10.6 -0.2 2.9 22 Jan 2014 116.2 134.4 average 86%
Wynyard Airport 21.6 +0.7 31.8 15 Jan 2014 10.6 -0.1 3.5 14 Dec 2013 117.6 155.9 average 75%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 21.2 +0.2 33.0 9 Feb 2014 12.6 +0.1 7.9 6 Dec 2013 104.4 179.5 low 58%
Fingal (Legge Street) 23.8 +1.2 37.5 14 Jan 2014 8.9 -0.8 1.4 5 Dec 2013 63.8 131.9 low 48%
Friendly Beaches 22.9 +0.4 37.3 9 Feb 2014 12.2 -0.5 7.6 6 Dec 2013 121.0 159.9 low 76%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 20.0 +1.3 33.0 14 Jan 2014 7.4 -0.4 0.8 22 Jan 2014 83.2 171.1 v low 49%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 21.2 +0.6 31.6 9 Feb 2014 13.6 +0.2 7.8 6 Dec 2013 98.2 151.6 low 65%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 20.6   32.2 9 Feb 2014 13.0   8.0 6 Dec 2013
Orford (Aubin Court) 21.5 +0.1 36.4 28 Jan 2014 11.3 -0.2 6.4 9 Jan 2014 52.8 156.6 v low 34%
Spring Bay NTC AWS 20.3   33.8 28 Jan 2014 12.9   7.8 5 Dec 2013
St Helens Aerodrome 22.1 +0.3 35.6 9 Feb 2014 12.4 -0.3 6.4 6 Dec 2013 102.6 160.0 low 64%
Swan Island 20.6 +0.2 29.4 9 Feb 2014 14.3 -0.1 8.3 6 Dec 2013 99.4 132.5 low 75%
Swansea (Francis Street) 22.5   38.6 9 Feb 2014 11.3   5.9 1 Dec 2013 46.0
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 24.6 +0.9 37.1 14 Jan 2014 9.4 -0.5 0.9 8 Jan 2014 73.0 121.1 low 60%
Southeast (district 94)
Bull Bay (Lauriston) 21.1 +0.4 37.5 28 Jan 2014 11.6 -0.2 6.7 11 Dec 2013 93.0 150.1 low 62%
Campania (Kincora) 24.0 +0.3 39.2 14 Jan 2014 10.6 -0.2 4.3 28 Feb 2014 77.4 102.6 low 75%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 19.4 +0.1 29.6 28 Jan 2014 11.5 -0.2 6.2 11 Dec 2013 114.6 161.3 low 71%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 18.7 +0.7 29.1 28 Jan 2014 11.4 +0.2 6.0 1 Dec 2013 123.0 194.3 low 63%
Dennes Point 21.4   37.7 28 Jan 2014 12.3   7.8 6 Dec 2013 63.6
Dover 20.5 +0.4 35.1 28 Jan 2014 9.6 -0.2 3.4 6 Dec 2013 127.8 173.9 low 73%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 21.4   38.1 28 Jan 2014 12.7   8.1 6 Jan 2014 74.8
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 21.8 +0.6 37.4 28 Jan 2014 10.0 +0.5 3.3 5 Feb 2014 154.8 176.0 average 88%
Grove (Research Station) 22.7   38.3 14 Jan 2014 9.0   3.3 5 Feb 2014 120.6 154.4 low 78%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 22.6 +1.4 38.9 28 Jan 2014 12.4 +0.8 7.7 6 Dec 2013 72.0 143.4 low 50%
Hobart Airport 22.9 +1.1 39.7 28 Jan 2014 11.8 +0.2 6.5 3 Jan 2014 67.4 128.4 low 52%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 17.0 +0.3 30.3 17 Jan 2014 11.0 +0.5 5.5 11 Dec 2013 214.0 239.5 average 89%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 24.0 +1.0 40.1 14 Jan 2014 9.2 -0.6 2.2 8 Jan 2014 89.8 101.7 average 88%
Mount Wellington 14.4 +1.7 29.8 14 Jan 2014 5.1 +0.8 -2.5 6 Dec 2013
Tasman Island 17.8 +0.5 30.9 9 Feb 2014 10.9 -0.1 5.9 12 Dec 2013 121.6 177.5 low 69%
Tunnack Fire Station 21.2 +0.4 35.3 14 Jan 2014 8.1 -0.3 0.0 28 Feb 2014 76.6 140.6 low 54%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 25.1 +1.8 40.2 14 Jan 2014 9.6 -0.1 2.8 5 Dec 2013 98.0 126.1 low 78%
Maydena Post Office 22.1 +0.7 37.2 14 Jan 2014 8.4 0.0 3.2 8 Jan 2014 198.9 212.5 average 94%
Ouse Fire Station 25.2 +0.7 39.6 14 Jan 2014 9.4 -0.2 1.7 28 Feb 2014 89.6 92.4 average 97%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 19.6 +1.5 33.8 14 Jan 2014 6.1 +0.1 -1.6 28 Feb 2014 331.4 302.7 average 109%
Lake St Clair National Park 19.9 +1.3 33.9 16 Jan 2014 5.6 -0.2 -1.4 28 Feb 2014 385.2 314.4 high 123%
Liawenee 19.0 +1.4 32.3 16 Jan 2014 5.1 +0.5 -2.8 28 Feb 2014 83.6 155.4 v low 54%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 19.5 +1.6 32.5 14 Jan 2014 12.3 +0.7 8.1 1 Dec 2013 156.4 217.5 low 72%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 17.4 +0.7 34.9 14 Jan 2014 6.8 +0.3 0.3 6 Jan 2014 183.2 196.8 low 93%
Low Rocky Point 18.9   33.9 17 Jan 2014 11.2   5.4 1 Dec 2013 242.6 244.1 average 99%
Mount Read 14.4 +1.0 30.4 16 Jan 2014 5.7 +0.4 -1.1 6 Dec 2013
Scotts Peak Dam 21.2 +1.1 38.6 14 Jan 2014 9.0 +0.1 4.2 6 Dec 2013 383.2 328.4 high 117%
Strahan Aerodrome 21.0 +0.6 38.0 14 Jan 2014 10.2 -0.1 4.5 8 Jan 2014 258.4 242.5 average 107%
Warra 19.5   35.5 14 Jan 2014 7.4   1.6 5 Feb 2014 358.4 320.7 average 112%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 20.9 +0.6 37.6 28 Jan 2014 12.2 0.0 4.6 28 Feb 2014 66.4 117.9 v low 56%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 22.5 +0.9 39.4 9 Feb 2014 13.3 +0.3 5.0 1 Dec 2013 128.0 142.3 average 90%
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 8.5 +0.1 11.2 19 Feb 2014 4.9 -0.1 -0.1 1 Dec 2013 304.0 249.6 high 122%

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.

A Climate Summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 9 am on Monday 3 March 2014. 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.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries