Tasmania in summer 2016-17: cool in the west, dry in the east

Frequent periods of westerly winds ensured summer days in the western half of Tasmania were cool overall, although those same winds meant overnight temperatures were mostly above average. With relatively few major rain-bearing systems, total rainfall was close to average for most of the State, but below average on the lower East Coast and in the southern Midlands.

Rain mostly close to average, dry in the east

  • Although rain was above average in the north of Tasmania during December and January, a generally dry February meant that most of the State had summer total rain close to average, with sites in the southern Midlands and on the lower East Coast having a relatively dry season
  • Some quite wet days and localised heavy falls occurred during December and January
  • Winds were often westerly, but there were only a small number of rain-bearing systems affecting the State
  • Total rain for the State was about 4% below the summer average
  • Meanwhile, Macquarie Island (1500 km southeast of Hobart) had its highest total summer rainfall on record

Cool days in the western half

  • Frequent periods of westerly winds, with relatively few bursts of warm northerlies, meant summer days in the western half of Tasmania were cool overall, whilst the same westerly winds ensured the far east of the State had above-average daytime temperatures
  • The highest temperature was 35.8 °C at Ouse on 25 December, and Bushy Park had 35.7 °C on the same day; these were the only temperatures over 35 °C recorded anywhere in Tasmania this summer
  • Tasmania was not exposed to the prolonged hot conditions in other parts of eastern Australia (as detailed in the Special Climate Statement Exceptional heat in southeast Australia in early 2017 )
  • Overnight temperatures were mostly close to or just above average overall
  • December was mostly warmer than average, but January was cool in the west and February was much cooler than average in most areas
  • Taken across the State, temperatures were close to average overall: the mean daily maximum temperature was 0.03 °C below average, the mean daily minimum temperature was 0.09 °C above average, giving a mean temperature 0.03 °C above average

A mild, windy summer in Hobart

  • Hobart's mean maximum temperature of 22.6 °C was 1.4 °C above the long-term average, but there were only two days over 30 °C (13 December and 8 January)
  • Hobart's mean minimum temperature of 12.5 °C was 0.9 °C above the long-term average, with a low of 6.4 °C on the morning of 18 December but not dipping below 20.3 °C on the morning of 8 January
  • Hobart registered 127.0 mm of rain over summer, below the long-term summer average of 144 mm and with 78 mm—more than half the total—falling between 26 December and 3 January
  • Gusty westerly winds were a recurrent feature: in Hobart gusts reached 80 km/h or more on 9 days over summer—about twice as common as usual

Further information

Media
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Extremes in summer 2016-17
Hottest day 35.8 °C at Ouse Fire Station on 25 Dec 2016
Warmest days on average 23.9 °C at Campania (Kincora) and Ross (The Boulevards)
Coolest days on average 12.3 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day 3.2 °C at Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on 13 Feb 2017
Coldest night -2.8 °C at Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on 18 Dec 2016
Coolest nights on average 4.1 °C at Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Warmest nights on average 14.3 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 20.3 °C at Hobart (Ellerslie Road) and Hobart Airport on 8 Jan 2017
Warmest on average overall 17.9 °C at Friendly Beaches
Coolest on average overall 8.6 °C at Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) and Mount Read
Wettest overall 835.6 mm at Mount Read
Wettest day 88.8 mm at Mount Victoria (Una Plain) on 9 Dec 2016
Strongest wind gust 150 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on 24 Jan 2017

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 total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Macquarie Island 398.8 347.4 in 1951 69 253.5



Summary statistics for summer 2016-17
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2016-17
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2016-17
Mean for
summer
2016-17
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2016-17
Total for
summer
2016-17
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2016-17
Fraction of
summer
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas) 21.0 -0.4 27.7 8 Jan 2017 12.0 -0.5 3.5 18 Dec 2016 141.2 130.9 average 108%
Burnie (Round Hill) 20.6 -0.1 27.5 26 Dec 2016 12.3 -0.1 5.2 18 Dec 2016 157.2 151.8 average 104%
Cape Grim 18.1   23.9 5 Jan 2017 12.7   6.4 16 Dec 2016 115.6
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 18.4 -0.3 24.0 5 Jan 2017 12.8 -0.2 7.3 19 Dec 2016 127.2 116.3 average 109%
Cressy Research Station 23.3 -1.1 32.6 25 Dec 2016 9.1 -0.7 1.6 19 Dec 2016 138.4 103.8 high 133%
Devonport Airport 20.7 -0.3 25.3 28 Jan 2017 11.5 -0.4 4.5 14 Feb 2017 135.3 132.6 average 102%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 23.2 -0.7 31.5 25 Dec 2016 11.7 -0.1 4.4 18 Dec 2016 132.5 124.4 average 107%
Launceston Airport 22.9 -1.2 32.2 25 Dec 2016 9.5 -0.9 1.7 18 Dec 2016 121.2 110.8 average 109%
Low Head 19.6 -0.6 24.4 8 Jan 2017 13.7 -0.2 8.3 14 Feb 2017 146.2 120.4 high 121%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 18.9 -1.4 30.6 25 Dec 2016 10.1 +0.1 4.6 18 Dec 2016 262.8 220.7 high 119%
Marrawah 19.3 -0.5 26.4 25 Dec 2016 11.8 +0.1 6.0 19 Dec 2016 177.6 156.1 average 114%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 21.7 -0.6 30.5 25 Dec 2016 10.1 -0.4 1.6 15 Dec 2016 181.0 162.6 high 111%
Sheffield School Farm 20.1 -1.2 27.1 8 Jan 2017 9.7 -0.5 3.6 18 Dec 2016 216.0 160.9 high 134%
Smithton Aerodrome 20.5 -0.6 25.6 26 Dec 2016 10.2 -0.6 2.2 19 Dec 2016 149.4 134.5 average 111%
Wynyard Airport 21.0 0.0 27.7 26 Dec 2016 10.6 -0.2 2.7 18 Dec 2016 186.8 154.9 high 121%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 21.6 +0.6 28.7 13 Dec 2016 12.7 +0.1 5.1 18 Dec 2016 145.9 180.0 average 81%
Fingal (Legge Street) 23.1 +0.4 32.2 8 Jan 2017 8.9 -0.8 1.0 15 Dec 2016 97.4 133.1 average 73%
Friendly Beaches 23.3 +0.7 34.7 8 Jan 2017 12.5 -0.2 6.5 18 Dec 2016 155.4 170.9 average 91%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 19.5 +0.7 30.0 25 Dec 2016 7.6 -0.3 0.6 19 Jan 2017 111.9 170.5 low 66%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 21.5 +1.2 29.6 8 Jan 2017 13.2 +0.2 5.6 18 Dec 2016 150.6 151.4 average 99%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 21.0 +0.2 29.4 8 Jan 2017 13.1 -0.1 7.2 18 Dec 2016 93.2 133.3 low 70%
Orford (Aubin Court) 22.2 +0.7 33.6 8 Jan 2017 11.5 0.0 5.3 14 Feb 2017 110.4 157.2 low 70%
St Helens Aerodrome 22.6 +0.7 32.5 8 Jan 2017 12.5 -0.3 5.4 18 Dec 2016 199.2 170.8 average 117%
Swan Island 19.9 -0.6 24.5 8 Jan 2017 14.3 -0.3 8.6 15 Dec 2016 114.4 131.5 average 87%
Swansea (Francis Street) 22.6   34.5 8 Jan 2017 11.3   4.3 19 Dec 2016 101.8
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 23.9 +0.1 34.0 25 Dec 2016 9.5 -0.5 1.4 19 Dec 2016 87.2 120.5 low 72%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 23.9 +0.2 32.5 25 Dec 2016 10.6 -0.4 3.2 19 Dec 2016 140.6 108.8 average 129%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 19.8 +0.4 27.4 22 Feb 2017 11.5 -0.2 5.5 18 Dec 2016 126.4 156.3 low 81%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.0 +1.0 26.9 22 Feb 2017 11.8 +0.6 6.0 18 Dec 2016 129.1 193.0 low 67%
Dennes Point 21.4   30.5 8 Jan 2017 12.3   6.3 18 Dec 2016 98.6
Dover 21.2 +1.0 29.5 13 Dec 2016 10.0 +0.2 3.8 19 Dec 2016 138.4 173.8 average 80%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 21.8   31.9 8 Jan 2017 12.8   7.2 18 Dec 2016 102.2
Grove (Research Station) 21.9 -0.5 31.0 23 Jan 2017 8.9 -0.2 1.6 19 Dec 2016 138.6 155.1 low 89%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 22.6 +1.4 31.3 8 Jan 2017 12.5 +0.9 6.4 18 Dec 2016 127.0 143.5 average 89%
Hobart Airport 22.9 +1.0 32.2 8 Jan 2017 12.1 +0.4 5.3 18 Dec 2016 94.0 128.1 low 73%
Kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 13.0 +0.2 23.0 25 Dec 2016 4.1 -0.3 -2.8 18 Dec 2016 187.0 260.7 average 72%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 16.0 -0.7 26.0 7 Jan 2017 10.7 +0.2 6.0 9 Dec 2016 204.8 238.4 average 86%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 22.9 -0.2 34.4 25 Dec 2016 9.5 -0.4 1.7 19 Dec 2016 84.4 102.8 low 82%
Tasman Island 17.7 +0.3 25.9 25 Dec 2016 11.1 0.0 4.8 18 Dec 2016 152.6 173.0 average 88%
Tunnack Fire Station 21.1 +0.3 32.1 25 Dec 2016 8.1 -0.4 0.5 19 Jan 2017 78.0 139.6 low 56%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 23.7 +0.4 35.7 25 Dec 2016 9.4 -0.3 2.3 19 Dec 2016 126.0 126.0 average 100%
Maydena Post Office 20.4 -1.0 33.0 27 Dec 2016 8.1 -0.4 1.8 19 Dec 2016 212.7 211.1 average 101%
Ouse Fire Station 23.6 -1.0 35.8 25 Dec 2016 9.3 -0.3 1.7 19 Dec 2016 101.8 93.0 average 109%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 17.7 -0.4 30.2 25 Dec 2016 6.0 -0.1 -1.4 19 Dec 2016 294.2 300.8 average 98%
Liawenee 17.5 -0.3 27.7 25 Dec 2016 4.5 -0.3 -2.7 19 Jan 2017 105.4 155.1 low 68%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 19.0 +1.0 26.8 28 Feb 2017 12.2 +0.6 7.8 19 Dec 2016 195.4 216.2 average 90%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 15.6 -1.1 30.3 25 Dec 2016 6.2 -0.3 -0.4 18 Dec 2016 193.6 199.4 average 97%
Low Rocky Point 18.3   27.7 8 Feb 2017 11.3   5.7 19 Dec 2016 268.8 240.5 average 112%
Mount Read 12.3 -1.2 26.8 25 Dec 2016 4.8 -0.6 -1.1 18 Dec 2016 835.6 667.6 high 125%
Scotts Peak Dam 19.5 -0.8 34.5 25 Dec 2016 8.6 -0.3 2.8 18 Dec 2016 329.4 321.0 average 103%
Strahan Aerodrome 20.2 -0.3 32.4 7 Jan 2017 10.6 +0.2 3.7 7 Feb 2017 261.2 242.5 high 108%
Warra 18.0 -0.6 30.7 25 Dec 2016 7.3 -0.6 0.5 7 Feb 2017 366.8 322.5 high 114%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 20.0 -0.4 28.8 23 Jan 2017 12.2 0.0 4.2 16 Dec 2016 111.0 118.7 average 94%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 21.8 +0.1 33.6 8 Jan 2017 13.6 +0.6 2.6 16 Dec 2016   140.8    
Hogan Island 20.7 -0.3 29.5 8 Jan 2017 14.0 -0.5 9.1 9 Dec 2016 88.8 125.7 low 71%
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 9.1 +0.7 11.3 24 Feb 2017 5.6 +0.6 2.7 15 Dec 2016 398.8 253.5 highest 157%

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 Wednesday 1 March 2017. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

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