Tasmania in autumn 2019: a record hot start, a cold finish, dry in the east

Tasmania had a record warm start to autumn and warm days were common through the season, but there were cold nights in April and a particularly cold spell at the end of May; overall temperatures were above average. Rainfall was well below average in the east, but close to average in the west.

Another dry season in the east

  • Cold fronts were common through much of autumn, bringing rain to the west but leaving the eastern half relatively dry
  • Much of the east and southeast coasts had rainfall totals in the driest 10% of autumns
  • Most of the State has had a relatively dry start to the year; several sites in the east have had their driest first five months of the year since 2008, and for some it is the driest since 1984 or even 1967
  • Total rainfall for Tasmania was about 10% below average, drier than autumn 2018 but wetter than autumn 2017

Another warm season

  • There were record hot days in March, cold nights in April, and mild days through May until a cold outbreak near the end of the month, leading to a warm season overall
  • Dover's maximum temperature of 40.1 °C on 2 March was the highest autumn temperature ever reported in Tasmania, far exceeding the previous record of 38.0 °C at Campania on 14 March 2008
  • Very high temperatures were reported from some sites in western and central Tasmania on 1 March, with even higher temperatures across the State on the 2nd
  • Many sites, including Hobart, Launceston and Strahan, had their highest autumn temperature on record; Hobart (with 39.1 °C) was one of nine sites in southeast Tasmania that exceeded the old autumn State record
  • The morning of the 2 March was also record warm for several sites
  • Mild weather was common through much of autumn, with temperatures in the east reaching into the high teens as late as 24 May
  • April saw several cold nights, including Liawenee's minimum temperature of -7.3 °C on the 4th, the earliest in the season the temperature has dropped so low in Tasmania
  • There was some cold weather, notably at the end of May when Dover and Cape Bruny had their coldest autumn day on record
  • Tasmania's mean temperature for autumn was 0.35 °C above average, with the mean maximum 0.50 °C above average and the mean minimum 0.19 °C above average
  • Temperatures are tracking above average for the year so far, but less so in Tasmania than on the mainland

Mild and relatively dry for Hobart

  • Total rainfall for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 74.0 mm, which is 52% of the long-term average
  • The first five months of 2019 have brought 109.8 mm to Hobart, less than half the long-term average and the driest start to the year since 1984
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 19.0 °C, which is 1.7 °C above the long-term average
  • The warmest weather was on 2 March, when Hobart's minimum temperature was 19.8 °C and its maximum was 39.1 °C
  • The coldest weather was at the end of the season: on 29 May the minimum temperature was 3.1 °C and the maximum was 10.1 °C
  • Hobart's mean maximum temperature for the first five months of the year is more than two degrees above average, and the warmest start to the year on record
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Hobart (Ellerslie Road) was 9.8 °C, which is 0.8 °C above the long-term average

Further information

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Extremes in autumn 2019
Hottest day 40.1 °C at Dover on 2 Mar
Warmest days on average 19.8 °C at Campania (Kincora)
Coolest days on average 9.0 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day -1.8 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) on 29 May
Coldest night -7.3 °C at Liawenee on 4 Apr
Coolest nights on average 2.0 °C at Liawenee
Warmest nights on average 12.9 °C at Hogan Island and Swan Island
Warmest night 21.8 °C at King Island Airport on 2 Mar
Warmest on average overall 15.7 °C at Hogan Island and Swan Island
Coolest on average overall 6.2 °C at kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle)
Wettest overall 1162.0 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall 51.2 mm at Hobart Airport
Wettest day 79.2 mm at Mount Read on 28 Apr
Strongest wind gust 159 km/h at Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on 25 Mar

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 total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Smithton Aerodrome 292.6 285.0 in 2012 22 202.9



Record lowest autumn total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Hobart Airport 51.2 55.0 in 1984 61 112.0
Coles Bay (Freycinet) 65.6 68.2 in 1998 55 156.3

Lowest autumn total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
autumn
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 70.0 67.6 in 1997* 188.0

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




Record highest autumn temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 39.1 on 2 Mar 37.3 on 14 Mar 2008 133 17.3
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 39.0 on 2 Mar 35.2 on 12 Mar 1998 97 15.6
Hobart Airport 38.1 on 2 Mar 37.0 on 14 Mar 2008 61 18.1
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 38.6 on 2 Mar 37.6 on 7 Mar 1966 59 18.1
Butlers Gorge 31.9 on 1 Mar = 31.9 on 7 Mar 1966 58 13.3
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 28.4 on 2 Mar 26.1 on 12 Mar 2013 40 8.5
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 33.5 on 2 Mar 33.0 on 7 Mar 2013 38 19.1
Dover 40.1 on 2 Mar 37.0 on 12 Mar 2013 30 17.0
Lake St Clair National Park 31.4 on 1 Mar 30.2 on 16 Mar 2008 29 13.4
Strahan Aerodrome 36.1 on 2 Mar 35.4 on 12 Mar 2013 28 16.9
Maydena Post Office 37.3 on 2 Mar 35.7 on 12 Mar 2013 27 16.3
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 34.0 on 2 Mar 31.0 on 12 Mar 2013 24 11.5
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 39.7 on 2 Mar 35.5 on 12 Mar 2013 23 16.6
Mount Read 27.9 on 2 Mar 25.5 on 17 Mar 2008 23 9.1
Cape Sorell 32.5 on 1 Mar 29.4 on 17 Mar 1968 22 15.7
Ouse Fire Station 37.9 on 2 Mar 36.4 on 12 Mar 2013 21 18.5
Scotts Peak Dam 37.5 on 2 Mar 35.4 on 12 Mar 2013 21 15.0
Campania (Kincora) 38.1 on 2 Mar 38.0 on 14 Mar 2008 20 19.1



Record lowest autumn daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Dover 8.1 on 28 May = 8.1 on 30 May 2017 30 17.0
Strahan Aerodrome 8.5 on 29 May 8.8 on 21 May 1982 28 16.9
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 8.2 on 28 May = 8.2 on 29 May 2000 23 16.6
Mount Read -0.3 on 29 May -0.2 on 27 Apr 2009 23 9.1



Record highest autumn daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 19.5 on 2 Mar 19.2 on 27 Mar 1990 97 9.7
Marrawah 20.0 on 2 Mar = 20.0 on 12 Mar 2013 49 10.4
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 18.3 on 2 Mar 16.2 on 8 Mar 1966 40 2.3
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 19.9 on 2 Mar 17.7 on 17 Mar 2008 24 4.8
King Island Airport 21.8 on 2 Mar 19.6 on 12 Mar 2013 24 10.8
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 20.3 on 2 Mar 18.1 on 12 Mar 2013 24 8.4
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 19.3 on 2 Mar 18.6 on 13 Mar 2013 23 10.1
Mount Read 18.0 on 2 Mar 17.0 on 17 Mar 2008 23 3.6
Cape Sorell 21.2 on 2 Mar 20.1 on 12 Mar 2013 22 10.3
Ouse Fire Station 17.7 on 3 Mar 17.6 on 13 Mar 2016 21 5.6



Summary statistics for autumn 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2019
Mean for
autumn
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2019
Total for
autumn
2019
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2019
Fraction of
autumn
average
Northern (district 91)
Cape Grim 16.9   26.3 2 Mar 11.8   5.2 30 May 258.8
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 17.0 +0.3 26.1 1 Mar 11.8 +0.2 5.8 30 May 250.8 194.6 high 129%
Cressy Research Station 18.7 +0.1 34.2 1 Mar 5.6 -0.2 -2.1 19 May 120.4 133.3 low 90%
Devonport Airport 18.3 +0.4 26.3 1 Mar 9.1 +0.2 3.3 13 Mar 101.5 182.1 v low 56%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 19.6 +0.5 33.5 2 Mar 7.7 +0.1 -1.5 30 May 127.3 154.8 low 82%
Launceston Airport 18.4 -0.1 33.5 2 Mar 6.5 -0.3 -2.2 30 May 142.2 151.5 low 94%
Low Head 17.8 +0.1 24.0 2 Mar 11.5 +0.2 5.9 7 May 130.6 166.9 low 78%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 15.7 -0.2 31.9 2 Mar 8.7 +0.3 2.0 29 May 347.4 353.7 average 98%
Marrawah 17.4 +0.4 29.0 1 Mar 10.4 0.0 3.0 28 May 302.6 259.6 high 117%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 18.3 +0.3 31.5 2 Mar 8.0 0.0 0.2 30 May 147.8 228.9 low 65%
Sheffield School Farm 16.8 +0.1 30.1 2 Mar 7.2 -0.1 0.1 7 May
Smithton Aerodrome 18.1 +0.2 28.6 1 Mar 8.2 +0.3 0.9 12 Apr 292.6 202.9 highest 144%
Wynyard Airport 18.0 +0.3 26.8 4 Mar 7.7 +0.3 0.4 13 Mar 164.6 217.5 low 76%
East Coast (district 92)
Fingal (Legge Street) 19.3 +0.9 34.6 2 Mar 5.4 0.0 -3.3 23 May 52.1 145.9 v low 36%
Friendly Beaches 19.6 +0.7 31.7 2 Mar 10.2 +0.2 2.9 29 May 69.2 156.0 v low 44%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 15.0 +0.6 31.9 2 Mar 4.7 +0.5 -2.3 27 Mar 116.2 202.0 low 58%
larapuna (Eddystone Point) 19.4 +1.5 32.1 3 Mar 11.8 +0.6 3.3 30 May 70.0 188.0 v low 37%
Orford (Aubin Court) 18.4 +0.2 26.9 3 Mar 8.5 0.0 1.8 29 May 89.9 158.4 low 57%
St Helens Aerodrome 19.2 +0.6 32.5 3 Mar 9.9 +0.4 3.6 10 Apr 68.2 164.4 v low 41%
Swan Island 18.6 +0.3 27.7 2 Mar 12.9 +0.2 5.5 29 May 105.0 162.6 low 65%
Swansea (Francis Street) 19.1   32.2 2 Mar 9.0   2.7 29 May 52.4
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 19.8 +0.7 38.1 2 Mar 7.8 0.0 1.1 29 May 63.2 100.2 low 63%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 17.4 +0.8 39.7 2 Mar 10.2 +0.1 3.2 29 May 177.4 176.6 average 100%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 17.1 +1.5 39.0 2 Mar 10.6 +0.9 3.7 29 May 196.6 230.6 average 85%
Dennes Point 18.0   32.5 2 Mar 10.5   5.1 29 May 82.2
Dover 17.9 +0.9 40.1 2 Mar 7.3 0.0 1.3 29 May 190.0 202.1 average 94%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 18.5   36.9 2 Mar 10.8   4.3 29 May 76.0
Grove (Research Station) 18.6 +0.5 38.3 2 Mar 6.0 -0.1 -1.1 4 Apr 113.0 152.1 average 74%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 19.0 +1.7 39.1 2 Mar 9.8 +0.8 3.1 29 May 74.0 141.6 v low 52%
Hobart Airport 19.4 +1.3 38.1 2 Mar 9.0 +0.2 2.4 29 May 51.2 112.0 lowest 46%
kunanyi (Mount Wellington Pinnacle) 9.6 +1.1 28.4 2 Mar 2.9 +0.6 -4.2 29 May 128.4 232.4 low 55%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 15.0 +0.5 31.8 2 Mar 10.3 +0.7 4.2 29 May 302.8 307.9 average 98%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 18.4 +0.8 36.7 2 Mar 6.2 0.0 -2.0 7 May 69.6 95.0 low 73%
Tasman Island 15.6 +0.4 29.9 2 Mar 10.3 +0.3 2.6 30 May 165.8 205.9 low 81%
Tunnack Fire Station 16.6 +0.9 32.9 1 Mar 5.4 0.0 -3.3 4 Apr 81.8 130.9 low 62%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 19.1 +1.0 38.6 2 Mar 5.9 -0.3 -1.0 7 May 87.8 130.2 low 67%
Maydena Post Office 16.8 +0.5 37.3 2 Mar 5.4 -0.3 0.0 4 Apr 290.6 253.4 high 115%
Ouse Fire Station 18.7 +0.2 37.9 2 Mar 5.7 +0.1 -2.0 4 Apr 123.4 99.4 average 124%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 13.8 +0.5 31.9 1 Mar 3.7 +0.2 -3.5 7 May 428.6 405.5 average 106%
Liawenee 12.9 +0.4 27.8 2 Mar 2.0 +0.1 -7.3 4 Apr 205.4 219.8 average 93%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 16.9 +1.2 32.5 1 Mar 11.3 +1.0 4.8 29 May 336.8 320.2 average 105%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 12.0 +0.5 34.0 2 Mar 5.1 +0.3 -1.5 29 May 264.4 231.9 high 114%
Low Rocky Point 16.4   34.3 2 Mar 10.5   3.9 30 May
Mount Read 9.0 -0.1 27.9 2 Mar 3.7 +0.1 -2.8 29 May 1162.0 999.4 high 116%
Scotts Peak Dam 15.7 +0.7 37.5 2 Mar 7.1 +0.2 -0.2 29 May 553.0 429.0 high 129%
Strahan Aerodrome 17.5 +0.6 36.1 2 Mar 9.5 +0.9 1.7 6 May 456.4 376.0 high 121%
Warra 14.3 +0.4 35.1 2 Mar 6.6 +0.6 0.4 4 Apr
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 18.4 +0.5 35.3 2 Mar 10.7 -0.1 2.1 4 Apr 202.0 195.5 average 103%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 19.4 +0.6 32.7 3 Mar 11.7 +0.9 3.2 14 Mar 151.6 186.5 average 81%
Hogan Island 18.5 +0.3 32.4 3 Mar 12.9 -0.1 3.9 30 May 180.2 154.1 high 117%
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 3 June 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