Tasmania in spring 2014: unusually warm and unusually dry

Warm and dry weather was dominant in Tasmania during spring 2014, with mean maximum temperatures well above average in the eastern half and some sites (including Hobart) having their highest spring mean daily maximum on record. September was especially warm with many records set, and October and November were also generally above average. November had very variable weather, with Flinders Island having the warmest day of spring on 8 November but Mount Wellington have the coldest day of spring on the 2 November.

Rainfall was below average in almost all areas, and well below average in the northwest and parts of the southeast, with a few sites having their driest spring for several decades. Although totals were close to normal in October, both September and November were relatively dry in most areas, continuing a pattern of generally below-average rain that started in December 2013. The below-average rain of spring 2014 stands in stark contrast to the wet spring of 2013. Rainfall in Tasmania is well below average for the year so far.

Spring is often a time when Tasmania is affected by westerly winds, and this year was no exception. Cold fronts in those westerlies ensured highly variable temperatures, with high temperatures on some days giving way to a cold outbreak and highland snow. On several days, especially in late September and through October, winds became strong and gusty. Along with the damage these winds caused, when combined with warm temperatures and dry conditions they led to heightened early-season bushfire danger.

  • Warm overall, with September especially mild
  • Highest mean spring maximum temperatures on record at Hobart and some others locations
  • Below average rain, with some records
  • Strong and damaging winds on several days

Further information

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Extremes in spring 2014
Hottest day 32.1 °C at Flinders Island Airport on 8 Nov
Warmest days on average 19.2 °C at Friendly Beaches
Coolest days on average 8.3 °C at Mount Read
Coldest day -0.6 °C at Mount Wellington on 2 Nov
Coldest night -8.1 °C at Liawenee on 15 Sep
Coolest nights on average 0.8 °C at Mount Wellington
Warmest nights on average 10.8 °C at Swan Island
Warmest night 17.5 °C at King Island Airport on 8 Nov
Warmest on average overall 14.1 °C at Friendly Beaches
Coolest on average overall 4.7 °C at Mount Wellington
Wettest overall 1040.4 mm at Mount Read
Driest overall 51.4 mm at Tunbridge (Austin-Vale)
Wettest day 87.8 mm at Mount Victoria (Una Plain) on 7 Oct
Strongest wind gust148 km/h at:
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) on 6 Oct
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse on 28 Oct
Mount Read on 28 Oct

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 lowest spring total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Marrawah 151.4 176.6 in 2006 44 261.9
King Island Airport 106.2 118.0 in 2006 40 217.1
Savage River Mine 324.2 330.6 in 1976 39 501.8
Maydena Post Office 233.8 252.2 in 1993 22 349.6
Nierinna (Cuthberts Road) 169.6 175.2 in 1999 21 274.3
Ross (The Boulevards) 72.4 72.8 in 2007 21 143.8

Lowest spring total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Years since
lower
Average for
spring
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 97.2 80.9 in 1914* 99 208.9
Cape Sorell 195.2 165.5 in 1927* 62 318.3
Bothwell (Cluny) 86.4 68.8 in 1961 53 153.7
Cape Bruny Lighthouse 166.2 165.4 in 1963 51 240.4
Renison Bell 375.3 372.8 in 1961* 46 596.3
Rotherwood 111.2 105.2 in 1982 32 173.1
Fern Tree (Grays Road) 203.9 199.9 in 1981* 31 330.3
Whitemark Post Office 93.0 76.2 in 1982* 31 170.2
Flinders Island Airport 94.2 90.6 in 1982* 30 179.1
Bronte Heights 172.3 160.5 in 1969* 25 266.2
Huonville (Tutton Avenue) 140.0 135.3 in 1977* 24 212.2
Lymington (Fattys Lane) 121.8 111.2 in 1990* 23 211.8
Margate (Sunnyside) 125.6 124.8 in 1990* 23 207.6

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




Record highest spring mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 18.5 18.2 in 1921 132 16.9
Flinders Island Airport 18.0 = 18.0 in 2009 51 16.8
Mount Wellington 8.6 8.4 in 2012 30 7.1
Fingal (Legge Street) 18.7 = 18.7 in 1987 28 17.4
Dover 17.4 17.0 in 2005 24 16.1
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 14.7 14.4 in 2007 24 13.6

Highest spring mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Years since
higher
Average for
spring
Orford (Aubin Court) 18.1 18.9 in 1982 32 17.2
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 19.1 19.3 in 1987* 24 18.0

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




Record highest spring daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 16.8 on 8 Nov 16.5 on 27 Nov 1978 53 5.7
King Island Airport 17.5 on 8 Nov 17.0 on 20 Oct 2011 20 9.1



Record lowest spring temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Butlers Gorge -6.5 on 7 Sep -6.0 on 12 Sep 2013 42 2.5



Highest spring mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Years since
higher
Average for
spring
Cape Sorell 9.5 9.6 in 1950* 24 8.7

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




Record highest spring mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 13.7 13.5 in 1981 132 12.4
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 13.9 = 13.9 in 2011 55 12.9
Bicheno (Council Depot) 13.9 = 13.9 in 1972 38 13.0
Dover 12.1 12.0 in 2005 24 11.2

Highest spring mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Years since
higher
Average for
spring
Cape Sorell 12.6 12.8 in 1937* 36 11.5

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




Summary statistics for spring 2014
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
spring
2014
Diff
from
average
Highest for
spring
2014
Mean for
spring
2014
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
spring
2014
Total for
spring
2014
Average
for
spring
Rank of
spring
2014
Fraction of
spring
average
Northern (district 91)
Bridport (Sea View Villas)     22.0 8 Nov 6.7 -1.5 1.0 3 Nov 112.4 178.2 low 63%
Burnie (Round Hill) 16.9 +0.9 23.1 27 Nov 9.1 +0.9 3.8 1 Oct 151.2 242.4 v low 62%
Cape Grim 14.5   21.1 30 Nov 9.8   4.3 20 Oct 140.0
Cape Grim BAPS (Comparison) 15.1 +0.5 21.0 30 Nov 9.8 +0.3 4.5 15 Sep 139.4 193.3 low 72%
Cressy Research Station 17.9 +0.5 26.0 8 Nov 5.3 -0.2 -2.2 15 Sep 119.6 169.6 average 71%
Devonport Airport 16.6 +0.7 22.2 5 Nov 7.5 0.0 0.7 3 Sep 114.7 196.3 v low 58%
Launceston (Ti Tree Bend) 19.1 +1.1 27.1 30 Nov 7.2 +0.2 0.5 3 Sep 94.8 169.2 v low 56%
Launceston Airport 18.3 +0.7 27.0 8 Nov 5.3 -0.5 -0.3 12 Sep 108.2 158.8 low 68%
Low Head 16.1 +0.6 21.2 30 Nov 10.0 +0.2 4.3 14 Oct 110.4 163.9 low 67%
Luncheon Hill (Forestry) 15.3 +0.5 23.4 7 Nov 6.7 +0.3 0.6 14 Oct 267.2 401.5 v low 67%
Marrawah 15.8 +0.7 22.8 30 Nov 9.0 +0.7 2.5 20 Oct 151.4 261.9 lowest 58%
Scottsdale (West Minstone Road) 17.3 +0.9 24.8 8 Nov 6.2 +0.1 0.7 3 Nov 174.6 249.1 low 70%
Sheffield School Farm 15.9 +0.5 23.0 30 Nov 5.7 -0.3 -0.8 15 Sep 201.6 292.2 low 69%
Smithton Aerodrome 16.9 +0.4 22.2 30 Nov 6.9 -0.4 -0.8 7 Sep 157.6 240.0 v low 66%
Wynyard Airport 17.1 +0.9 23.3 23 Nov 6.5 +0.1 -0.4 15 Sep 167.6 260.7 v low 64%
East Coast (district 92)
Bicheno (Council Depot) 18.2 +0.9 26.6 28 Sep 9.5 +0.9 4.5 12 Sep 75.9 158.7 low 48%
Fingal (Legge Street) 18.7 +1.3 30.2 8 Nov 4.8 -0.3 -2.9 15 Sep 90.2 149.0 low 61%
Friendly Beaches 19.2 +1.1 28.7 28 Sep 9.0 +0.3 3.6 5 Sep 122.4 147.9 average 83%
Lake Leake (Elizabeth River) 14.7 +1.1 25.0 8 Nov 3.6 0.0 -4.1 15 Sep 97.2 208.9 v low 47%
Larapuna (Eddystone Point) 17.9 +1.5 23.6 14 Nov 9.9 +0.6 3.7 18 Sep 127.8 193.5 low 66%
Maria Island (Point Lesueur) 16.8 +0.2 24.8 8 Nov 9.9 +0.4 4.8 2 Nov 78.2 141.2 low 55%
Orford (Aubin Court) 18.1 +0.9 30.9 8 Nov 7.8 +0.5 1.7 16 Sep 90.6 176.6 v low 51%
St Helens Aerodrome 18.8 +1.3 28.5 8 Nov 8.6 +0.4 1.8 7 Sep 109.8 203.8 low 54%
Swan Island 16.9 +0.9 25.0 8 Nov 10.8 +0.4 5.3 3 Sep 94.8 174.8 low 54%
Swansea (Francis Street) 18.9   30.8 8 Nov 7.9   0.7 8 Sep 67.9
Midlands (district 93)
Ross (The Boulevards) 18.0 +0.9 28.3 8 Nov 5.1 -0.1 -3.8 14 Oct 72.4 143.8 lowest 50%
Southeast (district 94)
Campania (Kincora) 18.7 +0.5 28.6 19 Nov 7.1 +0.3 -0.2 14 Oct 97.4 137.5 low 71%
Cape Bruny (Cape Bruny) 16.0 +0.5 26.5 28 Sep 8.7 +0.3 4.6 29 Oct 159.6 203.1 v low 79%
Cape Bruny Lighthouse     26.4 28 Sep 8.9 +0.9 4.2 29 Oct 166.2 240.4 low 69%
Dennes Point 17.4   27.2 28 Sep 9.0   3.8 7 Sep 68.2
Dover 17.4 +1.3 27.7 28 Sep 6.7 +0.3 0.8 16 Sep 164.6 240.3 v low 68%
Dunalley (Stroud Point) 17.1   29.0 8 Nov 9.3   4.7 2 Nov 120.0
Geeveston (Cemetery Road) 17.4 +0.9 28.8 7 Nov 6.2 +0.1 -0.6 16 Sep 177.8 254.7 low 70%
Grove (Research Station) 17.6 +0.4 29.5 8 Nov 5.9 +0.2 -1.7 5 Sep 128.0 207.2 v low 62%
Hobart (Ellerslie Road) 18.5 +1.6 31.0 8 Nov 8.9 +1.1 3.2 3 Sep 103.8 169.1 low 61%
Hobart Airport 18.3 +1.1 29.1 8 Nov 8.3 +0.7 2.5 16 Sep 81.6 132.8 low 61%
Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse 13.4 +0.1 25.1 7 Nov 8.2 +0.6 3.8 2 Nov 267.6 307.3 average 87%
Melton Mowbray (North Stockman) 17.6 +0.7 30.1 8 Nov 5.4 -0.4 -3.9 14 Oct 85.2 136.2 v low 63%
Mount Wellington 8.6 +1.5 20.7 8 Nov 0.8 +0.5 -5.0 2 Nov 129.8 245.4 v low 53%
Tasman Island 14.2 +0.4 25.2 28 Sep 8.1 +0.4 3.0 2 Nov 203.6 214.8 average 95%
Tunnack Fire Station 15.3 +0.6 23.5 8 Nov 4.2 -0.4 -5.2 14 Oct 87.6 185.2 v low 47%
Derwent Valley (district 95)
Bushy Park (Bushy Park Estates) 18.6 +0.9 30.0 8 Nov 5.6 -0.1 -2.0 7 Sep 106.0 164.2 low 65%
Maydena Post Office 16.0 +0.3 27.9 8 Nov 4.3 -0.6 -2.4 14 Oct 233.8 349.6 lowest 67%
Ouse Fire Station 18.5 +0.4 30.1 8 Nov 5.1 -0.3 -3.3 7 Sep 77.0 164.3 v low 47%
Central Plateau (district 96)
Butlers Gorge 13.3 +0.9 24.9 22 Oct 2.8 +0.3 -6.5 7 Sep 379.0 470.0 low 81%
Liawenee 12.8 +1.0 23.6 22 Oct 0.9 -0.1 -8.1 15 Sep 136.2 249.4 v low 55%
West Coast (district 97)
Cape Sorell 15.7 +1.4 21.7 7 Nov 9.5 +0.8 4.9 2 Nov 195.2 318.3 v low 61%
Hartz Mountain (Keoghs Pimple) 11.0 0.0 23.3 7 Nov 3.0 +0.1 -1.6 2 Nov 188.2 264.6 v low 71%
Low Rocky Point 15.4   25.1 7 Nov 8.7   3.0 6 Oct 280.6 336.7 low 83%
Mount Read 8.3 +0.6 18.8 7 Nov 1.6 +0.1 -3.3 2 Nov 1040.4
Scotts Peak Dam 15.2 +0.3 26.1 7 Nov 5.7 +0.3 0.8 2 Nov 506.6 508.0 average 100%
King Island (district 98)
King Island Airport 16.8 +0.9 27.9 7 Nov 9.6 +0.5 2.7 5 Sep 106.2 217.1 lowest 49%
Flinders Island (district 99)
Flinders Island Airport 18.0 +1.2 32.1 8 Nov 9.2 +0.4 -0.8 3 Sep 94.2 179.1 v low 53%
Hogan Island 17.0   28.6 8 Nov 10.7   4.0 18 Sep 122.2 154.8 low 79%
Antarctica and Macquarie Island (district 300)
Macquarie Island 6.1 +0.2 8.3 26 Nov 2.2 +0.1 -3.1 22 Sep 265.4 225.4 high 118%

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 1 December 2014. 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is used for temperature area averages.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries