Melbourne Metropolitan Area in spring 2010: Stormy end to spring

  • Very much above average rainfall
  • Cold start and humid end to spring
  • Close to normal night-time temperatures

Rainfall

Spring 2010 was characterised by regular and persistent rainfall. Several significant systems brought spring rainfall totals for many locations in the Melbourne Metropolitan area to above average for the first time in more than a decade. The last week of November saw persistent rainfall and humid conditions due to tropical-like thunderstorms passing across the region. In fact, rainfall received in this week pushed the Melbourne Regional Office station over the average annual rainfall total of 647.7 mm for the first time in 13 years.

The Spring Racing Carnival had a slightly different ambience this year with winter-like conditions persisting well into October. 60 mm was recorded at Flemington Racecourse on Derby Day, whilst 4 mm fell on an overcast Melbourne Cup day. Derby Day was actually a very wet day across the region, registering as the wettest single day this season, with 75.6 mm recorded at Ferny Creek in the 24 hours till 9am on the 31st of October.

The highest rainfall totals in the Melbourne region for spring were recorded at Ferny Creek, Moorabbin Airport and Scoresby Research Institute, which all received more than 300 mm. Melbourne Airport recorded its highest spring rainfall (303.6 mm), almost double the long-term average of 165.3 mm.

Temperature

Maximum temperature

Daytime temperatures were very close to the long-term average in spring 2010. Most locations observed days only slightly cooler than usual, with the exception of the Melbourne Regional Office and Scoresby Research Institute, which were marginally warmer than normal. September was significantly colder than expected, with Ferny Creek, Viewbank and Coldstream all observing daytime temperatures more than 2 C lower than usual. Both October and November observed days very close to the long-term average throughout the Melbourne Metropolitan area.

Spring-like conditions finally arrived on the 11th of November, with Melbourne Regional Office reaching 30 C for the first time this season. Warm conditions were frequent throughout November, with a particularly warm and wet spell in the last week. Temperatures again soared over 30 C between the 22nd and the 24th of November.

Wintry conditions were common throughout September and October. A very late cold snap in October brought the Melbourne region its coldest spring weather, with a chilly 12.7 C and 11.5 C recorded on the 15th at Melbourne Regional Office and Essendon Airport respectively.

Minimum temperature

Overall spring nights were slightly above average for the Melbourne region. Minimum temperatures in both September and October were very close to the long-term average, due to persistent cloud cover moderating overnight cooling. All locations across the Melbourne Metropolitan area recorded overnight temperatures warmer than the long-term average in November.

Interestingly, Viewbank and Avalon Airport observed minimum temperatures for spring exactly equal to their long-term average, 9.3 C and 8.3 C respectively. Melbourne Regional Office recorded nights 1.6 C above the long-term average, primarily due to exceptionally warm nights in November that were more than 2 C warmer than normal.

Not surprisingly, the Melbourne Regional Office recorded the warmest nights on average, with Cerberus observing the warmest night for the season on the 24th of November. In contrast, the coolest night this season occurred on two separate occasions, with a frosty 0.3 C recorded at Coldstream on the 3rd of September and also at Avalon Airport on the 2nd of October.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in spring 2010
Hottest day 33.3 C at Melbourne Regional Office on 22 Nov
Warmest days on average 20.1 C at Melbourne Regional Office
Coolest days on average 14.7 C at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill)
Coldest day 7.4 C at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) on 10 Sep
Coldest night 0.3 C at Coldstream on 3 Sep
0.3 C at Avalon Airport on 2 Oct
Coolest nights on average 7.3 C at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill)
Warmest nights on average 11.1 C at Melbourne Regional Office
Warmest night 21.9 C at Cerberus on 24 Nov
Wettest overall 428.8 mm at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill)
Driest overall 255.6 mm at Cerberus
Wettest day 75.6 mm at Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) on 31 Oct
Highest wind gust 102 km/h at Laverton RAAF on 5 Sep

Record highest total spring rainfall
Total rainfall
for spring 2010 (mm)
Previous highest
for spring
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Melbourne Airport 303.6 303.0 in 1992 40 165.3

Highest total spring rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for spring 2010 (mm)
Most recent spring
this high or higher
Years since
higher
Average for
spring
Essendon Airport 282.2 330.2 in 1954 38 170.7
Laverton RAAF 277.0 314.6 in 1975 35 159.4
Avalon Airport 275.8 283.2 in 1975 25 144.9
Moorabbin Airport 334.0 370.4 in 1983 25 199.2



Summary statistics for spring 2010
Maximum temperatures
for spring
(C)
Minimum temperatures
for spring
(C)
Rainfall
for spring
(millimetres)
Mean for
spring
2010
Diff
from
average
Highest for
spring
2010
Mean for
spring
2010
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
spring
2010
Total for
spring
2010
Average
for
spring
Rank of
spring
2010
Fraction of
spring
average
East Central (district 86)
Bundoora (Latrobe University) 19.4 -0.2 32.2 22 Nov 9.2 +0.4 2.0 30 Sep 269.1 193.4 high 139%
Cerberus 17.9 -0.4 31.4 12 Nov 9.2 +0.3 1.7 2 Oct 255.6 188.2 v high 136%
Coldstream 19.3 -0.4 30.9 22 Nov 7.6 +0.8 0.3 3 Sep 313.0 208.8 high 150%
Essendon Airport 19.0 -0.1 31.4 22 Nov 9.1 +1.0 1.5 8 Sep 282.2 170.7 v high 165%
Ferny Creek (Dunns Hill) 14.7 -0.6 27.3 22 Nov 7.3 -0.1 0.5 16 Oct 428.8 292.5 high 147%
Melbourne Airport 18.8 -0.4 31.6 22 Nov 8.7 +0.1 1.9 14 Sep 303.6 165.3 highest 184%
Melbourne Regional Office 20.1 +0.5 33.3 22 Nov 11.1 +1.6 4.7 16 Oct 304.8 184.5 v high 165%
Moorabbin Airport 18.8 -0.3 32.5 12 Nov 9.9 +0.6 2.2 8 Sep 334.0 199.2 v high 168%
Scoresby Research Institute 19.0 +0.1 31.5 22 Nov 9.0 +0.1 1.0 8 Sep 324.0 251.6 high 129%
Viewbank (ARPANSA) 19.6 -0.9 32.2 22 Nov 9.3 0.0 2.5 14 Sep 311.6 196.6 v high 158%
West Central (district 87)
Avalon Airport 19.0 -0.9 32.2 12 Nov 8.3 0.0 0.3 2 Oct 275.8 144.9 v high 190%
Laverton RAAF 18.9 -0.3 31.5 22 Nov 9.0 +0.7 1.3 8 Sep 277.0 159.4 v high 174%

Notes

A Seasonal Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Melbourne Metropolitan Area and Environs 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.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 12 pm on Wednesday 1 December 2010. 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