Greater Melbourne in summer 2018-19: much warmer than average

Rainfall in summer 2018–2019 was generally close to average across Greater Melbourne. Daytime temperatures were much warmer than average, with night-time temperatures also warmer than average

Close to average rainfall

  • Summer rainfall was close to average at all sites in Greater Melbourne, except in Scoresby where it was below average
  • Rainfall totals ranged from 58% of average at Scoresby to 112% of average at Laverton RAAF
  • The wettest period during summer was in mid-December, when a slow-moving low pressure trough brought moisture from the tropics and deepened into a low pressure system with an associated cold front, bringing widespread rainfall and daily totals exceeding 30 mm at some sites
  • The highest daily rainfall total during summer was 65.0 mm at Main Ridge on 13 December
  • Thunderstorms that crossed Greater Melbourne on 30 January and 6 February resulted in widespread rainfall with daily totals generally between 5 and 15 mm
  • The wettest place in Greater Melbourne was Ferny Creek, where 149.4 mm was measured during the summer

Warm days and nights

  • Mean maximum temperatures at all sites in Greater Melbourne were much warmer than average, with most sites reporting temperatures between 1.5 °C and 2.5 °C warmer than the long-term summer average
  • Averaged across all reporting sites, mean maximum temperature in Greater Melbourne was the highest since at least 1990
  • The hottest days were in January, with Melbourne Airport recording Greater Melbourne's hottest temperature this summer, 46.0 °C on the 25th
  • Wallan (Kilmore Gap) had its highest summer temperature on record
  • Several sites had their highest summer mean daily maximum temperature on record
  • Night-time temperatures were warmer than average at all reporting sites
  • The highest daily minimum temperature this summer was 26.3 °C at Laverton RAAF on 7 December
  • Essendon Airport, Moorabbin Airport and Wallan (Kilmore Gap) had their highest summer mean daily minimum temperature on record

Melbourne (Olympic Park)

  • Total rainfall for Melbourne (Olympic Park) was 134.6 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Melbourne (Olympic Park) was 26.7 °C. The warmest day was 42.8 °C on 25 Jan, and the coolest day was on 22 Dec when the temperature reached 19.1 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Melbourne (Olympic Park) was 16.4 °C. The coldest morning was 10.3 °C on 1 Dec, and the warmest morning was on 7 Dec when the minimum temperature was 25.1 °C

Storms and flash floods

  • Strong winds, heavy rain, and severe thunderstorms affected Greater Melbourne on 13 and 14 December
  • On 14 December, 41.2 mm fell in Melbourne, most of it in a 20-minute period after 5 pm. Train lines in the eastern suburbs were seriously disrupted by flash flooding, while there was building damage in the inner east and southeast
  • Thunderstorms, associated with a fast-moving cold front and a low pressure trough, produced damaging winds on 30 January. Many sites recorded wind gusts that exceeded 70 km/h; dust raised by strong winds on the 30th reduced visibility at Melton, in the northwest of Greater Melbourne
  • Smoky conditions were observed in Melbourne on 4 and 5 February as a result of fires burning across northwest of Tasmania and Gippsland
  • A line of thunderstorms crossed Melbourne late on 6 February with damaging winds, rainfall and locally hail

Further information

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Extremes in summer 2018-19
Hottest day 46.0 °C at Melbourne Airport on 25 Jan 2019
Warmest days on average 29.3 °C at Coldstream
Coolest days on average 25.1 °C at Ferny Creek
Coldest day 14.9 °C at Ferny Creek on 9 Feb 2019
Coldest night 4.7 °C at Coldstream on 14 Feb 2019
Coolest nights on average 12.6 °C at Coldstream
Warmest nights on average 16.4 °C at Melbourne (Olympic Park)
Warmest night 26.3 °C at Laverton RAAF on 7 Dec 2018
Warmest on average overall 21.9 °C at Viewbank
Coolest on average overall 19.1 °C at Ferny Creek
Wettest overall 149.4 mm at Ferny Creek
Wettest day 65.0 mm at Main Ridge on 13 Dec 2018
Strongest wind gust 113 km/h at Laverton RAAF on 30 Jan 2019

Record highest summer temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 43.2 on 25 Jan 2019 42.7 on 7 Feb 2009 26 24.0



Record highest summer mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Scoresby Research Institute 28.6 28.0 in 2015 58 25.7
Essendon Airport 27.8 27.7 in 1950 48 25.6
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens 27.1 26.7 in 2006 26 25.0
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 27.0 26.3 in 2015 25 24.0
Coldstream 29.3 28.8 in 2015 24 27.0

Highest summer mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
summer
Moorabbin Airport 27.2 27.9 in 1980 25.3



Record highest summer mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Essendon Airport 15.3 15.2 in 2017 48 13.2
Moorabbin Airport 15.7 15.6 in 1980 47 13.8
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 13.0 12.9 in 2015 25 11.8



Record highest summer mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Scoresby Research Institute 21.6 = 21.6 in 1980 58 19.4
Essendon Airport 21.6 21.4 in 2015 48 19.4
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 20.0 19.6 in 2015 25 17.9
Coldstream 20.9 20.3 in 2017 24 19.1

Highest summer mean temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
higher
Average for
summer
Moorabbin Airport 21.4 21.8 in 1980 19.5



Summary statistics for summer 2018-19
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2018-19
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2018-19
Mean for
summer
2018-19
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2018-19
Total for
summer
2018-19
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2018-19
Fraction of
summer
average
Cerberus 25.6 +1.6 42.1 25 Jan 2019 14.3 +0.9 6.7 20 Feb 2019 111.8 129.5 average 86%
Coldstream 29.3 +2.3 43.8 25 Jan 2019 12.6 +1.4 4.7 14 Feb 2019 141.8 155.6 average 91%
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens 27.1 +2.1 42.9 4 Jan 2019 14.1 +0.9 7.7 27 Feb 2019 138.6 163.8 average 85%
Essendon Airport 27.8 +2.2 45.2 25 Jan 2019 15.3 +2.1 9.0 1 Dec 2018 118.0 139.9 average 84%
Ferny Creek 25.1   39.5 25 Jan 2019 13.1   6.2 13 Feb 2019 149.4
Laverton RAAF 26.7 +1.6 44.8 25 Jan 2019 15.2 +1.8 8.1 14 Feb 2019 146.4 131.3 average 112%
Melbourne (Olympic Park) 26.7   42.8 25 Jan 2019 16.4   10.3 1 Dec 2018 134.6
Melbourne Airport 28.1 +2.2 46.0 25 Jan 2019 14.6 +1.3 8.2 1 Dec 2018 142.2 132.9 average 107%
Moorabbin Airport 27.2 +1.9 43.8 4 Jan 2019 15.7 +1.9 9.5 1 Dec 2018 121.6 149.9 average 81%
Scoresby Research Institute 28.6 +2.9 43.5 25 Jan 2019 14.7 +1.6 7.1 1 Dec 2018 105.4 181.4 low 58%
Viewbank 28.7 +1.6 44.8 25 Jan 2019 15.0 +1.0 7.7 1 Dec 2018 148.4 156.8 average 95%
Wallan (Kilmore Gap) 27.0 +3.0 43.2 25 Jan 2019 13.0 +1.2 6.6 13 Feb 2019 108.6 141.5 average 77%

Notes

The Seasonal climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Greater Melbourne 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 summary includes data from observing sites in or near the Greater Melbourne “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Friday 1 March 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

Climate