Greater Brisbane in 2018: a warm year overall, with below average rainfall

Rainfall was below average for Greater Brisbane in 2018. It was the fourth-warmest mean maximum temperature on record for Brisbane, and overnight temperatures were also above average.

The Australian annual climate statement provides a comprehensive summary of Australia's climate during 2018. Information about changes and long-term trends in Australia's climate can be found in State of the Climate 2018.

Below average rainfall for 2018

  • Rainfall for 2018 in Greater Brisbane was below average at all locations
  • A dry start to the year, with less than 30 mm of rainfall recorded at Brisbane in January (average is 145 mm)
  • Brisbane saw persistent showers in February, resulting in twice the average monthly rainfall at some locations in Greater Brisbane
  • A wetter than usual March followed, as onshore flow brought showers and moderate falls throughout the month
  • It was a drier than usual winter, with Brisbane recording around 60% of its average rainfall
  • Thunderstorms developed late September and into October, this resulted in Brisbane recording more than twice the average October rainfall
  • Showers and thunderstorms developed over Brisbane in late November and into December

Warmer than usual days; nights were close to average

  • Overall, mean maximum temperatures for 2018 were warmer than average at all Greater Brisbane locations
  • Mean minimum temperatures for 2018 were close to the long-term average, and slightly cooler than usual at Amberley and Gatton
  • It was a warm start to the year in Greater Brisbane, with Point Lookout reporting its highest temperature on record on 16 January
  • February saw had a run of hot days and warm nights from the 10 to 16 February; the hottest day occurred on the 15th, with a maximum temperature of 35.7 °C
  • Brisbane had a record run of six consecutive February days (11th to 16th) with days at or above 33 °C. The previous February record was five consecutive days
  • Frost was observed around Ipswich on the 22 May, with the overnight temperature at Amberley dropping to 1.2 °C
  • Mean maximum temperatures were record warm in July at Brisbane City, Amberley, Archerfield, Logan City and Gatton
  • Brisbane reported its second-warmest winter on record in terms of mean maximum temperature, with 23.4 °C (0.1 °C below the record of 23.5 °C set in 2017)
  • A very warm end to November and into early December, as a low intensity heatwave affected Greater Brisbane

Brisbane

  • Total rainfall for Brisbane was 859.2 mm, which is 85% of the long-term average of 1011.5 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Brisbane was 27.0 °C, which is 0.4 °C above the long-term average of 26.6 °C. This is the fourth-warmest mean maximum temperature on record (highest is 27.3 °C in both 2016 and 2017).  The warmest day was 37.9 °C on 28 November, and the coolest day was on 27 June when the temperature reached 16.9 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Brisbane was 16.5 °C, which is 0.1 °C above the long-term average of 16.4 °C. The coldest morning was 5.2 °C on 15 July, and the warmest morning was on 16 February when the minimum temperature was 26.6 °C

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Extremes in 2018
Hottest day 41.9 °C at University of Queensland Gatton on 13 Jan
Warmest days on average 28.6 °C at University of Queensland Gatton
Coolest days on average 25.4 °C at Redland (Alexandra Hills)
Coldest day 15.8 °C at University of Queensland Gatton on 27 Jun
Coldest night -3.8 °C at Beaudesert Drumley Street on 21 Aug
Coolest nights on average 12.4 °C at Amberley AMO and at University of Queensland Gatton
Warmest nights on average 17.1 °C at Redcliffe
Warmest night 26.6 °C at Brisbane on 16 Feb
Warmest on average overall 21.7 °C at Brisbane
Coolest on average overall 20.3 °C at Amberley AMO and at Beaudesert Drumley Street
Wettest overall 1605.2 mm at Landsborough
Driest overall 517.6 mm at University of Queensland Gatton
Wettest day 171.0 mm at Green Mountains and at Mt Tamborine Fern St, both on 24 Feb
Strongest wind gust 111 km/h at Inner Reciprocal Marker on 11 Feb

Record highest temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Annual
average
Point Lookout 39.8 on 14 Jan 36.5 on 25 Dec 2001 22 25.6



Lowest annual mean daily minimum temperature for at least 20 years
Observed
(°C)
Most recent
lower
Annual
average
University of Queensland Gatton 12.4 =12.4 in 1972* 13.1

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




Summary statistics for 2018
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean
for
2018
Diff
from
average
Highest
for
2018
Mean
for
2018
Diff
from
average
Lowest
for
2018
Total
for
2018
Average
annual
total
Rank
of
2018
Fraction
of annual
average
Amberley AMO 28.1 +1.3 41.5 2 Dec 12.4 -0.7 -3.4 21 Aug 733.0 862.2 average 85%
Archerfield Airport 27.4 +1.1 38.2 28 Nov 14.6 +0.2 0.9 19 Jul 742.6 1058.4 low 70%
Beaudesert Drumley Street 27.7 +0.9 39.2 13 Jan 12.9 -0.1 -3.8 21 Aug 827.6
Beerburrum Forest Station 26.7 +0.2 39.8 2 Dec 14.8 0.0 3.4 14 Aug
Brisbane 27.0 +0.4 37.9 28 Nov 16.5 +0.1 5.2 15 Jul 859.2 1011.5 average 85%
Brisbane Aero 25.7 +0.3 38.1 14 Jan 15.9 +0.2 3.3 21 Aug 777.8 1036.0 low 75%
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 26.5 +0.4 37.8 28 Nov 15.4 +0.3 2.6 21 Aug 1058.6 1086.0 average 97%
Redcliffe     38.6 28 Nov 17.1 +0.1 5.6 15 Jul 833.8 1032.1 low 81%
Redland (Alexandra Hills) 25.4   37.1 14 Jan 15.8   5.6 21 Aug 912.6
University of Queensland Gatton 28.6 +1.7 41.9 13 Jan 12.4 -0.7 -3.6 15 Jul 517.6 770.2 low 67%

Notes

The annual climate summary lists the main features of the weather in Brisbane 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.
The Australian annual climate statement provides a comprehensive summary of Australia's climate during 2018. Information about changes and long-term trends in Australia's climate can be found in State of the Climate 2018.

The Annual climate summary, generally published on the second working day of the year, lists the main features of the weather in Greater Brisbane 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 Brisbane “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 10 am on Wednesday 2 January 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
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