Australian Capital Territory in December 2017: a wet and warm start to summer

December 2017 was wetter than average for Canberra, and the Airport had its wettest day of the year on the 2nd. Maximum and minimum temperatures were warmer than average, with the equal warmest December nights on record.

Wettest day of the year at Canberra Airport

  • It was a wetter than average December for Canberra: 95.2 mm fell at Canberra Airport, 169% of the December average
  • Canberra Airport had its wettest day of the year early in the month, recording 35.2 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am on the 2nd when a strong cold front interacted with a moist air mass over southeastern Australia
  • Mount Ginini recorded 72.2 mm of rainfall on the 2nd, not quite as much as the 88.0 mm that fell there on 20 May (when Canberra Airport received 31.2 mm)
  • Rain fell on 13 days during the month at the airport, above the average of eight days

Equal warmest December nights on record

  • The mean maximum temperature at Canberra Airport was 27.8 °C, 1.5 °C above average
  • Thirteen days reached above 30 °C, above the December average of seven days
  • Maximum temperatures were above 30 °C for eight consecutive days from 12 to 19 December; the longest run of days above 30 °C in December since 21–29 December 1963
  • The mean minimum temperature at Canberra Airport for December was 13.9 °C, 2.5 °C above average and the equal warmest on record, tied with 1988
  • The minimum temperature at Canberra Airport on the 20th was 22.8 °C, the highest December minimum there since 19 December 1940
  • Only three nights dropped below 10 °C during the month, fewer than the December average of 10 nights; conversely 11 nights were 15 °C or warmer, more than the December average of five nights

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Extremes in December 2017
Hottest day 34.8 °C at Canberra Airport on the 24th
Warmest days on average 27.8 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 17.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 5.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 4th
Coldest night 2.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on the 9th
Coolest nights on average 8.9 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Warmest nights on average 14.1 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Warmest night 23.1 °C at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS on the 20th
Warmest on average overall 20.8 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest on average overall 13.4 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 183.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 87.8 mm at Bruce (Australian Institute of Sport)
Wettest day 72.2 mm at Mount Ginini AWS on the 2nd
Strongest wind gust 72 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on the 2nd and the 24th

Record highest December daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 23.1 on the 20th 22.0 on the 29th in 2016 22 12.2



Record highest December mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
December
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 14.1 14.0 in 2016 21 12.2



Summary statistics for December 2017
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
December
2017
Diff
from
average
Highest for
December
2017
Mean for
December
2017
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
December
2017
Total for
December
2017
Average
for
December
Rank of
December
2017
Fraction of
December
average
Canberra Airport 27.8 +1.5 34.8 24th 13.9 +2.5 7.8 9th 95.2 56.3 high 169%
Mount Ginini AWS 17.9 +0.1 25.1 19th 8.9 +1.7 2.7 9th 183.8 107.9 high 170%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 27.4 +0.3 33.7 19th 14.1 +1.9 8.7 7th 100.0 68.4 high 146%
Note: Observations for “Canberra Airport” are taken from the current site (Bureau number 070351), which opened in late 2008.
Comparisons are made against data from the previous site Canberra Airport Comparison (070014), which ran from 1939 to 2010.

Daily maximum temperatures for December 2017
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Canberra Airport30.619.619.915.720.020.226.722.525.028.029.730.632.732.930.532.631.632.634.327.526.729.531.834.823.022.429.132.433.428.327.9
Mount Ginini AWS17.611.87.95.78.610.316.913.516.820.021.621.823.321.321.022.924.023.225.114.417.620.221.323.714.214.520.220.120.917.517.8
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS29.019.019.914.719.421.226.222.724.928.029.430.532.132.129.232.231.432.733.726.926.629.231.433.521.722.529.131.431.528.327.5
Values are the maximum temperature, usually in the 24 hours from 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred in the afternoon of that day.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period

Daily minimum temperatures for December 2017
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Canberra Airport15.017.712.210.711.411.98.712.07.810.912.016.412.513.617.914.116.316.418.022.89.412.511.913.213.410.815.812.918.318.614.9
Mount Ginini AWS11.911.45.23.03.64.75.83.92.77.210.09.012.115.311.112.012.312.013.413.75.47.710.514.55.34.76.39.614.110.87.1
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS15.717.812.59.010.312.28.712.011.29.812.617.412.313.318.015.016.817.616.023.19.514.911.913.012.112.115.313.718.918.715.4
Values are the minimum temperature, usually in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred that morning.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period

Daily rainfall for December 2017
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Ainslie Tyson St - 35.0 28.2 1.2 9.8 4.4 0.2 6.4 - - - - - - 3.0 - 1.6 - - 1.0 2.4 - - 14.0 -
Aranda (Bindaga St) - 51.8 21.8 1.2 10.4 2.8 - 5.6 - - - - - - 3.4 - 2.6 - - 0.4 1.6 - - - - - - - - 15.2 -
Bruce (Australian Institute of Sport) - 66.0 10.4 4.2 - 6.0 - - - - - - - - - - - 1.2










Canberra (Australian National Botanic Ga - 50.8 20.9 1.8 8.0 2.2 0.2 6.0 - - - - - - 4.0 - 1.2 - - 0.4 1.8 - - - - - - - - 15.6 -
Canberra Airport - 35.2 18.4 0.2 6.6 5.2 0.2 6.2 - - - - - - 3.2 - 1.6 0.2 - 0.2 1.6 - - - - - - - - 16.4 -
Canberra Parliament House - 64.0 9.8 3.2 - 5.4 - - - - - - 4.8 1.6 - - 2.2 - - - - - - - - 30.0
Ginninderra (Charnwood (ACT)) - 41.0 21.6 0.4 20.4 5.2 0.2 4.8 - - - - - - 2.0 - 0.4 - - 0.2 1.6 0.2 - - - - - - - 13.8 -
Melba (Verbrugghen Street) - 52.0 22.2 - 17.0 4.8 - 5.4 - - - - - 2.0 - - 1.8 - - 1.0 2.0 - - - - - - - - 14.0 -
Mount Ginini AWS - 72.2 41.2 0.4 36.2 - - 6.0 - - - - - - 2.8 0.2 0.2 - - 0.6 2.2 - - - - - - - - 21.6 0.2
Nicholls (Gungahlin Lakes) - 32.4 38.1



























Sutton (Uba) - 25.2 30.2 - 7.2 6.4 - 2.2 - - - - - - 3.8 - 1.4 - - 0.4 1.8 - - - - - - - - 15.4 -
Torrens (Darke St) - 41.0 20.8 3.4 8.0 3.0 - 2.8 - - - - - - 5.0 - 7.6 - - 0.4 2.2 - - - - - - - - 12.6
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS - 39.0 21.0 2.4 7.6 4.4 - 2.4 0.2 - - - - - 5.2 0.4 2.8 - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - 12.6 -
Most values are the precipitation in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated. Days marked with → are part of a longer accumulation, which is shown on the final day.
Values over 100 mm have been rounded to the nearest whole millimetre.
Days marked with - have a rainfall report of zero; days left blank have no rainfall report (which often indicates no rain fell).
Rainfalls coloured
according to the amount
0 1.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 25.0 50.0 100 150 200 300 400 600 millimetres

Notes

The Monthly climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Australian Capital Territory 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.

In September 2017 this summary was broadened to include data from observing sites in or near the Australian Capital Territory “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 1 pm on Tuesday 9 January 2018. 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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