Australian Capital Territory in summer 2017-18: warm and wet overall

Summer rain was average to above average in the ACT following wet conditions in December and a day of heavy rain in late February. Both maximum and minimum temperatures were above average.

A wet start and finish

  • Summer started off with wet conditions in December, close to average rainfall in January, and though conditions were initially very dry in February there was heavy rain and flash flooding on the 25th
  • Overall summer rainfall totals were average to above average across the Territory
  • Canberra Airport recorded 219.6 mm which is 128% of average, wetter than the last two summers but just a bit drier than the summer of 2015-16
  • Rain fell on 24 days at Canberra Airport, which is just above the summer average of 22 days; 5 mm or more was recorded on 11 of those days, which is just above the summer average of 9

Warm summer days and nights

  • Both maximum and minimum temperatures were up to around a degree warmer than average across the Territory
  • The temperature reached 35 °C or more at Canberra Airport on 10 days, double the average but much less than last summer when there were 18 days
  • The hottest day saw 40.6 °C at Canberra Airport on 7 January, the only day over 40 °C this summer
  • The minimum temperature at Canberra Airport remained above 15 °C on 31 days, 8 days more than the summer average
  • Overall, Canberra Airport recorded its sixth-warmest summer mean maximum temperature with 29.5 °C, 2.3 °C warmer than average; the mean minimum temperature was 13.7 °C which was 1.1 °C above average
  • Tuggeranong had its warmest summer night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record on 20 December when the temperature didn't drop below 23.1 °C

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Extremes in summer 2017-18
Hottest day 40.6 °C at Canberra Airport on 7 Jan 2018
Warmest days on average 29.5 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest days on average 19.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Coldest day 5.7 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 4 Dec 2017
Coldest night -0.2 °C at Mount Ginini AWS on 1 Feb 2018
Coolest nights on average 9.5 °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 20 Dec 2017
Warmest on average overall 21.6 °C at Canberra Airport
Coolest on average overall 14.6 °C at Mount Ginini AWS
Wettest overall 359.8 mm at Mount Ginini AWS
Driest overall 203.6 mm at Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS
Wettest day 76.0 mm at Aranda (Bindaga St) on 26 Feb 2018
Strongest wind gust 89 km/h at Mount Ginini AWS on 14 Feb 2018

Record highest summer daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
summer
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 23.1 on 20 Dec 2017 23.0 on 2 Feb 2011 22 13.6



Summary statistics for summer 2017-18
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
summer
2017-18
Diff
from
average
Highest for
summer
2017-18
Mean for
summer
2017-18
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
summer
2017-18
Total for
summer
2017-18
Average
for
summer
Rank of
summer
2017-18
Fraction of
summer
average
Canberra Airport 29.5 +2.3 40.6 7 Jan 2018 13.7 +1.1 6.9 1 Feb 2018 219.6 197.4 average 111%
Mount Ginini AWS 19.7 +0.6 30.3 7 Jan 2018 9.5 +0.8 -0.2 1 Feb 2018 359.8 276.8 high 130%
Tuggeranong (Isabella Plains) AWS 28.9 +0.7 39.4 7 Jan 2018 14.1 +0.5 8.0 2 Feb 2018 203.6 197.4 average 103%
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,
combined with the current site from March 2010 onwards.

Notes

The Seasonal 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 11 am on Thursday 1 March 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
Enquiries