FYI: Seasonal Climate Summary for Canberra - spring 2010

Subject: FYI: Seasonal Climate Summary for Canberra - spring 2010
From: Suzanne Tunks <>
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2010 07:56:32 +1100

Canberra's wettest spring since 1983

  • 4th wettest spring on record
  • Wettest spring since 1983, and wettest season since winter 1998
  • Well above average minimum temperatures; 16th consecutive spring with above average minimums


Canberra Airport recorded a total rainfall of 288.0 mm during spring 2010, which is well above the historical average of 178.2 mm and more than double the rainfall recorded in spring 2009 (117.8 mm). This is the wettest season since winter 1998, when 305.8 mm was recorded at Canberra Airport. Spring 2010 ranks as the 4th wettest spring on record and the wettest spring since 1983, when 289.6 mm of rainfall was recorded. The majority of the rainfall fell in October and November, both of which had monthly totals exceeding 100 mm; however, all three months had above average rainfall.

The rain fell over 27 rain days, which is slightly below the spring average of 30 raindays. Two major events brought daily totals above 25 mm to Canberra Airport during the month, with 38.6 mm recorded on the 14th of October as a slow moving trough crossed the city, with four-day totals of 78.8 mm between the 13th and 16th. The season also concluded with very wet conditions, with 40.6 mm recorded on November 29th as a front crossed the state. The highest daily rainfall recorded during the season was 73.4 mm at Mt Ginini AWS on October 16, with total spring rainfall of 608.6 mm at Mt Ginini, the highest in the ACT.

Tharwa General Store and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve also recorded their highest total spring rainfall on record during this season. The high rainfall experienced in the ACT is consistent with Australia-wide patterns, with NSW recording its wettest spring on record and Australia as a whole recording its wettest spring on record. These patterns are consistent with both the La Niña event in the Pacific Ocean and a negative Indian Ocean Dipole event, both of which bring increased rainfall to eastern Australia, particularly in inland regions. For more about La Niña and the IOD please refer to the ENSO Wrap Up.

Some sites had their highest total spring rainfall on record.


The average maximum temperature for spring at Canberra Airport was 19.5 °C, close to the historical average of 19.4 °C, with the highest average maximum temperature anywhere in Canberra just 19.7 °C at Tuggeranong AWS. This is the coolest spring since 2003 (19.2 °C), with all spring months having near average maximum temperatures.

The average daily minimum temperature during spring was 7.0 °C at Canberra Airport, which is 1 °C above the historical average of 6 °C and the warmest average minimum temperatures in suburban ACT. Canberra Airport has now experienced 16 consecutive springs with above average minimum temperatures. All months during spring had above average minimums, leading to slightly above average mean daily temperatures for the season.

The highest temperature in the ACT during spring was 28.2 °C at Tuggeranong on November 12, while the lowest temperature was -5.5 °C at Mt Ginini AWS on October 16, a much smaller temperature range than in Spring 2009 (-6.1 °C to 38.2 °C). The lowest temperature in suburban Canberra was -2.0 °C at Tuggeranong AWS on September 30.


The highest wind gust recorded at Canberra Airport during spring was 85km/hr on September 4, with a maximum wind gust of 109km/hr at Mt Ginini AWS on the same day. Eight strong wind days were recorded during the season, slightly below the historical average of 11 days, with no strong wind days recorded in November.

Other phenomena

The mean daily sunshine during spring was 7.6 hours, well below the historical average of 8.4 hours per day. There were 7 frosts, well below the historical average of 22, and 24 fogs. This was well above the historical average of 8 fogs, with September the equal foggiest on record. Three thunderstorms were recorded at Canberra Airport, well below the historical average of eight thunder days, with hail reported on November 8.

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