Dry summer rewrites Launceston's records

Sunflowers on the roadside near Perth have suffered through a dry summer. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON
Sunflowers on the roadside near Perth have suffered through a dry summer. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON


Hottest day: 40.2C at Bushy Park on January 14.

Coldest day: 3.1C at Mount Read on December 10.

Coldest night: -2.8C at Liawenee on February 28.

Warmest on average overall: 18.3C at Launceston.

Wettest overall: 669.0 millimetres* at Mount Read.

Driest overall: 46.0 millimetres at Swansea.

Wettest day: 162.6 millimetres at Mount Read on February 21.

*Note that some reports are missing from Mount Read during January, and the actual total is almost certainly higher. 

LAUNCESTON experienced one of its driest summers in history, despite a wet December.

The city's Ti-Tree Bend site only collected 59.7 millimetres of rain - the lowest in 29 years, while Campbell Town and Deviot Jetty received their lowest totals on record.

Most of the state had warmer than average days and nights with plenty of wind throughout the seasonal period.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Ian Barnes- Keoghan said the North and East Coast was particularly dry from January 6 onwards.

"For Launceston itself, it is down there amongst the driest summers," he said.

"During December rainfall was close to average for the North and East but after about the first week in January it dried right out.

"We have now had seven weeks where there has been very little rain."

The heatwave that haunted south-east Australia from January 13 to 18 saw the mercury rise to 40.2 degrees at Bushy Park and 40.1 degrees at Melton Mowbray on January 14.

Hobart Airport reached 39.7 degrees on January 28 - all three temperatures are in the top 50 recorded in Tasmania.

After January 6, the next big downpour came on February 15 when thunderstorms and heavy rain passed over the state - granting some Midlands sites their highest summer daily rainfall recorded.

Bridport's 15 decrees on December 21 was the coolest summer day ever and Marrawah, Cape Grim and Strahan all had their coldest February day on record on February 20.

Mr Barnes-Keoghan said the dry weather was unusualand that a normal autumn could be expected.Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive officer Jan Davis said water levels across the state were not at panic levels.


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