1307.8 - Australian Capital Territory in Focus, 2007  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/11/2007  Ceased
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CLIMATE

Canberra's climate is essentially continental, with hot summers and cold winters. Rainfall is evenly spread throughout the year, although it tends to be gentler during winter. Much of the rain that occurs during the summer months occurs with storms.


According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) 2006 broke many climate records in Canberra. Canberra had its hottest and fifth driest year on record. There was a record amount of sunshine with an average 8.5 hours per day. Both October and November had record number of consecutive days of above 30oC.



Thunderstorms

According to the BOM, Canberra recorded 22 days of thunderstorms in 2006, just more than the average of 20 days a year. In summer 2006-07, Canberra experienced 20 thunderstorms, much higher than the summer average of 11. Of these, two were particularly notable: the first on 31 December 2006 in the Tuggeranong area and the second on 27 February 2007 in central Canberra and Belconnen. Both of these storms produced hail stones with diameters of up to 5 cm, causing considerable damage in the affected areas.



Temperature

Canberra experienced its hottest year on the BOM record. The average annual daytime maximum temperature of 21.7oC was above the long-term average of 19.6oC. The average annual minimum temperature was 7oC, also above the average (6.4oC). The warmest month was February, with an average maximum daily temperature of 30.4oC, and the coldest month was June, with an average maximum daily temperature of 11.9oC.


There were 64 days on which the temperature reached 30.0oC or more during 2006. This was more than double the long-term average of 30 days. There were 13 days on which the temperature reached 35.0oC or more which is more than three times the long-term average of 4 days. The highest temperature recorded for 2006 was 39.9oC bringing in the New Year on 1 January. The lowest minimum temperature recorded in 2006 was -6.0oC, recorded on 8 August.

2.1 Summary, Air temperature - ACT - 2006

Air temperature daily readings
Long-term average air temperature(a)
Mean max.
Mean min.
Mean max
Mean min.
Month
C
C
C
C

January
30.4
16.5
27.7
13.0
February
30.5
14.8
27.3
13.0
March
26.9
12.3
24.5
10.8
April
19.7
4.8
19.9
6.8
May
16.2
2.6
15.3
3.3
June
11.9
-0.2
12.2
0.7
July
12.7
1.8
11.2
-0.4
August
15.3
0.1
12.9
1.0
September
19.4
3.9
15.9
3.2
October
24.2
5.5
19.4
6.1
November
25.5
10.0
22.6
8.8
December
27.7
12.5
25.9
11.3

(a) Long-term temperature averages are based on the 30 year period 1961-1990.
Bureau of Meteorology, Canberra Airport Regional Office, Data available on request.



Frosts and Fogs

There were 117 frosts recorded in Canberra during 2006. This was 22 more than the BOM yearly average. Fifty four of these frosts were recorded outside of the winter months. The first frost for 2006 occurred on 12 April with the last of the year occurring on 17 November.


There were only 26 days where fogs were recorded in Canberra in 2006, well below the yearly average of 41 days. The foggiest months were June and July, each of which had eight days where fogs were recorded.

2.2 Summary, Frosts and Fogs - ACT - 2006

Frost days
Average frost days(a)
Fog days
Average fog days(a)
Month
no.
no.
no.
no.

January
-
-
-
1
February
-
-
-
1
March
-
-
1
2
April
11
5
-
4
May
16
13
4
7
June
21
18
8
8
July
16
21
8
7
August
26
18
2
4
September
14
13
2
3
October
10
6
1
2
November
3
2
-
1
December
-
-
-
1
Total(b)
117
95
26
41

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Averages are based on all years on record.
(b) The monthly figures may not necessarily sum to the total due to rounding.
Bureau of Meteorology, Canberra Airport Regional Office, Data available on request.



Wind

Wind run is the total distance travelled by the wind in a given period of time. It is measured by the BOM on a daily (24 hour) basis using a cup anemometer at two metres above the ground.


The average daily wind run for 2006 was 183 km per day, slightly below the long-term average of 190 km per day. The windiest month was April, with a wind run of 238 km per day, a significant change from 2005 where April was the calmest month with a wind run of 137 km per day. The average April wind run is 148 km per day. June was the least windy month in 2006 with a wind run of 99 km per day. There were 32 strong wind days in Canberra in 2006, with seven occurring in October.



Sunshine and evaporation

In 2006 there was an average of 8.5 hours of sunshine per day of the year, above the long-term average of 7.6 hours per day. October was the month with the most sunshine at 10.9 hours per day. Both January and December recorded below average sunshine for these months with 8.4 and 9 hours per day respectively.


The amount of evaporation recorded in 2006 was 1,990 mm, above the yearly average of 1,693.1 mm. November recorded the highest monthly evaporation in 2006 with 249.6 mm, which was well above the recorded average of 193.2 mm.



Rainfall

Rainfall in Canberra dropped from 648.6 mm in 2005 to 360.6 mm in 2006 over 69 rain days. This is well below the long-term average of 622.8 mm over 103 days. The wettest month was January, in which 79 mm was recorded. January and June were the only two months to exceed there recorded averages. The driest month was October in which only 4 mm was recorded, significantly lower than the 64.4 mm recorded average.

2.3 Summary, Rainfall - ACT - 2006

Total rainfall
Average total rainfall(a)
Rain days
Average rain days(a)
Month
mm
mm
no.
no.

January
79.0
59.9
8
8
February
23.8
55.8
3
7
March
30.8
51.6
3
7
April
14.8
47.1
4
7
May
9.4
45.7
3
8
June
74.0
39.7
10
9
July
36.4
41.7
15
9
August
11.6
47.6
2
10
September
18.2
52.7
6
10
October
4.0
64.4
3
10
November
41.8
64.1
7
10
December
16.8
52.0
5
8
Total(b)
360.6
622.8
69
103

(a) Averages are based on all years of record.
(b) The monthly figures may not necessarily sum to the total due to rounding.
Bureau of Meteorology, Canberra Airport Regional Office, Data available on request.


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