Exactly how hot was the 2015-2016 Canberra summer?

Friday 11 March 2016

This summer Canberra has set a new record for the number of consecutive days of maximum temperatures of 30C or more.

Canberra Skywhale Image: BMA Magazine Canberra Streetpress

Clem Davis, Fenner School affiliate, and retired meteorologist, reported the following observations for temperatures this 2015-2016 Summer as Canberra experiences an unseasonally hot March.  

Canberra has in fact just set a new record for the number of consecutive days of maximum temperatures of 30C or more for March.  Canberra has now experienced 10 consecutive days, beating the record of 9 days set in 1983 (1 - 9th).

Overall since November 2015, Canberra has experienced 52 days of maximum temperatures of 30C or more (average 34 days) with four days of 36.5C or more. The hottest day over this summer was 39.3C on 13 January 2016. 

There have also been five heat events: heat event are defined as being of "three or more consecutive days of maximum temperatures of 33.5C or more", whereas the usual summer average is for two events, and the longest heat event was between 10-14 January.

This summer has been typical of strong El Nino years which tend to be hot in Canberra. 

While we have recorded well-above an average number of heat events, these events have been of short duration and separated by periods of milder conditions. 

Minimum overnight temperatures have been generally in the mid-teens. There have been six nights where the minimum temperature was above 18C with the warmest night being the night of 13 Jan with a minimum temperatures of 21.8C. 

Those seeking to understand and appreciate the science of weather and climate; and for anyone interested in talking about the weather, they should follow the link to http://www.anu.edu.au/cce/cecourses/scienceandphilosophy/outlines/Willitraintomorrow.php  and consider undertaking the Centre for Continuing Education Course being run by Clem Davis, entitled:  Will It Rain Tomorrow? 

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