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Climate of Launceston


Climate Averages for Launceston
 
Spring
Summer
Autumn
Winter
Maximum Temperature (deg C)
17.9
23.6
19.0
13.1
Minimum Temperature (deg C)
7.0
11.5
7.5
2.8
Ground Temperature Minimum (deg C)
2.6
8.3
4.8
0.6
Rainfall (mm)
172
122

153

230
Bright Sunshine/day (hours)
7.7
9.1
6.3
4.8
Wind*/day (km)
329
320
252
236
Evaporation/day (mm)
3.8
6.5
2.9
1.2
Frosts (days)
6
1
5
14

 

Spring

Spring is a season of transition, where winter weather patterns begin to take the shape of summer patterns.

However snowfalls are still frequent in Highland areas of Tasmania during spring. Although rare, even as late as October, snowfalls have been recorded in the Launceston area in 1940, 1978 and 2003.

After the winter months spring weather is generally conducive to heading back out into the garden. However, although air temperatures are still quite cool, the increasing sunshine has a little more ‘bite’ to it in spring, and sunburn should be a concern.

Winds, in general, increase, and sea breeze effects (north-westerly winds) become more obvious during the afternoon – spring is the windiest season!

Spring in Launceston is marked by a considerable rise in the average temperature, and the number of people contemplating cleaning their barbecues.

Spring Record for Launceston
 
Record
Location
Date
Highest Spring Temperature
31.1 deg. C
Launceston Airport
22 Nov 1959
Lowest Spring Temperature
3.7 deg. C
Launceston Airport
25 Oct 1976
Highest Monthly Rainfall
163.1 mm
Launceston Airport
Oct 1947

 

Summer

After pining for it all winter and shaping up for it all Spring …. Summer in Launceston is spent swimming at Cataract Gorge. And, of course, throwing a few steaks on the new barbecue.

Thunderstorms are more frequent during summer than the other seasons. On Christmas Eve 2001 a tornado descended from thunderstorms and caused extensive damage to Launceston’s Summerhill district – estimates suggest wind speeds between 200 and 250 km/hr.

Summer also means a serious bushfire threat. This increases late in December, and often extreme fire danger days prevail in the latter part of summer.

Afternoon sea breezes temper coastal maximum temperatures, however inland temperatures can approach 40 deg. C.

Despite generally warm daytime temperatures, and overnight temperatures around 11 degrees in Launceston, the Central Plateau area can record minimum temperatures below zero. And even snowfalls!

Summer Record for Launceston
 
Record
Location
Date
Highest Summer Temperature
37.3 deg. C
Launceston Airport
28 Jan 1943
Lowest Summer Temperature
minus 1.0 deg. C
Launceston Airport
20 Dec 1977
Highest Summer Monthly Rainfall
164.1 mm
Launceston Airport
Feb 1969

 

Autumn

Autumn is the other transition season - where summer weather patterns gradually take on the shape of winter patterns.

Early autumn usually brings some relief from the dry conditions characteristic of summer.

Although flooding can occur during any season, two of Launceston and environs’ biggest floods have occurred in autumn - 1929 and 1960.

Despite this, autumn is generally the most settled season with fewer extremes than the other seasons, and a compromise between wind and cold temperatures. Many festivals and weddings are planned in Launceston at this time of the year.

Oh yeah, you probably don’t need to be told - most people pack their barbecues away during autumn.

Autumn Record for Launceston
 
Record
Location
Date
Highest Autumn Temperature
34.9 deg. C
Launceston Airport
14 Mar 1942
Lowest Autumn Temperature
minus 4.8 deg. C
Launceston Airport
23 May 2001
Highest Autumn Monthly Rainfall
184 mm
Launceston Airport
May 1958

 

Winter

Forget about the barbecue; try hot soups and hearty casseroles. Winter is obviously the coldest season, and snowfalls are very frequent in Highland areas. Snowfalls have also been reported in the Launceston area on a few occasions.

Winter, for Launceston, is also the season with the least amount of wind. Because of this, and the topographical affect of the Tamar Valley, Launceston winters are renown for their frequency of foggy mornings. In fact, Launceston airport is the most fog-bound commercial airport in Australia.

Despite the high frequency of light wind days, the passage of cold frontal systems have caused wind gusts at Launceston airport to 113 km/hr - in the winters of 1949 and 1984.

The passage of frontal systems are chiefly responsible for winter also being the wettest of the seasons.

Winter Record for Launceston
 
Record
Location
Date
Highest Winter Temperature
19.6 deg. C
Launceston Airport
30 Aug 1997
Lowest Winter Temperature
minus 7.1 deg. C
Launceston Airport
24 Jun 1972
Highest Winter Monthly Rainfall
229.2 mm
Launceston Airport
Aug 1936

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