ACT State of the Environment 2007

Indicator: Weather – Temperature

See also: | Rainfall | Sunshine | Relative humidity | Evaporation | Wind |

Figures 1, 2 and 3 indicate the trends in temperature at Canberra International Airport for the period 2003–07. As can be clearly seen the temperatures on a monthly basis have remained above the long-term mean for the whole period. During this five-year period there were eight months where the maximum temperature was below the long-term mean, 13 months where the minimum temperature was below the long-term mean and five months where the daily mean temperature (average of maxT and minT) was below the long-term mean. The summer months, in particular, over this period were all above the long-term average.

Figure 1: Trends in mean daily maximum temperatures at Canberra International Airport, 2003–07

Three graphs of trends in mean daily maximum temperatures at Canberra International Airport, 2003 to 2007

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Figure 2: Trends in mean daily minimum temperatures at Canberra International Airport, 2003–07

Three graphs showing trends in mean daily minimum temperatures at Canberra International Airport, 2003 to 2007

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Figure 3: Trends in mean daily temperatures (average MaxT+MinT) at Canberra International Airport, 2003–07

Three graphs showing trends in mean daily temperatures (average MaxT+MinT) at Canberra International Airport, 2003 to 2007

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Long-term trends

As can be seen from Figures 4, 5 and 6, the trends in annual maximum, minimum and mean temperatures have been increasing over the long term with a considerable increase occurring over the last 10–15 years. This increase is clearly seen in the changes in the anomaly graphs from the 1961–90 mean. The increases in the annual temperatures are all in line with the overall trends for Australia, although the Canberra anomalies are considerably greater than that of Australia overall.

Figure 4: Long-term trends in maximum temperatures for Canberra and Australia with an 11-year running mean, 1940–2007

Three graphs of long-term trends in maximum temperatures for Canberra and Australia with an 11-year running mean, 1940 to 2007

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Figure 5: Long-term trends in minimum temperatures for Canberra and Australia with an 11-year running mean, 1940–2007

Three graphs of long-term trends in minimum temperatures for Canberra and Australia with an 11-year running mean, 1940-2007

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Figure 6: Long-term trends in mean daily temperatures for Canberra and Australia with an 11-year running means, 1940–2007

Three graphs showing long-term trends in mean daily temperatures for Canberra and Australia with an 11-year running means, 1940-2007

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Figures 7 and 8 indicate the seasonal trends in maximum and minimum temperatures over the long term. For maximum temperatures, the greatest increase in trends are occurring in autumn, winter and spring with lesser trends in summer, while for minimum temperatures, the greatest increases are occurring in spring and summer with only a minimal increase occurring in autumn, and little if any increase in winter.

Figure 7: Trends in seasonal maximum temperatures for Canberra International Airport, 1939–2007

Four graphs showing trends in seasonal maximum temperatures for Canberra International Airport, 1939-2007

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Figure 8: Trends in seasonal minimum temperatures for Canberra International Airport, 1939–2007

Four graphs showing trends in seasonal minimum temperatures for Canberra International Airport, 1939-2007

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

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