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Melbourne weather records - heat waves, floods, tsunamis and other extreme events


  • heat records are now happening three times more often than cold records, and the number of hot days across Australia has more than doubled while the hottest days have become even hotter, and heat waves longer and hotter.

heat waves of sequential very hot days

  • Melbourne:
    • Jan 2014: hottest heatwave on record with 4 consecutive days above 41deg C in Melbourne, with max. 43.9degC, max. over 45degC in Geelong. Melbourne's average temperature for the day exceeded 35degC for 3 of these days! 1st time that Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra all reached 40degC on the same two consecutive days!
      • >500 of the flying fox colony in Yarra Bend died
      • water usage almost doubled for the week
      • heart attacks 4x normal
      • over 200 deaths reported to coroner - twice normal rate
      • 20x increase in ambulance calls
      • 4x increase in locum doctor calls
      • major train system disruptions as is usual during heat waves due to failed air conditioning, grassfires, etc.
    • Jan 2009: 43,44 and 45degC preceding the Black Saturday bushfires, and the 1st time Melbourne's average temperature for the day exceeded 35degC (two days in this heat wave!). Equal record of six consecutive nights above 20C (record was set in 2008). Probably caused an excess of 500 deaths due to heat in Sth Aust and Victoria
    • 1939
    • Jan 1908: 39.9 then 5 days above 40degC
  • Mildura:
    • Jan 2014: 5 days in row 42degC or higher, peak 45.2degC, 4 of these days 44degC or higher, preceded by 4 days above 35degC
    • Jan 2013: 5 days in a row above 40degC
    • Jan 2009: 5 days in a row above 40degC
    • Jan 1979: 6 days in a row above 40degC

other heat records

  • Melbourne:
    • 2024:
      • 9th March: warmest overnight March minimum on record at 26.2degC at Tulla and 26.1degC at Essendon
    • 2023:
      • 2nd warmest winter on record
      • driest September on record for Melbourne and Victoria results in bushfires in Gippslands
    • May 2014 - record 13 consecutive days above 20degC thanks to a blocking high in the Tasman
    • hottest Autumns on record: 2007, 2010, 2014
    • Sept 2013: hottest September on record
    • more than 8 sequential days over 30degC:
      • 1890, 1898, 1951, 1961, March 2013
      • March 2013: record nine consecutive daytime temperatures over 32C for March and record 7 consecutive nights where minimum failed to fall below 20degC for any month! 99 consecutive days above 20degC - 2nd longest on record after 2009-10 1)
    • Feb 2013: Victoria has its equal highest number of consecutive hot February days over 30degC on record of 10 days, equalling the record set in 1997
    • summer 2009-10: longest consecutive days above 20degC on record
    • March 1940: warmest March in Melbourne on record with average maximum temperature was 28.9C.
  • Australia:
    • 2024:
      • March: Adelaide records five consecutive days above 37C – the first time in autumn for 16 years, as well as two nights above 25C – also a first since 2008
      • Feb: hottest global surface air temperature Feb on record making it the 9th month in a row for to break such records
    • 2023: warmest winter on record
    • 2013: hottest calendar year on record for Australia
      • 2013-14: Adelaide records most days in a summer over 40degC with 13 days, and many areas of SA have record number of days above 42degC including 9 days for Yunta.
    • March 2013:
      • Adelaide 10 consecutive days above 32degC from 3-12th March
    • Jan 2013: Australia's hottest month on record and warmest summer on record.
      • Sydney has its hottest heat wave on record.
      • Australia's first and third hottest days on record.
      • sea surface temperatures hottest month on record Feb 2013, warmest summer on record with temperatures 0.5degC higher than average.
    • Nov 2012: numerous spring temperature records broken in SE Aust, with warmest Spring day on record for Victoria
    • March 2008: record setting heat wave for a March in many parts SE Aust including:
      • Adelaide record 15 consecutive days above 35degC from 3-17th March 2008!
    • summer 1972-73: Australia's 2nd hottest day on record

major floods or rain events

  • 3rd Oct 2023: over 180mm rain in 24hrs to Macalister through to Mansfield and Strathbogie regions from a Low pressure system
  • 13th Oct 2022
    • major rain event from inland Low pressure system causes record flooding across mainly central Victoria with waters flowing down the Maribyrnong also causing major flooding affecting some 100 homes
    • Goulburn, Loddon and Campaspe rivers were the worst effected causing a number of towns to have partial evacuation orders including Seymour, Rochester, Murchison, Carisbrook
  • 8th Oct 2022
    • major rain event results in Newbridge flooding and a camper in a rooftop tent on a 4WD needing to be choppered out
    • start of the 3rd consecutive La Niña event
  • 4 August 2020 - a cold front brings snow down to as low as 150 meters above sea level around midday, resulting in rare light dustings in many of Melbourne's suburbs
  • 21 November 2016 – Thunderstorm asthma kills 9 and hospitalises hundreds
  • 25 December 2011 – severe thunderstorms, large hailstones, flash flooding, and reports of tornadoes cause major damage to houses and vehicles in the worst-hit areas of Fiskville, Melton, Taylors Lakes, and Keilor Downs
  • 12–14 January 2011 high intensity rainfall caused major flooding across much of the western and central parts of the Australian state of Victoria, having already been affected by major flooding in Sept 2010 due to the strongest La Niña event since 1973
    • several follow-up heavy rainfall events including Tropical Low Yasi caused repeated flash flooding in affected areas in early February 2011
  • 6 March 2010 – Storms pass directly over Melbourne bringing large hail, flash flooding and high winds, causing widespread damage across western and central Victoria, stopping all modes of transportation in Melbourne. CBD streets of Flinders, Spencer and Elizabeth are spectacularly flash flooded.
  • 26 December 1999 – Flash flooding damages 300 homes with the worst effect on Broadmeadows.
  • 1996 - Healesville, south-east Melbourne/Gippsland, Victoria Floods Dead= Injured= Affected=38000 Homeless=50
  • 1995 - Geelong and Southern Victoria Floods (incl Landslides) Dead= Injured=3 Affected=20000 Homeless=200
  • 1993 - North-Eastern Victoria Floods Dead=1 Injured=30 Affected=15000 Homeless=3000
  • 1991 - Melbourne and Ballarat, Victoria Floods Affected=20000 Homeless=220
  • 18 September 1984 – Storm causes flooding of 100 homes in the eastern suburbs
  • 7 April 1977 – Laverton smashed by 12 hour thunderstorm and breaks several Victorian rainfall records including most rainfall; in 2 hours (105mm), in 3 hours (137mm) and in 4 hours (153mm)
  • 1974 - major floods in many regions - Seymour
  • 1973 - major floods in many regions - Seymour, Wimmera River, Geelong
  • February 1972 – Elizabeth Street is flooded after 75mm of rain in 17 minutes, with dramatic pictures of cars floating and underwater in the central city
  • 3 December 1954 – Record rainfall causes flooding in Elwood and Flemington with homes evacuated. Train lines are closed by landslides, basement level shops are flooded, and events are cancelled
  • 1951 – A moderate cover of snow blankets the central business district (CBD) and suburbs.
  • 29 November to 1 December 1934 – Torrential rainfall of up to 350 mm causes the Yarra River to become a raging torrent. Extensive damage with 35 dead, 250 injured, and 3,000 homeless.
  • 2 February 1918 – The Brighton tornado, an EF3 class and the most intense tornado to hit a major Australian city, strikes the bayside suburb of Brighton.
  • 1882 – Elizabeth Street in Melbourne is flooded.
  • 26 July 1882 – Snow falls for half an hour in Melbourne
  • 1880 – The great flood causes the Yarra River to swell to 305 metres (1,001 ft) in width.[5] The most significant flood in Melbourne's recorded history, it forces thousands to vacate their homes and caused at least one death.
  • 1863 – A major flood puts Port Melbourne underwater leaving thousands homeless across the city and drowning one man at Princes Bridge.
  • 31 August 1849 – A snowstorm blankets Melbourne (with accumulation on the streets)


  • risk of significant tsunamis hitting the Victorian coast is low however one did impact in May 1960 14-26 hours after a 9.5 magnitude earthquake in Chile (the initial wave in Chile was 25m high!).
    • at Cronulla, Sydney, this event resulted in a 4 foot 6 inch tsunami wave effect, while isolated observers in NSW allegedly reported waves up to 4.3m and while most of the waves were in the 1st 8-12 hrs after the 1st wave, some persisted for the next 3 days
    • two vessels sunk; one in Newcastle (a 24-foot fishing boat) and another in Sydney Harbour (a punt loaded with timber)
    • two vessels were grounded; dozens of broken moorings (including 30 at The Spit near Mosman in Sydney; the tsunami was reported to produce a large whirlpool);
    • localised run-up in Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast
    • damages to the oyster industry in the Clyde River at Batemans Bay.
    • erosion of a 90 x 55 metre strip of land at Clontarf in Sydney
  • the greatest risk of tsumanis in Australia are on the NSW coast and the western WA coast (especially the northern 2/3rds) which would be the result of subduction earthquakes in the Indian and Pacific Oceans
    • The largest recorded tsunami runup in Australia occurred at Steep Point in Western Australia on 17 July 2006 and this destroyed several campsites that were 200 metres inland. Steep Point is the most westerly point on mainland Australia.
  • The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami hit close to home and resulted in the establishment of the Australian Tsunami Warning System in 2005.
  • Most communities in Australia will be warned at least 90 minutes before the arrival of a tsunami’s first wave given Australia’s proximity to major earthquake fault lines
  • The closest source of earthquake-induced tsunami for the Australian mainland and Tasmania coast is the Puysegur Trench that is south of New Zealand.

Other interesting facts

  • Christmas Day
    • coldest on record = 14.5degC in 2006
    • hottest on record = 40.7degC in 1907
australia/melbourne_weather_records.txt · Last modified: 2024/03/12 20:36 by gary1

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