Liawenee recorded a minimum temperature of -14.2 °C this morning, which is provisionally the all-time coldest temperature recorded in Tasmania.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the highland hamlet hit the record at 6:01 am on Friday.
“Our climatologists will be looking at that really closely today and going through our quality control processes, but to all appearances it looks as that that will probably be a record,” said BOM meteorologist Simon Louis today. Around sunrise was a typical time for recording low temperatures, he noted.
The temperature smashed the previous Tasmanian minimum temperature record by over a degree. The previous lowest of -13.0 °C was recorded by three sites (Butlers Gorge, Tarraleah and Shannon) on 30 June 1983.
An apostil on that record is that the Liawenee weather station was not open at the time (of the 1983 record), as it was first installed in January 2001. “It’s possible that on that day in 1983 it could have been colder in Liawenee,” said Louis.
The previous coldest temperature recorded at Liawenee was -12.2 °C on 9 July 2013.
A curious fact is that last night Casey Station in Antarctica only went down to -12 last night, meaning that Liawenee was colder. “I don’t think that happens very often at all,” Louis commented.
The Bureau of Meteorology said that the low temperature was reached through a combination of factors. A cold air mass remains from the weather system that brought snow to Launceston earlier in the week, snow remains on the ground at Liawenee, and clear skies and light winds overnight allowed the temperature to drop rapidly.
“It’s very common that the coldest part of Tasmania is the central highlands, and Liawenee happens to be the site we have up there,” Louis explained. “One reason is that it’s further from the coast, and places on the coast tend to get some temperature regulation from the ocean. Another reason is that it’s very high up there…much of the central plateau is around 1000 metres above sea level.”
Meanwhile Strahan Airport also recorded its lowest ever August temperature on record overnight, reaching -2.8 °C which was lower than -2.5 °C from 25 August 2018.
More information on minimum temperature records for Tasmania can be found at http://www.bom.gov.au/cgibin/climate/extremes/annual_extremes.cgi?climtab=tmin_low&area=tas&year=
Tasmania is still a long way behind the all-time Australian record low temperature of -23C registered at Charlotte Pass in New South Wales.
BOM said they were expecting cool weather to continue and that snow and ice would still be around in elevated regions.
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