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Tasmanian Air and Weather Facts

  1. The highest recorded wind gust in Tasmania was 176km/h at Cape Grim on 28 July 1998. Higher unrecorded gusts are likely to have occurred along the South-west coast.
  2. 'Cape Grim', or rather the Cape Grim baseline Air Pollution Station is one of a global network of atmospheric monitoring stations that form the World Meteorological Organisation-Global Atmosphere Watch System. Air over the Southern Ocean is typically considered to be the 'cleanest' in the world because the open Southern Ocean region is unaffected by large sources of air pollution such as industrial areas, large cities etc. Thus, when the air monitored at the Cape Grim station originates from the open Southern Ocean region, measurements of many of the atmospheric pollutants are usually extremely low, among the lowest values ever recorded. Of course, when the wind is blowing from Melbourne, or even Hobart, air pollution levels at Cape Grim can be quite high, on par with levels seen downwind from other urban areas around the world!
  3. Macquarie Island is grouped together with the other 333 islands that make up Tasmania. Macquarie Island has a weather monitoring station that records the cleanest air in the southern hemisphere.
  4. The lowest temperature on record is -13 degrees Celsius, at Shannon, Tarraleah and Butlers Gorge on 30 June 1983.
  5. Contrary to popular belief Hobart City has the second-lowest annual average rainfall of any Australian capital, after Adelaide.
  6. Our state is not what you could call dry. The greatest number of rain days in a year was 314 at Waratah in the northwest in 1955, which is also a record for Australia.
  7. The prevailing winds are westerly and thus the high annual rainfall occurs over the mountainous western parts of the State.
  8. The highest rainfall accumulated in a calendar year was 4,504mm at Lake Margaret Dam in the highlands of the west coast in 1948.
  9. Cloud cover averages about 70% of the sky throughout the year.
  10. People in Tasmania are never more than 115km from the coast.
  11. In the northern Midlands, the annual evaporation is nearly 1,500mm due largely to the prevalence of winds arriving from the Western Tiers, which become warmer and drier as they descend.
  12. There are 10 Hydro catchments, and 46 associated storages and dams: Nive-dee, Derwent, Ouse Shannon, South Esk, Mersey Forth, Gordon Huon, Pieman, King, Anthony Henty, Yolande.
  13. The highest rainfall in 24 hours between successive 9am readings was 352mm at Cullenswood (in the north-east highlands), on 22 March 1974.

‚ÄčAir Specialist
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4599 Fax: 03 6173 0254
Email: EnvironmentEnquiries@environment.tas.gov.au