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Anthony Sharwood, 31 Aug 2023, 7:58 AM UTC

Canberra forgot to have winter in 2023

Canberra forgot to have winter in 2023

The nation's capital is famous for being a chilly place in winter, even with all that hot air pouring out of Parliament House. But not this year.

Winter basically forgot to turn up in Canberra in 2023. There were hints of it in June, but by July and August, the cold weather had pretty much given up, especially in daylight hours.

"My daughter wore shorts every day of winter," Weatherzone reader and Canberra local "Buggy" told us, while Weatherzone reader "Joh" told us she was "disappointed that the hat, scarf, glove combo never came out".

Image: Scenes like this 2022 panorama of the Tidbinbilla Ranges behind Parliament House (often mistaken for the Brindabellas which are one range further back) were non-existent in 2023. Source: AAP Image/Lukas Coch.


The mean temperature* in Canberra in winter 2023 was 7.8°C.

That's 1.3 degrees warmer than the long-term average of 6.5°C, and the 2nd-warmest mean temperature for winter on record.

August finished with a run of 12 consecutive days where the maximum temperature was above the monthly average, including five very mild days above 18°C.

*The mean temperature is the average of minimums and maximums combined. For example, if the min was 0°C and the max 15°C on a given day, then that day’s mean temp was 7.5°C.

June by numbers

2023 average min: 2.5°C (+1.3°C above the long-term average)

2023 average max: 13.1°C (-0.1°C below the long-term average)

2023 average rainfall: 39.6 mm (the long-term average is 48.3 mm)


July by numbers

2023 average min -0.2°C (right on average)

2023 average max 14.5°C (1.7°C above the long-term average, a record)

2023 average rainfall: 10 mm (the long-term average is 31 mm)


August by numbers

2023 average min: 1.3°C (+0.3°C above the long-term average)

2023 average max: 15.7°C (+1.6°C above the long-term average)

2023 average rainfall: 21.4 mm (the long-term average is 51.5 mm)


Nights were warmer than average across winter as a whole by just over half a degree. The above-average overnight temps were remarkable when you consider two things:

It was significantly drier than usual (see rainfall graph below) which usually leads to more cold frosty nights than usual.

Canberra had 12 consecutive subzero nights in July – just the fourth spell of 10 nights or longer below zero in the last 30 years. But even with that chilly night-time July streak, min temps were right on the average for July, not below it.



Overall, max temps were more than a degree above average in winter 2023 in Canberra.

June days were slightly (0.1°C) cooler than average,

July's average max of 14.5°C was the warmest on record.

As mentioned above, August ended with a 12-day run of above-average daytime temps. Unusually, no August day saw a single-digit maximum, with a monthly low max of 11.3°C on both the 13th and 14th.



There was no snow in Canberra this winter, nor even its close cousins small hail or graupel.

Rain was below average in all three months. This ended a relatively wet spell for the capital, as just two of the previous nine months before winter saw below-average rainfall, and not by much, as you can see below.

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