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Extreme Weather Events in Melbourne

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by Geoff Edlund (subscribe)
Always on the hunt for creative, fun, and interesting places, events, and experiences.
Published May 24th 2018
Four seasons in one day just doesn't describe these extremes
Melbourne has seen it all - hail, sweltering days, snowstorms, and even tornadoes.

1849 - Go Skiing in the City

Melbourne's heaviest snowfall on record occurred on 31 August 1849, when snow on Melbourne streets was reported to be 30 centimetres deep.

1863 - A Flood at the Port

A major flood occurred in Port Melbourne leaving thousands homeless across the city.

1869 - Sub-Zero Temperatures in Melbourne

The temperature in the city dropped to a low of -2.8C on 21 July 1869.

1882 - A Snowstorm in Melbourne

It snowed in Melbourne for about half an hour in 1882.

Snow Melbourne
Argus Newspaper Article about Snow. Published 27-Jul-1882, Source:

1891 The Yarra Flood

The great flood caused the Yarra River to swell to 305 metres in width and forced thousands to vacate their homes.

1901 - The Coldest Day

Melbourne's coldest day on record was on 4 July 1901 (maximum 4.4C).

1902 - A Hot Night at the Start of the Century

The highest minimum temperature ever recorded was 30.6C during the night of 31 January 1902.

1908 - A Blistering Heatwave

Melbourne's most notable heatwave on record occurred in summer of 1908, with five consecutive days when it reached 40C.

1916 - A Very Wet and Soggy Year

Melbourne's wettest year on record is 1916 when 967.5 mm fell in 167 days.

1918 - A Tornado on the Bay

In February 1918, the violent Brighton tornado swept off Port Phillip Bay, devastating houses from Brighton to Bentleigh.

Church Tornado Brighton
The Methodist Church, Hawthorn Road, Brighton, Australia, destroyed in the Brighton tornado on February 2nd, 1918. Source: Brighton Historical Society.

1924 - Huge Temperature Drops

Christmas Day 1924's maximum temperature of 31.9C was followed by a maximum on Boxing Day of only 11.6C.

1934 - Tragic River Flood

From November 29th to December 1st 1934, torrential rainfall of up to 350 mm caused the Yarra River to become a torrent. There was extensive damage with 35 dead, 250 injured, and 3,000 homeless. Other rivers in regional centres also recorded their highest levels.

1937 and The Foggy Month

Melbourne's foggiest month was June 1937 (20 days of fog).

1939 - A Bushfire Disaster

Victoria's most disastrous bushfires occurred in January 1939, when 44.7C was reached (with 45.6C on 13 January 1939). Warrandyte, Yarra Glen, and Warburton were all damaged and the fires burned on the urban fringe of Melbourne (in towns that are now in Greater Melbourne).

1954 - Floods in the Suburbs

Record rainfall caused flooding in Elwood and Flemington with homes evacuated in 1954. Train lines were also closed by landslides.

1954 Floods Melbourne
1954 Floods across Melbourne. 'The Age' on 04-Dec-1954, from

1963 - The Wettest Day Ever

Melbourne's wettest day on record occurred in January 1963, when 129.8 mm fell in 24 hours.

1967 - The Year Short of Rain

Melbourne's driest year was 1967 when the 332.3 mm received was spread over more than three months.

1972 - A Massive Thunderstorm

In February 1972, 78 mm fell in one hour during a thunderstorm. Elizabeth Street was also flooded after a massive downpour of rain, with cars floating through the city.

1977 - The Laverton Thunderstorm

Laverton was hit by a 12-hour thunderstorm that broke several Victorian rainfall records, including the most rainfall in two, three,and four hours.

1982 - Powerful Winds

Melbourne's strongest wind gust on record is 120 kilometres per hour on 3 September 1982.

1983 - The Huge Dust Storm

On 8 February 1983, a dust storm reduced visibility in the city to only 100m.

2009 - A Year of Disastrous Heat

A heatwave resulted in a record three successive days over 43 degrees in 2009. On February 7th, the temperature reached 46.4 degrees in the city. This same heatwave triggered disastrous bushfires in Victoria.

2010 - CBD and Other Floods

In 2010, storms passed directly over Melbourne bringing large hail, flash flooding and high winds, causing widespread damage in Victoria, and stopped all transport, and flooded the CBD.

2016 - Deadly Thunderstorms

Thunderstorm asthma kills nine and hospitalises hundreds. Excessive grass growth in the north and west of Melbourne sent huge amounts of pollen into Melbourne and its suburbs triggering an overwhelming amount of emergency cases.


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Why? Melbourne's most dramatic weather events.
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