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Adelaide endures longest October dry spell in 43 years

Press Release, Wednesday October 31, 2012 - 16:06 EDT

Adelaide has now gone 19 days without recording any rain, making it the longest October dry spell in 43 years, according to weatherzone.com.au.

This beats the 18 consecutive dry days in October 2006. That 18 days was part of a 24-day dry spell which started on the 25th of September.

The last time the city had a longer October dry spell was in 1969, when the first 27 days of the month were rain-free. This is the longest October dry spell since records began in 1839.

All up this month, the city gained just 19.8 millimetres of rain, well below the October average of 44mm. This makes it the driest October in three years.

"The atmosphere has dried out quite a bit this spring. The seas off northwestern Australia cooled down more than normal, reducing the moisture in the atmosphere and the potential for cloudbands and soaking rain. Cold fronts have had too little moisture to link up with," Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said.

"Cloud cover was down about 15 percent compared to average. This equates to an extra one-and-a-half hours of sunshine per day in October, which allowed the average daytime temperature to be one degree warmer than normal," Dutschke said.

October's days were the warmest in five years with daytime temperatures averaging 23.1 degrees, compared to the long-term norm of 21.8 degrees.

Clearer skies have meant nights have been colder than normal. The city had its coldest October nights in nine years with an average overnight minimum of 10.7 degrees, 0.8 below the long-term norm.

"It's been fairly pleasant getting outside, especially now that daylight savings is here, but gardens and parks are really drying out."

Outside of the Adelaide area it has been drier for longer. The Murraylands and Riverland have been particularly dry. Lameroo and Renmark have both gone 20 days without rain. Much of the region has had its driest October in four or five years.

"It is getting to a desperate stage for many farmers. The next decent rain may be too late. Rain next Tuesday or Wednesday will help some but it is looking patchy."

"Looking ahead to the next few months, warming seas off northwestern Australia should allow rainfall to trend to near-average with help from a near-neutral phase of the ENSO system (neither strong El Nino or strong La Nina). Daytime and overnight temperatures should turn out to be near-or-just-above average," Dutschke said.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2012

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