Christmas rain clears for Sydney to HobartRob Sharpe, Thursday December 26, 2013 - 10:21 EDT
Sydneysiders had their coldest back to back Christmas Day's on record, but skies are clearing for the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
If the meaning of life is 42, as speculated by the Hitchhikers Guide, then Sydney's Christmas weather was very meaningful. The day only reached 21 degrees under thick cloud and rain which brought 21mm. This is the second Christmas in a row with almost identical weather in the Harbour City. Last year also only reached 21 degrees with 21.6mm of rain. The last two Christmas Day's were the first pair in Sydney to reach 21 degrees or less.
The rain washed out backyard cricket matches, held energetic kids indoors and had families putting 'plan B' into place for the second year in a row. Let's hope next year's Christmas doesn't make a hat trick.
The low pressure system that brought the consistent rain has now moved off the New South Wales coast, allowing the sun to start poking through this morning.
The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is looking at a mostly sunny start at 1pm, but for those in the race it will be fairly slow going. South to southeasterly winds will be easing from moderate to light as the race begins and the yachts leave the harbour.
As the crews move south along the NSW coast on Thursday night light winds will gradually tend northeasterly, becoming moderate at times on Friday. Due to light-to-moderate winds for much of the race, most experts believe the race record won't be broken.
On Saturday, winds will finally pick up from the northeast (tail wind), becoming fresh-to-strong in the afternoon across the Tasman Sea and bringing the faster boats into the Derwent River.
However, the slower boats are likely to still be in open water as the strong westerly change arrives on Saturday night with rain. This will make for a challenging passage along the Derwent River.
© Weatherzone 2013
More breaking news
Wild weather is expected to hit South Australia over the next couple of days, with gale-force winds due to reach the west coast from about midday.
Forbes has been declared a natural disaster zone after the region was hit by flooding over the weekend.
Storm-force winds forecast to hit South Australia this week will be the strongest the state has had in more than 50 years, the weather bureau has warned.