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Dam levels dropping after string of dry months in Sydney

Ben Domensino, Tuesday April 17, 2018 - 11:57 EST

Sydney's water supply is at its lowest level since at least 2011 after the city's driest start to April on record.

The current volume of water in the Greater Sydney dams was 1,909,603 megalitres on Tuesday, which is 74 per cent of the total capacity and the lowest level since at least 2011.

Warragamba Dam's water volume increased rapidly between 2010 and 2012 in response to back-to-back La Nina events that caused Australia's wettest two-year period on record. This period also caused some of Australia's biggest floods in living memory and followed years of severe drought in many parts of the country.

The water level in Warragamba Dam has now dipped to 76.4 per cent following a prolonged period of unusually dry weather in eastern NSW, which is about 19 per cent lower than the same time last year.

Sydney has received below-average rainfall during each of the last nine months, including the city's second driest calendar month on record last September. This dry spell has now culminated in the driest April to date in 160 years of records, with zero millimetres reaching the gauge during the first 17 days of the month.

In addition to the rain, Sydney is currently having its hottest April on record by more than two degrees. The city's running average maximum temperature was 28.4 degrees as of 9am on Tuesday. This is well above the previous record of 26.0 degrees for the first 16 days of April from 1922 and a whopping six degrees above the long-term monthly average for this time of year. In fact, this even trumps the record average maximum temperature for March, which was 27.1 degrees in 2006.

While Sydney is currently enjoying a couple of near-average days in the low twenties, maximum temperatures will climb back up to 26 to 27 degrees during the second half of this week.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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