After a beautifully warm and sunny weekend, Sydney is continuing to enjoy warmer than usual winter weather.
Days and nights have been warmer than average for more than a week. This trend will continue this week in terms of day time temperatures, with maxima exceeding the July average of 16 degrees each day until at least Wednesday. Nights will be a touch colder than the past week with temperatures expected to dip to the July average of 8 degrees on both Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
The warmer than usual winter weather was due in part to a warm airmass that reached Sydney a week ago. This airmass peaked on Friday when temperatures soared to a spring-like 23 degrees. A cooler airmass then arrived over the weekend behind a cold front, with a colder airmass due to arrive on Thursday.
The stunning blue skies have been due to westerly winds drying out over the dividing range. Skies will stay mostly clear until Wednesday before a low pressure trough arrives on Thursday. This trough will bring some cloud and a shower or two for Sydney, however the sun will dominate again on Friday.
Looking ahead to the weekend, showers are expected as there are now indications that a low pressure system will develop off the coast of New South Wales. It's too early to call how wet Sydney will be, but cloud and showers now look like the dominant features of the weekend.
This winter has been warmer than usual for Sydney, with maxima and minima both above average in June and July. In June Sydney was very wet as it received 244mm, while the average is only 131mm. This month has been much drier with only 19mm so far.
For the rest of winter Sydney should stay drier than recent months as the second half of the year is a drier time for the coastal city. The end of winter and spring may be especially dry with the onset of El Niņo, as this climate driver generally brings drier conditions for Sydney.
© Weatherzone 2012
17:01 EST Sydney's offshore Sea Surface Temperatures (SST's) have remained above 21 degrees for the last four days.