Sydney has recorded its warmest spring on record, largely due to a fiery September and October.
The combined minimum and maximum for the New South Wales capital of 19.9 degrees for spring comfortably broke the previous record of 19.5 degrees set in 1988. The average maximum of 24.7 degrees smashed the previous record set in 2002 of 24.2 degrees.
Despite November coming in close to average, October and particularly September were largely responsible for the record.
The average maximum of 24.4 degrees in September was more than four degrees above the long term average, and more than one degree above the previous record of 23.3 degrees set in 1980.
The intense heat was not just confined to Sydney either, with the national September average coming in 2.75 degrees above normal, smashing the previous record for the month by more than a degree.
October was Sydney's second warmest on record, with maxima coming almost four degrees above average. The hot, dry start to the season coupled with windy weather meant conditions were ripe for bushfires, with dangerous fires burning in the Blue Mountains for much of the month.
November turned out to be much different to the previous months, with temperatures close to average. Remarkably, Sydney's September maxima were warmer than November's, only the second time this has occurred on record. Persistent and wet conditions were largely responsible for the cooler conditions, with the city seeing its wettest November since 1984.
The wet month meant that despite a relatively dry September and October, the seasonal total of 271mm was 40mm above the long term average.
Sydney can look forward to a warmer than usual summer with rainfall close to average due to a combination of a neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation, and warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures.
© Weatherzone 2013
12:40 EDT The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting an improved outlook for summer rain in January for much of drought-affected Queensland.