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Wet end to dry summer in SA, Vic and Tas

Brett Dutschke, Wednesday February 27, 2013 - 10:51 EDT

Rain is spreading across much of South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, bringing a wet end to what has been a dry summer overall.

Parts of these states have just had their heaviest rain since autumn last year. In the past 24 hours Friendly Beach in eastern Tasmania gained 28mm, Corryong in northeastern Victoria had 68mm and Tarcoola in SA five millimetres.

There have even been a few places in western SA which have just had their heaviest rain since last summer or even the summer before. Minnipa and Ceduna has just picked up 19mm each, a one-year and two-year high respectively.

Moisture has been streaming across southeastern Australia from Tropical Cyclone Rusty off Western Australia. The moisture has led to very humid weather and also widespread rain as it links up with a cold front.

Up until the last few days the atmosphere had been drier than normal across southeastern Australia, due to a lack of tropical moisture and significant cold fronts.

Much of SA, Victoria and Tasmania has been having its driest summer in more than a decade.

Despite recent rain and a bit more to come today, Hobart will have its driest summer in 10 years. The city has had 56mm so far and there is less than about 10mm to come today, not enough to even reach half its seasonal average of 143mm. The last time it had a drier summer was in 2002/03 when only 27mm was recorded.

For Adelaide, up until today it has been the city's driest summer in 14 years with only 31.2mm so far, half its seasonal average. If today's rain delivers at least two millimetres it will be Adelaide's driest summer in only three years. In the 2009/10 summer 33mm was recorded, eight millimetres more than the previous driest summer in 1998/99.

Of the three capitals, Melbourne has been the wettest with 101mm so far but this is still 54mm short of the average. Today could bring 15-to-30mm, which would make it the driest summer in four years. In 2008/09 only 81mm fell.

This summer is also ending much cooler than the season as a whole, due to the rain and a southerly wind change. Regardless of this current cooler spell it has been a hotter-than-normal season, even record-breaking in some places.

Hobart is having its hottest summer on record with maximum temperatures averaging 23.4 degrees, two above average. Its previous hottest summer was in 1899/90 when the average maximum was 23.2 degrees, slightly hotter than 2000/01.

Melbourne is having its hottest summer in 12 years with an average maximum of 27.4 degrees, also two above the long-term norm. In the 2000/01 summer it averaged 28.0 degrees.

This is Adelaide's hottest summer in three years, averaging a maximum of 29.9 degrees, 1.4 degrees above the long-term norm. In the summer of 2009/10 it averaged 30.4 degrees.

Looking ahead to autumn, the whole region should trend nearer to average, regarding both rainfall and temperatures due to near-neutral climate drivers.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

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