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Australia's summer summary

Rob Sharpe, Friday February 28, 2014 - 16:52 EDT

Australia's summer finished up hotter and drier than average across all the capitals except Darwin.

From Perth to Hobart to Brisbane, all capital cities and almost everywhere in between experienced below average rainfall in summer. Temperatures also soared across these areas, with the same capitals all seeing above average temperatures.

Hot and dry weather has dominated due to the presence of large and slow moving high pressure systems across the south. These systems directed hot and dry air into the nation's south and east. Meanwhile the tropics have seen the monsoon trough lingering for much of the summer months.

Adelaide set a new record for its number of days over 40 degrees, with 13, while Melbourne equalled its record of seven days. Despite the high number of very hot days, these cities ended up with their 7th and 9th hottest summers on record due to a high number of near or below average days.

Sydney enjoyed one of its driest, sunniest and most comfortable summers on record. The city had its driest summer in 27 years, its sunniest in nine years and was less humid than any summer in the last decade. Despite only exceeding 30 degrees five times all summer, three below average, the city finished summer one degree above average.

Perth led the charge with its dry and hot summer. There has only been 0.2mm since December 1st, its second longest such run in over 120 years of records. Daytime temperatures have also averaged 32 degrees, making it the fifth hottest summer on record.

Canberra had its second warmest summer on record in terms of maxima, with an average just shy of 30 degrees.

Even the coldest capital was warmer than usual, with Hobart recording its ninth hottest summer on record. It also only picked up 51 percent of its average summer rainfall, with 72mm.

Brisbane joined the capital club with warmer than average temperatures and much less rain than usual. The city only gained 179mm, making it the driest summer since 1985/86. This is more than 250mm short of the long term average, leaving parks and gardens in need of a drink.

The lone ranger amongst the capitals was Darwin. It has been much wetter than average, already amassing 94% of its wet season average with two months to go. This is in sharp contrast to last year when it had one of its driest seasons on record.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014

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