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Canberra's wetter winter a welcome reprieve

Jess Miskelly, Sunday August 30, 2020 - 12:06 EST

With the second last day of August upon us, Canberra in winter 2020 has recorded more than four times the winter rainfall of 2019.

The total rainfall accumulated over June, July, and August this year tallied to 187.4 mm, compared to 40.8 mm for the same period last year. Even better, the 2020 rainfall was spread throughout the season instead of all dumped in a one or two day event that then left months of dryness in between.

Though certainly not ranking near the wettest winter seasons on record, it is the wettest winter since 2016.

Temperature wise, as is common in modern times, minimums were above average for all months with 10 fewer frost days over the season than the long term average.  

Daytime maximums varied, with July being significantly warmer (1.8 degrees) than average, while August days, so far, were average to 0.5 degrees below average.

Unfortunately, the rainfall events did not always translate into alpine snow events and snow depths at Spencers Creek at the beginning of August were the lowest for that time of year since 2013. A large dump of snow last weekend (22-23 August) has brought depths back up to more typical levels but still the lowest since 2016. 

The long-term climate indicators for the ACT and southern NSW region, like the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are indicating a strong chance of a wetter-than-average spring to hopefully back up the winter rains. 

 

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