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Coldest December for Adelaide in seven years

Press Release, Wednesday December 31, 2008 - 13:34 EDT
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Press Release

Coldest December for Adelaide in seven years

31/12/2008: Adelaide city has just recorded its coldest December since 2001 as well as the wettest month since August – a welcome change after the driest Spring since 1896.

The average maximum for the month came in at just under 26 degrees, more than one below the average and the coolest for December since 2001.

"The cool days were due to a predominance of cool southerly winds as high pressure ridges sat to the south of the country," said meteorologist Jessica Trevena. "There were also no instances of persistent high pressure cells lingering over the Tasman Sea, directing hot northerly winds over southern states and a classic set-up for hot weather in Adelaide."

In fact there was not a single day above 35 degrees: this hasn’t happened in December since 2001.

In terms of minimums it was also cool. The average for the month was 15 degrees, only slightly below average but still the coolest since 2004. The coldest night of the month was 9 degrees on the 8th – the coolest December night in two years.

When daytime and night-time temperatures were combined, the average for December, 2008 was 21 degrees, nearly one below the long term average.

Thankfully, it was also a wet month. Most of the state recorded above average rainfall – including the parched Murray region. Adelaide city picked up 36mm – the wettest month since August. Karoonda and Lameroo, both in the Murray, picked up 74mm and 62mm respectively, the wettest month in at least a year and a half.

"There were a number of heat lows over Western Australia that gathered moisture from the tropics and then crossed south, bringing good rain to South Australia and Victoria, in particular on the 13th when almost the entire east picked up at least 10mm," said Trevena.

Looking into the first few months of next year, rainfall is likely to decrease to normal values as near neutral conditions persist in the tropical Pacific and the tropical Indian Ocean has a decreasing effect over the Summer months. Expected warmer than average conditions over the tropical Indian ocean means temperatures are likely to increase to above normal values, helped by persistent warm Coral Sea temperatures.

Media Inquiries:

Jessica Trevena
02 9965 9236

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