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Coldest December in Melbourne in seven years

Press Release, Wednesday December 31, 2008 - 14:02 EDT
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Press Release

Coldest December in Melbourne in seven years

31/12/2008: Melbourne has just recorded the coldest December since 2001, as well as the wettest since 2005.

Just under 77mm of rain was recorded, making it not only the wettest December since 2005, but also the wettest month at any time of year since this time. In fact, the 36mm recorded on the 13th, was the wettest day since February, 2006, showing just how dry it has been recently.

It was wet around the state, with almost all areas picking up above average rainfall. The exceptions were small parts of the Alpine and Gippsland districts, as well as Phillip Island. The Murray region did particularly well: Ouyen had 78mm, the wettest month in a year and a half and the wettest December since 1992. Mildura, with 47mm, was also the wettest in over a year and a half.

"December saw a number of widespread rain or storm days as persistent troughs developed over the eastern inland, fed by tropical moisture with the early monsoon, that then poked down into northern Victoria, bringing good falls to border regions," said meteorologist Jessica Trevena. "In addition, a deep low that formed to the south of the state brought good falls to southern regions around the 13th and 14th."

The persistent cloudy weather also saw temperatures come in below average for the month. Melbourne saw just one day over 35 degrees – the lowest number for December in four years. The average maximum for the month was one below average at 23 degrees - four degrees cooler than last year and the coldest since 2001. In the hot northwest, Swan Hill also saw its coldest December since 2001.

Minimums were slightly up on average, thanks to the blanket affect of overnight cloud cover, coming in at 13 degrees for the month for Melbourne - half a degree above average.

When maximums and minimums were combined, Melbourne's average for the month was 18 degrees, only a touch below the long term average.

The outlook for the rest of Summer is for temperatures to increase to above or near normal values as the tropical Indian Ocean remains slightly warmer than average, and the number of sunny days increases. Correspondingly, rainfall is most likely to reduce to near normal values, with the tropical Indian Ocean having less of an effect over Summer and neutral conditions persisting in the tropical Pacific.

Media Inquiries:

Jessica Trevena
02 9965 9236

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