Drew Casper-Richardson, 17 May 2014, 12:31 AM UTC
Record late Autumn warmth for Sydney
Sydney is enjoying late Autumn warmth not experienced since temperature records began all the way back in 1859. The working week ended in spectacular fashion with the city reaching 25 degrees under clear blue skies. Friday was the seventh day in a row where the mercury exceeded 22 degrees, the longest stretch this late in May since records began over 150 years ago. The previous record was six days which occurred in 1974. The longest run of days exceeding 22 degrees at any time during May is nine which occurred in 1978 and again in 2007. The current forecast is for Sydney to reach 24 or higher for at least the next seven days which will eclipse the current record. A lack of strong cold fronts has allowed the summer heat to linger over the interior. A near-stationary high pressure system over the Tasman Sea has allowed northerly component winds to filter this heat into the Sydney Basin. The high has also brought mostly sunny skies giving the sun ample time to warm the city. The warmth isn't over yet though. Since 1859, Sydney has only had 21 days in May where it has reached 25 degrees, making it a one in every seven year event. Including Saturday, five of the next seven days are forecast to reach 25, highlighting just how unseasonably warm it is. Sydney's average May maximum is 19.4 degrees. The average for this May so far is nearly three degrees higher at 22.1. The highest May average on record is 22.7 in 1958 and with the current forecast this could be broken this year.