Weather News

Sydney's Mercury Rising: Part two

Max Gonzalez, Sunday May 25, 2014 - 09:14 EST

For Sydneysiders, warmth has become the new black, something that we all welcome as Vivid lights up the city.

The May warmth has only been a continuation of the temperatures we have been experiencing since 2012: 2013 saw the warmest winter and the warmest spring and although the past two summers have not set any record, they have lingered one degree above the norm.

Moreover, January 18th 2013 registered a new record maximum temperature when the mercury at Observatory Hill reached 45.8 degrees. Fourteen stations across the city reached at least 45 degrees on that day, with the coolest being Terrey Hills (43.9 degrees) and the warmest being Penrith (46.5 degrees).

Autumn (or the lack of) 2014 is likely to be the warmest autumn on record with a combined temperature of 20.35 degrees (nearly two degrees above the norm) registered so far combining minimum and maximums. Once again, clear skies have driven the warmest daytime temperatures on record with an average of 24.56 degrees above the autumn long-term average. This is nearly half a degree warmer than the previous record set in 1958.

So far, autumn night-time temperatures rank second on record with an average of 16.13 degrees, 0.4 degrees less than the warmest autumn nights on record set in 1989.

On the rain front, the city has achieved 249mm so far this autumn, which is about 66 percent of the total autumn rainfall. May, however, has not been a good month with only 25mm of rain so far at Observatory Hill, which is only 21 percent of the monthly average. This makes it the driest May since 2008 (with 3mm of rainfall May 2008 was the driest on record). This is not surprising after registering the driest summer in almost 30 years.

With the prospects of an El Nino looming in the Pacific, temperatures are likely to remain above average and sunshine might be plentiful for all to enjoy the great outdoors. However, this casts a shadow over the city as the risk of below average rainfall looms on the months ahead.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014

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