Weather News

Sydney's warmest winter on record

Ben McBurney, Sunday September 1, 2013 - 14:10 EST

Sydney has just enjoyed its warmest winter on record, with rainfall also coming in above average after a very wet June.

There never really was a winter in Sydney, with the three months of June, July and August combined having an average maximum of 19.6 degrees and an average minimum of 10.4 degrees, more typical of late autumn or early spring. The maximum and minimum combined averaged a touch below 15 degrees, smashing the previous record set in 1988.

The warmth wasn't just confined to the city either with the growing influence of the urban heat island, with many others suburbs also seeing their warmest winter on record.

June was the closest it got to winter as frequent cloud and heavy showers kept the temperature down, although it was still more than 1 degree above average. The month was very wet as well, with the 316mm recorded the wettest June in six years and was also 102% of the seasonal average.

July turned out to be much warmer than usual and also quite dry. The usually coldest month of the year was the warmest July on record, with the average maximum of 19.5, warmer than June and more than three degrees above average. This also smashed the previous record in 2005 by almost half a degree.

The unseasonable warmth continued into the end of winter, with Sydney seeing its second warmest August on record. The dry conditions also persisted, with the total of 15mm only 18.7% of the monthly average.

However, overall winter still came in as wetter than usual, with the seasonal total of 364mm above the average of 310mm.

The warm conditions over winter were due to a significant lack of strong cold fronts, above average sea surface temperatures and a persistent region of high pressure.

Similar patterns are causing the warmth to continue into the start of spring.

Sydney has reached 22 degrees today, its warmest start to spring since 2010. The next five days are also forecast to reach at least 22 degrees, which would make it the warmest start to spring on record.

The above average temperatures are likely to persist at least into mid-spring with already a significant buildup of heat over the interior.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

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