Still no relief from hot conditions
THE very hot conditions across most inland regions of the continent has continued during the past week and is showing no apparent signs of easing. Most days in North East Victoria have been significantly warmer than normal for January. A welcome cool change arrived early last Saturday morning, January 5, and later during the afternoon some light rain of about 5mm was recorded.
The low pressure trough which brought these welcome conditions passed quickly into Eastern NSW and then on the Sunday this low pressure trough stalled and then returned westwards and the hot days returned on the Monday. The next day the low pressure trough produced some thunderstorm activity around Griffith with a severe dust storm. This storm bypassed Wangaratta. The heat will be relentless from today onwards.
Deniliquin last year had its warmest year since 1902. Coonabarabran had its warmest year since 1980. Further north into outback Qld, St George and Roma both had their hottest pairs of years since 1957-1958. Just before Christmas, St George had a maximum temperature of 44.8 degrees, the hottest in December since 45.4 degrees on Black Wednesday, December 3, 1913. Other very high December readings were in 1951, 1972, 2013 and 2016.
All these past five episodes led to very high temperatures during most of the following January and early February up to about the fourth. The 1972 episode at St George followed a wetter than average November which did also happen last November. Very heavy rain arrived in Wangaratta by early February of 1973 and some useful moderate rainfalls near mid and at end of January of 1973.
The warmest year at Deniliquin since 1902 saw much hot weather in the first two months of 1903 and into early March before much needed rain arrived in our area at about mid March. The warmest year at Coonabarabran also led to many very hot days for most of January up to about February 4, 1981 in our area. Heavy rain late January and in February 1981.
From all these findings it does appear that the winter season of 2019 will be exceptionally wet.
former CSIRO climatologist