Still no re­lief from hot con­di­tions

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

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.

By Peter Nel­son,

for­mer CSIRO cli­ma­tol­o­gist

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