Exceptional summer season across the nation

By Peter Nelson on March 06, 2017
Last Summer can be considered as an exceptional one across the Nation. Perth had it's wettest ever summer on record and Adelaide had it's third wettest summer in 170 years of records. Of a dozen past episodes of the wettest summers in both Perth and Adelaide not one of them occurred whilst record heat wave conditions were in evidence in Outback QLD and northern inland NSW like what happened this summer.

Broome had one of it's coolest and wettest summers on record and out of 13 previous such episodes only the 2013-2014 summer saw very high temperatures in our regions. At Alice Springs where over 200 mms fell during last summer. Out of a dozen past episodes of over 200 mms I had to go back as far as the 1876-1877 summer to find a similar matching summer to last summer. Bathurst recorded it's hottest ever summer in the 1876-1877 summer. There was a welcome fall of rain during the fourth week of March 1877 at most places in our regions.

When Coonabarabran recorded it's wettest ever September on record last year and then had it's coldest September-October since 1958 there was definitely no indication that the following summer would be excessively hot. Past cases of cold September-October periods at Coonabarabran include 1905, 1916, 1947, 1956, 1966 and 1976. All these except 1905 were followed by a summer not that hot. In 1905-06 summer it was very hot , BUT September- October 1905 was very dry at Coonabarabran and at other centres.

Last year in Coonabarabran the highest temperature for July was actually higher than the highest temperature recorded in September and the last and only time this happened in the same year was in 1958 which was a wet May to October period like last year. But the summer of 1958-59 was quite the reverse to this last summer. The wettest February on record happened in Coonabarabran in 1959 but last February was the driest since the February of 1996.

An Extraordinary heavy rain fell in Coonabarbran last Saturday 4th March ; 97 mms fell in about 10 hours at the Airport, putting an end to the planned cycle rides. The storm on the radar remained stationary and the individual rain echoes moved in an clockwise direction around the parent storm. Apart from a fall of 78 ms at Narrabri there was only light falls at other places and no rain at Dubbo and Cowra. Apparently a small scale meso low pressure formed over Coonabarabran last Saturday and remained stationary for several hours.

Looking ahead most other places will experience a warm to hot dry month apart from a moderate rainfall the fourth week of March . Some places will get some thunderstorms like Shepparton which had 11.8 mms rainfall last Saturday night.
By Peter Nelson on March 06, 2017

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