Weather Wize

Significant fall in maximum temperatures across northern Australia

By Peter Nelson

The past week has seen significant falls in maximum temperatures across the northern Australia. Persistent heavy rain has kept temperatures well below normal.

At Marble Bar where a near record 314 mms for January occurred, the last three days were the coldest in 115 years of records for January and it was the coolest week for this time of year since 1942.

The last summer month of 1942 in our region saw an absence of very hot days, although early March 1942 did see a short hot spell of about 36 degrees.

Then moderate rains fell after mid month which did lead to a very wet May to July in 1942. Broome had it's wettest ever January with 915 mms in 120 years of records.

The highest temperature last month was only 34.8 . There were only five previous times when the highest temperature did not reach 35 in January at Broome. These were in 1920, 1935, 1979, 1991 and 2008.

The month of March following these cases did have a tendency to be warmer and drier than usual in our regions with the hottest days during second week but not excessively hot.

The welcome cool change of early last week did lower temperatures quite significantly in our region and when it reached the southern part of QLD many places had their coldest February day since 1989 and few had their coldest February day in over 100 years of records.

The Warrego and Maranoa district of QLD which had one of their hottest January on records had welcome heavy rain after a very dry January and then very low maximum temperatures for February.

At Charleville the maximum temperature last Saturday 3rd February of 20.7 was the lowest in February since 19.3 in 1949. St George with a maximum of only 18.6 had it's coldest February day since 1953 and the third coldest since 1917.

Roma's 19.0 was it's third lowest for February in the last 61 years Such a big drop in maximum temperatures over the past week in this part of southern QLD does to some extent lead up to a wet year in Eastern Australia.

For the present the second week of this month will be the hottest for this February, but certainly not as hot as the last half on January in our region. Not much rainfall is expected until well after mid month.