Weather Wize

Hot weather to continue over Christmas

By Peter Nelson

The next two weeks are expected to be dominated by a long sequence of hot days and very little rainfall of any consequence.

There will be a brief interruption the middle of this week when a fairly active active frontal passage which will bring some thunderstorms to some places, but the hot weather will return by the next weekend 23-24th December and continue up to early January.

Coonabarabran may have it's hottest Christmas Day on record. The record hottest Christmas Day occurred in 1899 when the thermometer registered 40.6. Other very hot Christmas days in Coonabarabran were 38.8 in 1893, 40.3 in 1905, 38 in 1922, 1944 and 1957.

The most recent was 37 in 2003. Most on the inland parts of the Nation have already had many days with maximum temperatures in the middle 40's. Little or no change from this situation is expected.

However, heavy rain has occurred in Darwin the last 10 weeks and the yearly total has reached 2140 mms by the middle of this month. This total is more than 400 mms above the annual average of 1700 mms in Darwin.

This general wetness in Darwin may effectively prevent to some extent the extreme heat in the inland parts of the Nation from spreading well south into our regions. The BOM has recently published a paper with the extremes of temperatures for each State of Australia .

For NSW the highest ever temperature is listed as 48.3 at Wilcannia in 1973 and 48.3 at Bourke in 1939. The original paper I have in my posession dated December 1989 listed the highest temperatures in NSW as 52.8 at Bourke in January 1877 and 51.7 also at Bourke in January 1909 and 50.0 at Wilcannia in January 1939.

These days the BOM have ignored extreme temperature data prior to 1910 and it appears the extreme temperature data for Wicannia for each month of the year prior to 1957 has been lost in their archives.