Weather Wize

More hot days but cooler change on the way

By Peter Nelson

This current weekend has seen the continuation of the heat wave conditions which began on 19th January.

However, the first active cool change for many weeks is expected to arrive in our regions by next Tuesday 30th January with many places receiving moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms.

More hot days are not expected until about the middle of next week when humidities will be higher than normally. Further heavy rain in Darwin and Broome occurred recently.

During the last few days some places were fortunate to receive moderate to heavy rainfalls with thunderstorms. Humidity has been notably high and dew point temperatures well above normal with readings 16 to 20 degrees.

A very localized thunderstorm brought 69 mms to Wangaratta in three hours from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm last Saturday night , 27th January. There were strong winds from NNW up to 50 km per hour and dew points very high at 22.5, a value normally experienced in Darwin during the wet season. No rain fell at Yarrawonga, Benalla and Rutherglen, all only 50 odd kms away.

These three places experienced much lighter winds from NE during the course of the storm in Wangaratta. Many places in NE Victoria and at few places elsewhere in our region are experiencing their hottest January since 1981.

The last four months of 1980 were notably warmer than usual with December 1980 being wetter than average.

The same pattern did eventuate the last four months of last year. The year 1981 was notably very very wet especially during the winter in our regions and this year will not be much different to that of 1981.

Further north many towns in the Warrego and Maranoa district in out back QLD are in severe drought . Charleville last year had it's driest year on record with only 203mm, just pipping the previous driest year of 1899. It was the hottest year at Charleville since 1915. Records at Charleville go back to 1874.

This year has started off worse in Charleville with the first rainless January likely to happen this month and this month is the hottest January there since 1947 after a very dry 1946.

The year 1947 was notably wet across much of the nation and the first few months of 1947 was notably warmer than usual in Victoria.