Mild days welcome with some rain

By Peter Nelson

The strong high pressure system which had parked itself near Ceduna for nearly two weeks at last began to move over Victoria last Friday, May 25 and allowed some of the prolonged warmth in Perth which was a record for May to filter into our area the last few days.

The temperature reached near 21 degrees in Wangaratta on the Monday, May 28 and this was the highest temperature for late May since 2009 and before that in May 1975.

A welcome 10 mm rain fell the next day. The prolonged spell of warm Perth conditions led to higher temperatures the last two days at Alice Springs, 30.5 degrees and at Oodnadatta, 31 degrees. At the both these places when there were similar occurrences of high temperatures for late May in the last 125 years; it eventually led to a significant rain event in our area within the next few weeks.

After heavy rain at the two outback QLD towns of Roma and St. George in February and early March it has become very dry indeed. There has been no rain at St.George for 83 successive days and this is the longest spell without any rain since 99 days from early March to early June of 1897.

It is also the first time since 1897 that both April and May will be rainless in St. George this year. The winter of 1897 was a wet one in our area.

The mean maximum temperature this month in Wangaratta of 18.4 degrees is one degree above normal for May and the highest since 18.7 in May of 2009. This May was the eight successive month since October last year that the monthly mean maximum temperature was above normal.

The last time this happened in Wangaratta was from October 1990 to May 1991. June 1991 to September was exceptionally wet; especially June when 145 mm rain fell at the time when my first grandchildren, Benjamin and Jessica were born.

Whilst the first five months this year like 1991 was warmer than normal; there was only four other occasions in the last 116 years this happened in Wangaratta. These were in 1921, 1930, 1959 and 2007. The 1921 case followed a wetter than December and January which also happened last Summer. There was excessive rains in our area from June to October 1921.

It looks like a case of too much rain this coming winter.