|The sun shines through yet another shower overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia [EPA]
It has been a particularly disappointing summer for much of eastern Australia in particular. Western Sydney is currently experiencing its coldest summer on record and this has been due to the ongoing presence of the weather phenomenon known as La Nina.
If we take summer here to be the months of December, January and February, then Sydney has only been able to record an average temperature of 24.6C (almost a full degree lower than usual). With one day still to go, this puts it on course to be the coldest summer since 1953.
Sydney has only exceeded 30C twice this summer as opposed to the rather more typical eight or nine times. Even Hobart, well to the south, has managed better, reaching that temperature on eight occasions so far.
As we await the last of the observations, we can say with all certainty that Sydney has also shivered its way through its rainiest summer in some 13 years. Over the last 91 days we’ve had 48 wet days rather than the rather more typical 30 days with measurable rainfall.
This makes it the seventh highest number of rain days on record. The summer of 1998/99 had 49 days, but the overall record is 62 way back in 1894/95.
Perhaps surprisingly, the actual amount of rain has not been exceptional with a total of 328mm of rain, which is only 31mm above the norm, in fact the summer of 2007/08 was actually wetter. With the rain comes the cloud and it comes as no great surprise to report that it has also been a dull summer with around 20 minutes less sunshine recorded daily.
We are hopeful that autumn should see some improvement with conditions returning to near-average. La Nina is expected to gradually weaken and decay, but before that we do have a slow moving area of low pressure which is currently bringing flooding rains into southern New South Wales and Victoria.
Source: Al Jazeera