Monday, 2 February 2009 - Monthly Climate Summary for Sydney - Greater Sydney - Product code IDCKGC25L0

Dry, hot and sunny January in Sydney

Summary

  • Below average rainfall across Greater Sydney
  • Well above average maximum temperatures
  • Above average minimum temperatures on coast, close to average in the western suburbs
  • For 1st time, Sydney has 2 consecutive minimum temperatures above 24°C
  • Sunny month with well above average sunshine

An archive of previous monthly summaries for Sydney - Greater Sydney is also available, as are summaries for other states and many other climate summaries and diagnostics.

Rainfall

Sydney had a dry January with well below average rainfall across the whole metropolitan area. Observatory Hill received a total of 24.8 mm, which is only 24% of the historical average of 102.0 mm and the driest since 2003. The rain fell on 8 rain days, the lowest since 1985. Most of January's rain fell on the 27th when a SE airstream converged with a moist easterly stream causing showers and rain periods in coastal Sydney. The wettest suburbs were in the north where Terrey Hills recorded a January total of 70.0 mm. However, most western and southern suburbs recorded less than 30 mm for the month. Blocking high pressure systems in the Tasman Sea contributed towards the below average rainfall. Thunderstorms on the 21st caused heavy showers in northern suburbs with St Ives recording 38.6 mm in about 1 hour.

Well below average rainfall was recorded over the Warragamba Dam catchment area during January with totals around 15 to 25 mm. Sydney's storage level fell slightly during January and is now down to 61% of capacity. Recent rainfall and current levels in Sydney's water catchments can be found on the Sydney Catchment Authority web site http://www.sca.nsw.gov.au/dams/rainfall.html

Temperatures

Most of Greater Sydney experienced well above average maximum temperatures during January, especially the western suburbs which recorded average maximum temperatures up to 3.5°C above the historic January average. Sydney Observatory Hill recorded an average maximum of 27.6 °C, which is 1.7 °C above the historical average of 25.9 °C. This is the highest average maximum temperature for January since 1994 when 28.2°C was recorded and is equal 5th highest on record. It was even hotter in the western suburbs with Penrith recording an average of 33.5°C. Several locations recorded their highest average January maximum temperature on record (see below). Prevailing E-NE winds, only weak southerly changes and predominantly clear skies contributed towards the warm to hot conditions.

Both Penrith and Camden set new records for the number of hot days above 35°C in January. There were 15 days at Penrith when the temperature exceeded 35°C and 10 days above 35°C at Camden. The previous highest at Camden was 9 days in 2001, 1991 and 1979. The highest temperature at Observatory Hill during January was 40.9°C on the 24th while the highest in the Sydney metropolitan area was 43.3°C at Penrith Lakes AWS on the 15th.

Average minimum temperatures in coastal Sydney were above the historic average while western suburbs recorded minimum temperatures very close to the historic average. The official site at Sydney Observatory Hill recorded an average minimum of 19.9 °C, which is 1.2°C above the historical average. This is the 9th consecutive January with above average minimum temperatures at Observatory Hill and ranks 15th highest on record for January.

Warm nights were frequent along the coast with Observatory Hill recording 16 nights with minimum temperatures above 20°C, twice the historic average for January. For the first time in the 150 year record, Sydney experienced two consecutive nights with minimum temperatures above 24°C, on the 23rd and 24th with 25.0°C and 24.8°C respectively. The highest minimum temperature in Greater Sydney was a very warm 25.9°C at Prospect Reservoir and at Sydney Olympic Park on the 24th. The Prospect minimum was the highest for January at this site since 1967 and the 2nd highest on record for any month.

The lowest temperature at Sydney Observatory Hill during January was 14.8°C on the 18th while the lowest in the Sydney metropolitan area was 9.6°C at Camden Airport AWS also on the 18th.

Some sites had their highest January mean daily maximum temperature on record.

Wind

Prevailing winds in coastal Sydney were E-NE during January with the occasional southerly change. A significant southerly change on the 24th dropped the temperature 11°C in 2 hours with wind gusts to 69 km/hr. The highest wind gust for the month was 81 km/hr at Sydney Airport on the 15th associated with a low pressure trough, thunderstorm and southerly change.

Other phenomena

The average daily sunshine in Sydney during January was 9.1 hours per day, well above the historic average of 7.5 hours per day. It was the 3rd sunniest January on record in Sydney (records since 1955). There were 2 days of thunderstorms in Sydney during the month, on the 15th and 21st, compared to the historic average of 3 storms. The far western suburbs and lower Blue Mountains recorded 4 days of thunderstorms. The most severe was on the 21st with heavy showers in northern suburbs and 38.6 mm recorded at St Ives in about 1 hour.

Further information

NSW Climate Services Centre
NSW Regional Office
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (02) 9296 1555
Email reqnsw@bom.gov.au

Extremes for the Sydney area

Hottest day
Highest temperature
43.3°C at Penrith Lakes AWS on the 15th
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
33.5°C at Penrith Lakes AWS
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
27.6°C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
19.8°C at Terrey Hills AWS on the 8th
19.8°C at Springwood on the 9th
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
9.6°C at Camden Airport AWS on the 18th
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
16.0°C at Camden Airport AWS
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
19.9°C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
25.9°C at Prospect Reservoir and at Sydney Olympic Park on the 24th
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
70.0 mm at Terrey Hills AWS
Driest overall
Lowest total rainfall
9.4 mm at Holsworthy
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
38.6 mm at St Ives on the 22nd
Highest wind gust
81 km/h at Sydney Airport on the 15th

Records in the Sydney area

Record highest January mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for January 2009 (°C)
Previous highest
for January
Years of
record
Average for
January
Bankstown Airport AWS 30.7 30.5 in 1991 40 28.0
Parramatta 31.3 31.1 in 1991 40 28.2
Camden Airport AWS 32.5 31.7 in 1991 32 29.3



Summaries for the Sydney area

This table is very wide and may not fit if printed.

Summary statistics for January 2009
Maximum temperatures
for January
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for January
(°C)
Rainfall
for January
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2009
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2009
Mean for
January
2009
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2009
Total for
January
2009
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2009
Fraction of
January
average
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 27.6 +1.7 40.9 24th 19.9 +1.2 14.8 18th 24.8 102.0 low 24%
Bankstown Airport AWS 30.7 +2.7 41.2 24th 17.9 −0.2 12.0 18th 24.0 93.3 very low 26%
Camden Airport AWS 32.5 +3.2 42.5 15th 16.0 −0.7 9.6 18th 34.2 80.2 low 43%
Liverpool 31.7 +3.5 41.0 24th 17.0 −0.6 11.0 18th 15.2 97.6 very low 15%
Parramatta 31.3 +3.1 41.7 15th 17.7 +0.3 10.9 18th 21.0 103.3 low 20%
Penrith Lakes AWS 33.5 +3.1 43.3 15th 18.1 −0.2 12.9 18th 19.2 96.8 very low 20%
Prospect Reservoir 31.7 +3.5 41.8 15th 17.6 0.0 12.0 18th 22.4 94.4 low 24%
Springwood 31.1   40.6 15th 16.9   11.0 18th 23.6 125.7 very low 19%
Terrey Hills AWS 27.8   39.2 24th 17.9   12.1 18th 70.0

Daily rainfall

Most values are the precipitation in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated. Days marked with »» are part of a longer accumulation, which is marked like this on the final day. Values over 100 mm have been rounded to the nearest whole millimetre. Days marked with - have a rainfall report of zero; days left blank have no rainfall report (which often indicates no rain fell).
This table is very wide; you may have to scroll sideways to see all the days, and you may need to set the paper to 'landscape' to print.

Hunter (61)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Webbs Ck-Wisemans Ferry (Hawkesbury Rive - - - - - - - - 1.2 - - 6.2 - - - 2.6 - - - - - 13.4 - - - - 7.0 0.2 - - -
Central Tablelands (South) (63)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Sackville Ferry (Hawkesbury River) - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - 6.0 - - - - 6.8 - - - - 11.0 - - - - 8.0 0.2 - - -
Springwood Bowling Club - - 0.4 - - - - - 5.8 - - 4.4 - - - 1.0 0.4 - - - - 0.4 - - - - 10.6 0.6 - - -
Valley Heights (Sun Valley Rd)
-
-



5.4 -
6.4

- 1.4 0.6 - -
-

-

11.2 0.2
- -
Metropolitan (East) (66)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Abbotsford (Blackwall Point Rd)










2.2


4.4




1.0



8.0 3.0


Ashfield Bowling Club

























12.0 2.0


Auburn (Rosnay Golf Club) - - - - - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - 1.0 3.0 - - - - 4.0 - - - -
Audley (Royal National Park) - - - - - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - 2.0 - - - - 4.0 1.0 - - - - 5.0 1.0 - - -
Avalon (Wollstonecraft Ave) - - - - - - - 7.0 - - - 3.0 - - - 6.0 1.0 - - - - 12.0 1.0 - - - 8.0 1.0 - - -
Bankstown Airport AWS - - - - - - - - 0.4 - - 0.6 - - - 6.0 - - - - 4.0 8.0 - - - - 4.0 1.0 - - -
Belrose (Evelyn Place)






2.8 2.0
0.2 3.6


4.4 1.2


0.2 21.4



18.6 0.4

-
Canterbury Racecourse AWS - - - - - - - - - - - 0.6 - - - 5.4 0.2 - - - 1.6 2.2 - - - - 12.4 1.2 - - -
Castle Cove (Rosebridge Ave)










2.0


8.0



2.0 6.0



18.0 4.0


Chatswood Bowling Club 1.0 - - - 1.0 - - - 1.0 - - 1.0 - - - 8.0 - - - - - 3.0 - - - - 14.0 - - - -
Collaroy (Long Reef Golf Club)






1.2


1.8


1.2














Concord Golf Club














3.0









8.4



Cronulla South Bowling Club










2.0 0.5

2.0 3.4


8.2 1.2



12.2



Guildford (Woodville Golf Club) - - - - - - - 1.0 - - - 2.0 - 1.0 - 1.0 - - - - 8.0 4.0 - - - - 4.0 1.0 - - -
Holsworthy Control Range - - - - - - - - - - - 2.6 - - - 0.4 0.2 - - - 0.6 3.6 - - - - 1.6 0.4 - - -
Lidcombe (Carnarvon Golf Club) - - - - - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - 2.0 - - - - 2.0 3.0 - - - - 5.0 - - - -
Lucas Heights (ANSTO)










4.2 0.8

10.6



2.2 4.8



2.0 0.8


Manley / Warringah (Allambie) - - -

- - 0.5 1.5 - - 3.5 - - - 8.5 0.5 - - - - 27.0 - - - - 18.0 0.5 - - -
Manley / Warringah (Belrose) - - -

- - 2.0 2.0 - - 3.0 - - - 4.0
- - -

- - - - 16.5 0.5 - - -
Marrickville Golf Club - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - 5.0 - - - - 1.0 1.0 - - - - 10.0 - - - -
Marsfield (Willandra Village)







2.7

2.4


1.0




8.0








Milperra Bridge (Georges River) - - - - - - - -






















Mona Vale Golf Club - - - - - - - 4.0 1.0 - - 1.0 - - - 6.0 1.0 - - - -









North Turramurra (Dryden Rd)







2.6
















19.0



Parramatta (Erts) - - - - - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - 1.0 - - - - - 6.0 - - - - 5.0 1.0 - - -
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - 3.4 - - - 2.2 - - - - 0.8 5.0 - - - - 8.0 0.6 - - -
Peakhurst Golf Club














1.0 - - - - - 4.0 - - - - 7.0 - - - -
Randwick Bowling Club











1.4

6.4



3.6 0.2



22.0 3.0


Riverview Observatory - - - - - - - - 1.0 - »» »» »» 2.2 - 5.6 - - - - »» 2.8 - - »» »» 17.4 0.6 - - -
Rose Bay (Royal Sydney Golf Club)










1.2 1.0

5.8 0.6


0.8 0.4



19.0 1.4


Sans Souci (Public School) - - - - - - - - - - - 2.0 1.0 - - 3.0 - - - - - 4.0 - - - - 11.0 - - - -
St Ives (Richmond Avenue) 1.0 -





3.0

2.8


3.0 1.0



38.6



19.6 0.2


Strathfield Golf Club - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - - 2.0 - - - - 1.0 2.0 - - - - 6.0 - - - -
Sydney (Observatory Hill) - - - - - - - - 0.4 - - 1.2 0.2 - - 1.8 - - - - 1.6 1.0 - - - - 14.2 4.4 - - -
Sydney Airport AMO - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 0.8 - - 5.2 0.2 - - - 2.6 0.4 - - - - 9.0 0.2 - - -
Sydney Olympic Park (Sydney Olympic Pk A - - - - - - - 0.2 - - - 2.8 - - - 2.0 - - - - 1.6 2.8 - - - - 7.0 0.2 - - -
Terrey Hills AWS - - - - - - - 3.0 3.0 - 0.4 2.2 - - - 6.8 1.2 - - - - 32.0 0.2 - - - 20.6 0.4 0.2 - -
Turramurra (Kissing Point Road)






5.2 2.8

4.2 0.2

3.8 0.4


3.6 21.6



16.6 1.0

-
West Pymble (Wyuna Road)






2.6 2.2





4.0




9.2



15.0 1.0


Metropolitan (West) (67)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Abbotsbury (Fairfield City Farm) - - - - - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - 19.0 - - - - 3.0 - - - -
Badgerys Creek AWS - - - - - - - - 0.4 0.2 - 4.0 - - - 0.4 - - - - 0.4 19.4 0.2 - - - 3.6 - - - -
Baulkham Hills (Swimming Pool ) - - - - - - - 1.5 2.0 - - 3.0 0.5 - - 1.0 - - - - 2.0 18.5 - 4.0 - - 4.0 - - - -
Baulkham Hills Eucalyptus Ct - - - - - - - - 1.5 - - 3.5 - - - - - - - - - 5.5 - - - - 1.0 - - - -
Berowra (Goodwyn Road)






10.4 2.0

3.4 -

0.4 0.2



24.0








Blacktown (Dog Pound) - - - - - - - 0.5 1.0 - - 3.5 - - - 3.0 - - - - - 14.5 - - - - 5.0 - - - -
Box Hill (Hynds Road) - - - - - - - 3.0 2.0 - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - 2.0 3.0 - - - - 2.0 - - - -
Castle Hill (Kathleen Ave)






6.4 2.2

6.4


2.2



3.0 21.0
4.8

6.2 0.1


Glenmore Park (Cartwright Cl)







2.0

2.8


2.8 0.4



»» 1.6


4.2 0.2


Glenorie (Old Northern Rd)






7.0 1.2

4.0








26.0



4.0



Greystanes (Cumberland Golf Club) - - - - - - - - - - - 2.5 - - - - - - - - 5.0 13.0 1.5 - - - 5.0 - - - -
Hawkesbury River (Sackville Downstream) - -



-
3.0

5.4
-
-

-
-
-

-
0.2
-
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS - - - - - - - - 0.8 - - 3.0 - - - 0.8 - - - - 0.2 18.4 - - - - 4.2 - - - -
Kelso Ck (Kelso Creek U/S Levee (Georges - - - - - - - - - - - 1.5 - - - 4.0 - - - - 2.5 13.5 - - - - 2.5 0.5 - - -
Kings Langley (NSW Soccer Federation) - - - - - - - 0.5 2.0 - - - - - - 0.5 - - - - - 13.0 - 1.0 - - 2.5

- -
Kings Langley (Solander Rd) - - - - - - - - 1.6 - - 4.4 - - - 0.8 - - - - - 15.2 - 0.8 - - 5.4 - - - -
Liverpool (Michael Wenden Centre) - - - - - - - - - - - 2.6 - - - 1.0 - - - - - 7.6 - - - - 3.4 0.6 - - -
Lower Portland (Hawkesbury River) - - - - - - - - 2.6 - - 6.2 - - - - 1.0 0.2 - - 6.6 7.8 0.2 0.2 - - 8.2 0.2 - - -
Maroota (Tobruk) - - - - - - - - 2.0 - - 7.0 - - - - - - - - 1.0









Merrylands (Welsford Street)










3.2


2.4




13.4



6.6



Merrylands West (Finlayson Creek) - - - - - - - 0.5 - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - 7.0 8.5 - - - - 4.0 0.5 - - -
North Parramatta (Burnside Homes) - - - - - - - - 0.5 - - 3.0 - - - 1.5 - - - - 0.5 5.0 - - - - 8.5 0.5 - - -
North Rocks (Muirfield Golf Club) - - - - - - - - 1.5 - - 4.0 - - - 0.5 - - - - 1.5 17.5 - 1.5 - - 5.0 0.5 - - -
Northmead Bowling Club - - - - 0.5 0.5 - - 1.0 - - 4.0 - - - 0.5 - 0.5 2.0 - - 10.0 0.5 - - 0.5 7.0 0.5 - - -
Parramatta (Baulkham Hills West (Sierra - - - - - - - - 0.5 - 0.5 2.5 0.5 - - - - - - - - 11.0 0.5 0.5 - - 3.0 - - - -
Penrith Lakes AWS - - - - - - -
1.4 - - 8.4 - - - 1.0 0.2 - - - - 2.2 0.2 - - - 5.6 0.2 - - -
Prospect Reservoir - - - - - - - - 1.1 - - 3.5 - - - 0.3 - - - - 0.5 10.4 - - - - 6.6 - - - -
Richmond RAAF - - - - - - - - 1.4 - - 3.4 0.2 - - 0.4 0.2 - - - - 1.6 0.2 - - - 10.6 0.2 - - -
Seven Hills (Radio FM 103.2) - - - - - - - - 0.5 - - 7.0 - - - 1.5 - - - - - 14.5 - - - - 4.0 - - - -
Seven Hills (Collins St)







1.4

5.8


0.8




20.0
1.6

4.6



St Clair (Juba Close) - -
-



1.0 - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - 22.0 - - - - 1.0



Toongabbie Bowling Club - - - - - - - - 0.5 0.5 - 4.5 - - - 0.5 - 0.5 - - - 15.0 - 0.5 - - 4.5 - - - -
Toongabbie Ck (Redbank Road (Toongabbee - - - - - - - - 0.5 - - 4.0 - - - 2.0 - - - - - 8.5 - - - - 7.5 0.5 - - -
West Pennant Hills (Cumberland S F Alert - - - - - - - 1.5 2.5 - - 3.0 - - - 1.5 - - - - 0.5 17.5 - 2.5 - - 9.0 0.5 - - -
Willmot (Resolution Ave) - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - 5.0 - - - - 7.0 - - - -
Illawarra (68)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Camden Airport AWS - - - - - - - - - - - 9.6 - - - 2.4 - - - - 2.0 18.4 - - - - 1.8 - - - -
Camden Valley Golf Resort - - - - - - - - - - - 7.0 - - - 2.0 - - - - - 20.0 - - - - 1.0 - - - -
Campbelltown (Kentlyn (Georges River Roa - - - - - - - - - - - 7.0 - - - 1.0 - - - - 1.0 14.0 - - - - - - - - -
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) - - -
- - - -

- 5.8 - - - 0.6 - - - - 0.8 27.4 0.2 - - - 1.6 0.2 - - -
Rossmore (South Creek) - - - - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - 12.0 - - - - 2.0 - - - -

Notes

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 8 am on Monday 2 February 2009. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages are long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 10 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average rain.

The Rank indicates how rainfall this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low rainfall is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of average shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

Further information

NSW Climate Services Centre
NSW Regional Office
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (02) 9296 1555
Email reqnsw@bom.gov.au