Sydney in May 2012: Warm, dry, sunny May for Sydney

  • Below average rainfall
  • Longest dry spell since 2002
  • Warm days and cold nights across the city
  • Fewest cloudy days on record

Rainfall

Sydney Observatory Hill recorded 37.2 mm of rain during May, well below the historical average of 121.2 mm and the driest May since 2008. Rainfall was low throughout the city, with most of western Sydney recording less than 20 mm during the month. The rain fell over 5 days, well below the May average of 13 days, with only two days exceeding 2 mm. These were associated with a surface trough on the 25th, bringing 13.8 mm in the city, and 21.4 mm from overnight showers on the 29th.

The start of May was particularly dry in the city, with 25 consecutive dry days at Sydney Observatory Hill between April 26 and May 20. This is the longest dry spell since 34 days in winter 2002, and one of only 17 such spells on record. The first rain during May fell on the 21st, the latest rain day on record for May.

Temperature

The average maximum temperature at Sydney Observatory Hill was 20.9 °C, 1.5 °C above the historical average and the equal 16th warmest May on record, with temperatures above average throughout the city. Sydney has not recorded below average daytime temperatures in May since 1979.

There were 20 days above 20 °C during the month compared to an average of 13 warm days, including two consecutive days above 27 °C on the 9th and 10th. Such a warm spell has only occurred 6 times before, while the maximum of 29.1 °C on the 10th was the 4th warmest May day on record for Sydney. The warm days were associated with generally westerly winds and clear conditions during the month.

The average minimum temperature at Sydney Observatory Hill was 11.2 °C, slightly below the historical average of 11.5 °C. Temperatures were below average throughout the city but particularly in the west, with Parramatta, Bankstown and Prospect Dam recording their coolest nights on average since records began in the 1960s. The cool nights were associated with generally clear conditions during the month, with 9 nights reaching 10 °C or less in Sydney (average for May) but only one dropping below 9 °C (average 5).

The average temperature at Sydney Observatory Hill was consequently 16.1 °C, 0.6 °C above the historical average.

Some sites had their lowest May mean daily minimum temperature on record.

Wind

The prevailing wind direction at Sydney Airport during May was westerly in the morning, with 100% of 9am winds between N and SW, while 62% of 3pm winds were between SE and W. There were four strong wind days reported at the airport, with a maximum wind gust of 70 km/hr on the 26th.

Other phenomena

Sydney Airport recorded an average of 7.7 hours of bright sunshine during May, well above the historical average of 6.2 hours and the highest since 8 hours in May 2007. There were only three cloudy days during the month, the fewest on record for May, with no fogs reported at the airport for the first time since 2006.

No thunderstorms were reported anywhere in the Sydney Metropolitan Region during May.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in May 2012
Hottest day 29.1 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill) on the 10th
Warmest days on average 20.9 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
Coolest days on average 19.0 °C at Springwood (Valley Heights)
Coldest day 12.6 °C at Badgerys Creek AWS on the 24th
Coldest night -0.2 °C at Camden Airport AWS on the 24th
Coolest nights on average 4.6 °C at Camden Airport AWS
Warmest nights on average 11.2 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
Warmest night 15.5 °C at Sydney Airport AMO on the 3rd
Warmest on average overall 16.1 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
Coolest on average overall 12.4 °C at Camden Airport AWS
Wettest overall 57.4 mm at Mona Vale Golf Club
Wettest day 26.6 mm at Collaroy (Long Reef Golf Club) on the 29th
Highest wind gust 74 km/h at Port Botany (Molineux Point AWS) on the 26th

Record lowest May mean daily minimum temperature
Mean daily minimum
temperature
for May 2012 (°C)
Previous coolest
for May
Years of
record
Average for
May
Prospect Reservoir 8.1 = 8.1 in 2011 46 9.9
Bankstown Airport AWS 7.5 = 7.5 in 1970 43 9.5
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 7.8 8.0 in 2004 43 10.0


Summary statistics for May 2012
Maximum temperatures
for May
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for May
(°C)
Rainfall
for May
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2012
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2012
Mean for
May
2012
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2012
Total for
May
2012
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2012
Fraction of
May
average
Badgerys Creek AWS 20.3   27.1 10th 5.7   1.0 23rd 13.0
Bankstown Airport AWS 20.6 +0.2 27.3 10th 7.5 -2.0 3.0 23rd 14.2 69.8 low 20%
Camden Airport AWS 20.3 -0.2 26.9 11th 4.6 -2.5 -0.2 24th 13.0 57.4 low 23%
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 20.5   27.5 10th 5.7   1.1 23rd 11.6
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 20.3   28.0 10th 7.6   3.0 23rd 21.2
Holsworthy Control Range 20.2   27.4 10th 6.7   0.8 23rd 11.8
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 20.0   26.6 10th 7.6   4.6 13th 13.2
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 20.4 -0.1 28.2 10th 7.8 -2.2 4.0 14th 18.6 72.4 low 26%
Penrith Lakes AWS 20.7   27.9 11th 7.3   3.5 23rd 15.4
Prospect Reservoir 20.0 -0.2 26.6 10th 8.1 -1.8 5.5 15th 18.2 71.6 low 25%
Richmond RAAF 20.8   27.5 10th 5.1   0.6 14th 13.6
Riverview Observatory 20.5 +0.9 27.4 10th 8.8 -1.1 7.0 24th 23.2 105.4 low 22%
Springwood (Valley Heights) 19.0   27.6 10th 8.6   5.5 14th 16.0 73.3 low 22%
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 20.9 +1.5 29.1 10th 11.2 -0.3 8.5 15th 37.2 120.6 low 31%
Sydney Airport AMO 20.4 +0.4 27.5 10th 11.1 +0.2 8.6 15th 28.8 100.1 low 29%
Terrey Hills AWS 19.2   27.2 10th 9.6   6.9 15th 42.8

Daily rainfall
Hunter (61)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Webbs Ck-Wisemans Ferry (Hawkesbury Rive - - 0.5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5 - - - - - - - 13.5 - - - 0.5 2.0 21.5
Central Tablelands (South) (63)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Springwood (Valley Heights) - - 1.4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 14.4 - - - 0.2 - -
Metropolitan (East) (66)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Abbotsford (Blackwall Point Rd)























11.0


»» 6.5
Auburn (Rosnay Golf Club) - - 2.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9.0 - - - 5.0 - -
Audley (Royal National Park) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - - 9.0 - 1.0 - 2.0 - -
Avalon (Wollstonecraft Ave) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6.0 - - - 10.0 - - - 16.0 11.0 -
Avalon Beach (Avalon (Palmgrove Rd))

0.4



























Bankstown Airport AWS - - 2.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10.4 - - - 1.4 - 0.2
Belrose (Evelyn Place)

0.6
















0.4


15.2


12.8 2.6 1.0
Campbelltown (Ingleburn (Long Point)) - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 13.0 - - - 2.0 1.0 -
Canterbury Racecourse AWS - - 0.4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 - - - 9.2 - - - 11.0 0.4 -
Castle Cove (Rosebridge Ave)

1.5
















0.5


14.0


12.0 3.0
Chatswood Bowling Club - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 13.0 - - - 11.0 1.0 -
Collaroy (Long Reef Golf Club)























10.4


26.6 13.8
Concord Golf Club























11.2





Cronulla South Bowling Club

1.2
















12.0


9.0


11.2

Guildford (Woodville Golf Club) - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9.0 - - - 3.0 - -
Holsworthy Control Range - - 1.4 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 - - - - - - 9.4 - - - 0.4 0.2 -
Lidcombe (Carnarvon Golf Club) - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - 5.0 - -
Lucas Heights (ANSTO)


1.0



















10.8


1.0

Macquarie Park (Willandra Village)

0.8




















10.8


6.2 0.4
Manley / Warringah (Allambie) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5 - - 13.0 - - - 21.0 2.0 -
Marrickville Golf Club - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - 11.0 - - - 9.0 1.0 -
Milperra Bridge (Georges River) - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - -

















Mona Vale Golf Club - 0.2 0.4 - - - - - - 0.2 0.2 - - - - - - 0.2 0.4 - 4.4 0.2 - - 12.4 0.2 - - 25.8 12.8 -
Parramatta (Erts) - - 1.5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8.5 - - - 2.0 - -
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) - - 2.6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 11.8 - - - 4.0 0.2 -
Peakhurst Golf Club - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8.0 - - - 7.0 - -
Randwick Bowling Club -
0.2















0.6 6.0


13.6


19.0 1.8
Riverview Observatory - - 0.8 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 - - 11.8 - - - 9.2 1.2 -
Rose Bay (Royal Sydney Golf Club)

0.8











0.2

1.0
3.2 0.2

10.8

0.2 13.4 0.2
Sans Souci (Public School) - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 3.0 - - - 9.0 - - - 15.0 1.0 -
St Ives (Richmond Avenue)

1.0
















0.6


15.8


9.2 0.8 -
Strathfield Golf Club - - 1.0 - - 1.0 - - 1.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - 1.0 2.0 - - - - - 11.0 - - - 8.0 - -
Sydney (Observatory Hill) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.4 - - - 13.8 - 0.2 - 21.4 1.4 -
Sydney Airport AMO - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 11.2 - - - 9.8 - - - 7.2 0.6 -
Terrey Hills AWS - - 0.2 - - 0.2 - - - - - -
- - - - - - - 1.0 - - - 15.8 - - - 20.6 5.0 -
Turramurra (Kissing Point Road)

1.4




















14.0


10.0 1.6 -
Metropolitan (West) (67)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Abbotsbury (Fairfield City Farm) - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 9.0 - - - - - -
Badgerys Creek AWS - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 - 0.2 - - 0.2 - - 11.4 - - - - - -
Baulkham Hills (Swimming Pool ) - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 11.5 - - - 2.0 - -
Berowra (Goodwyn Road)























13.0


5.8 4.0
Blacktown (Dog Pound) - - 5.5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9.5 - - - 0.5 - -
Box Hill (Hynds Road) - - 5.0 - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - 13.0 - - - 1.0 - -
Castle Hill (Kathleen Ave)

4.2 0.2











- - - - - - - - 12.4


2.0

Glenorie (Old Northern Rd)

3.2




















13.4


4.6

Greystanes (Cumberland Golf Club) - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10.0 - - - 1.5 - -
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS - - 3.0 - - - - 0.6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 - 9.4 - - - - - -
Kelso Ck (Kelso Creek U/S Levee (Georges - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10.0 - - - 1.0 - -
Kings Langley (NSW Soccer Federation) - - 7.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 12.0 - - - 1.0 - -
Liverpool (Michael Wenden Centre) »» »» 2.6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8.2 - - - - - -
Lower Portland (Hawkesbury River) - - 1.4 0.2 - - - - - 0.2 - - -



- - -
- 0.2 - 14.2 - - - 0.6 0.4 0.2
Maroota (Tobruk) 0.2 0.2 0.8 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 - - - - - - 14.4 - - - 1.0 3.8 0.2
Merrylands West (Finlayson Creek) - - 5.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10.0 - - - 2.0 - -
North Parramatta (Burnside Homes) - - 2.5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10.0 - - - 3.5 - -
North Rocks (Muirfield Golf Club) - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 11.0 - - - 2.5 - 0.5
Northmead Bowling Club - - 2.5 0.5 - - - - - - - - - 0.5 - - - - - - - - - - 9.0 0.5 - - 2.0 0.5 -
Parramatta (Baulkham Hills West (Sierra - - 4.5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5 - - 11.0 - - - 1.0 - -
Penrith Lakes AWS - - 1.0 - - - - 0.2 - 0.2 - - - - - 0.2 - 0.2 0.2 - - 0.4 - - 12.6 0.2 - 0.2 - - -
Prospect Reservoir - - 7.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10.0 - - - 0.8 0.2 -
Richmond RAAF - 0.2 0.6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 - - - 12.4 0.2 - - - - -
Sackville - 0.2 3.0 0.2 - 0.4 - 0.2 - 0.4 - - 0.2 0.2 - 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.2 - 0.2 0.2 - 13.6 0.4 - - 2.0 0.2 0.2
Seven Hills (Radio FM 103.2) - - 9.0 0.5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9.5 0.5 - - 1.0 - -
Seven Hills (Collins St)

8.2




















11.2


1.2

South Creek (Elizabeth Drive)

1.0




















5.0





St Clair (Juba Close) - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9.0 - - - - - -
Toongabbie Bowling Club - - 5.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 11.5 - - - 1.0 - -
Toongabbie Ck (Redbank Road (Toongabbee - - 2.5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10.5 - - - 2.0 - -
West Pennant Hills (Cumberland S F Alert - - 2.0 - - - - - 1.5 - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5 - - 10.5 - - - 3.0 0.5 -
Willmot (Resolution Ave) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8.0 - - - - - -
Windsor SWC (Hawkesbury River) - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 13.0 - - - - - -
Illawarra (68)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Camden Airport AWS - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 12.0 - - - - - -
Campbelltown (Kentlyn (Georges River Roa - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - 10.0 - - - - 1.0 -
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 11.6 - - - - - -
Rossmore (South Creek) - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10.0 - - - - - -

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.


Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Sydney - Greater Sydney using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Friday 1 June 2012. 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 20 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

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries