Sydney in October 2013: A hot, dry October for Sydney

  • Very dry October in western Sydney; local flash floods in the east
  • Second-warmest October on record for maximum temperatures
  • Severe bushfire activity in the Blue Mountains

Rainfall - Dry October but local flash floods

Sydney Observatory Hill recorded 42.2 mm of rain during October, below the historical average of 76.9 mm. Rainfall was below average across the city, with particularly dry conditions in the Blue Mountains, with the driest October since 1988 at Springwood and the driest October on record at Katoomba. This is a continuation of recent dry conditions, with Sydney Observatory Hill recording July-October rainfall in the driest 10% of years, while Richmond experienced its driest July-October period on record.

There were only five rain days recorded at Sydney Observatory Hill, well below the October average of 12 days and the fewest since 2007. Most of the rain fell on the 28th, when localised storms caused heavy rain in the eastern suburbs, reaching 28.2 mm at Observatory Hill and 47.4 mm at Mona Vale. Most of the rain fell in the early morning, with 21.4 mm at Observatory Hill between 4:30 and 5:30 am, causing localised flash flooding in the eastern suburbs.

Temperature - Second warmest October on record

Sydney Observatory Hill recorded an average maximum temperature of 25.7 °C, 3.6 °C above the historical average. This was the second-warmest October on record for Sydney, following 26.2 °C in October 1988, with all Sydney stations experiencing their warmest October since at least 1988. The July-October period is the warmest on record for Sydney, with maximum temperatures 3.6 °C above the historical average and 1.2 °C above the previous record, also set in 1988.

The warm temperatures were associated with well below average rainfall during recent months and several exceptionally warm days, particularly during the first half of the month. Only one day during October dropped below 20 °C, the equal-fewest on record with 1988 (average 11 days). Five days reached at least 32 °C, the equal-highest on record with 1926 (average 1 day), with two reaching at least 35 °C. This included a maximum of 37.3 °C on the 10th, the third-warmest October day on record for Sydney.

Minimum temperatures were closer to normal during October, with an average minimum temperature of 15 °C at Observatory Hill, 1.4 °C above the historical average. The mean temperature was consequently 20.3 °C, 2.4 °C above the historical average and the third-warmest October on record.

See a list of October temperature records.

Wind - Strong winds in the city

The prevailing wind direction at Sydney Airport during October was easterly, with 58% of 3 pm winds between NE and SE; 19% of 3 pm winds were between W and NW, above average for October, contributing to warm conditions during the month.

There were several damaging wind events during the month, with gusts of 80 km/h or more at the airport on six occasions. Gusts reached 91 km/h at Badgerys Creek and Port Botany on the 1st, 94 km/h at Bankstown on the 17th and 94 km/h at Sydney Airport on the 29th. These strong winds were associated with downed trees and powerlines and some roof damage, as well as impacting bushfire activity.

Other phenomena - Major bushfires in the Blue Mountains

Sydney Airport recorded an average of 9.4 hours of bright sunshine during October, well above the historical average of 7.8 hours and the sunniest October since 2001. There was one thunderstorm reported at the airport, on the 23rd.

The warm, dry conditions over recent months as well as several very hot, dry days contributed to major bushfire activity during October. This included a fire which destroyed 43 cars at Olympic Park on the 13th, before major bushfires developed in the Blue Mountains from the 17th, destroying more than 200 homes and burning over 50000 hectares, as well as widespread road closures and damage to power, rail and tourism infrastructure. The fires also caused severe air pollution across the Sydney basin from smoke on the 17th.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries

Extremes in October 2013
Hottest day 37.8 °C at Sydney Airport AMO on the 10th
Warmest days on average 28.9 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS
Coolest days on average 24.9 °C at Terrey Hills AWS
Coldest day 17.7 °C at Sydney Airport AMO on the 14th
Coldest night 2.7 °C at Camden Airport AWS on the 15th
Coolest nights on average 8.6 °C at Camden Airport AWS
Warmest nights on average 15.0 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
Warmest night 20.2 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill) on the 1st
20.2 °C at Sydney Airport AMO on the 23rd
Warmest on average overall 20.4 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
20.4 °C at Sydney Airport AMO
Coolest on average overall 18.0 °C at Campbelltown (Mount Annan)
Wettest overall 67.2 mm at Mona Vale Golf Club
Wettest day 47.4 mm at Mona Vale Golf Club on the 28th
Highest wind gust 100 km/h at Port Botany (Molineux Point AWS) on the 10th

Record highest October mean daily maximum temperature
Mean daily maximum
temperature
for October 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Riverview Observatory 25.8 = 25.8 in 2007 76 22.7
Prospect Reservoir 27.7 27.2 in 2007 46 23.7
Richmond RAAF 28.4 27.9 in 2002 20 25.0


Record highest October daily minimum temperature
Highest daily minimum
temperature
in October 2013 (°C)
Previous warmest
for October
Years of
record
Average for
October
Camden Airport AWS 18.7 on the 22nd 18.6 on the 29th in 1988 38 9.9


Summary statistics for October 2013
Maximum temperatures
for October
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
for October
(°C)
Rainfall
for October
(millimetres)
Mean for
October
2013
Diff
from
average
Highest for
October
2013
Mean for
October
2013
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
October
2013
Total for
October
2013
Average
for
October
Rank of
October
2013
Fraction of
October
average
Badgerys Creek AWS 27.5   36.2 10th 9.9   4.5 15th 6.0
Bankstown Airport AWS 27.4 +3.7 36.8 10th 11.2 -0.6 5.6 15th 9.0 59.5 low 15%
Camden Airport AWS 27.6 +3.5 36.4 21st 8.6 -1.3 2.7 15th 9.0 63.8 low 14%
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 27.0   35.8 21st 9.0   3.0 15th 10.4
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 25.7   35.9 10th 11.4   5.7 25th 11.4
Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS 26.9   36.4 10th 10.9   4.8 15th 13.0
Holsworthy Control Range 26.8   36.1 10th 9.8   3.6 25th 11.0
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 27.4   36.3 21st 11.4   5.1 15th 6.4
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 27.0 +3.1 37.0 10th 11.9 0.0 6.3 15th 14.6 68.0 low 21%
Penrith Lakes AWS 28.9   37.2 21st 11.3   6.3 5th 6.6
Prospect Reservoir 27.7 +4.0 36.8 10th 12.2 +0.1 5.7 15th 9.7 58.7 v low 17%
Richmond RAAF 28.4 +3.4 36.6 10th 9.9   3.4 25th 7.8 50.6 v low 15%
Riverview Observatory 25.8 +3.1 36.4 10th 12.5 +0.5 7.4 4th 26.6 75.7 low 35%
Springwood (Valley Heights) 26.3   34.6 10th 11.7   6.0 15th 5.2 73.6 v low 7%
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 25.7 +3.6 37.3 10th 15.0 +1.4 9.7 4th 42.2 76.9 average 55%
Sydney Airport AMO 26.1 +3.6 37.8 10th 14.6 +1.4 9.7 15th 16.2 70.1 low 23%
Terrey Hills AWS 24.9   35.2 10th 13.1   7.4 15th 23.2

Daily rainfall
Hunter (61)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Webbs Ck-Wisemans Ferry (Hawkesbury Rive - - - 8.4 - - - - - - - - - 0.8 0.2 - - - - - - - 3.6 - - - - - - 15.0 0.2
Central Tablelands (South) (63)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
North Richmond (Hospital) - - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - 8.0 -
Springwood (Valley Heights) - - - 0.4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.6 - - - - - 0.2 1.0 -
Metropolitan (East) (66)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Abbotsford (Blackwall Point Rd)












4.0







4.0



16.0
2.0
Auburn (Rosnay Golf Club) - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - -
Audley (Royal National Park)





















4.0 - - - - - - - -
Avalon (Wollstonecraft Ave) - - - 3.0 - - - - - - 3.0 - - 7.0 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - 33.0 - 14.0 1.0
Avalon Beach (Avalon (Palmgrove Rd)) - - - 3.8 - - - - - - 2.4 - - 6.6 - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - 29.6 - 14.2 -
Bankstown Airport AWS - - - 3.2 - - - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - 3.8 - - - - - - - -
Belrose (Evelyn Place) - - - 3.4 - - - - - - 1.0 - - 4.6 - - - - - - - - 7.8 - - - - 19.8 - 1.4 -
Campbelltown (Ingleburn (Long Point)) - - - 12.0 - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - 5.0 - - - - - - - -
Canterbury Racecourse AWS - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - 3.4 - - - - - - - - 3.8 0.2 - - - 0.2 - 1.8 -
Castle Cove (Rosebridge Ave)


6.0





1.0

5.0







6.5



4.0


Chatswood Bowling Club - - - 6.0 - - - - - - - - - 5.0 - - - - - - - - 5.0 - - - - 3.0 - 1.0 -
Collaroy (Long Reef Golf Club)


6.6





1.0










4.4



38.6


Concord Golf Club - - - 4.6 - - - - - - - - - 4.8 - - - - - - - - 4.2







Cronulla South Bowling Club






1.8




4.0







4.6




0.8

Frenchs Forest (Frenchs Forest Rd) - - - 9.0 - - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - 6.0 - - - - 41.0 - 3.0 -
Guildford (Woodville Golf Club) - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - -
Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS - - - 7.4 0.2 - - - - - - - - 1.4 - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - -
Holsworthy Control Range - - - 5.6 - - - - - - - - - 1.4 - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - -
Lidcombe (Carnarvon Golf Club) - - - 5.0 - - - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - -
Liverpool-Scrivener St (Georges River) - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - -
Lucas Heights (ANSTO)





















5.4







Marrickville Golf Club - - - 7.0 - - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - 2.0 - 1.0 -
Milperra Bridge (Georges River) - - - 2.0 1.0 - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - -
Mona Vale Golf Club - - - 3.2 - - - - - - 0.4 - 0.2 5.4 - - - - - - 0.2 - 4.8 - - - - 47.4 0.4 5.2 -
Oatley (Woronora Parade)


























0.4


Parramatta (Erts) - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - 2.0 1.0 - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - -
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - 5.8 - - - - - - - - 4.4 - - - - 0.2 - 0.2 -
Peakhurst Golf Club - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - -
Randwick Bowling Club - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - - 4.6 - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - 33.8 - 0.2 -
Riverview Observatory - - - 5.8 - - - - - - - - »» 5.2 - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - »» 10.6 - 1.0 -
Rose Bay (Royal Sydney Golf Club) - - - 3.6 - - - - - - - - - 4.4 - - - - - - - - 4.8 - - - - 11.8 - 0.4
Sans Souci (Public School) - - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - 7.0 1.0 -
St Ives (Richmond Avenue)


4.0








6.0







6.8





5.4
Strathfield Golf Club - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - 1.0 -
Sydney (Observatory Hill) - - - 5.0 - - - - - - - - - 5.0 - - - - - - - - 3.6 - - - - 28.2 - 0.4 -
Sydney Airport AMO - - - 1.0 - - - 1.0 - - - - - 3.2 0.2 - - - - - - - 3.6 0.2 - - - 1.2 5.2 0.4 0.2
Sydney Botanic Gardens - - - 8.0 - - - 1.2 - - - - - 4.6 - - - - - - - - 3.8 - - - - 20.0


Terrey Hills AWS - - - 2.8 - - - - - - 0.2 - - 6.4 - - - - - - - - 4.4 0.2 - - - 2.6 - 6.6 -
Turramurra (Kissing Point Road)


6.0








8.2







6.6





2.8 -
Metropolitan (West) (67)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Abbotsbury (Fairfield City Farm) - - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - -
Badgerys Creek AWS - - - 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5.8 - - - - - - - -
Baulkham Hills (Swimming Pool ) - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - -
Baulkham Hills Eucalyptus Ct 1.0 - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - 4.5 - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - 1.5 - - -
Berowra (Goodwyn Road) - - - 1.4 - - - - - - - - - 9.6 - - - - - - - - 5.6 - - - - - - 13.0
Blacktown (Dog Pound) - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - - 2.5 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - -
Box Hill (Hynds Road) - - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - 1.0 -
Castle Hill (Kathleen Ave) - - - 2.4 - - - - - - - - - 4.2 - - - - - - - - 5.8 - - - - - - 0.4
Glenorie (Old Northern Rd)

1.0

















5.2





10.2

Greystanes (Cumberland Golf Club) - - - 6.0 - - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - -
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS - - - 2.2 - - - - - - - - - 1.2 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - -
Kelso Ck (Kelso Creek U/S Levee (Georges - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - - 1.5 - - - - - - - - 3.0 0.5 - - - - - - -
Kings Langley (NSW Soccer Federation) - 0.5 - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - -
Maroota (Tobruk) - - - 7.0 - - - - - - - - - 1.2 - - - - - - - - 5.0 - - - - - - 15.4 1.0
Merrylands West (Finlayson Creek) - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - -
North Parramatta (Burnside Homes) - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - - 5.5 - - - - - - - - 3.5 - - - - - - - -
North Rocks (Muirfield Golf Club) - - - 2.5 - - - - - - - - - 5.5 - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - -
Northmead Bowling Club - - - 3.5 - - - - - - 2.0 - - 5.0 - - - - - - - - 5.0 - - - - 1.0 - - -
Penrith Lakes AWS - - - - 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.6 - - - - - 2.2 0.6 -
Prospect Reservoir - - - 2.6 - - - - - - - - - 3.4 - - - - - - - - 3.7 - - - - - - - -
Richmond - UWS Hawkesbury - - - 0.6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.4 - - - - - - 5.2 -
Richmond RAAF
- - - 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.2 0.2 - - - - - 4.2 -
Sackville - - - 2.2 0.2 - - - - - - - - 0.2 - - - - - - - - 5.0 - - - - - - 6.6 -
Seven Hills (Radio FM 103.2) 0.5 - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - 2.5 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - 0.5 - - -
Seven Hills (Collins St)


2.2

















4.0



3.8


South Creek (Elizabeth Drive)





















2.0







Toongabbie Ck (Redbank Road (Toongabbee - - - 6.0 - - - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - 4.0 - - -
West Pennant Hills (Cumberland S F Alert - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - 5.5 - - - - - - - - 5.5 - - - - - - - 0.5
Willmot (Resolution Ave) - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- -



- 2.0 - - - - - - - -
Windsor SWC (Hawkesbury River) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - 3.0 -
Illawarra (68)12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Camden Airport AWS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7.2 - - - - - - 1.8 -
Campbelltown (Kentlyn (Georges River Roa - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5.0 - - - - - - - -
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) - - - 0.6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7.4 - - - - - - 2.4 -
Rossmore (South Creek) - - -

- -


- - - - - - -





- 1.0 - - - -
-

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 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 9 am on Friday 1 November 2013. 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is being used for temperature area averages from December 2012 onwards. The major change from earlier datasets is that the ACORN-SAT dataset commences in 1910, rather than 1950, and hence rankings are calculated using a larger set of years.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries