Sydney in May 2016: A warm, dry end to autumn

May was warm and dry across the Sydney region, with several stations recording their warmest May average maximum temperatures on record and Observatory Hill recording its fifth-driest May on record. After a persistently warm month, May ended with cooler conditions, including the coldest May night since 1987 at Richmond.

  • Second-warmest May mean maximum temperature on record for Observatory Hill
  • Record eight May days above 25 °C
  • May ends record 232 day spell of warm nights
  • Very dry May across the Sydney region

Daytime temperatures were well above average across the Sydney region during May, with the average daily maximum temperature the warmest on record for several stations in western Sydney and the second-warmest on record at Observatory Hill (behind May 2014). Some stations, including Richmond RAAF, exceeded their previous May record by more than 1 °C. Minimum temperatures were also warmer than average in eastern Sydney and the equal ninth-warmest for Observatory Hill, with cooler than average minimum temperatures in parts of western Sydney.

May was notable for the persistence of warm temperatures, particularly during the first part of the month, with the first 26 days of the month all exceeding 20 °C. There were eight days that reached at least 25 °C at Observatory Hill, the highest number on record for May (the average is one day), with some stations recording their warmest May day on record on the 1st. Nights were also persistently warm, with a record 232 day spell of nights of at least 12 °C ending on 18 May. Only six nights fell below 12 °C during the month, equalling the second-fewest on record for Observatory Hill.

The month ended on a cool note, with a maximum temperature of just 14.8 °C at Observatory Hill on the 28th, the coldest May day since 2011. Nights were also cold on the 30th, with several stations recording their coldest May night since at least 2011 and temperatures dropping to -2.1 °C at Richmond RAAF, its coldest May night since 1987.

May was very dry across the Sydney region, with most stations recording less than a quarter of their average May rainfall. At Observatory Hill it was the fifth-driest May on record and the driest May since 2008. There were six days with rain recorded at Observatory Hill but no day exceeded 3 mm, with the highest total anywhere in the city just 10.8 mm at Camden on the 9th. Sydney Airport also recorded above average sunshine hours during the month, the sunniest May since 2014. p>

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Extremes in May 2016
Hottest day 29.5 °C at Camden Airport AWS on the 1st
Warmest days on average 24.0 °C at Richmond RAAF
Coolest days on average 21.5 °C at Springwood (Valley Heights)
21.5 °C at Terrey Hills AWS
Coldest day 14.4 °C at Terrey Hills AWS on the 28th
Coldest night -2.1 °C at Richmond RAAF on the 30th
Coolest nights on average 6.5 °C at Camden Airport AWS
Warmest nights on average 13.3 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
Warmest night 18.1 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill) on the 1st
Warmest on average overall 18.1 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
18.1 °C at Sydney Airport AMO
Coolest on average overall 14.7 °C at Camden Airport AWS
Wettest overall 19.0 mm at Campbelltown (Kentlyn (Georges River Road))
Driest overall 4.0 mm at Chatswood Bowling Club
Wettest day 10.8 mm at Camden Airport AWS on the 9th
Strongest wind gust 81 km/h at Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS on the 23rd

Record lowest May total rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Rose Bay (Royal Sydney Golf Club) 10.5 11.2 in 2008 50 127.2
Chatswood Bowling Club 4.0 4.1 in 1957 26 102.1

Lowest May total rainfall for at least 20 years
Observed
(mm)
Most recent
lower
Average for
May
Strathfield Golf Club 10.0 9.5 in 1993* 74.2

* note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported.


Record highest May temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Bankstown Airport AWS 28.8 on the 1st 28.5 on the 1st in 1994 48 20.5
Camden Airport AWS 29.5 on the 1st 27.6 on the 1st in 2013 40 20.6
Richmond RAAF 28.5 on the 17th 28.3 on the 2nd in 1994 23 20.6
Badgerys Creek AWS 29.4 on the 1st 27.9 on the 3rd in 2007 21 20.6
Penrith Lakes AWS 29.4 on the 1st 28.4 on the 3rd in 2007 21 21.0

Record highest May mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Sydney Airport AMO 23.4 22.8 in 1958 77 20.0
Prospect Reservoir 22.8 22.4 in 2014 50 20.3
Bankstown Airport AWS 23.4 22.7 in 2014 47 20.5
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 23.5 22.9 in 2007 47 20.5
Camden Airport AWS 23.0 22.4 in 2014 39 20.6
Richmond RAAF 24.0 22.2 in 2014 22 20.6
Badgerys Creek AWS 23.2 22.3 in 2007 20 20.6
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 23.0 22.6 in 2007 20 20.5
Penrith Lakes AWS 23.5 23.0 in 2014 20 21.0

Record lowest May temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Richmond RAAF -2.1 on the 30th -1.4 on the 16th in 2011 22 7.6
Penrith Lakes AWS 2.0 on the 30th 2.1 on the 31st in 2004 21 9.3

Record highest May mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
May
Sydney Airport AMO 18.1 18.0 in 2007 77 15.5
Richmond RAAF 15.5 = 15.5 in 1995 21 14.1

Summary statistics for May 2016
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
May
2016
Diff
from
average
Highest for
May
2016
Mean for
May
2016
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
May
2016
Total for
May
2016
Average
for
May
Rank of
May
2016
Fraction of
May
average
Badgerys Creek AWS 23.2 +2.6 29.4 1st 7.1 -0.6 0.9 30th 11.8 39.4 low 30%
Bankstown Airport AWS 23.4 +2.9 28.8 1st 8.6 -0.9 3.4 25th 14.0 66.9 low 21%
Camden Airport AWS 23.0 +2.4 29.5 1st 6.5 -0.5 -0.7 30th 13.2 54.6 low 24%
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 23.0   28.8 1st 7.6   2.6 30th 14.8 41.3 low 36%
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 23.0 +2.5 27.8 17th 8.7 -0.6 3.3 29th 10.4 81.1 low 13%
Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS 22.8   28.2 1st 8.3   3.6 25th 15.0
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 23.1 +2.8 28.1 1st 9.1 +0.1 1.0 30th 12.8 46.8 low 27%
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 23.5 +3.0 28.1 17th 10.1 +0.2 4.0 30th 9.6 69.5 low 14%
Penrith Lakes AWS 23.5 +2.5 29.4 1st 9.2 -0.1 2.0 30th 7.2 38.8 low 19%
Prospect Reservoir 22.8 +2.5 27.4 17th 9.7 -0.2 2.7 30th 13.3 70.4 low 19%
Richmond RAAF 24.0 +3.4 28.5 17th 6.7 -0.9 -2.1 30th 4.2 47.5 low 9%
Springwood (Valley Heights) 21.5 +2.3 26.6 1st 10.8 +1.6 3.9 30th 7.6 71.7 v low 11%
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 22.9 +3.4 28.2 17th 13.3 +1.7 7.3 30th 7.2 119.2 v low 6%
Sydney Airport AMO 23.4 +3.4 28.9 17th 12.8 +1.8 7.4 30th 12.4 97.6 v low 13%
Terrey Hills AWS 21.5 +2.2 26.4 17th 11.8 +1.3 5.7 30th 6.6 52.4 low 13%

Daily maximum temperatures for May 2016
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Badgerys Creek AWS29.423.226.225.524.226.826.120.121.324.322.824.325.626.724.324.727.821.223.124.022.524.827.122.120.320.518.215.819.519.218.4
Bankstown Airport AWS28.823.126.025.424.527.025.820.922.825.022.524.625.926.824.125.028.521.123.325.822.124.628.321.921.121.718.615.319.018.918.4
Camden Airport AWS29.523.526.225.624.128.026.320.221.124.121.123.024.827.922.924.327.521.122.023.622.324.626.221.720.721.217.515.818.919.419.1
Campbelltown (Mount Annan)28.822.725.926.024.128.026.320.420.824.521.123.125.227.922.924.427.421.522.024.022.125.025.921.820.820.817.415.919.219.219.4
Canterbury Racecourse AWS27.623.225.625.324.026.824.920.722.524.222.224.125.226.625.024.227.821.222.723.421.524.227.121.421.320.418.115.418.819.117.3
Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS28.222.025.125.623.726.825.119.922.224.022.124.025.326.722.624.127.621.422.424.021.724.127.221.620.320.517.515.118.818.517.3
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS28.122.925.825.624.026.425.820.322.623.822.924.025.626.723.724.828.020.522.824.021.624.627.221.820.820.618.115.619.119.119.5
Parramatta North (Masons Drive)27.523.025.825.824.226.225.221.023.024.223.024.225.727.624.724.828.121.223.224.221.124.327.222.521.220.719.016.519.619.7
Penrith Lakes AWS29.423.026.126.224.926.325.819.922.323.623.223.925.626.625.025.328.221.223.824.922.724.426.622.620.720.918.617.120.318.819.3
Prospect Reservoir27.223.825.425.924.025.325.420.622.723.922.124.125.026.224.324.827.420.822.423.421.924.426.221.120.020.617.815.618.618.218.6
Richmond RAAF28.324.626.526.725.426.426.420.223.125.123.024.525.827.324.525.428.521.824.325.022.326.227.323.021.721.719.717.320.018.7
Springwood (Valley Heights)26.620.624.125.221.924.422.718.422.022.021.121.823.125.023.222.626.520.122.122.319.822.925.321.018.020.216.515.018.216.216.3
Sydney (Observatory Hill)26.121.326.426.222.426.722.920.822.224.623.124.525.926.624.422.928.221.923.224.921.522.026.822.321.220.218.614.819.319.917.5
Sydney Airport AMO28.123.826.925.824.525.124.521.823.425.223.725.026.126.426.024.528.922.423.822.621.223.728.322.321.721.818.615.218.918.016.5
Terrey Hills AWS23.921.724.323.622.424.324.019.920.522.820.722.423.726.025.022.626.419.322.120.623.225.420.119.218.917.614.417.116.616.4
Values are the maximum temperature, usually in the 24 hours from 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred in the afternoon of that day.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period

Daily minimum temperatures for May 2016
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Badgerys Creek AWS11.96.54.87.17.06.95.812.716.414.15.911.28.94.35.96.58.64.84.95.98.98.97.53.02.99.39.62.53.10.93.5
Bankstown Airport AWS13.59.47.39.69.79.17.713.416.716.77.210.49.75.86.77.110.58.06.46.510.910.58.96.83.49.09.23.83.44.25.7
Camden Airport AWS12.06.14.04.95.95.94.911.915.612.56.613.210.13.05.85.97.33.93.26.35.98.55.81.72.39.19.93.53.6-0.71.5
Campbelltown (Mount Annan)13.47.34.87.26.97.16.612.316.110.88.711.69.74.36.09.98.47.83.97.08.59.17.23.84.49.010.83.73.22.63.2
Canterbury Racecourse AWS14.27.87.49.810.19.58.413.616.616.26.59.38.96.67.07.810.47.17.06.910.010.39.58.44.29.27.63.83.36.44.6
Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS14.19.15.68.87.47.86.713.215.914.97.09.810.36.36.37.810.67.96.56.010.29.49.85.33.69.310.54.83.64.15.8
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS15.48.67.613.38.38.78.113.716.016.97.012.99.06.39.39.612.48.26.18.810.710.312.45.04.29.87.65.63.01.04.8
Parramatta North (Masons Drive)16.89.08.515.99.010.19.214.516.616.27.212.011.88.59.16.314.49.58.78.210.311.312.58.36.210.57.87.76.34.06.5
Penrith Lakes AWS14.49.48.812.210.29.69.112.116.115.67.814.09.16.68.58.911.88.36.68.510.210.29.85.24.710.111.86.53.92.03.2
Prospect Reservoir16.29.58.413.59.39.88.514.015.616.47.211.810.37.410.310.213.99.27.68.49.310.712.86.44.810.47.57.44.42.75.4
Richmond RAAF13.07.65.97.87.36.85.511.915.816.17.412.55.42.64.45.810.34.84.15.76.88.07.92.20.58.711.55.1-0.4-2.1-0.3
Springwood (Valley Heights)15.08.811.312.510.111.911.214.515.714.610.512.711.19.913.911.614.59.78.010.511.811.113.57.16.011.89.59.07.53.96.9
Sydney (Observatory Hill)18.113.912.816.013.514.012.415.318.017.312.613.713.912.413.213.616.312.711.912.813.614.515.212.110.412.912.89.89.27.38.7
Sydney Airport AMO17.214.012.215.413.513.612.216.217.917.112.913.113.511.912.412.014.412.811.812.013.813.813.211.49.812.712.08.97.77.48.8
Terrey Hills AWS17.311.611.814.911.011.611.617.116.915.69.211.711.29.912.113.315.211.29.412.614.716.49.06.810.98.76.85.77.5
Values are the minimum temperature, usually in the 24 hours to 9 am on the day indicated,
and typically occurred that morning.
Temperatures coloured according to their difference
from the long-term average for the period
-10.0 -9.0 -8.0 -7.0 -6.0 -5.0 -4.0 -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 +1.0 +2.0 +3.0 +4.0 +5.0 +6.0 +7.0 +8.0 +9.0 +10.0 °C Grey outline marks highest
and lowest for the period

Daily rainfall for May 2016
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031
Abbotsbury (Fairfield (City Farm)) 2.0 - - - - - - - 5.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2.0 4.0 - -
Abbotsford (Blackwall Point Rd) 3.0 - - - - - - - 2.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.0 - -
Audley (Royal National Park) 3.0 - - - - - - - 3.0 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5.0 - 6.0
Avalon Beach (Avalon (Palmgrove Rd)) - - - - - - - - 1.6





















Badgerys Creek AWS 0.8 0.2 - - - - - - 6.8 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.4 - - 3.4 - -
Bankstown Airport AWS 4.4 - - - - - - - 2.8 0.6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.4 - - 5.8 - -
Baulkham Hills Eucalyptus Ct 3.0 - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5 1.5 - -
Belrose (Evelyn Place) 3.4 0.2 - - - - - - 1.6 0.4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.8 0.4 - 1.6 -
Berowra (Goodwyn Road) 4.2 - - - - - - - 0.8





















Camden Airport AWS 0.4 - - - - - - 0.2 10.8 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.8 - -
Campbelltown (Kentlyn (Georges River Roa 2.0 - - - - - - - 8.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - 5.0 - 3.0
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 1.2 - - - - - - - 9.8 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - 2.4 - 0.2
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 2.4 - - - - - - - 2.6 0.2 - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - 0.4 - - 3.8 0.2 0.8
Castle Cove (Rosebridge Ave) 5.0 - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5 - - 1.5 - -
Castle Hill (Kathleen Ave) 3.5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.5 - - 2.5

Chatswood Bowling Club 2.0 - - - - - - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - -
Collaroy (Long Reef Golf Club) - - - - - - - - 2.3 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.8 - - 1.4 - -
Concord (Brays Rd) 3.0 - - - - - - - 2.2 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.4 - - 2.6 - -
Concord Golf Club 3.6 3.6 - - - - - - 3.2 0.2




















Frenchs Forest (Frenchs Forest Rd) 3.0 - - - - - - - 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2.0 - -
Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS 1.8 - - - - - - - 3.6 0.6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 - - 8.0 0.2 0.6
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 2.2 - - - - - - - 4.6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - 0.6 4.4 - -
Lucas Heights (ANSTO) 3.3 - - - - - - - 4.2 0.8 - - - - - - - - - - - 0.3 - - - 0.8 - - 5.2 - 2.0
Macquarie Park (Willandra Village) 2.6 - - - - - - - 2.4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.4 - - 1.6

Marrickville Golf Club 3.0 - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5.0 - 2.0
Milperra Bridge (Georges River) 3.0 - - - - - - - 2.0 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6.0 - -
Mona Vale Golf Club





















- - - 0.2 - - - - -
Mount Annan Botanic Garden 1.0 - - - - - - - 9.2 0.8 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - - 2.6 - -
North Parramatta (Burnside Homes) 3.5 - - - - - - - 3.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5 2.0 - -
North Rocks (Muirfield Golf Club) 3.5 - - - - - - - 3.0 1.5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5 1.5 - -
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 3.6 - - - - - - 0.2 3.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.6 - 0.6 1.4 - -
Peakhurst Golf Club 3.0 - - - - - - - 3.0 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6.0 - 2.0
Pennant Hills (Yarrara Road) 3.2 - - - - - 0.2 2.2 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.4 - 2.2 - -
Penrith Lakes AWS 0.6 - - - - - - - 6.6 - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -

- -
Prospect Reservoir 2.6 - - - - - - - 4.7 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - 0.4 4.4 - -
Randwick (Randwick St) 3.2 - - - - - - 0.2 2.2 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.4 0.2 - 4.6 - 0.8
Richmond - UWS Hawkesbury 2.2 - - - - - 2.6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.8 -
Richmond RAAF 1.4 0.2 - - - - - - 1.4 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.6 0.4 - -
Rose Bay (Royal Sydney Golf Club) 3.0 - - - - - - 1.0 2.1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.8 0.4 - 2.2 - 1.0
Rossmore (South Creek) 1.0 - - - - - - - 7.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.0 - 5.0 - -
Sans Souci (Public School) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4.0 - 2.0
Seven Hills (Radio FM 103.2) 2.5 - - - - - - - 4.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.5 - 0.5 2.5 - -
Seven Hills (Collins St) 3.2






4.2


















3.0

Springwood (Valley Heights) 0.2 - - - - - - - 4.8 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2.2 0.4 - -
St Ives (Richmond Avenue) 3.8






1.6















1.0

4.4

Strathfield Golf Club 3.0 - - - - - - - 2.0 1.0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4.0 - -
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 2.8 - - - - - - - 1.6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.2 0.2 - 2.2 0.2 -
Sydney Airport AMO 2.0 - - - - - - - 1.6 0.4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.4 - - 4.2 0.2 3.6
Sydney Botanic Gardens 3.0 - - - - - - - 1.8 0.1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.6 0.2 2.1 0.1 - -
Terrey Hills AWS 2.6 - - - - - - - 0.6 0.2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.4 0.4 - 2.4 - -
Turramurra (Kissing Point Road) 5.4






2.8 0.2














0.6 0.2 0.2 2.0
-
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 shown 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).
Rainfalls coloured
according to the amount
0 1.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 25.0 50.0 100 150 200 300 400 600 millimetres

Notes

The Monthly climate summary lists 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.

A climate summary is generally published on the first working day of each month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Wednesday 1 June 2016. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

Averages for individual sites 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.

The ACORN-SAT dataset is used for temperature area averages.

Further information

Media
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Enquiries