Friday 1 December 2006 - Seasonal Climate Summary for Sydney - Product code IDCKGC25L0

Second warmest spring on record in Sydney

Summary:  Local flooding during September then dry with heatwaves and bushfires in October and November.


  • Average maximum temperature was 2nd highest on record at 23.9°C.
  • Average minimum temperature was 3rd highest on record at 14.8°C
  • There were 10 hot days (temperature exceeds 30°C). Historic average is 4 hot days.
  • Close to average rainfall and sunshine.

Rainfall spring 2006

The total monthly rainfall of 253.8 mm at Observatory Hill was slightly above the historic spring average of 230.0 mm. There were 25 rain days, which is slightly below the historic average of 33 rain days.  Most of the rain fell during September (192.2 mm) with October and November receiving below average rainfall. Most of the metropolitan area received above average rainfall during spring except for the far south-western suburbs which recorded significantly below average rainfall. Spring totals of around 300 mm were recorded in some northern suburbs (highest 306.8 mm at West Pymble) while in some western suburbs totals were less than 150 mm (lowest 107 mm at Willmot). 


Temperatures spring 2006

It was the second warmest spring on record in Sydney.  The warmest was in 2002.   The average maximum (daytime) temperature at Observatory Hill was 23.9°C, well above the historic average1 of 22.1°C and ranking 2nd warmest since records commenced in 1859.  The average maximum in the western suburbs was about 2°C warmer than coastal suburbs due mainly to the absence of cooling sea-breezes.  There were 10 hot days (temperature exceeding 30°C) at Observatory Hill during spring compared to an historic average of 4 days. However, in the western suburbs, Richmond recorded 23 hot days (historic average 13 days).

Average minimum (night-time) temperatures were generally above the historic average over Sydney except for the far western suburbs were they were slightly below the historic spring average. The average minimum at Observatory Hill of 14.8°C was 1.0°C above the historic average and ranks as the 3rd highest on record (records since 1859).  However, at Richmond the average minimum of 10.6°C was 0.3°C below the historic average and about 4°C cooler than coastal suburbs.

The highest temperature at Sydney Observatory Hill during spring was 38.4°C on 22 November while the lowest temperature was only 6 days earlier with 8.3°C on 16 November (the lowest temperature in November since 1905).  Corresponding extremes across the Sydney metropolitan area ranged from 40.9°C at Penrith on 21 November to 2.3°C at Camden on 29 October.

Other phenomena

Sunshine hours were slightly above average during spring.  There were 6thunderstorms during the season (historic average 8 storms).  Although local flooding occurred in parts of Sydney early in September, major bushfires were reported around Sydney on 24 September when strong winds caused power outages to 100 000 homes in the south-west. Winds reached 109 km/h at Camden. Further bushfires west of Sydney toward the end of November caused thick smoke haze over the metropolitan area reducing visibility to 5 km at times.

Further information

Mike De Salis
NSW Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (02) 9296 1542

Extremes for spring 2006

Hottest day
Highest temperature
40.9°C at Penrith on the 21 Nov
Warmest days on average
Highest mean daily maximum temperature
26.8°C at Penrith
Coolest days on average
Lowest mean daily maximum temperature
22.9°C at Terrey Hills
Coldest day
Lowest daily maximum temperature
11.0°C at Springwood on 10 Sep
Coldest night
Lowest temperature
2.3°C at Camden on 29 Oct
Coolest nights on average
Lowest mean daily minimum temperature
9.9°C at Camden
Warmest nights on average
Highest mean daily minimum temperature
14.8°C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
Warmest night
Highest daily minimum temperature
27.2°C at Terrey Hills on 22 Nov
Wettest overall
Highest total rainfall
306.8 mm at West Pymble
Driest overall
Lowest total rainfall
107.0 mm at Willmot
Wettest day
Highest daily rainfall
107.2 mm at Sydney (Observatory Hill) and Merrylands on 7 Sep
Highest wind gust
109 km/h at Camden on 24 Sep


Summary statistics for spring 2006
Maximum temperatures
for spring
Minimum temperatures
for spring
for spring
Mean for
Highest for
Mean for
Lowest for
Total for
Rank of
Fraction of
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 23.9 +1.8 38.4 22 Nov 14.8 +1.0 8.3 16 Nov 253.8 230.0 normal 110%
Camden 26.0 +2.1 40.0 28 Nov 10.0 +0.2 2.3 29 Oct 111.8 183.4 low 61%
Parramatta 25.2 +1.7 38.5 21 Nov 12.4 +0.7 6.2 23 Oct 246.0 208.2 normal 118%
Richmond 25.9 +1.7 39.3 22 Nov 10.6 −0.3 2.9 6 Sep 192.6 180.4 normal 107%
Springwood 24.4 37.1 28 Nov 10.8 4.7 29 Oct 132.8 281.9 low 47%
Terrey Hills 22.9 36.8 22 Nov 13.3 5.8 16 Nov 214.0 227.8


Summary phenomena for Sydney for spring 2006

Spring 2006

Normal for spring

Number of rain days



Average sunshine hours per day*



Average humidity at 3pm (%)



Number of thunderstorms



Number of windy days*



* recorded at Sydney Airport.  Windy day defined as average speed of 40km/h or more at synoptic times.


This statement has been prepared based on information available at 1 pm on Friday 01 December 2006.  Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

1Averages: Historic average temperatures for Observatory Hill and Richmond are based on the period 1961 to 1990 which is a convention of the World Meteorological Organisation.  Average temperatures for Parramatta are based on all available data, 1968 - 2005 and Camden 1972 - 2005.  Rainfall averages and extremes for Observatory Hill are based on all years of record 1859 - 2005.

The Rank indicates about where rainfall this time ranks in the climate record for the site.

Further information

Mike De Salis
NSW Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
Phone (02) 9296 1542