Greater Sydney in spring 2019: Warm spring days, below average rainfall

Spring in 2019 was particularly warm for mean maximum temperatures, with overnight temperatures being slightly cooler than average at most locations. After a wetter than average start to spring in September, drier months in October and November resulted in slightly below average spring rainfall overall.

Drier overall

  • Overall, rainfall was just below average across Greater Sydney, with the majority of sites recording between 70% and 90% of their typical spring totals
  • September was wetter than average, mostly due to a significant rainfall event from 17 to 19 September that resulted in three day totals exceeding 100 mm throughout large parts of the region; Lower Mangrove and Hornsby (Swimming Pool) both recorded over 150 mm during the three day event and several other sites in the north of the region recorded their highest spring daily rainfall on record for the 24 hours to 9 am on the 18th
  • October and November saw drier than average conditions
  • Sydney (Observatory Hill) recorded 23 rain days during spring, below the average of 34, the wettest day being 18 September with 65.6 mm
  • Spring days were sunnier than usual at Sydney Airport, with an average of 8.8 hours of bright sunshine per day, compared to the long-term average of 7.8 hours

Warm spring days

  • Daytime temperatures were well above average for spring with each month being warmer than usual and November being particularly warm, setting several new records
  • Mangrove Mountain in the north, and Katoomba and Mount Boyce in the Blue Mountains each had their highest spring mean daily maximum temperature on record
  • Sydney (Observatory Hill) recorded a mean maximum temperature of 24.3 °C in spring, which is the second-highest on record (behind 2013); almost all sites in Greater Sydney were in the top three warmest on record (except Sydney Harbour (Wedding Cake West))
  • Sydney (Observatory Hill) recorded 10 days of 30 °C or above this season, above the spring average of around four days; similarly in the west, Penrith recorded 31 days of 30 °C or above, well above the spring average of 18 days and the highest on record for spring
  • Despite the warmth, a cool snap on 17 September brought wintry conditions, with Richmond RAAF and Penrith Lakes recording their coldest spring day (lowest maximum temperature) on record, both more than 10 °C cooler than average on this day
  • Minimum temperatures were near the spring average, with overnight temperatures ranging from 1.1 °C below average at Cooranbong to 1.4 °C above average at Sydney Airport

Sydney (Observatory Hill)

  • Total rainfall for Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 173.2 mm, which is 76% of the long-term average of 229.2 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 24.2 °C, which is 2.2 °C above the long-term average of 22.0 °C and the second-highest on record.
  • The warmest day was 37.2 °C on 25 October, and the coolest day was on 17 September when the temperature reached 14.6 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 14.6 °C, which is 1.1 °C above the long-term average of 13.5 °C.
  • The coldest morning was 8.1 °C on 11 September, and the warmest morning was on 26 October when the minimum temperature was 23.0 °C

Further information

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Extremes in spring 2019
Hottest day 39.1 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS on 19 Nov
Warmest days on average 27.7 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS
Coolest days on average 20.2 °C at Mount Boyce AWS
Coldest day 5.8 °C at Mount Boyce AWS on 7 Sep
5.8 °C at Katoomba (Farnells Rd) on 17 Sep
Coldest night -0.3 °C at Mount Boyce AWS on 17 Sep
Coolest nights on average 7.6 °C at Katoomba (Farnells Rd)
Warmest nights on average 15.2 °C at Sydney Harbour (Wedding Cake West)
Warmest night 23.0 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill) on 26 Oct
Warmest on average overall 19.7 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS
19.7 °C at Sydney Airport AMO
Coolest on average overall 14.1 °C at Mount Boyce AWS
Wettest overall 282.0 mm at St Ives (Richmond Avenue)
Wettest day 110.0 mm at Lower Mangrove (Popran Rd) on 18 Sep
Strongest wind gust 104 km/h at Fort Denison on 26 Nov

Record highest spring daily rainfall
New record
(mm)
Old
record
Years of
record
Castle Hill (Kathleen Ave) 92.0 on 18 Sep =92.0 on 7 Sep 2006 35
Lower Mangrove (Popran Rd) 110.0 on 18 Sep 69.6 on 7 Sep 2006 22
St Ives (Richmond Avenue) 92.6 on 18 Sep 92.2 on 21 Oct 2004 22



Record lowest spring daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Richmond RAAF 12.6 on 17 Sep 13.3 on 25 Sep 2011 27 25.1
Penrith Lakes AWS 12.9 on 17 Sep 13.6 on 22 Nov 1996 25 25.5



Record highest spring mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Katoomba (Farnells Rd) 20.8 20.7 in 2014 90 17.6
Mount Boyce AWS 20.2 19.9 in 2014 27 17.6
Mangrove Mountain AWS 24.7 24.6 in 2013 25 22.6



Summary statistics for spring 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
spring
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest for
spring
2019
Mean for
spring
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
spring
2019
Total for
spring
2019
Average
for
spring
Rank of
spring
2019
Fraction of
spring
average
Badgerys Creek AWS 26.4 +1.8 38.2 19 Nov 10.4 -0.2 2.2 12 Sep 117.2 155.4 average 75%
Bankstown Airport AWS 25.8 +2.1 37.6 19 Nov 11.9 +0.2 5.1 12 Sep 129.4 180.2 low 72%
Camden Airport AWS 26.8 +2.6 38.0 19 Nov 9.7 -0.2 1.0 12 Sep 103.4 174.0 low 59%
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 26.5 +1.8 38.0 19 Nov 9.9 -0.5 2.4 12 Sep 87.4 136.4 low 64%
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 24.3 +0.9 35.9 12 Nov 11.6 -0.5 5.6 11 Sep 164.8 185.1 average 89%
Cooranbong (Lake Macquarie AWS) 25.1 +0.8 36.8 12 Nov 10.0 -1.1 2.7 12 Sep 121.2 240.3 v low 50%
Gosford AWS 24.1   35.9 25 Oct 12.0   5.3 12 Sep 184.2
Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS 25.2   37.1 19 Nov 11.1   3.5 15 Sep 129.6
Holsworthy Defence AWS 25.3   37.3 19 Nov 10.9   3.7 10 Sep
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 26.0 +1.5 37.7 19 Nov 11.4 -0.4 3.9 11 Sep 144.2 161.8 average 89%
Katoomba (Farnells Rd) 20.8 +3.2 32.2 21 Nov 7.6 -0.1 -0.2 10 Sep 200.2 272.3 average 74%
Mangrove Mountain AWS 24.7 +2.1 34.9 25 Oct 10.7 -0.8 3.1 11 Sep 193.2 238.0 low 81%
Mount Boyce AWS 20.2 +2.6 33.4 21 Nov 8.1 +0.5 -0.3 17 Sep 131.6 222.0 low 59%
Norah Head AWS 23.9 +1.4 36.2 12 Nov 14.7 -0.1 9.5 11 Sep 172.6 216.2 average 80%
Penrith Lakes AWS 27.7 +2.2 39.1 19 Nov 11.7 -0.5 4.5 11 Sep 134.6 167.9 average 80%
Richmond RAAF 27.0 +1.9 38.7 19 Nov 10.7 -0.4 1.6 12 Sep 143.8 170.0 average 85%
Springwood (Valley Heights) 24.8 +1.3 36.7 19 Nov 11.5 -0.2 5.2 10 Sep 199.5 224.7 average 89%
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 24.2 +2.2 37.2 25 Oct 14.6 +1.1 8.1 11 Sep 173.2 229.2 average 76%
Sydney Airport AMO 24.9 +2.4 38.2 25 Oct 14.5 +1.4 7.9 10 Sep 135.4 210.5 low 64%
Sydney Harbour (Wedding Cake West) 21.6 +0.6 35.3 12 Nov 15.2 -0.1 9.3 17 Sep
Sydney Olympic Park AWS (Archery Centre) 25.5   37.3 19 Nov 12.2   5.3 24 Sep 144.6
Terrey Hills AWS 22.9 +0.5 35.7 12 Nov 12.9 -0.3 6.5 11 Sep 229.2 238.1 average 96%

Notes

The Seasonal climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Greater Sydney using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

This summary includes data from observing sites in or near the Greater Sydney “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 6 am on Monday 2 December 2019. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

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.

Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
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