Sydney in spring 2015: Warmest spring nights on record

Spring 2015 was the second-warmest on record for Sydney, with minimum temperatures the warmest on record across the city. The season included several hot spells and thunderstorms, with close to average rainfall.

  • Warmest mean minimum temperatures on record
  • Second-warmest mean temperatures on record
  • Extreme heat in early October and mid-November
  • Average rainfall

Spring 2015 was the second-warmest on record for mean temperatures at Sydney Observatory Hill, slightly warmer than spring 2014 but below the record set in spring 2013. Both maximum and minimum temperatures were well above average across the city, with most sites recording their warmest spring mean minimum temperatures on record while Observatory Hill also recorded its equal-fourth-warmest mean maximum temperatures on record.

Spring had a mild start, with temperatures during September slightly above average but the coolest since 1997. This was followed by several significant heat events during October and November, with both months recording maximum and minimum temperatures in the five warmest years on record. Nine days reached at least 30 °C during the season (average 4 days), with particularly notable events including the earliest spell on record with 3 consecutive days above 32 °C on 4-6 October and the second-warmest Spring day on record on 20 November. There were also 55 nights which reached at least 15 °C during the season, the highest number on record for Sydney, with temperatures reaching 32.4 °C at 9 am on 26 November.

Rainfall was generally below average across the city, with below average rainfall during October but above-average totals during September and November. The heaviest rain was associated with a series of troughs and thunderstorms during the first half of November, with a two-day total of 119 mm at Castle Cove to 9 am on the 15th.

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Extremes in spring 2015
Hottest day 42.8 °C at Sydney Airport AMO on 20 Nov
Warmest days on average 25.9 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS
Coolest days on average 22.7 °C at Terrey Hills AWS
Coldest day 13.6 °C at Terrey Hills AWS on 23 Sep<
Coldest night 0.2 °C at Camden Airport AWS on 2 Sep
Coolest nights on average 10.9 °C at Camden Airport AWS
Warmest nights on average 15.5 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
Warmest night 22.4 °C at Sydney (Observatory Hill) on 26 Nov
Warmest on average overall 19.9 °C at Sydney Airport AMO
Coolest on average overall 18.0 °C at Springwood (Valley Heights)
Wettest overall 389.5 mm at Castle Cove (Rosebridge Ave)
Driest overall 123.0 mm at Milperra Bridge (Georges River)
Wettest day 77.0 mm at Castle Cove (Rosebridge Ave) on 14 Nov
Strongest wind gust 94 km/h at Kurnell AWS on 26 Oct

Record highest spring mean daily minimum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
spring
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 15.5 15.4 in 2009 156 13.4
Sydney Airport AMO 15.4 15.2 in 2009 76 13.0
Bankstown Airport AWS 13.0 12.8 in 2009 47 11.6
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 13.3 13.1 in 2009 47 11.8
Penrith Lakes AWS 13.3 13.0 in 2014 20 12.1
Richmond RAAF 12.1 12.0 in 2014 20 11.0

Summary statistics for spring 2015
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
spring
2015
Diff
from
average
Highest for
spring
2015
Mean for
spring
2015
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
spring
2015
Total for
spring
2015
Average
for
spring
Rank of
spring
2015
Fraction of
spring
average
Badgerys Creek AWS 25.3 +0.7 39.4 20 Nov 11.8 +1.3 2.5 2 Sep 134.2 161.0 average 83%
Bankstown Airport AWS 25.1 +1.5 40.7 20 Nov 13.0 +1.4 4.1 1 Sep 172.8 182.3 average 95%
Camden Airport AWS 25.3 +1.2 40.6 20 Nov 10.9 +1.0 0.2 2 Sep 145.4 178.8 average 81%
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 25.0   40.4 20 Nov 11.2   1.5 2 Sep 132.8
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 24.0 +0.6 40.6 20 Nov 13.0 +0.9 3.8 2 Sep 157.6 195.3 low 81%
Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS 24.8   41.5 20 Nov 12.3   2.8 2 Sep 163.8
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 25.0 +0.5 39.9 20 Nov 12.6 +0.8 3.2 2 Sep 181.2 165.5 average 109%
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 24.7 +1.0 41.0 20 Nov 13.3 +1.5 4.5 1 Sep 200.6 206.7 average 97%
Penrith Lakes AWS 25.9 +0.4 41.9 20 Nov 13.3 +1.2 4.4 2 Sep 188.6 170.3 average 111%
Prospect Reservoir 25.3 +1.7 40.2 20 Nov 13.0 +1.1 4.4 2 Sep 165.9 179.4 average 92%
Richmond RAAF 25.7 +0.7 39.7 20 Nov 12.1 +1.1 1.7 2 Sep 152.6 175.8 average 87%
Springwood (Valley Heights) 23.6   39.2 20 Nov 12.4   4.1 8 Sep 220.0 225.9 average 97%
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 23.9 +2.0 40.9 20 Nov 15.5 +2.1 8.0 2 Sep 245.6 229.2 average 107%
Sydney Airport AMO 24.4 +2.0 42.8 20 Nov 15.4 +2.4 7.7 2 Sep 179.2 212.1 average 84%
Terrey Hills AWS 22.7 +0.2 39.5 20 Nov 13.8 +0.6 5.8 8 Sep 269.4 246.0 average 110%

Notes

The Seasonal 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 Tuesday 1 December 2015. 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

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Climate

Service notice

Network problems on 8 January disrupted processing of observations, affecting some climate information. Missing data are being retrieved and will be processed into our systems over coming weeks.