Greater Sydney in autumn 2019: warm days and near-average rainfall

Daytime temperatures during autumn were very much warmer than average in most areas of Greater Sydney, while overnight temperatures were not as extreme, but still warmer than average in most locations. Rainfall was close to average across Greater Sydney.

Very warm autumn across Greater Sydney

  • Autumn 2019 was very warm in terms of maximum temperatures, with most locations recording more than a degree above average
  • The warmest day of autumn across Greater Sydney was 6 March, with nearly all locations reaching the mid to high 30s, including Sydney (Observatory Hill) with 35.6 °C
  • A cold outbreak in the last few days of autumn saw some western sites experience their coldest autumn temperature on record
  • Norah Head AWS recorded a warm autumn and record highest mean daily maximum, and mean temperatures

Near-average rainfall

  • Rainfall across Greater Sydney ranged from 50% of average at Springwood (Valley Heights) to 110% of average at Horsley Park Equestrian Centre
  • Autumn began wet with some heavy falls during March, while April and May were drier than average; overall autumn rainfall was close to average at most sites in Greater Sydney
  • The wettest days of autumn occurred between the 15 and 18 March due to a low pressure system generating heavy falls

Sydney (Observatory Hill)

  • Total rainfall for Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 255.0 mm, which is 68% of the long-term average of 375.9 mm
  • Sydney (Observatory Hill) experienced rain on 26 days, compared to the autumn average of 39 days
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 24.7 °C, which is 2.4 °C above the long-term average of 22.3 °C. The warmest day was 35.6 °C on 6 Mar, and the coolest day was on 30 May when the temperature reached 17.4 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 16.0 °C, which is 1.4 °C above the long-term average of 14.6 °C. The coldest morning was 7.8 °C on 31 May, and the warmest morning was on 6 Mar when the minimum temperature was 22.2 °C

Severe thunderstorms and fog

  • On the evening of the 14 March, a severe thunderstorm produced giant hail, flash flooding and heavy falls across Greater Sydney
  • Thick fog over Greater Sydney on the morning of 3 April caused delays at Sydney Airport

Further information

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Extremes in autumn 2019
Hottest day 38.4 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS on 6 Mar
Warmest days on average 25.9 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS
Coolest days on average 18.3 °C at Mount Boyce AWS
Coldest day 5.9 °C at Mount Boyce AWS on 30 May
Coldest night -1.2 °C at Mount Boyce AWS on 30 May
Coolest nights on average 9.2 °C at Mount Boyce AWS
Warmest nights on average 16.9 °C at Sydney Harbour (Wedding Cake West)
Warmest night 22.4 °C at Sydney Airport AMO on 4 & 5 Mar
Warmest on average overall 20.8 °C at Norah Head AWS
Coolest on average overall 13.8 °C at Mount Boyce AWS
Wettest overall 394.8 mm at Mona Vale Golf Club
Driest overall 93.6 mm at Faulconbridge (St Georges Crescent)
Wettest day 123.8 mm at Gosford AWS on 17 Mar
Strongest wind gust 122 km/h at Wattamolla AWS on 5 May

Record highest autumn mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Norah Head AWS 24.8 24.6 in 2018 24 22.8



Record lowest autumn temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Penrith Lakes AWS 1.3 on 31 May 2.0 on 30 May 2016 24 13.1
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 1.0 on 31 May = 1.0 on 30 May 2016 22 12.7



Record highest autumn mean temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
autumn
Norah Head AWS 20.8 = 20.8 in 2018 24 19.4



Summary statistics for autumn 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
autumn
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest for
autumn
2019
Mean for
autumn
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
autumn
2019
Total for
autumn
2019
Average
for
autumn
Rank of
autumn
2019
Fraction of
autumn
average
Badgerys Creek AWS 25.1 +1.2 36.0 6 Mar 11.8 +0.3 1.3 31 May 140.6 170.3 average 83%
Bankstown Airport AWS 25.3 +1.7 36.7 6 Mar 13.2 +0.4 2.4 27 May 206.4 247.1 average 84%
Camden Airport AWS 25.1 +1.3 35.3 12 Mar 11.2 +0.2 1.0 27 May
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 25.1 +0.9 36.7 6 Mar 11.5 +0.2 1.5 31 May 133.2 176.7 low 75%
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 24.5 +1.1 35.8 6 Mar 13.1 +0.2 3.3 27 May 175.8 259.5 average 68%
Cooranbong (Lake Macquarie AWS) 25.1 +0.9 38.0 6 Mar 12.2 +0.3 3.1 9 May 224.0 265.0 average 85%
Gosford AWS 24.4   36.8 6 Mar 14.0   4.7 31 May 314.2
Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS 24.6   36.2 6 Mar 12.7   3.8 31 May 189.2
Holsworthy Defence AWS 24.3   36.5 6 Mar 12.6   3.7 30 May 263.4
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 24.9 +1.1 36.9 6 Mar 13.1 +0.4 1.0 31 May 214.8 195.5 average 110%
Mangrove Mountain AWS     35.4 6 Mar 12.5 +0.4 3.8 30 May 250.8 301.1 average 83%
Mount Boyce AWS 18.3 +1.2 29.4 5 Mar 9.2 +0.5 -1.2 30 May 177.2 233.4 average 76%
Norah Head AWS 24.8 +2.0 36.7 6 Mar 16.7 +0.7 7.1 31 May 303.8 372.1 low 82%
Penrith Lakes AWS 25.9 +1.4 38.4 6 Mar 13.0 -0.1 1.3 31 May 148.4 161.0 average 92%
Richmond RAAF 25.5 +1.5 38.1 6 Mar 12.1 +0.4 -0.7 31 May 159.4 178.9 average 89%
Springwood (Valley Heights) 23.3 +1.0 34.0 10 Mar 13.3 +0.8 4.6 30 May 142.4 286.3 low 50%
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 24.7 +2.4 35.6 6 Mar 16.0 +1.4 7.8 31 May 255.0 375.9 average 68%
Sydney Airport AMO 24.9 +2.1 36.5 12 Mar 15.9 +1.6 7.3 31 May 220.0 319.8 average 69%
Sydney Harbour (Wedding Cake West) 23.0 +1.0 34.3 6 Mar 16.9 +0.4 9.5 31 May
Sydney Olympic Park AWS (Archery Centre) 25.2   37.0 6 Mar 14.1   4.4 31 May 213.0
Terrey Hills AWS 23.2 +1.0 36.0 6 Mar 14.4 +0.6 4.2 31 May 284.4 305.3 average 93%

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 9 am on Monday 3 June 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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