Greater Sydney in winter 2019: Warm days and dry overall

Greater Sydney experienced a warmer than average winter in 2019, with daytime temperatures the third-warmest on record for Sydney. Nights were close to average. Rainfall was close to average overall, with average rainfall in June, but below average rainfall in July and for most of August.

Drier overall

  • Greater Sydney saw a typical start to winter with near to above average rainfall in June, however July and most of August were drier than average; the last week of winter brought welcome rain, particularly to coastal and northern parts of the region
  • Overall, winter rainfall was close to average, however most sites in the west and southwest recorded only 50% to 80% of their typical winter rainfall, while sites in the north recorded 120% to 160% of average
  • Sydney water storage levels continued to fall throughout winter now reaching 50% capacity, down 16% compared to this time last year; levels have now been falling consistently since June 2017
  • Winter runoff from Sydney water storage catchments was the second-lowest on record due to very dry soils and limited rainfall

Warm days but average nights

  • Winter daytime temperatures were above average throughout the region, ranging from 0.3 °C warmer than average at Coorangbong, to 2.1°C warmer at Sydney (Observatory Hill)
  • Each month of winter saw warmer days than average, with July being particularly mild
  • Sydney (Observatory Hill) recorded a mean maximum temperature of 19.2 °C, the equal third-warmest winter on record
  • New records were set in July for the consecutive number of warm days above 20 °C, with Sydney (Observatory Hill) recording eight straight days and Penrith Lakes recording ten straight days
  • Mangrove Mountain had its highest winter mean daily maximum temperature on record
  • Overnight temperatures were close to average for winter; ranging from -0.6 °C below average at Mangrove Mountain, to 1.4 °C warmer than average at Sydney Airport

Sydney (Observatory Hill)

  • Total rainfall for Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 287.8 mm, which is 92% of the long-term average of 311.2 mm
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 19.2 °C, which is 2.1 °C above the long-term average of 17.1 °C. The warmest day was 25.5 °C on 24 Aug, and the coolest day was on 4 Jun when the temperature reached 14.1 °C
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 9.6 °C, which is 0.8 °C above the long-term average of 8.8 °C. The coldest morning was 6.1 °C on 20 Jun, and the warmest morning was on 26 Aug when the minimum temperature was 13.4 °C

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Extremes in winter 2019
Hottest day 26.3 °C at Norah Head AWS on 13 Jun
Warmest days on average 19.6 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS
Coolest days on average 11.0 °C at Mount Boyce AWS
Coldest day 2.5 °C at Mount Boyce AWS on 10 Aug
2.5 °C at Mount Boyce AWS on 11 Aug
Coldest night -3.3 °C at Richmond RAAF on 15 Aug
Coolest nights on average 3.3 °C at Mount Boyce AWS
Warmest nights on average 11.1 °C at Sydney Harbour (Wedding Cake West)
Warmest night 15.7 °C at Norah Head AWS on 13 Jun
Warmest on average overall 14.8 °C at Norah Head AWS
Coolest on average overall 7.2 °C at Mount Boyce AWS
Wettest overall 419.8 mm at Dover Heights (Portland St)
419.8 mm at Gosford AWS
Driest overall 66.2 mm at Richmond RAAF
Wettest day 114.4 mm at Gosford AWS on 30 Aug
Strongest wind gust 119 km/h at Wattamolla AWS on 4 Jun

Record highest winter mean daily maximum temperature
New record
(°C)
Old
record
Years of
record
Average for
winter
Mangrove Mountain AWS 17.4 = 17.4 in 2013 24 16.3



Summary statistics for winter 2019
Maximum temperatures
(°C)
Minimum temperatures
(°C)
Rainfall
(millimetres)
Mean for
winter
2019
Diff
from
average
Highest for
winter
2019
Mean for
winter
2019
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
winter
2019
Total for
winter
2019
Average
for
winter
Rank of
winter
2019
Fraction of
winter
average
Badgerys Creek AWS 18.9 +0.8 24.9 24 Aug 4.9 +0.1 -2.0 7 Aug 79.4 117.7 average 67%
Bankstown Airport AWS 19.1 +1.0 24.8 24 Aug 6.4 +0.4 0.5 24 Aug 116.8 172.9 average 68%
Camden Airport AWS 19.0 +0.9 25.3 24 Aug 4.0 +0.2 -2.8 24 Aug 86.4 145.4 low 59%
Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 19.1 +0.9 25.0 24 Aug 4.7 0.0 -1.2 16 Aug 87.2 157.0 low 56%
Canterbury Racecourse AWS 18.8 +0.6 24.6 24 Aug 6.5 +0.1 1.1 24 Aug 200.8 226.7 average 89%
Cooranbong (Lake Macquarie AWS) 19.3 +0.3 25.4 24 Aug 5.8 +0.2 -0.8 7 Aug 255.4 203.3 high 126%
Gosford AWS 18.6   25.6 24 Aug 7.6   1.8 16 Aug 419.8
Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS 18.4   24.5 24 Aug 6.1   0.0 24 Aug 141.2
Holsworthy Defence AWS 18.0   24.8 24 Aug 6.4   1.7 15 Aug 195.8
Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 18.6 +0.6 24.7 16 Aug 6.4 -0.1 0.7 15 Aug 96.6 146.7 average 66%
Mangrove Mountain AWS 17.4 +1.1 24.4 24 Aug 6.0 -0.6 0.2 13 Aug 326.4 213.2 high 153%
Mount Boyce AWS 11.0 +0.7 18.5 18 Aug 3.3 +0.2 -3.0 21 Jun 143.6 172.9 average 83%
Norah Head AWS 18.9 +0.8 26.3 13 Jun 10.6 +0.2 6.7 15 Aug 419.2 310.4 high 135%
Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 19.0 +0.9 25.0 24 Aug 6.5 -0.5 1.8 15 Aug 173.8 193.0 average 90%
Penrith Lakes AWS 19.6 +1.0 26.0 24 Aug 5.7 -0.5 0.3 24 Aug 70.6 104.6 average 67%
Richmond RAAF 19.4 +0.9 26.2 24 Aug 4.2 -0.2 -3.3 15 Aug 66.2 114.0 low 58%
Springwood (Valley Heights) 17.3 +0.6 23.3 24 Aug 7.4 +0.3 2.8 13 Aug 96.4 185.6 average 52%
Sydney (Observatory Hill) 19.2 +2.1 25.5 24 Aug 9.6 +0.8 6.1 20 Jun 287.8 311.2 average 92%
Sydney Airport AMO 19.1 +1.4 25.9 24 Aug 9.5 +1.4 5.9 20 Jun 235.0 269.5 average 87%
Sydney Harbour (Wedding Cake West) 18.0 +0.4 23.9 23 Jul 11.1 +0.1 7.7 19 Jul
Sydney Olympic Park AWS (Archery Centre) 19.3   25.7 24 Aug 6.9   1.9 19 Jul 115.4
Terrey Hills AWS 17.3 +0.5 24.1 24 Aug 8.5 +0.2 3.1 14 Jul 275.8 252.3 average 109%

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 September 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
Enquiries