Sydney Climate Summary - NSW Regional Office
Sydney's winter highest on record for daytime temperatures
Winter 2005 (June to August)
Temperatures: Generally mild, sunny days were typical in Sydney during winter. The average daytime maximum temperature for winter of 19.4°C was 1.6°C above the historic winter average of 17.8°C. This is the highest on record for Sydney Observatory Hill (the official CBD site), with records dating from 1859; it exceeds the record winter average maximum temperature set only last year of 19.2°C. In fact, the last 5 winters hold 5 out of the top 6 highest winter average maximum temperatures. Other locations in Sydney such as Parramatta, Bankstown and Sydney Airport have also recorded their highest winter average daytime maximum temperature.
Sydney recorded 36 days during winter when the temperature exceeded 20°C, the highest on record. The historic average is only 11 days exceeding 20°C. The average overnight minimum temperature for winter was 9.7°C, also above the historic average of 9.1°C. The average temperature for winter (average of maximum and minimum temperatures) was 14.5°C, which equals the previous highest average set during the winter of 1988.
The highest temperature recorded during this winter in Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 25.8°C on 31 August while the coldest night was 5.1°C on 13 August. The lowest winter temperature for the Sydney metropolitan area was minus 4°C at Richmond on 7 August.
Rainfall: Sydney's winter rainfall of 143.4mm (recorded at Observatory Hill) was 46% of the historic average of 308.8mm. Most of the season's rain fell in about a week in June when 128mm was recorded from 24 June to 1 July. The number of rain days (20) was also well below average. The wettest suburb during winter was Avalon in Sydney's north with a total of 208mm. However, there were much lower totals in the western suburbs with St Clair recording only 52mm during winter.
Long dry spell: (total rain less than 2mm) Sydney experienced one of its longest dry spells on record during this winter with only 1.6mm recorded in 46 days, from 17 July to 31 August. This has been exceeded only twice by two longer spells since Sydney's records commenced in 1859. The first was in 1989 with 1.6mm recorded in 47 days. The other was Sydney's longest dry spell in 1995 with 1.2mm recorded in 57 days (from 8 July to 2 September).
Temperatures: Above average daytime temperatures prevailed in Sydney during August. With plentiful sunshine and prevailing W-NW winds the average maximum temperature of 19.9°C was 1.6°C above the historic average and the 4th highest on record. With numerous clear nights, average minimum temperatures were slightly below the historic average. The highest temperature at Observatory Hill during August was 25.8°C on the 31st while the lowest was 5.1°C on the 13th. Richmond recorded the lowest August metropolitan temperature of minus 4°C on the 7th.
Rainfall: The total monthly rainfall of only 1.6mm at Observatory Hill was the 3rd lowest on record for August, and well below the historic average of 82mm. Only 3 rain days were recorded (historic average 9 days). Very little rain fell across the metropolitan area ranging from 7mm at St Ives in Sydney's north to less that 1mm in several western suburbs. Similar low rainfall was received over much of the Warragamba Dam catchment. For further details see Sydney Catchment Authority web site http://www.sca.nsw.gov.au/dams/rainfall.html
Mike De Salis, Climate and Consultancy Section, tel: (02) 9296 1555, e-mail: email@example.com