How did you rate this Summer? Was it good, bad, unusual or typical?
La Nina has continued to influence our weather with warm and humid conditions. There have been huge amounts of rainfall in New South Wales and Queensland and varying falls in Victoria. Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre ), which is is fed by a network of usually dry watercourses including Cooper Creek and the Diamantina, was 50% full and rising on February 22nd .
Rainfall in Daylesford for December was half the the long-term average but January was more than double with 103.8mm compared to the 46.4mm average. February was extremely dry compared to the average of 46.4mm. The Bureau of Meteorology site did not record any rain for February. Did you record any rain in your home gauge?
There were several millimetres of rain on the 28th of February. However, that rainfall is counted on March 1st because the Bureau records rainfall from 9am the day before to 9am on that day. While I have not checked the reason with the Bureau, I understand it would relate to the historical situation where rainfall was physically checked at 9am each day, rather than at midnight, by people who volunteered or were paid to record.
That rainfall and the follow-up rain has been very welcome. Humidity has been quite high. The expected coming rainfall should assist most agricultural communities through autumn planting and into Winter.
Daylesford and Melbourne did not have the very hot days of 35°C plus this summer. However, Melbourne had a record number of days of 30°C or above. Nights were much warmer than average for Daylesford and Melbourne. Cloudy conditions usually trap more heat into the night. While summer was not as hot as many recent summers, it was still a warmer season than the long-term average.
Summer weather usually finishes around the third week of March with the autumn equinox due on the 20th. What is coming for autumn? The Bureau of Meteorology updates its 3 month forecast each Thursday. They expect that Autumn will be wetter than normal for most of Australia including Victoria. Night-time temperatures are expected to be warmer than normal for all of Australia and day-time temperatures are expected to be warmer for most of the country.
Victor Szwed is a local resident who contributes a regular weather column to The Wombat Post.