First half of October unusually cold

By Peter Nelson on October 18, 2016
  • First half of October unusually cold

    The first half of this month has been significantly colder than normal in our regions.

The first half of this month has been significantly colder than normal in our regions. Many places stretching from the outback QLD towns of Charleville and Roma to Victoria have had both maximum temperatures and minimum temperatures three or four degrees below the October normals. If this cool trend continues for another week or more it will be the coldest October either since 1964 or 1956 or 1905 at many centres after which a dry period became established after these three cases. However, above normal conditions have continued in Northern WA around Broome and also at the Top End of NT where Darwin is on track to record one of it's hottest Octobers on record.

There is a trouble spot brewing in the Indian Ocean at Christmas Island which was yet again swamped by nearly 600 mms the last week and new all time record rainfall was set. Following a record daily fall of 187 mms on the 12th October a new daily record was again established on the next day, 13th October of 196 mms. It is already the wettest year on record at Christmas Island with 4300 mms almost twice the annual average. Examination of past very wet years with a very wet September and October at Christmas Island had occurred in 1906, 1910, 1975, 1978 and 2010. There was more heavy rain after these episodes in our regions well into the next summer.

The extremely heavy rain at Christmas Island is apparently due to well above normal sea surface temperatures currently at 28.8  degrees. This will certainly lead to more tropical cyclones than usual affecting our Nation. For those who dislike very hot weather they will be relieved to hear that next summer will see an absence of prolonged heat in our regions.

By Peter Nelson on October 18, 2016

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