Last week saw the continuation of cooler than normal conditions which has continued for the last 6 weeks. On a few days daily maxima did exceed normal by about three degrees with northerly winds. There was less rain last week but some thunderstorms brought isolated heavy falls of over 25 mms. High temperatures did occur over northern WA up to 42 degrees at Fitzroy Crossing and some of this heat managed to reach the far west of SA where Ceduna recorded 40.7 last Thursday 20th October which was within three degrees of the hottest October day on trecord at Ceduna of 43.5 in October of 1987.
High temperatures of over 40 at Ceduna in October do not occur very often . There 13 occasions in the last 77 years. Nearly all occurred when the winter and spring season had been drier than average in our regions. But there was one standout case, October 1983 which was preceeded by excessive rains from April to September. This also happened this year in our regions. Following the high October temperature in 1983 there was heavy rain and thunderstorms about three weeks later and more of the same a week or more later and then heavy rain in January 1984.
There was another case closely similar in October 1995 which was a wet period from May through to November in our regions and both January and February 1996 were also very wet.
Both the summers following the 1983 and 1995 cases saw an absence of heat wave conditions in our regions but there were more thunderstorms with strong winds and heavy hail than usual.