Predictions NSW/ACT - Post Christmas Heatwave Dec 26 to early January

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Steve777

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A spell of hot weather is due to start pretty much now inland and in another couple of days near the coast. It will not be as extreme as the last one, with 850 temps over Sydney peaking around 24° on the 31st. It looks quite dry, with little cloud cover let alone rain. A change arrives on New Years Eve to cool things down for a couple of days, mainly near the coast, with the heat quickly resuming. At this stage January 4 looks very hot before a significant cool change the next day, but that's a way off.

The general circulation until the 31st is mostly weak Northerly, so wind hopefully won't be a problem inland. Strong sea breezes will keep maxima to around 30 near the coast.

Here are the current forecast maxima for selected sites (26th - 1st):

Sydney Observ Hill: 27, 28, 30, 31, 33, 33, 26
Sydney Olympic Pk: 29, 30, 33, 36, 37, 38, 28
Penrith__: 34, 35, 39, 41, 43, 42, 32
Bathurst_: 32, 34, 37, 36, 38, 38, 36
Canberra: 35, 37, 38, 38, 40, 38, 34

The Illawarra is a little cooler than Sydney, the lower Hunter about the same or a bit warmer.
 

Trail Blazer

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What’s the current set up for the 4th (stronger circulation)? I ask as the cricket will have started by then. After the Perth test (40C for the first four days) and a couple of hot days due to come in the Melbourne test, the players will be well and truly cooked
 
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Steve777

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Regarding the Cricket, GFS shows NW winds for Sydney on January 4 followed by a change with showers the following day. ACCESS has the same scenario but a day later. It does look like the latter part of the test will be cooler, possibly with light showers. Then, I don't remember a Sydney Test that wasn't rain-affected at some stage.

-----

After a warm night, it's calm, feeling a bit damp and almost cool. The NE'er has dropped off in the last couple of hours but will be back soon. The sky is free of cloud but smokey. I can't see the sun but beachcams show a red, smokey sunrise: https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cams-surf-reports/nsw/maroubra. It's clear of smoke at ground level here.

Yesterday gave us more perfect Summer holiday weather, even if it got a bit windy near the coast in the afternoon (sea gales). Probably most of Sydney away from the beach and the Harbour reached 30° yesterday, with the outer West reaching 33-36°. Penrith maxed at 35.6°, with OH bringing up the rear for non-coastal sites at 27.2°.
 

Trail Blazer

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Regarding the Cricket, GFS shows NW winds for Sydney on January 4 followed by a change with showers the following day. ACCESS has the same scenario but a day later.
E7E03214-E178-4B06-901B-2C77430D4AAB.png
Hopefully some inland rain to follow.
 

Steve777

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Today is what most would call perfect holiday weather. Around here it’s 32° (car thermometer) with blue skies, clean air and light breezes.

People in Sydney’s outer West may disagree, with Penrith and Richmond having passed 40°.
 

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Just for posterity, this is the most extreme forecast I’ve seen for our part of the World - Access 17:00 January 5, 46° over much of Sydney and the Hunter, with 850 temps over 30°.

2DAC984D-EFA6-4565-B9CC-9B26514F7AC4.png


It would be a huge problem if it came to pass. Fortunately it’s a long way out and probably won't happen.
EC agrees
 

DidSurfNowSki

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Just for posterity, this is the most extreme forecast I’ve seen for our part of the World - Access 17:00 January 5, 46° over much of Sydney and the Hunter, with 850 temps over 30°.

2DAC984D-EFA6-4565-B9CC-9B26514F7AC4.png


It would be a huge problem if it came to pass. Fortunately it’s a long way out and probably won't happen.
EC agrees
Dislike.
 
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Adaminaby Angler

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Just for posterity, this is the most extreme forecast I’ve seen for our part of the World - Access 17:00 January 5, 46° over much of Sydney and the Hunter, with 850 temps over 30°.

2DAC984D-EFA6-4565-B9CC-9B26514F7AC4.png


It would be a huge problem if it came to pass. Fortunately it’s a long way out and probably won't happen.

Certainly amongst the most legendary of summer fantasy-casts to date...is that 52° C I see there in CW-NW NSW? Cor blimey, that better happen!
 

Homer

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Very heavy, overcast smoky sky this morning, which is currently keeping a lid on temps. The smoke is high, so no evidence of a smoky smell.
It's been a rather mild morning due to this cover, with most Sydney burbs stuck in the mid-20's.
It's a very eerie orangey scene outside.
 
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davidg

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Very heavy, overcast smoky sky this morning, which is currently keeping a lid on temps. The smoke is high, so no evidence of a smoky smell.
It's been a rather mild morning due to this cover, with most Sydney burbs stuck in the mid-20's.
It's a very eerie orangey scene outside.
Well and truly descended to ground level out west, it's almost the worst it's been since this whole ordeal began. Here in the Lower BMs vis would be less than 500m currently. It's horrendous.
 
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climberman

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Some 4.5 degrees over the December maximum record (35 degrees, Dec 26 1957), and 1.8 degrees over the all-time record (37.7, 11 Feb 2017). Potentially lowest December rainfall on record as well (currently on 1.4mm, vs 1947 with 3.2mm), with a possible ('slight chance') storm forecast for the evening of the 31st.

http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_063039_All.shtml

Depressing stats
 
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Adaminaby Angler

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It is crucial to bear in mind that Katoomba (Farnells Rd.) begins merely in 1957, with regards to absolute records. The data don't span anywhere remotely as far back as those of, say, Bathurst Gaol—of which did not even draw near to breaking daily records for December, let alone all-time.

Notwithstanding, the recent heat was, indeed, extremely anomalous; that I can say without doubt; but in the grand scheme of things, we cannot say for certain if Katoomba's 39.5° C of Dec 2019 was more prodigious than Bathurst's 44.7° C of Jan 1878. Without historical data for the former, there lay no adequate comparison.
 
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Homer

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Well and truly descended to ground level out west, it's almost the worst it's been since this whole ordeal began. Here in the Lower BMs vis would be less than 500m currently. It's horrendous.

It has lowered here in the past hour and there is now a distinctly smoky smell, although visibility is much better than what you are experiencing. Maybe 2 km's.
Certainly keeping temps down though. Penrith has only reached 32.9 so far.
In comparison, Maitland AP has reached 39.7, presumably not under a smoky haze.
 

bengarden

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Canberra is running at 31 degrees average max temp this month! 5 degrees above and even 3 above Januarys normal average of 28. Absolutely the worst Summer I can remember since i grew up here in the mid 80s. The relentless run of days well above 35 and the thick smoke which was preceded by regular dust storms and barely anything for rain is truly nightmarish. Summer is becoming a season to dread instead of fun for the kids and nice outdoor activities. I mean I don't mind a few heatwaves over summer, but its becoming one long never ending one.....
 

climberman

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It is crucial to bear in mind that Katoomba (Farnells Rd.) begins merely in 1957, with regards to absolute records. The data don't span anywhere remotely as far back as those of, say, Bathurst Gaol—of which did not even draw near to breaking daily records for December, let alone all-time.

Notwithstanding, the recent heat was, indeed, extremely anomalous; that I can say without doubt; but in the grand scheme of things, we cannot say for certain if Katoomba's 39.5° C of Dec 2019 was more prodigious than Bathurst's 44.7° C of Jan 1878. Without historical data for the former, there lay no adequate comparison.
Crucial!!
By gods you are boring.
The record is as long as is recorded.
 
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climberman

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1878 sounds pre standardised Stevenson Screens...

“But it was warmer in the Neoproterozoic period!”

AIUI Bathurst Gaol records only go up to 1983; and so in the grand scheme of things, we cannot say for certain if Katoomba's 39.5° C of Dec 2019 was more prodigious than Bathurst's 44.7° C of Jan 1878. Without historical data for the former, there lay no adequate comparison; nor, in fact, can we tell if the Bathurst Gaol record would have been broken once, twice, or thrice, since 1983; as the station is no longer utilised; and so, we see, that picking sites which exhibit some attributes, but, yet, are nothing like the site nor records maintained in another under discussion, and so; are worthless: and yet typical approaches of those who try to deny climate science. For these sites have very different characteristics, easily checkable to the layperson who wonders why a comparison site was picked; for Bathurst Gaol is a site with no max temp records in the modern era; because it has not been a site in the modern era, so handily records only old records! It also records average occurrences of 0.3 days >40 deg/yr; 8.5 days >35deg/yr and 45 days >30deg per year, when compared with Katoomba site which has 0.0, 0.5 and 9.8; making the Katoomba record much further outside the bounds of regular recordings for the site that the Bathurst Gaol max temp record is for Bathurst, AIUI; this would be like a Bathurst Gaol record of 46.3 degrees for December (which, if it broke the Dec record by this amount, would also be the Bathurst Gaol all-year all-time record by a similar margin to the Katoomba recording, assuming it had been maintained through the last 3-4 decades).

The Katoomba lowest rainfall recordings go to 1885, so coming close to or breaking this is a big thing as well (Dec 2019 to date 1.4mm, Dec all-time low 3.5 1885-present)

Katoomba (Farnells Road): http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_063039_All.shtml#rainfall
Bathurst Gaol 1858-1983: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_063004_All.shtml


Katoomba Farnells Rd is at 1017m asl; Bathurst Gaol is at 704m asl

How these sites are related is not clear.
 

Adaminaby Angler

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1878 sounds pre standardised Stevenson Screens...

“But it was warmer in the Neoproterozoic period!”
Sydney Observatory Hill was also "pre-standardised"...yet, the absolute warmest day in January 1878 was a pitiful 30.5° C, comprising an average maximum of just 25.9° C; as opposed to Bathurst Gaol's 35.1° C average maximum. Furthermore, Bathurst Gaol averaged just 9.4° C in June 1878 via maxima; extremely continental year by Australian standards.

The El Nino straddling 1877-1878 was, by leagues, the worst recorded; thus justifying the extreme heat; and, likewise, drought, during the summers of 1877 and 1878; from Dr. Neville Nicholls (BoM).

Must we also discard Sydney Observatory Hill's January 1878 data? On another note, please do not throw petty straw-men at me, such as that "Neoproterozoic period" codswallop—it's really not a good look.
 

Greysrigging

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1878 sounds pre standardised Stevenson Screens...

“But it was warmer in the Neoproterozoic period!”
Almost certainly pre Stevenson Screen....I would be taking 19th Century records measured with non standard instrumentation with a tiny bit of scepticism.....especially the ones outside of the Capital Cities ( yes that includes the oft mentioned Riverina ones, in particular Deniliquin )
 

Adaminaby Angler

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AIUI Bathurst Gaol records only go up to 1983; and so in the grand scheme of things, we cannot say for certain if Katoomba's 39.5° C of Dec 2019 was more prodigious than Bathurst's 44.7° C of Jan 1878. Without historical data for the former, there lay no adequate comparison; nor, in fact, can we tell if the Bathurst Gaol record would have been broken once, twice, or thrice, since 1983; as the station is no longer utilised; and so, we see, that picking sites which exhibit some attributes, but, yet, are nothing like the site nor records maintained in another under discussion, and so; are worthless: and yet typical approaches of those who try to deny climate science. For these sites have very different characteristics, easily checkable to the layperson who wonders why a comparison site was picked; for Bathurst Gaol is a site with no max temp records in the modern era; because it has not been a site in the modern era, so handily records only old records! It also records average occurrences of 0.3 days >40 deg/yr; 8.5 days >35deg/yr and 45 days >30deg per year, when compared with Katoomba site which has 0.0, 0.5 and 9.8; making the Katoomba record much further outside the bounds of regular recordings for the site that the Bathurst Gaol max temp record is for Bathurst, AIUI; this would be like a Bathurst Gaol record of 46.3 degrees for December (which, if it broke the Dec record by this amount, would also be the Bathurst Gaol all-year all-time record by a similar margin to the Katoomba recording, assuming it had been maintained through the last 3-4 decades).

The Katoomba lowest rainfall recordings go to 1885, so coming close to or breaking this is a big thing as well (Dec 2019 to date 1.4mm, Dec all-time low 3.5 1885-present)

Katoomba (Farnells Road): http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_063039_All.shtml#rainfall
Bathurst Gaol 1858-1983: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_063004_All.shtml


Katoomba Farnells Rd is at 1017m asl; Bathurst Gaol is at 704m asl

How these sites are related is not clear.
Plainly, I was speaking relatively—i.e. if 39.5° C at 1,017 m is as extreme as 44.7° C at 704 m. If 39.5° C at Katoomba indeed equates to 46.3° C at Bathurst (as you've stated), then I now retract some of my previous statement(s).

In other words, you've won.
 
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Gleno71

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Penrith forecast now predicting a 47 for next Sat the 4th.
This heat is relentless.

I don't think Penrith got anywhere near the 47 that was forecasted last week? , so be interesting to see if that forecast holds. In all my years living in Sydney before moving to QLD in 2014, I can never recall western Sydney getting that many 45+ days back in the 80's and 90's compared to recent times unless someone can correct me
 

Steve777

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I don't think Penrith got anywhere near the 47 that was forecasted last week? , so be interesting to see if that forecast holds. In all my years living in Sydney before moving to QLD in 2014, I can never recall western Sydney getting that many 45+ days back in the 80's and 90's compared to recent times unless someone can correct me

A temperature of 45° was uncommon in the Sydney basin until fairly recently. Looking at the Richmond site we have 47.8° in 1939 which sticks out like a sore thumb. That was the only time the old RAAF site passed 45 (1928-1994 with a few gaps). The new site (since 1993) did not pass 45° until 2013 and has done so several times since.

In the 80s and 90s Sydney did have a couple of runs of mild, overcast and fairly wet Summers (1987/88 to 1989/90, 1994/95 to 1996/97) plus a few hot Summers (1990/91, 1993/94).

EDIT: on the two hottest days last week, the 19th and 21st, Penrith reached 42.5 and 40.7 respectively. The latter was well short of the forecast, from memory 46. Smoke haze, very light NW’ers, much weaker than forecast, plus a stronger than expected sea-breeze meant that forecasts for the 21st overshot by up tp 7°.
 

Homer

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I don't think Penrith got anywhere near the 47 that was forecasted last week? , so be interesting to see if that forecast holds. In all my years living in Sydney before moving to QLD in 2014, I can never recall western Sydney getting that many 45+ days back in the 80's and 90's compared to recent times unless someone can correct me

You're right, it didn't, as Steve has stated. Doesn't mean it won't next week.
The models (and the BOM) are clearly having trouble coming to terms with the reduced heating that is caused by the thick smoke cover down here at the moment, as happened today.

In saying that, it's rare that the BOM would forecast such a temp 7 days out. It's just like they never forecast a 200 mm day of rain 7 days out. Rainfall totals always ramp up closer to the event, in the forecasts.
And, you are correct about the days above 45 back in the 80's and 90's. They were extremely rare. These days, they seem the norm to be forecast.
It's awful.
 
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davidg

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I'll take the 47c if it means we can be rid of this smoke (and the associated fires). It's been relentless.
 
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Rob_S

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The thick smoke created a strong inversion and prevented the extremely hot air aloft from mixing down last week. There was no seabreeze of any note on both days, just a weak northerly circulation.

Mt Boyce was under the influence of a moderate westerly breeze at 37.5°c and this would have seen the 47.8°c Richmond record broken under the right conditions. The Katoomba site was previously located in Murri Street near the town centre with the screen in the front yard of a house close to a concrete pathway and the bitumen road, so I suspect the new site has similar issues.
 
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jish33

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Lots of drying riverbeds around Canberra.
Casurina sands on the Murrumbidgee river
(20 Minutes west of CBD) had a couple of large dead fish floating in the water. The water is pooling and the water quality looks stagnat, and the smell of the dead fish was awful.
Not good for swimming in my opinion. Will be worse over the next 7 days.

The cotter river nearby was better as it was flowing very very gently and looked fine for swimming.

Unfortunately with a number of road closures, Canberra is cut off from quicker access the sea. Canberra's local beaches around Batemans bay are cut off via normal routes.
 
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robbo mcs

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I don't think Penrith got anywhere near the 47 that was forecasted last week? , so be interesting to see if that forecast holds. In all my years living in Sydney before moving to QLD in 2014, I can never recall western Sydney getting that many 45+ days back in the 80's and 90's compared to recent times unless someone can correct me

In the 80’s and 90’s we only had Richmond to report high western sydney maximums. Penrith, which is often higher, is a relatively new station, late 90’s I think?
 

Trail Blazer

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I feel that until a few years ago Richmond had the edge but in the last couple of summers in particular Penrith has been hotter. I wonder if nearby development is a factor.

Whatever the timing of the change on Sunday, the coast is again looking like being spared the worst of the heat.
 

Greysrigging

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Penriff had two +45c days in Jan 2003. I was staying at my mothers place in Cobbitty, and was driving into the 'Riff each day to pick up a workmate, then we'd tootle off to a Satellite installation job in Belrose. Belrose flat out cracking 37c, knock off time and we'd drive out along the freeway and all these cars pulled over on the emergency lane with the bonnets up, steaming... didn't twig the change in the heat out west there until alighted the work ute... Bloody hell ! A furnace !.
 
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