Dry spell to continue for a while yet

By Peter Nelson on September 11, 2017

It has continued very dry at most places in our regions apart from the NE Victoria which has benefited from isolated heavy falls during August, but this area is now starting to dry out with cold strong winds which have had low dew point temperatures for the past week.

Many places have had very little or no rain for 40 days. Coonabarabran has had no rain for 38 days. The record for successive days without any rain in Coonabarabran for this time of year was 46 days in 1914.

Other severe dry spells for winter and early Spring were in 1885, 1927, 1940, 1946, 1982,and to some extent 1972. The best fitting episode out of these is 1927 when above average rain fell in NE Victoria in July and August and this also happened this year.

The big dry in 1927 broke in our regions in early October and more rain fell during the remainder of 1927 and the first three months of 1928 were very wet indeed. Out in the Indian Ocean, Christmas Is. had a very wet June.

Out of 10 previous cases of high June rainfalls at Christmas Island dating back to 1903 nearly all led to above average rain for the next 6 months. But the standout case was 1972 in which a very dry June in our region was recorded.

Like June this year. Above average rain was recorded north from Dubbo during October and November 1972, but it was relatively dry elsewhere. Maximum temperatures were above normal the last 4 months of 1972 and also in January 1973.

Then came heavy rain which did actually continued throughout 1973 and 1974. Something to look forward to, perhaps, in 2018 and 2019. I recently read an article published by the BOM in a Country News which left me puzzled.

It stated that warm waters in the Indian Ocean may lead to more dry conditions across the Nation. I had been observing the sea surface anomalies in the Indian Ocean since last December and the last three months these were one to two degrees below normal.

The mean maximum temperatures at Christmas Is. this year in the winter months were 1.5 degrees colder than the winter months of last year.

By Peter Nelson on September 11, 2017
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