Author Topic: Number of 40 Degree days for the summer 2008 / 2009  (Read 8064 times)

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Offline Harley Pearman

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Number of 40 Degree days for the summer 2008 / 2009
« on: 18 January 2009, 08:01:57 AM »
Number of 40 degree days this summer 2008/2009

While sitting on top of Mt Gibraltar at Bowral 15/1/2009 watching cloud and thunderstorm development, I could see in the distance that Western Sydney was baking under 40C temperatures. A dome of haze / polluted air also sat over Western Sydney from the fires and particulate matter that would have made conditions uncomfortable.

Sitting in only 33C heat at an altitude of 863 metres above sea level, I watched Western Sydney literally cook in the distance and it is the first time that I have seen the western suburbs of Sydney engulfed by summer heat and grey haze from such an angle.

This thread has been prompted by that experience and highlights how hot it has been for the first 16 days of January 2009. I have obtained this by looking at the Bureau of Meteorology data bases for various weather stations from 1/1/09 to 17/1/09.

It is for the number of days where the maximum temperature has soared above 38C or 100F and 40C or 104F for the first 16 days of the month.

Western Sydney

Penrith - 5 days above 38C including 4 days above 40C.
Blacktown - 5 days above 38C including 3 days above 40C.
Richmond - 4 days above 38C including 1 day above 40C.
Campbelltown - 5 days above 38C including 2 days above 40C.
Parramatta - 4 days above 38C including 1 day above 40C.
Liverpool - 4 days above 38C including 1 day above 40C.
Camden - 5 days above 38C including 3 days above 40C.

These are located in western Sydney. Western Sydney has been subjected to 2 hot spells already this month and there have been two periods where 40C (104F) temperatures have occurred. Further, Penrith reached 43C on 15/1/2009.

Sydney's coastal suburbs have been significantly cooler.

Sydney Observatory Hill - Nil above 38C and Nil above 40C. No days have reached 35C.
Sydney Airport - 1 day above 38C and no days above 40C.
Canterbury - 1 day above 38C in which it reached 40C being the 15/1/2009.
Gosford - 1 day above 38C in which it reached 41C being the 15/1/2009.
Terrey Hills - 1 day above 38C.
Wollongong Nil above 38C and nil above 40C. Amazing it only reached 27C in Wollongong on the 15/1/2009.

The sea breeze has had a big impact and the summer heat has not pushed into Sydney's eastern suburbs as much.

Another amazing feat for Penrith when compared to some inland centres of New South Wales for the same period.

Wilcania - 6 days above 38C including 4 above 40C.
Pooncarie - 4 days above 38C and all 4 days it reached 40C.
Broken Hill - 4 days above 38C including 3 days above 40C.
Walget - 7 days above 38C including 3 days above 40C.

What this shows is that Penrith in far western Sydney has been getting a similar number of 40C days as some of the hottest centres in inland North West and far Western New South Wales so far this January. Penrith has been sweltering more than any other location in Sydney with Blacktown and Camden not too far behind.

Of further note, the highest temperature that I have found this summer so far for New South Wales is 45.8C recorded at Pooncarie - 14/1/2009.

Harley Pearman 

Offline Harley Pearman

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Re: Number of 40 Degree days for the summer 2008 / 2009
« Reply #1 on: 04 February 2009, 01:47:10 PM »
With January 2009 just finished, the number of days above 40C for western Sydney was well above average. Penrith had 5 days which is the most for Sydney.

Blacktown where I reside finished January with 4 such days. The norm is 1 day. There were none during the summer of 2007/2008 and hence this summer is a significant turnaround from the previous summer.

On another interesting statistic, it reached 38C on 8 days in January 2009 where I live. The result of having so many days above 38C and 40C was a January where the maximum daily temperature was 3C above the long term average. January 2009 turned out to be a rather warm month for western Sydney.

When this current heatwave for New South Wales and Victoria is over, I will post statistics for other places because the number of days above 40C in many areas is also well above the average too.

Harley Pearman

Offline Harley Pearman

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Re: Number of 40 Degree days for the summer 2008 / 2009
« Reply #2 on: 18 February 2009, 10:44:38 AM »
As previously stated, following the recent heatwave across New South Wales, I have prepared some data to show the number of days above 37.8C (100F) and 40C (104F) at selected sites for the summer 2008/2009. A number of sites from the coast to the inland regions were analysed to provide a comparison. It is found that the number of 40C days at many centres across the inland south west region of the state are well above average for the 2008/2009 summer. The data is from the period 1 December 2008 to 16 February 2009 which includes the recent heatwave just finished.

Location   No of 37.8C days  No of 40C days   Average no of 40C days

Albury            18                     11                      2
Balranald        20                     13                      6.3
Bathurst         2                       Nil                      Nil
Bourke           34                     21                      14

(Bourke - Some temperature data is missing between 7 and 18 December)

Camden          12                      4                      2.2
Campbelltown  12                      3                      2.2
Cessnock        10                      4                      2.5
Corowa           18                     10                     2.6
Dubbo            15                      4                      4.1
Fowlers Gap     25                     18                     (Not available)
Goulburn         3                       Nil                     0.1
Gunnedah        8                       2                      5
Ivanhoe          26                     19                     13.6
Jerrys Plains    12                      6                      3.5
Mudgee           3                      Nil                     0.8
Nyngan           23                      8                     7.7
Penrith           13                      8                      3.5
Blacktown       12                      5                      0.9
Sydney           1                       1                      0.2
Singleton        12                      7                      2.8
Tamworth       7                        2                      1.4
Tibooburra      29                      19                     18.6
Young            10                      3                      1.9
Wagga Wagga 20                      11                     2.1

The numbers in the first two columns have been sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology Weather Stations for the places while the numbers in the last column are sourced from Weatherzone (Weather station temperature historical data).

This gives a general perspective on how hot it has been this summer 2008/2009 for many regions of New South Wales. In particular, places in the Riverina and South West Slopes have had a hot summer to date with the number of 40C days well above average ie Albury, Balranald, Corowa and Wagga Wagga. Western Sydney also stands out and so does parts of the Hunter Valley eg Singleton.

When preparing this, it is noted that some centres along the coast such as Merimbula and Ulludulla (South Coast) have not recorded any significant hot days this summer.

I will prepare one for selected sites for Victoria.

Harley Pearman

Offline Harley Pearman

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Re: Number of 40 Degree days for the summer 2008 / 2009
« Reply #3 on: 19 February 2009, 04:15:07 AM »
Number of 40C days for selected sites across Victoria for the 2008/2009 summer

I have looked at statistics at selected sites across the state of Victoria. Following a cool start to summer being December, January and February has so far turned out to be hot and dry in most regions of the state.

The recent heatwave has resulted in many localities experiencing a high number of days when the maximum temperature reached or exceeded 40C (104F). In many areas, the number is well above the average for any given season.

The numbers are collated at weather stations (Bureau of Meteorology Weather Stations) from 1 December 2008 to 16 February 2009:-

Location  No of 37.8C days  No of 40C days  Av No of 40C days

Bendigo          11                       9                   1.3             
Echuca           15                      10                  2.7
Horsham         12                       9                   2.8   
Melbourne       6                        5                   1.3
Mildura           20                      15                  5.2
Portland         2                        Nil                  0.3
Sale              6                         4                   0.4
Shepparton     11                      10                  2.2
Swan Hill        19                      14                  7.9
Wangaratta    16                      10                  1.7
Warrnambool  4                         3                   1.3

Note - The figures in the last column are derived from Weatherzone Climate data and statistics for the various sites chosen. Places from each region have been chosen to provide a reasonable comparison of how the state has fared.

The recent heatwave has caused the unusually high number of 40C days to occur across the state. Interestingly Portland in the far south west of the state missed the heatwave between late January and early February and hence the weather has been far less extreme here.

The largest variation has occurred north of the Great Dividing Range within the Murray Darling Basin and hence places like Mildura, Wangaratta, Shepparton and Echuca have experienced more 40C days this summer than usual. Further, this area has been affected by ongoing drought as well.

I have noted that some more hot weather has been forecast for some inland areas of Victoria in a few days time and hence the final figures for the 2008/2009 summer could change for some localities.

Of interest, I have looked at Australia's hottest town as well being Marble Bar (North West Western Australia). Marble Bar has had:-

- 68 days above 37.8C for the same period 1/12/2009 to 16/2/2009.
- Of that, 56 days have seen the temperature reach or exceed 40C.

The town recently suffered through a period of 24 days in a row from 1/1/2009 to 24/1/2009 when the maximum temperature reached or exceeded 40C. That was enough to give an average January daily maximum temperature of 40.9C here.

Harley Pearman