Greater Sydney in spring 2017: warm and dry

Spring was drier than average across the Greater Sydney region. The season began particularly dry with many records being set in September. Spring temperatures were warmer than average. Record breaking warm days were experienced in September, however, conditions were moderated by November, when average daytime temperatures were reported.

A drier than average spring

  • Rainfall was below average across the Greater Sydney region for spring
  • September was the driest observed at Observatory Hill since records began in 1858 and while near average totals were recorded in October, November saw a return to below average falls
  • Observatory Hill recorded rain on only 22 days (average 34 days), with the wettest day being 27 October with 34.2 mm
  • Sunshine was close to the spring average at Sydney Airport, with a sunny September, a slightly cloudy October and a near average November
  • Some sites had their lowest total spring rainfall for at least 20 years

Warmer temperatures for Greater Sydney

  • Maximum temperatures were above average for spring across Greater Sydney
  • The mean daily maximum temperature for Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 23.7 °C, which is 1.7 °C above the long-term average of 22.0 °C and the eighth-warmest spring on record
  • September was particularly warm, recording the second-warmest September on record at Observatory Hill
  • Many early season spring records were set across the city during September, with particularly warm days on 13 and 23 September; Penrith Lakes reached a maximum of 37.3 °C on the 23rd, setting a new September record for the Greater Sydney region
  • Sydney Airport also reached 37.3 °C during spring on 30 October, while the warmest day at Observatory Hill was 35.4 °C, also on 30 October
  • There was a mild end to spring, with the coolest spring day at Observatory Hill being observed on 4 November (17.1 °C); Observatory Hill recorded 17 consecutive days of below 25 °C during November, the longest November run since 2000
  • The mean daily minimum temperature for Sydney (Observatory Hill) was 15.0 °C, which is 1.5 °C above the long-term average of 13.5 °C, and the seventh-warmest for spring on record
  • The coldest morning at Observatory Hill was 7.8 °C on 2 Sep, and the warmest morning was on 24 Sep when the minimum temperature was 23.0 °C
  • Further information

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    Extremes in spring 2017
    Hottest day 37.3 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS on 23 Sep
    37.3 °C at Sydney Airport AMO on 30 Oct
    Warmest days on average 26.3 °C at Penrith Lakes AWS
    Coolest days on average 18.8 °C at Mount Boyce AWS
    Coldest day 6.1 °C at Mount Boyce AWS on 14 Sep
    Coldest night -0.6 °C at Katoomba (Murri St) on 1 Sep
    Coolest nights on average 7.7 °C at Mount Boyce AWS
    Warmest nights on average 15.6 °C at Sydney Harbour (Wedding Cake West)
    Warmest night 24.1 °C at Springwood (Valley Heights) on 24 Sep
    Warmest on average overall 19.6 °C at Sydney Airport AMO
    Coolest on average overall 13.2 °C at Mount Boyce AWS
    Wettest overall 220.6 mm at Cooranbong (Lake Macquarie AWS)
    Driest overall 51.0 mm at Menangle Bridge (Nepean River)
    Wettest day 66.0 mm at Wedderburn (Booalbyn) on 27 Oct
    Strongest wind gust 102 km/h at Badgerys Creek AWS on 24 Sep


    Lowest spring total rainfall for at least 20 years
    Observed
    (mm)
    Most recent
    lower
    Average for
    spring
    Prospect Reservoir 55.1 21.7 in 1968* 177.6
    Picton Council Depot 72.6 63.1 in 1977* 178.2
    Avalon Beach (Avalon (Palmgrove Rd)) 106.2 66.2 in 1968* 239.7
    Belrose (Evelyn Place) 106.6 87.8 in 1991* 243.6
    Castle Cove (Rosebridge Ave) 115.4 109.0 in 1994* 273.5

    * note: there are gaps in the historical record at this site, so it is possible a lower value has gone unreported


    Summary statistics for spring 2017
    Maximum temperatures
    (°C)
    Minimum temperatures
    (°C)
    Rainfall
    (millimetres)
    Mean for
    spring
    2017
    Diff
    from
    average
    Highest for
    spring
    2017
    Mean for
    spring
    2017
    Diff
    from
    average
    Lowest for
    spring
    2017
    Total for
    spring
    2017
    Average
    for
    spring
    Rank of
    spring
    2017
    Fraction of
    spring
    average
    Badgerys Creek AWS 25.3 +0.6 36.4 23 Sep 10.8 +0.3 0.5 17 Sep 84.8 153.5 low 55%
    Bankstown Airport AWS 25.0 +1.4 36.3 30 Oct 11.9 +0.2 2.7 2 Sep 55.6 177.8 v low 31%
    Camden Airport AWS 25.4 +1.2 36.5 23 Sep 10.3 +0.4 -0.3 2 Sep 79.8 174.2 low 46%
    Campbelltown (Mount Annan) 25.2 +0.4 35.7 23 Sep 10.5 +0.1 0.6 18 Sep 77.0
    Canterbury Racecourse AWS 24.1 +0.7 35.3 30 Oct 12.2 +0.1 4.0 18 Sep 90.2 186.1 low 48%
    Cooranbong (Lake Macquarie AWS) 24.7   36.3 30 Oct 10.7   0.9 2 Sep 220.6 241.5 average 91%
    Gosford AWS 24.0   35.9 30 Oct 12.6   3.7 2 Sep 159.6
    Holsworthy Aerodrome AWS 24.5   36.1 30 Oct 11.5   0.5 18 Sep 65.0
    Horsley Park Equestrian Centre AWS 25.1 +0.6 36.0 23 Sep 11.8 0.0 2.8 17 Sep 74.4 156.7 v low 47%
    Katoomba (Murri St) 19.0 +1.4 28.6 23 Sep 8.4 +0.7 -0.6 1 Sep 203.2 270.9 average 75%
    Mangrove Mountain AWS 23.7 +1.1 34.0 23 Sep 11.2 -0.3 2.8 2 Sep 160.0 234.2 low 68%
    Mount Boyce AWS 18.8 +1.2 27.6 23 Sep 7.7 +0.1 -0.1 9 Sep 155.6 216.7 average 72%
    Norah Head AWS 23.6 +1.1 35.8 30 Oct 15.0 +0.2 9.5 1 Sep 134.4 208.7 low 64%
    Parramatta North (Masons Drive) 24.7 +1.0 36.5 23 Sep 11.5 -0.3 3.5 10 Sep 81.4 202.4 v low 40%
    Penrith Lakes AWS 26.3 +0.8 37.3 23 Sep 12.4 +0.2 3.8 10 Sep 68.8 161.9 v low 42%
    Prospect Reservoir 25.2 +1.5 36.0 30 Oct 12.8 +0.9 3.8 2 Sep 55.1 177.6 v low 31%
    Richmond RAAF 26.2 +1.2 36.9 23 Sep 11.0 -0.1 0.9 1 Sep 69.4 168.7 v low 41%
    Springwood (Valley Heights) 23.6 0.0 34.6 23 Sep 12.2 +0.5 4.6 18 Sep 112.6 224.1 low 50%
    Sydney (Observatory Hill) 23.7 +1.7 35.4 30 Oct 15.0 +1.5 7.8 2 Sep
    Sydney Airport AMO 24.5 +2.0 37.3 30 Oct 14.8 +1.7 7.2 17 Sep 97.4 210.2 low 46%
    Sydney Harbour (Wedding Cake West) 21.3 +0.3 34.6 30 Oct 15.6 +0.3 9.4 2 Sep
    Sydney Olympic Park AWS (Archery Centre) 24.7   35.9 30 Oct 12.7   4.7 18 Sep 92.4
    Terrey Hills AWS 22.8 +0.3 35.4 30 Oct 13.2 0.0 5.5 17 Sep 99.8 226.0 v low 44%

    Notes

    The Seasonal climate summary, generally published on the first working day of each month, lists the main features of the weather in Greater Sydney using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. More extensive discussion of significant weather events, along with later information and data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review.

    In September 2017 this summary was broadened to include data from observing sites in or near the Greater Sydney “Greater Capital City Statistical Area” (GCCSA). The Australian Bureau of Statistics designed the GCCSAs to “include the population within the urban area of the city, as well as people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, and live in small towns and rural areas surrounding the city. It is important to note that GCCSAs do not define the built up edge of the city. They provide a stable definition for these cities and are designed for the output of a range of social and economic survey data.

    This statement has been prepared based on information available at 10 am on Friday 1 December 2017. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

    In some situations, some or all of the rainfall is in the form of hail or snow. In these cases the totals given are for the water equivalent: the depth of liquid water that results from melting any frozen precipitation. There can be significant 'undercatch' of snow in strong winds, meaning the true precipitation can be higher than that reported.

    Averages for individual sites are long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 10 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
    The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average rain.

    The Rank indicates how rainfall this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low rainfall is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
    The Fraction of average shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

    Where temperature area averages are mentioned, they are derived from the ACORN-SAT dataset.

    Further information

    Media
    (03) 9669 4057
    Enquiries