THERE’S only just over a week before winter hits but our hot autumn nights – and days – look like a sunshine song lasting right to the end.
In Armidale the locals are still seeing T-shirt weather, in Walcha the trees have put on a longer-than-usual colour show, and in
Tamworth we’ve seen 16 consecutive days of tops over 20 degrees Celsius.
It mightn’t be a record, but many of those days have seen maximum temperatures up to three degrees higher than the norm. But it’s the sheer consistency of the warm nights and even warmer days that has weather watchers talking.
The unseasonably mild autumn in May is more about a long spell of dry weather with sunshine and clear skies than the ups-and-downs we have experienced in other Mays, when the nip of winter bites a couple of times during the month.
This year, except for that sudden dive and chilly first weekend in May, we’ve only seen four days when the daytime top temperatures have been below 20C and the nights colder than 5C.
Moree meteorologist Michael Glasson reckons you might want to keep that doona at the bottom of the bed, but he says the signs are all there for the average or above-average temperatures to continue right to the end of the month.
“After that we can be sure we’ll get some cold weather in winter, though,” he says.
“There’s been no records broken, well maybe in consistency, but we’ve had a good long run.”
Like Tamworth’s extended warm period, Moree had had something like 17 days with temperatures over 22C.
Our long run of warm autumn weather has been caused by a large high-pressure system, which has pushed the cold fronts down south of the country.
But, there’s some patchy rain and a chance of thunderstorms heading our way, although there’s not likely to be more than a couple of millimetres in anything that falls anywhere, anytime over the next five days.
In between, we can expect more warm days and nights that might only fall to 11C and 12C next week. And that could be a record – the highest minimum so far this month is 11.8C, although the highest minimum ever in Tamworth was just over 17C back in 1973.
Our lowest minimum was that jaw-dropping chilly 1C just after that horrible opening weekend, but it wasn’t a patch on the -3.4C we saw overnight in 1960.
If we get to 25C, as is forecast, on Monday, it will be the highest maximum of this May – Wednesday’s top of just over 24C is the frontrunner so far. But even it doesn’t make the record books.