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    Hottest January in 2 years
    Saturday, 1 February 2003

    January 2003 has been recorded as the hottest January in 2 years. Tocal, Cessnock and Singleton recorded 4 or more days above 40C. The hottest day was the 30th with Jerrys Plains, Maitland and Tocal recording 43.4C. The 18th, 21st and the 26th were the other dates where the temperatures reached above 40C.  On average, Cessnock, Jerrys Plains and Singleton only have about 1 day above 40C for the month of January.

     

    Though the max temperatures were very high on the 30th, they did not break any records. However, Tocal AWS and Cessnock AWS recorded more then 8 hours where the temperature was above 40C. This was very unusual and the temperature at Tocal was still 35C at 11pm. 

     

    Norah Head recorded its highest January temperature ever on the 18th. It reached 42.3C, which was 1.5C higher then its previous record and was only 0.1C less then its highest record ever. Norah Head has a temperature dataset going back to 1969.

     

    The average temperatures for the month in the Hunter were only average to above average despite the frequent, 'one off' hot days. Onshore winds for the first half of the month kept the temperatures down on average. The heat itself was very widespread across the South and South Eastern parts of Australia, possibly making it the most widespread heatwave since January 1939. Many places in NSW, Victoria and SA recorded temperatures of 45C or higher. Before the south east got hit by the onslaught of the heat, the Northern parts of Western Australia recorded heat well into the high 40's for a number of days. This heat was eventually brought down to the south east of the continent by a NW airstream. 

     

    January 2003 has also been marked by low rainfall. Most rainfall stations recorded less then 20mm for the month with only 3 mm recorded at Cessnock AP. Upper Chichester, which were one of the wetter places for the month, recorded 31mm but was still approximately 200mm below its average.

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    Tuesday, 30 May 2017
    © 2017 Tim Grugeon