Hottest January in 2 years
Saturday, 1 February 2003
2003 has been recorded as the hottest January in 2 years. Tocal, Cessnock
and Singleton recorded 4 or more days above 40°C. The hottest day was the 30th
with Jerrys Plains, Maitland and Tocal recording 43.4°C. The 18th, 21st and the
26th were the other dates where the temperatures reached above 40°C. On
average, Cessnock, Jerrys Plains and Singleton only have about 1 day above 40°C
for the month of January.
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 40°C. This was very unusual and the temperature at Tocal
was still 35°C at 11pm.
Head recorded its highest January temperature ever on the 18th. It reached
42.3°C, which was 1.5°C higher then its previous record and was only 0.1°C
less then its highest record ever. Norah Head has a temperature dataset going
back to 1969.
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 45°C 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
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.