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    Record heat hits the Hunter; Strong winds from Cold Front
    Saturday, 27 January 2001

    The maximum temperatures in some places of the Hunter reached its highest values on record in the past two weeks. Jerrys Plains recorded a maximum temperature of 44.4C on the 15th, equalling the highest January max temp ever recorded since the 1950's, and further more recorded 4 consecutive days from the 23rd to the 26th with temperatures above 40C (see table below). Many stations that were more then 10 klm away from the coast recorded 5 or more days with temperatures above 35 out of the 14 day period. The 15th was the hottest day, however, the 23rd was nearly equally as warm at some locations. Scone SCS, Tocal, Cessnock (Nulkaba) all broke there highest max temp record for January on the 15th, while Lostock Dam broke its record on the 15th also and matching it on the 23rd. Scone SCS reached 42.1 (previous record 41.6), Tocal; 43.7 (previous record; 42.0), Cessnock (Nulkaba); 44.0 (previous record; 43.0) and Lostock Dam; 42.4 (previous record; 40.5).

    Maximum temperatures for selected stations in the Hunter




    (Berry Park) 

    Jerrys Plains Scone AP AWS
    14/01/01 28.8 30.6 N/A 34.8
    15/01/01 42.2 43.4 44.4 42.3
    16/01/01 25.0 24.1 27.0 28.1
    17/01/01 29.0 30.0 34.2 34.3
    18/01/01 28.1 28.4 29.2 29.2
    19/01/01 27.5 27.8 28.5 28.0
    20/01/01 29.5 30.4 33.0 32.3
    21/01/01 33.1 33.6 37.7 36.1
    22/01/01 35.1 37.2 39.8 38.2
    23/01/01 40.0 41.9 44.0 41.6
    24/01/01 39.7 40.6 43.0 41.7
    25/01/01 37.2 38.8 42.5 39.6
    26/01/01 30.4 34.0 40.4 38.9
    27/01/01 30.4 34.8 37.6 36.3
    Average 32.6 34.0 37.0 35.8

    *Units in degrees Celsius (C). Data supplied by the Bureau of Meteorology except for Morpeth (Berry Park), which is a private station.

    The coast managed to escape from most of the heat with Nobbys Head only reaching 30.4 on the 15th. Newcastle Uni, which is approximately 8 klm from the coast, reached 40.9. The mountain areas didn't escape the heat much with Nullo Mountain, on the Hunter Range recording 35.5. Some of the other temps recorded were 39.0C at Murrurundi, 43.6C at Singleton, 43.4C at Cessnock AP AWS and 43.4C at Maitland. 

    The heat was brought on by north to north westerly winds, which directed hot air from the inland areas of NSW. The western parts of NSW were recording temperatures in the mid to high 40s for a number of consecutive days at a time. High pressure ridges were extending from the Great Australian Bight, while cold fronts were approaching from the south. The cold fronts were creating splits in the ridges, which this led to a development of new cells in the Tasman Sea. The cold fronts (Southerly Busters) continued to move northward, hitting the coast and the Lower Hunter after days of high temperatures. On the evening of the 15th thunderstorms developed across the region before a southerly buster, which hit Newcastle at approximately 8:30 pm bringing with it strong winds at almost 100 km/h. This southerly also hit the Upper Hunter at around 9:45 pm with winds at about 50 km/h. The maximum wind gust at Morpeth, near Maitland was 74 km/h at 9:22 pm from the SSE. A strong cold front hit the coast and the Lower Hunter on the 27th also, while a much weaker one hit the coastline in the early morning of the 24th. 


    Anaylsis: 15/1/01

    Maximum Temperatures


    Thursday, 30 May 2024
    © 2024 Tim Grugeon