No Caption
No Caption Frances Klein

The figures are in - hottest summer in almost 40 years

CLIMATOLOGY figures released yesterday have proven what we all felt: Gympie has sweated though its hottest summer in close to 40 years.

A third of the days this summer reached 35 degrees and above, sending the average maximum temperature soaring to 33.1 degrees, just 0.2 shy of the Gympie 1979 record of 33.3 degrees.

When averaged with the minimum temperatures, at 26.6 degrees, it also broke all records of the highest summer mean temperature since 1979 when 27.2 degrees was recorded.

Amidst the series of heatwaves last month - we also lived through the hottest February day on record - a sweltering 41.3 degrees on February 12.

But as any farmer or land holder will tell you, this summer can also be painfully defined by its lack of rainfall.

The chance of above median rainfall for March in Gympie
The chance of above median rainfall for March in Gympie Contributed

Gympie's total rainfall this summer was just 209mm - not even half of what is expected at this time of year from the long-term average of 468.8mm.

It was the tenth driest summer on record and the fourth driest February on record- with Tuesday evening's teasing smattering of rain doing little to lift the dismal February total of 21mm - just 8% of what the month should deliver on average.

Gympie-ites are not alone in their experiences though - Brisbane had its hottest summer n record with an average temperature of 26.8 degrees and had 64 days at or above 30 degrees.

Weatherzone's Ben Domensino said forecast models are not showing any clear signs of major shifts in weather patterns across eastern Australia during the months ahead with temperatures expected to remain warmer than usual from March to May and rainfall most likely be near-to-below average throughout autumn.

The chance of above median rainfall for Autumn  in Gympie
The chance of above median rainfall for Autumn in Gympie Contributed

The Bureau of Meteorology figures forecast an unlikely chance of getting above March's median rainfall of 120mm with only a 25% chance of getting 100mm in March.

For autumn overall, there is a 50% chance of reaching Gympie's long-term Autumn median of 316mm.

BoM forecaster JanineYuas said there is a medium to high chance of showers this week, with possible chance of a thunderstorm each day, but rainfall will be relatively patchy

Temperatures will remain a touch above average this week and increase from Friday to around 33 degrees - four degrees above the March average.

Gympie's 7-day forecast, courtesy of Weatherzone.
Gympie's 7-day forecast, courtesy of Weatherzone. Contributed

RAINFALL:

Gympie rainfall total this summer

  • Feb 2017: 21mm
  • Jan 2017: 63.4mm
  • Dec 2016: 124.6mm
  • 2016/17 Summer total: 209mm

Last summer

  • Feb 2016: 101.6mm
  • Jan 2016: 128.2mm
  • Dec 2015: 32.2mm
  • 2015/16 Summer total: 262mm

Gympie average rainfall

  • Dec: 136.6mm
  • Jan: 163.8mm
  • Feb: 168.4mm
  • Total: 468.8mm

Gympie's driest February

  • Feb 2014: 11mm
  • Feb 1892: 13.9mm
  • Feb 1926: 17.5mm
  • Feb 2017: 21mm
  • Feb 1889: 23.4mm

TEMPERATURE:

Days above 30 degrees this summer

  • Feb 2017: 28 out of 28
  • Jan 2017: 25 of 31
  • Dec 2016: 21 of 31
  • Total days over 30 degrees: 74 days

Days above 35 degrees this summer

  • Feb 2017: 11 out of 28
  • Jan 2017: 10 of 31
  • Dec 2016: 8 of 31
  • Total days over 35 degrees: 29 days