Of snow and flooding rains

GOULBURN’S topsy turvy festive season weather will revert back to mostly clear skies and warm temperatures for the rest of this week.

But a final flurry of dry weather in 2012 won’t change the fact that it’s been an above average year rainfall-wise for the Southern Tablelands.

A series of warm, sunny days will round out the year, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The odd shower might cool things down a little, but there’s no significant rainfall forecast.

Warm, then hot

New Year’s Eve in Goulburn should be warm, with a possible shower. 

A top of 28 will cap off nicely what has been an otherwise wet year, particularly early on.

However, if you plan to sleep off a hangover on New Year’s Day, crank up that air conditioner and keep a jug of water handy, because the mercury will nudge the mid 30s.

At the time of writing (3pm, Wednesday December 26), Goulburn had received 739.2mm of rain for the year so far at the TAFE campus weather station – almost 100mm more than usual.

Over the past 40 years, Goulburn’s average annual rainfall stands at 646.1mm.

Goulburn had received 518mm of rain by this time (Dec 26) last year but it fell less regularly in 2012 (169 days of rain in 2011 compared to 146 this year).

Despite almost 30mm falling last Sunday and Monday (Christmas Eve), the December rainfall total is likely to be below average.

A total of 44.2mm has been recorded by Weatherzone – compared to the monthly average of 62.2mm.

2012 will be remembered as a year when Goulburn teetered on the precipice of flooding in late February and early March.

Almost half the yearly rain fell over a few days during those two months, with the wettest day being on March 1.

That day, 67.6mm (recorded at the TAFE campus) deluged the city. Almost 60mm fell the previous 24 hours.

It should be pointed out that while data shows that 2012 will yield above average rainfall for Goulburn, seven of the 11 months were below average  – and with December under par, it’s likely to be eight months.

The TAFE figures cited above also differ slightly to the amounts recorded at the airport weather station, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll stick to the TAFE data (for the rainfall at least!)

The district also experienced some bumper snow during the year, with the most notable dump being on the morning of Friday, October 12.

Colder at airport 

Depending on what ‘official’ station one sources their data from, Goulburn’s coldest day of 2012 is up for debate.

The TAFE station recorded - 3.8 on June 9 (Weatherzone uses this in its ‘Goulburn Year To Date box) but -6 was recorded at the airport that same day.

However, on August 2, a bone-numbing -7.6 was recorded at the airport (the TAFE station only recorded -3.5 that day).

And hotter too ...

Again, depending on the weather station, there is some variability on when exactly was Goulburn’s hottest day of 2012.

According to the TAFE station (and the Weatherzone ‘box’), the hottest day was January 3 when the temperature peaked at 34.6 (but only 34.3 at the airport).

Floods in March, snow in October... and four seasons in the space of the last two weeks - there's been a bit of everything for Goulburn weather-wise this year.

Floods in March, snow in October... and four seasons in the space of the last two weeks - there's been a bit of everything for Goulburn weather-wise this year.

Yet on November 30, the mercury climbed to 35.1, according to airport data (and 34.5 at TAFE).

Early 2013 forecast

The Bureau of Meteorology’s  “southeast Australian temperature outlook” averaged over January to March 2013 shows that warmer days are more likely over most of NSW and cooler nights are favoured for southern NSW.

But overall, things are looking “neutral”.

The Bureau explains: “Climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate that the tropical Pacific is likely to remain ENSO neutral (ENSO stands for El Niño Southern Oscillation – ed) through the southern hemisphere summer. This means that in contrast to the two prior summers, Australian rainfall and temperatures are unlikely to be strongly influenced by ENSO. Given current conditions and outlooks, this will be the first ENSO-neutral summer since 2005–06.”


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