Interesting or Unusual Weather Events
at Armidale NSW
© Compiled by Peter Burr. No part of the following may be reproduced for commercial purposes without prior permission from the author.
Weather News 2021
(using information from Armidale City weather station)
2021 YEARLY WEATHER REVIEW here. Includes statistics table.
2021 TOTAL RAINFALL: 991.8 mm, 211 mm or 27 per cent higher than the average, and it was the wettest year since 2011. The months with the highest totals were February, March, November and December.
DECEMBER RAINFALL: 125.4 mm on 14 days, 36 mm higher than the average. Most of the rain fell in the first nine days with the heaviest fall being 28.0 mm on the 1st. There was a dry period with warm sunny conditions from the 10th to the 20th with cloudy wet weather returning from the 21st. Details in the December 2021 Weather Review. December 2021 daily data table.
NOVEMBER RAINFALL: 192.6 mm on 16 days, 111 mm higher than the average, it was the wettest November since 2011 (244 mm). There were a number of heavy falls during the month with flooding in Dumaresq Creek on four days. The highest daily fall was 34.6 mm on the 27th. November was also an unusually cool month with only four sunny days. Details in the November 2021 Weather Review. November 2021 daily data table.
COLDEST NOVEMBER DAY FOR 13 YEARS - 13th November - Cold air following a low pressure trough and cold front which moved through eastern New South Wales on the 12th produced very low day temperatures on the Northern Tablelands. Armidale’s maximum on the 13th of just 14.0C was the lowest November maximum since 17th November 2008 (13.1C).
Strong westerly winds made it feel even colder to be outdoors. At Armidale airport on the 12th winds exceeded 80 km per hour between 1pm and 3pm, and on the 13th winds exceeded 70 km per hour between 4.30 and 5.30pm.
OCTOBER RAINFALL: 84.4 mm on 14 days, 17 mm higher than the average. The highest daily fall was 19.8 mm on the 1st.
October 2021 Weather Review. October 2021 daily data table.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM & TORNADO - Thursday 14th October - An active low pressure trough moved through New South Wales generating thunderstorms over the eastern part of the state. Severe storms developed in a number of areas including Armidale when a storm passed over the city from the north-west between 9.30 and 10.30pm. The storm produced heavy rain and hail from 9.50 to 10.10pm. Hailstones measured up to 25 mm diameter and whitened the ground.
Between 10.10 and 10.15pm, as evidenced by several private weather stations and phone video, a tornado passed across north Armidale moving rapidly in a south-easterly direction. The tornado uprooted trees, damaged roofs, smashed windows, power lines brought down, a car was overturned, and large amounts of debris were lifted from the ground and scattered for some distance. Several houses lost their entire roofs. This damage is consistent with an F1 tornado as measured by the Fujita Scale which means wind speeds in excess of 116 kms per hour. Power was lost to hundreds of homes and not restored until the following day. It appears the tornado developed about 15 kms north-west of Armidale and headed on a south-easterly path towards Armidale leaving an intermittent track of destruction to rural properties along the way. Damage to trees east of Armidale along the Waterfall Way near Burying Ground Creek indicates the tornado continued some kilometres east of the city before finally dissipating.
Hail was fairly widespread across the city, while the tornado damage was confined to a narrow track from the university across the north of Armidale to eastern Erskine Street. Intermittent damage along this track indicates the base of the tornado funnel probably lifted off the ground in some places.
SEPTEMBER RAINFALL: 36.4 mm on 9 days, 14 mm lower than the average. Falls were mostly light with the heaviest being 15.0 mm on the 29th.
September 2021 Weather Review. September 2021 daily data table.
SEPTEMBER COLD SNAP - 21st September - Very cold air following a severe cold front, which moved through north-east New South Wales late on the 20th, produced showers of snow and hail on the higher areas of the Northern Tablelands including Guyra. In Armidale there were only a few small flakes of snow and a couple of very brief showers of small hail between 10am and 2pm. Only 0.1 mm of rain was recorded. Maximum temperature was 9.5C at 12.45pm.
WINTER 2021 WEATHER REVIEW - Winter 2021 was wetter than normal and warmer than normal. Details in the Winter 2021 Weather Review.
AUGUST RAINFALL: 77.6 mm on 11 days, 30 mm higher than the average. There were two moderate rain events: 1st-4th (28.2 mm), and 23rd-24th (42.6 mm). August 2021 Weather Review. August 2021 daily data table.
AUGUST COLD SNAP - 24th August - A severe cold front passed through north-eastern New South Wales in the early hours bringing moderate falls of rain to Armidale, and light snow to higher areas around Guyra. The rain total for the 24 hours to 9am was 24.0 mm with a further 7.2 mm falling during the day. Temperatures were low during the day with a maximum of just 7.2C at 12.55pm. This was Armidale’s coldest August day since 12th August 2010 (6.8C).
JULY RAINFALL: 73.2 mm on 12 days, 26 mm higher than the average. Falls were well distributed throughout the month with the highest daily fall being 15.4 mm on the 2nd. It was the wettest July since 2012 (97.0 mm). July 2021 Weather Review. July 2021 daily data table.
JUNE RAINFALL: 57.8 mm on 11 days, 3 mm higher than the average. Light and moderate falls were well distributed throughout the month with the highest daily fall being 17.6 mm on the 3rd. June 2021 Weather Review. June 2021 daily data table.
COLD SNAP - 9th-10th June - Low temperatures, strong winds and showers of rain and snow occurred on the Northern Tablelands after a cold front passed through the region late on the 8th. A low pressure system associated with the front developed over southern New South Wales on the 9th which generated cold west to north-westerly winds over the north of the state. This surface system combined with upper level cold air caused snow to fall over the higher areas of the tablelands including Guyra, Black Mountain and Glen Innes on the 9th and 10th. Apart from a few isolated snowflakes no snow fell in Armidale. The maximum temperature on the 10th was 5.6C. Total rain from this event was 18.8 mm.
MAY RAINFALL: 21.2 mm on 5 days, 21 mm less than the average. The rain fell in the first 11 days with the remainder of the month completely dry.
May 2021 Weather Review. May 2021 daily data table.
APRIL RAINFALL: 30.4 mm on 7 days, 15 mm less than the average. Most of the rain (26.8 mm) was recorded over two days, the 16th & 17th.
April 2021 Weather Review. April 2021 daily data table.
FIRST FROST/COLDEST APRIL MORNING FOR 13 YEARS - Monday 12th April - The first frost for 2021 with a minimum of -3.1C was recorded at 5.50am ending a frost-free period of 178 days since the last frost on 15th October 2020. It was also the coldest April minimum recorded since 30th April 2008 (-5.8C). The chilly morning was the result of cold dry air following a cold front which moved through northern New South Wales early on the 11th. In 2020 the first frost also occurred on 12th April.
MARCH RAINFALL: 135.6 mm on 14 days, 70 mm higher than the average. There were two moderate rain events on the 8th (27.6 mm) and the 14th (23.6 mm), and a major rain event on the 22nd/23rd (70.6 mm) causing local flooding. March 2021 Weather Review. March 2021 daily data table.
MARCH RAIN EVENT - 22nd-23rd - While a low pressure trough along the New South Wales coast caused heavy coastal rains and flooding, a second trough intensified over the inland of the state generating widespread rain over the eastern half of New South Wales. The two day total in Armidale city was 70.6 mm (48 hrs to 9am on the 24th). Armidale airport recorded 71.6 mm for the same period. Moderate flooding occurred in Dumaresq Creek on the 23rd and 24th. This was the result of the ground being almost saturated from moderate rainfalls earlier in the month.
SUMMER OF 2020/2021 - Armidale’s summer months were wetter than normal and slightly cooler than normal. Details in the Summer 2020/21 Weather Review.
FEBRUARY RAINFALL: 123.2 mm on 17 days, 35 mm higher than the average. Over half of the rain fell during two events - 34.0 mm from a cluster of active thunderstorms on the 24th, and 37.8 mm from a low pressure trough which generated an area of moderate rain over the northern tablelands and north-west slopes on the 27th. February 2021 Weather Review. February 2021 daily data table.
JANUARY RAINFALL: 34.0 mm on 13 days, 68 mm lower than the average. It was the driest January since 2014 which recorded 17.2 mm. The majority fell in the first ten days (30.4 mm) with the highest daily fall being 11.8 mm on the 7th. Details in the January 2021 Weather Review. January 2021 daily data table.
Weather News 2020
(using information from Armidale City weather station)
2020 YEARLY WEATHER REVIEW here. Includes statistics table.
2020 TOTAL RAINFALL: 972.8 mm, 194 mm higher than the average. 2020 was Armidale’s wettest year since 2011 (1,048 mm).
DECEMBER RAINFALL: 193.6 mm on 22 days, 105 mm higher than the average. It was the highest December rainfall since 1970 (202.2 mm). Light to moderate rain fell on two out of every three days with the highest daily fall being 45.0 mm on the 3rd. More details in the December 2020 Weather Review. December 2020 daily data table.
NOVEMBER RAINFALL: 15.2 mm on 6 days, 67 mm lower than the average. It was a very dry month with only light falls except for 8.8 mm from a thunderstorm on the 22nd. It was also the driest November since 1982 which recorded 9.8 mm. November 2020 Weather Review. November 2020 daily data table.
OCTOBER RAINFALL: 91.6 mm on 15 days, 24 mm higher than the average. The majority of the rain fell from the 18th to the 30th with the highest daily fall being 33.0 mm on the 22nd. Details in the October 2020 Weather Review. October 2020 daily data table.
HAILSTORM - Wednesday 28th October - A low pressure trough over northern New South Wales generated thunderstorms over the north-east of the state with a number of them producing hail. Hail fell in North Armidale twice in the early afternoon with a more severe hailstorm just after 6pm. From 6.10 to 6.20pm hail whitened the ground in most of the city with hailstones between 5 and 15 millimetres diameter with a few as large as 20 mm diameter. Some damage to trees and gardens occurred. The rainfall and melted hail total for the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday the 9th was 29.0 mm at the city weather station and 33.8 mm at the airport.
SEPTEMBER RAINFALL: 34 .8 mm on 6 days, 15 mm lower than the average. The rain fell in two events: 9th-11th (21 mm), and 20th to 22nd (14 mm). September 2020 Weather Review. September 2020 daily data table.
WINTER 2020 CLOSE TO NORMAL - Conditions throughout the winter months were mostly close to normal including two light snowfalls.
Details in the Winter 2020 Weather Review.
AUGUST RAINFALL: 44.2 mm on 11 days, 4 mm lower than the average. Falls were mostly light with the exception of 16.2 mm which fell during the evening of the 14th. August 2020 Weather Review. August 2020 daily data table.
COLD SNAP - HAIL & SNOW - Saturday 22nd August - Very cold and windy conditions following a severe cold front which passed through north-east New South Wales in the early hours produced showers of rain, snow and hail on the Northern Tablelands. After a maximum of 8.5C at 10.05am, the temperature in Armidale dropped to just 2.4C at 3.30pm during showers of small hail and snow which partially whitened the ground. The rain and snow fell from 3.15 to 3.35pm. There were heavier snowfalls on higher parts of the region, mostly in the area south of Walcha. Very little snow fell in the Guyra/Black Mountain area.
JULY RAINFALL: 45.2 mm on 12 days, 2 mm lower than the average. Most of the rain (33.6 mm) fell during a rain event from the 25th to the 28th with the heaviest daily fall being 21.0 mm on the 26th. July 2020 Weather Review. July 2020 daily data table.
JUNE RAINFALL: 35.6 mm on 11 days, 19 mm less than the average. Most falls were light with the exception of 14.8 mm on the 10th.
Details in the June 2020 Weather Review. June 2020 daily data table.
JUNE COLD OUTBREAK - 22nd-23rd June - Very cold winds combined with an upper level cold pool following a cold front which passed through eastern New South Wales on Sunday 21st, resulted in very light snow on the higher parts of the Northern Tablelands around Guyra on Monday evening 22nd. Low day temperatures followed on Tuesday 23rd with Armidale recording a maximum of just 5.5C at 11.15am. This was Armidale’s coldest day since 18th July 2014 when 5.5C was also recorded.
JUNE SNOW - 2nd June - Snow fell in Armidale city from 8.30 to 9.15am but did not settle on the ground. Very cold conditions resulted in light snowfalls along parts of the Northern Tablelands including Armidale and Guyra. Cold south-westerly winds following the passage of a cold front the previous evening, and an upper level cold pool caused the extreme wintry weather. Armidale’s maximum temperature for the day was 7.0C.
MAY RAINFALL: 38.6 mm on 10 days, 3 mm lower than the average. Rain was well distributed throughout the month with the best falls on the 21st with 23.0 mm recorded during the day. Details in the May 2020 Weather Review. May 2020 daily data table.
COLD SNAP - COLDEST MAY DAY FOR 20 YEARS - 22nd May - The maximum temperature of just 6.7C recorded at 3.25pm was the lowest maximum for the month of May since 30th May 2000 (6.5C). Overcast skies and cold westerly winds, following a severe cold front which moved through the state on the 21st, caused the extreme wintry conditions.
APRIL RAINFALL: 41.2 mm on 4 days, 4 mm lower than the average. The rain fell in the first ten days with the remainder of the month dry. Details in the April 2020 Weather Review. April 2020 daily data table.
FIRST FROST OF THE YEAR - Sunday 12th April - The first frost for 2020 with a minimum of 1.6C was recorded at 6.30am bringing to end a frost-free period of 149 days since the last frost on 14th November 2019. The chilly morning was the result of cold dry air following a cold front which moved through late in the previous evening of the 11th. In 2019 the first frost was recorded on 1st April. There was also a frost the following day Monday 13th with a minimum of 0.0C.
WARMEST APRIL NIGHT FOR 22 YEARS - Saturday 4th April - The minimum temperature of 16.0C recorded at 7.45am was the highest minimum for the month of April since 13th April 1998 (17.1C). The unusually warm night was the result of mild north-westerly winds being pushed ahead of a cold front and trough moving through New South Wales.
MARCH RAINFALL: 59.4 mm on 15 days, 6 mm lower than the average. Details in the March 2020 Weather Review. March 2020 daily data table.
SUMMER OF 2019/2020 WETTEST FOR 23 YEARS - After two years of severe drought welcome rains finally arrived in January and February with the total for the three summer months of 436.0 millimetres making it Armidale’s wettest summer since 1997. It was also the third warmest summer on record. Details in the Summer 2019/20 Weather Review.
FEBRUARY RAINFALL: 171.4 mm on 16 days, 84 mm higher than the average. It was Armidale’s wettest February since 1997 (233.0 mm). Moderate to heavy falls occurred throughout the month with the highest daily fall being 36.2 mm on the 9th. The total for January and February of 373.4 mm was 185 mm higher than the average. Details in the February 2020 Weather Review. February 2020 daily data table.
WARMEST NIGHT FOR 38 YEARS - Sunday 2nd February - The minimum temperature of 21.0C recorded at 6.35am was the highest minimum recorded at the present weather station site since 26th January 1982 (21.4C). The very mild overnight conditions were caused by a light warm north-westerly wind which continued through most of the night and early morning.
JANUARY RAINFALL - WETTEST FOR 16 YEARS - 202.0 mm on 14 days, 101 mm higher than the average, and highest for the month of January since 2004 (212.0 mm). It was also the wettest month since November 2011 (244.4 mm). A series of low pressure troughs developed over New South Wales during the month drawing in tropical moisture from the north and north-west of Australia which generated widespread thunderstorms and rain during two main events, 15th to 19th, and 23rd to 27th. Other lighter falls also contributed to the impressive total which provided a welcome relief after nine consecutive months with below average rain. Details in the January 2020 Weather Review. January 2020 daily data table.
BEST RAIN FOR ALMOST 3 YEARS - 15th to 19th January - An intense trough of low pressure over north-east New South Wales produced Armidale’s best falls of rain since March 2017. Over the five days thunderstorms and rain periods brought a rain total of 114.4 mm.
The 24 hour total to 9am on the 18th of 61.8 mm was the highest daily fall since 24th November 2011 (87.6 mm).
CONSECUTIVE HOT DAYS - NEW RECORD - From 28th December 2019 through to 10th January 2020 Armidale experienced a record high of 14 consecutive days with temperatures reaching 30.0C or higher. The previous highest was 13 days in December 2018/January 2019.
The prolonged hot conditions were caused by low pressure troughs lingering over inland New South Wales drawing in very hot dry air from central Australia. The highest temperature recorded during the 14 day period was 36.7C on 5th January.
Weather News 2019
(using information from Armidale City weather station)
2019 YEARLY WEATHER REVIEW here. Includes statistics table.
2019 DRIEST AND WARMEST ON RECORD - The rainfall total for 2019 of 306.6 mm was 475 mm lower than the annual average and is the driest on record. The previous driest was 420 mm in the drought year of 1874. The 2019 total of 306.6 mm is equivalent to just 39 per cent of the average yearly rainfall.
It was also the warmest year on record with maximum temperatures averaging 22.9C. The previous warmest year was 1940 averaging 22.5C.
DECEMBER 2019 HEATWAVE - As low pressure troughs continued to bring very hot air into New South Wales from the centre of Australia, December temperature records in Armidale were broken on the 11th (35.2C), on the 20th (36.3C) and on the 21st which recorded 37.8C. The maximum on the 21st was not only a record high for the month of December, it was also the hottest temperature for any month recorded since 16th January 1939 (38.9C).
December 2019 was the hottest December on record (based on average maximum temperatures commencing 1891).
Armidale’s hottest daily temperature on record was 39.7C on 15th January 1939.
BUSHFIRE SMOKE - Sunday 8th December 2019. Bushfires burning to the east of Armidale caused a smoke haze over the city on a number of days in the previous two months. The smoke was particularly thick in the morning of Sunday 8th December with visibility reduced to as low as 200 metres at 6am making it unpleasant to be outdoors. The thick smoke remained for the rest of day with the visibility remaining at 600 metres or less.
DROUGHT IN ARMIDALE - Two of Armidale’s most severe droughts occurred in the late 19th century.
The drought of 1873/74 was the worst with the lowest yearly rainfall on record occurring in 1874 of 420 mm. The drought broke in February of 1875.
Second worst was in 1862 which lasted just over a year, breaking in January of 1863.
One of the more severe droughts in the 20th century lasted four years from 1979 to 1982, breaking in April of 1983.
The 2018/2019 drought commenced in autumn 2018 with well below average rainfall recorded in almost every month since then, the lowest being 1.2 mm in September 2019. The drought ended in January 2020.
Driest year 2019: 307 mm. Second driest year 1874: 420 mm. Third driest year 1862: 436 mm. Fourth driest year: 1982: 460 mm.
Armidale’s average annual rainfall: 782 mm.
DRIEST WINTER ON RECORD - With a rainfall total of only 25.0 mm for June, July and August, the winter of 2019 was the driest on record. The previous driest was 1982 with 27.2 mm. Details in the Winter 2019 Weather Review.
JANUARY 2019 HOTTEST ON RECORD - With an average maximum temperature of 32.1C it was Armidale’s hottest January and hottest month on record from 128 years of temperature records. The previous hottest was January 1952. Maximums reached 30.0C or higher on 26 days which was a new record for any month.
Also from 26th December 2018 to 7th January 2019 Armidale experienced a record high of 13 consecutive days with temperatures reaching 30.0C or higher. The previous highest was nine days in January/February 2017.
The prolonged hot conditions were caused by low pressure troughs lingering over inland New South Wales drawing in very hot dry air from central Australia.
The highest daily temperature in January 2019 was 37.4C on 19th, just 0.2C below the record high at the present weather station site.
1 Jan 2017
2016 ARMIDALE’S HOTTEST YEAR ON RECORD
2016 was Australia’s fourth hottest year on record, but in Armidale it was the hottest year on record based on all maximum and minimum temperatures recorded throughout the year. The database used for this calculation commences in 1891 with the period covering 126 years.
Highest: 2016 averaging 15.37C. Second highest: 2014 averaging 15.33C. Third highest: 1998 averaging 15.15C. Fourth highest: 2009 averaging 15.09C.
Based on just maximum or day temperatures 2016 was Armidale’s third hottest on record. Highest: 2014 averaging 22.4C. Second highest: 2002 averaging 22.3C, third hottest: 2016 averaging 22.2C. Note that all these records have taken place in the last 20 years.
Temperatures recorded since 1997 at present weather station site in East Armidale have been adjusted to be compatible with earlier CBD recordings.
25 July 2015
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS CUT
From 1st August 2015 the Bureau of Meteorology will cut the 3pm observation from a large number of weather stations staffed by co-operative observers across Australia. As the Bureau continues to move away from human involvement and more towards technology and automation, 36 manual weather stations in New South Wales, including Armidale, will have their observation roster halved with only the 9am readings remaining.
This means no information in the mid-afternoon will be available for meteorologists or the general public in rural towns where there are no automatic weather stations nearby. This includes the maximum temperature for the day which will not be available until 9am the following day.
Evening television weather reports will be able to give minimum temperatures only, maximums will be estimated.
In Armidale the TV networks will switch to using information from the automatic weather station at the airport, although these temperatures will be a little different from those at the city weather station where minimums in particular are often several degrees colder than at the airport.
The following weather stations in New South Wales are included in the cuts:
56037 ARMIDALE (EAST ARMIDALE) NSW
49002 BALRANALD (RSL) NSW
54003 BARRABA POST OFFICE NSW
69134 BATEMANS BAY (CATALINA COUNTRY CLUB) NSW
48015 BREWARRINA HOSPITAL NSW
47007 BROKEN HILL (PATTON STREET) NSW
48031 COLLARENEBRI (ALBERT ST) NSW
64008 COONABARABRAN (NAMOI STREET) NSW
73142 COOTAMUNDRA AIRPORT NSW
74034 COROWA AIRPORT NSW
59140 DORRIGO (OLD CORAMBA RD) NSW
64009 DUNEDOO POST OFFICE NSW
70263 GOULBURN TAFE NSW
73014 GRENFELL (MANGANESE RD) NSW
73141 GUNDAGAI (WILLIAM ST) NSW
56229 GUYRA HOSPITAL NSW
75032 HILLSTON AIRPORT NSW
63039 KATOOMBA (MURRI ST) NSW
75039 LAKE CARGELLIGO AIRPORT NSW
63226 LITHGOW (COOERWULL) NSW
52020 MUNGINDI POST OFFICE NSW
61051 MURRURUNDI POST OFFICE NSW
61390 NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY NSW
51039 NYNGAN AIRPORT NSW
63063 OBERON (SPRINGBANK) NSW
66124 PARRAMATTA NORTH (MASONS DRIVE) NSW
50031 PEAK HILL POST OFFICE NSW
47029 POONCARIE MAIL AGENCY NSW
59030 SMOKY CAPE LIGHTHOUSE NSW
63077 SPRINGWOOD (VALLEY HEIGHTS) NSW
56032 TENTERFIELD (FEDERATION PARK) NSW
74106 TOCUMWAL AIRPORT NSW
72043 TUMBARUMBA POST OFFICE NSW
48079 WANAARING POST OFFICE NSW
65034 WELLINGTON (AGROWPLOW) NSW
55136 WOOLBROOK NSW
7 Jun 2012
ARMIDALE CITY NIGHTS COLDER THAN AIRPORT
Overnight temperatures on calm clear nights in the Armidale valley are colder than nearby higher areas including the airport.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) automatic weather station at Armidale airport is 5 kilometres from the CBD and is 93 metres higher than the BOM weather station in the city resulting in some often rather large differences in temperatures between the two stations.
The airport is located on an open wind-swept plateau, whereas the city is in a sheltered valley. At the airport the wind often blows all night, but in the protected valley it remains calm. On clear nights with no cloud to act as a “blanket” to reflect outgoing radiation, the ground cools rapidly which chills the layer of air in contact with it. A temperature inversion then occurs as this dense cold air drains down the slopes to accumulate in the lower part of the valley which can be up to four degrees colder than at the top of North and South Hills. This process does not occur at the airport, and minimums there on clear nights have been as much as eight degrees higher than those in the city. The average difference is around two to three degrees.
During the day the situation is reversed. Because the airport is more exposed, the winds are stronger than in the valley where some heating of the air takes place because of its lighter winds. The resulting daytime maximum temperatures are usually about one degree warmer than at the airport.
11 Jul 2010
ARMIDALE’S COLDEST TEMPERATURES
Armidale is located in a valley which is prone to very low temperatures on calm clear winter nights when cold air drainage and temperature inversions are common.
The lowest temperature recorded in Armidale was -11.2C
on June 30th 2010, however we can be certain that it has been colder than this
on a number of occasions in the last century.
Temperatures are currently recorded at a site in East Armidale, but prior to 1981 the readings were taken in the CBD. During a period of 16 years from 1981 to 1997 when both stations were operating, it was determined that temperatures on cold frosty nights at the East Armidale site were averaging around 3 degrees lower than those in the CBD. We can therefore assume that temperatures of -8.0C recorded in the CBD would be approximately equal to -11.0C at East Armidale.
An examination of weather records since 1908 reveals that temperatures have dropped to this equivalent of -11.0C or lower on 17 occasions which are listed below. This means that temperatures of -11.0C or lower occur on average of once every 6.1 years. However it should be noted that 11 of the 17 dates occurred from 1964 to 1971. This was during a period of general climate cooling. Overall there were eight occasions which were colder than June 30th 2010.
Chronological list of temperatures of -8.0C or lower recorded in the CBD from 1908 to 1996. The approximate equivalent at East Armidale is shown in brackets. There was no CBD reading available on the last date in 2010.
-10.0C (-13.0C) on 17/7/1918, -8.3C (-11.3C) on 23/6/1932, -9.1C (-12.1C) on 27/7/1943, -8.1C (-11.1C) on 1/7/1948, -8.1C (-11.1C) on 13/8/1964, -8.2C (-11.2C) on 12/7/1965, -8.2C (-11.2C) on 13/7/1965, -8.2C (-11.2C) on 17/7/1966, -8.1C (-11.1C) on 1/7/1968, -8.7C (-11.7C) on 14/7/1970, -9.3C (-12.3C) on 15/7/1970, -8.7C (-11.7C) on 16/7/1970, -8.7C (-11.7C) on 17/7/1970, -8.3C (-11.3C) on 18/7/1970, -8.2C (-11.2C) on 4/7/1971, -7.7C (-11.0C actual reading at East Arm) on 25/6/1986, -11.2C at East Arm on 30/6/2010.
From this list we can see that the lowest was on July 17th 1918 with a temperature of -13.0C equivalent to today’s location.
Note that five of the dates are in July 1970 which was an exceptionally severe month and the coldest over the 103 year period with an average minimum of -4.0C, equivalent to around -6.5C at East Armidale. July 1970 was also the driest July on record with only 0.5mm recorded for the whole month.
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