Monday, August 1

Five days of sunshine!

The last few weeks have been an extra-ordinary period for weather in Sydney. While I was travelling for business Garry says we had a week of extremely heavy rain. The downpour was the perfect test for leaks repairs recently completed on our apartment. The repairs have passed with flying colours. We’ve had no repeat of leaks we've typically experienced during previous episodes of heavy rain.

The wet weather has subsequently been replaced by a blast of warm, sunny conditions that have left Sydney basking in the warmest end to the month of July for six years. Temperatures hit a minimum of 20°C over the last four days. Tonight the forecast is for the sunshine and warm temperatures to continue until Friday. Today we enjoyed a high of 23°C, tomorrow is forecast to dip to 22°C before rising to a high of 24°C on Thursday. Other parts of Australia are also enjoying some of the warmest July weather for more than 100 years.

Did I mention that temperatures soared above 37°C for several days while I in New York?  I arrived in town at the perfect time.  For several days almost 50% of the US population found themselves sweltering under a heatwave advisory.  The heat in mid-town Manhattan was incredible.  Stepping outside was like walking into a giant sauna; with the heat just as oppressive in the shade.  Thank goodness I packed a few short sleeve shirts.

I’m sure regular readers will have noticed my often unhappy musing about the UK’s weather. Sydney’s current bout of winter sunshine has done little to dispel these memories. On several occasions last week temperatures in Sydney were warmer than those I was enjoying in London.  The forecast for London on Thursday is 22°C, two degrees cooler than Sydney.  Sadly, this constrast is isn't as unusual as it seems. 

Last week The Times newspaper noted that the last five years in the UK included some of the wettest July months on record. In particular, June 2007 was the wettest on record as was July 2009. In fairness, the article also noted that July 2006 was the hottest on record. Sadly, this abnormal July gave Garry and I a rather distorted sense of the UK’s regular weather pattern during our first six months in London.  The contrast did little to prepare us for the next four years.

UPDATE: August 2, 2011
I've just read that published weather forecasts celebrated their 150th anniversary yesterday.  According to the BBC on 1 August 1861 the Times newspaper published the world's forecast.

UPDATE: August 5, 2011
Today’s temperature reached 25 degrees today, seven above the average for August. It was also the ninth consecutive day of temperatures at 20 degrees or higher. Forecasters are predicting a top of 22 degrees tomorrow, equaling Sydney’s winter record of 10 consecutive days at this level.

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