The warm, dry weather conditions which characterised the district's weather in December are set to continue.By Bronwyn Beyers
Warm, dry weather featured strongly in December, with rainfall below average and temperatures higher than usual.
Heathcote recorded just 14.6mm of rain in December, less than half the long-term average for the month of 36.3mm, with similar low rainfall recorded across the district.
Temperatures across the district were also just over two degrees warmer than usual with average day temperatures sitting around 28.2°C.
Night temperatures averaged 10.6°C, compared to the long-term December average of 10.8°C.
The hottest day across the district was on December 23 when the thermometer reached 38.2°C, while the coolest day was 19.4°C on December 4.
The coldest night was a chilly 4.8°C on December 17 and the warmest night was on the December 24 when the temperature only managed to fall to 19.8°C.
The warm, dry conditions are expected to continue in January with temperatures predicted to average higher than the usual 28.8°C.
District residents can expect day temperatures for the first month of 2013 to average around the 30°C mark, while night temperatures are expected to hover around average or slightly cooler than usual, so nights should be around 13.6°C.
Rainfall across the district will also remain low, which will not be good news for those relying on water tanks that haven’t seen a good, heavy rainfall event since spring.
With the average January rainfall around 30.4mm, residents are not likely to see tank filling rain until Autumn.
In 2010, Heathcote recorded around 1000mm of rain and 759.4mm in 2011 compared to the long-term average of 575.4mm.
In 2012, the town’s entire rainfall for 2012 was below average at 518.2mm.
Though final figures for Tooborac, Pyalong, Eppalock, Axedale and Knowsley have yet to be finalised, it appears likely that all will record similar low rainfall for the year.
Redesdale and Mia Mia also recorded low rainfall, compared to the historical average of 580.7mm — 200mm less than in 2011 and nearly 500mm less than in 2010.
The average day temperature for the region in 2012 was 20.2°C and the average night temperature was 7.1°C, consistent with the Bureau of Meteorology’s predictions that day temperatures would be slightly warmer than the long-term average (19.9°C), while night temperatures would be slightly cooler than usual (7.2°C).
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