A long, hot summer ends, with rain on the way

The traumatic summer of 2019-2020 was slightly wetter than average in the Tumut region.
The long-term average rainfall for summer in Tumut is 172.9mm, but this summer we received 192.4.
It appeared we would have a dry summer when only 47.2mm fell in December, compared to a long-term average of 59.5mm, but in January 88.8mm of very welcome rain fell, compared to a long-term average of just 57mm.
In February, 56.4.mm came down, compared to a long-term average of 43.8mm.
Almost all of December’s rain fell on one day, December 2, (46.6mm) and it rained (very lightly) on only two other days.
January’s wettest day was the 20th, when 64mm fell. While this is impressive, it’s less than half that fell on the wettest ever January day in Tumut history, 125.7mm on January 7, 1897, which was also the wettest day in the town’s history.
Most of February’s rain fell on the 11th (31.6mm) and 12th (21mm).
Temperature-wise, it will come as no surprise that it was a hotter than average summer in our region. (The Bureau of Meteorology’s closest climate station to Tumut is Gundagai.)
In December there was an average maximum of 33.1C and minimum of 15.3, as opposed to a long-term average maximum of 30C and minimum of 14.3C.
January had an average maximum of 34 and minimum of 18.1, next to a long-term average of 32.9 and minimum of 17.
February’s temperatures were more in line with the long-term average, with an average maximum of 30.7 and minimum of 17.5, compared to 31.3 and 16.7.
On January 4, perhaps the worst day in the history of the Snowy Valleys, an all-time high temperature of 45.2C was recorded.
Wagga also recorded the hottest day in its history on that day, topping out at a scorching 46.1.
December’s hottest day was the 21st with 41.4, and February’s hottest was the first when the mercury reached 42.2.
The Bureau says that both daytime and night time temperatures are likely to be above average for autumn for most of Australia, but temperatures are an each way bet.
“The chances of a wetter or drier autumn are about equal,” Wagga-based Bureau of Meteorology technical officer Nigel Smedley said.
The long-term average rainfall for autumn in Tumut is 183.7mm; March and April both averaging 57.4mm and May averaging 68.9mm.
Rain is due to fall this week, with the possibility of more than 100mm coming down in the next three days.