The Canberra Times has a front page article on 15 January 2011 – “Canberra should batten down the hatches” – and talks of “…predicting devastating storms and unrelenting rain in the capital for the next two months.” The ACT SES Commissioner Mark Crosweller said a long-range briefing provided by the Bureau of Meteorology in November had so far proven eerily accurate and the same forecast predicted that Canberra would be battered in late January and February.
OK – so better bring the boat back from the coast.
However, I see on the 29 December the BoM was quoted in a Canberra Times article – “Emergency services prepares for heat” – saying that, “We should see a lot more days around the 30 degree mark around the next two months…”. OK – and I thought it was called Summer !!
As it turned out there were, as predicted, four days 30 and over at Canberra Airport following the 29th Dec. But what the BoM did not predict was that the next 12 days ranged between 20-28 and averaged 24.25 degrees. The 15th & 16th Jan were over 30 again.
We all know it is common in Canberra summer for afternoon storms to capriciously dump a bit of rain here and there.
But “…devastating storms and unrelenting rain…” – does not sound to me to be compatible with – “…a lot more days around the 30 degree mark around the next two months…” – but we shall see what summer brings – and there may be surprises as usual.
I note at the ACT Emergency Services Agency the “..eerily accurate…forecast…” in November 2010 – plus multi times a day local forecasts by the BoM – just up the road – did not help avoid rain damage to their new HQ on 3 December.
Golly – weather is tough to predict.
That Canberra institution – the RiotACT blog also comments on the Canberra Times article in – “More flooding foreseen for the Canberra region”.
What has been the truth about Canberra weather half way through this summer ? – simply wet and cool. Dec at Canberra Airport saw 188.4mm rain or 350% of the average of 53.8mm and daytime temperatures averaged 24.3 compared to the average of 26.1. January to the 16th has seen 48.8mm of rain or 82.4% of the average of 59.2mm – and daytime temperatures averaged 26 or 2 degrees under the average according to Australian Weather News.
If anybody can share any November briefings the BoM was giving to Emergency Services in SE Australia – I would appreciate seeing. Finally, I do not see any warnings for the ACT on this BoM webpage.
Perhaps somebody can translate all these media signals better than I can.