The Climate Council of Australia this week announced that 205 records were broken across Australia during the 2016/17 summer, with several belonging to Mudgee last month alone including the hottest February on record.
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The average maximum temperature for the month was 33.8°C, which was not only 4.7°C above the norm for the town in February, but also cleared the old record set at the Mudgee Airport weather station of 33.3°C set back in 2004.
This was thanks in no small part to Saturday the 11th, with 43.9°C being the highest temp ever recorded at the local weather station with the 43°C the next day also clear of the old mark.
Out of the 28 days of the month, 22 topped out over 30°C.
There were also 23-straight days over 30°C from the end of January and the first 18 days of February.
Although not all of the records were at the hot end of the scale, the minimum temperature in the 24 hours to 9am on Tuesday the 21st was 4.8°C, which is the coldest recorded in February at the Mudgee Airport weather station.
The year began with Mudgee having its hottest January on record, with three heat records broken; the highest average maximum temperature; the highest average minimum temperature; and the the hottest January minimum temperature.
February was also much drier than normal, with only 9.6mm – of which 8.4mm fell in the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday the 2nd – during a month that averages 78.1mm.
It was the driest second month of the year Mudgee has had since 2000 when just 4.2mm was recorded.
And continued the drier than average summer the local area experienced, with December receiving 29.2mm compared to the monthly average of 86.3mm and January getting 42.4mm compared to the norm of 68mm.
The Climate Council of Australia dubbed 2016/17 the “angry summer” characterised by intense heatwaves, hot days and bushfires in central and eastern Australia, while heavy rainfall and flooding affected the west of the country.
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