It’s hot, and there’s no relief ahead

IT might not be the driest year on record, but it’s set to be equal hottest and Rockhampton residents, like Rachel McAuley and family, are suffering.

There’s little let-up from the hideous heat in sight, with Rockhampton Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Mike Marrinan saying we could expect humid nights, with morning showers falling around the coast for the next few days.

But a little sliver of relief may appear on Christmas afternoon with a chance of showers in Rockhampton.

“We are looking at, up to and including Christmas, average type temperatures, low 30s away from the coast, mid 30s in the Central Highlands and high 20s around the coast,” he said.

While the northern half of the globe has been undergoing a cold snap, Queensland Climate Services manager Jeff Sabburg said this decade has been the warmest ever.

Using data recorded from January up to December 8, Rockhampton this year recorded an equal (with 2004) highest annual mean daily temperature, at 29.6 degrees Celsius, since we starting keeping records 70 years ago.

Mr Sabburg said Rockhampton had received only 55% of our average yearly rainfall.

“Of the average of 710mm, 399mm has fallen,” he said.

“From December 8 to date Rockhampton has only received 20% of its average rainfall.”

We can usually expect 101mm; we’ve clocked up 20mm. In 1990, we broke the records with 533mm falling in the month. The average maximum since December 8 has been 34.1 degrees, two degrees above average.

The highest maximum this month was 37.3 degrees on December 10. In 1981 we sweltered through 41.3 degrees on December 8.

Our driest year was 2002, when only 360mm of rain fell.



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