IT might seem like Orange received a lot of rain in February but this summer was the hottest and driest for the last nine years.
This summer was also five degrees hotter than the summer of 2011/2012.
“That’s quite extraordinary,” Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said.
“The ocean temperate around much of the country has been warmer than average.”
The summer season started off warm and dry in Orange with an average top of 26.3 degrees in December and 30.5 degrees in January.
Rainfall was well below average for December with the only 25.7mm recorded in a month with a long-term average of 83.2mm.
Below average rainfall was also recorded in January with 70.0mm recorded at the Orange Agricultural Institute. The month has a long-term average of 86.5mm.
February was a little more average for temperature with an average maximum of 24.8 degrees, just 0.4 below the average long-term on record.
Last month also had significant rainfall with 115.4mm recorded, 37.4mm above usual February readings.
Meteorologist Mr Dutschke said much of the rainfall recorded from late January was due to a low pressure system over the coast.
“A low pressure system came down from Queensland and we got a little bit of rain from that,” he said.
Despite well below average rainfall in December and January, the summer season ended up quite average and recorded 211.1mm in a season that usually records 247.7mm.
Mr Dutschke said temperatures should stay in the mid 20s for the first few weeks of autumn before dropping quickly.
“The next few weeks are quite like summer ended, humid and raining,” he said.
“It will cool down pretty quickly and then be close to average.
“By the of May it will struggle to get above 10 degrees.”