Bureau of Meteorology predicting cooler, wetter finish to summer

LAP IT UP: Tycen Nebauer at Kale Canobolas during December's hot spell. The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the rest of summer will be cooler. Photo: ANDREW MURRAY
LAP IT UP: Tycen Nebauer at Kale Canobolas during December's hot spell. The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the rest of summer will be cooler. Photo: ANDREW MURRAY

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a slightly wetter and slightly cooler end to summer than normal for Orange.

Long-term forecasts show minimum and maximum temperatures for January will be about average but there is a strong chance they will be below average in February.

The chances of rainfall for January are also slightly above average for Orange and the Central West.

In February the chance of rain drops back to average for the region.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Jonathan Pollock said Orange had enjoyed a milder-than-normal summer because of the effects of a weak La Nina.

He said the rainfall over the next two months could be patchy but would hit some of the region.

“When it comes to rainfall, there is a wet pattern for parts of eastern Australia in January but it doesn’t really extend to western NSW. That region has a fairly neutral outlook,” Mr Pollock said.

“In February the odds of increased rainfall increase for the north west of the state but the south west misses out.”

Daytime temperatures will be about average throughout January. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology

Daytime temperatures will be about average throughout January. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology

Daytime temperatures were expected to be slightly below average during the remainder of summer, but nights were likely to be warmer.

There will still be some heatwave conditions, with some towns including Dubbo and Mudgee expected to hit 40 degrees this weekend.

Orange is expected to fair better, with tops of 35 on Saturday and Sunday before a cool change brings the temperature down to 24 by Wednesday.

“There is an increased chance of above-average temperatures in south west NSW but most of the state will be average and in February they will be below average,” Mr Pollock said.

“There is a strong chance, greater than 80 per cent, of increased nighttime temperature in January but they will be neutral throughout February.”

Warmer than average nighttime temperatures were expected for much of south west NSW in January. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology

Warmer than average nighttime temperatures were expected for much of south west NSW in January. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology

While the Bureau has stressed the current La Nina was unlikely to bring the increased rainfall that have typified the weather event, it has still made for less heatwave days.

“A lot of that pattern is because of what happens in the Pacific Ocean,” Mr Pollock said.

“You typically get more rainfall but because this one started late and was quite weak, it hasn’t brought that.

“It has stopped some of the extreme temperatures we get but we expect it will start to peter out in autumn.”

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