For the second year in a row Orange has been hit by drought and recorded 300 millimetres less rain than the long-term average.
This year the Bureau of Meteorology recorded 589.6mm in 116 days of rainfall at Orange Regional Airport, following on from 588.8mm in 120 days in 2017.
Only a handful of years have been drier, including 1982, when only 312mm of rainfall was recorded.
Comparatively the BoM’s average yearly rainfall in the last 20 years was 898.7mm, with 137.9 days of rainfall.
The wettest day this year was December 14 when 37.6mm was recorded at the airport.
On July 15 Orange recorded its lowest temperature of the year: the -7.2 degree temperature didn’t quite meet the -7.7 record low of July 2002 but it was cold enough to cause frozen and burst pipes at homes across Orange.
According to the BoM the coldest temperature recorded at Orange Airport was -8.3 degrees on June 28, 2006.
Pipes were also damaged at the Orange Aquatic Centre, Garema Road Glenroi Community Centre, and Spring Street Children’s Centre, which were forced to close their doors or move their operations elsewhere while repairs were undertaken.
The coldest day was recorded on July 20, when it failed to get past 3.8 degrees.
As well as the extreme low temperatures, July was one of the driest Julys in recorded history.
According to www.weatherzone.com.au Orange received just 17.8mm of rain in July, almost 90mm down on the 20-year average of 105.5mm.
Data compiled from weatherzone, the BoM, and the Haldane and Fields 100-year rainfall history chart revealed there have been just four other Julys in the past century with less rain.
Only 1970 (13mm), 1967 (17), 1937 (13) and 1929 (11) saw less in the city’s rain gauges than July 2018.
Weatherzone data also showed that Orange recorded two of its warmest July days in 20 years with a 16.2 degree day in the first week of the month and a 15.9 degree day during the last week.
The highest temperature this year was 37 degrees recorded on January 7. However, the hottest day in the past 40 years was on February 11, 2017, which reached 40.1 degrees.
The highest wind gust on record was detected at the airport this year with 100km/h recorded on April 13.
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