April 2020: once again a new drought record

Changing shortages

Many extreme rainfall shortages persisted at Manilla in April. That is despite no serious shortages at 12-months or less. Extreme shortages, below the first percentile, occurred at 24-, 30-, 36-, 42-, 48-, 60-, 72-, 84-, 96-, and 240-month durations. Once again, the 42-month rainfall total broke the record for dryness with 1468 mm, surpassing the record of 1477 mm set in December.
The 96-month total of 4116 mm was also very close to the record low total of 4104 mm mm set in February.

How to read the graph

This graph shows all the present rainfall shortages at Manilla, short term and long term, as percentile values. The latest values are shown by a thick black line with large circles. Those from one month earlier are shown by a thinner line with small diamonds. [The method is described in “Further Explanation” below.]


Further Explanation

The following notes explain aspects of this work under these listed headings:

Data analysis

Cumulative rainfall totals
Percentile values
Severity of rainfall shortages

Limitations of this analysis

Monthly rainfalls form a single population
Observations are not retrospective
The rain gauge failed

Data analysis

Continue reading

March 2020: no new drought records

Changing shortages

Despite high rainfall (165 mm) in February and normal rainfall (53 mm) in March, many severe and extreme shortages persisted. Only at durations shorter than one year were rainfall totals near normal. As in February, the 12-month total remained at 432 mm: a serious shortage.

Three near-record low rainfalls

Although no records were broken this month, three rainfall totals were the third-driest ever: those for 42-months (1508 mm), 84-months (3495 mm) and 96-months (4142 mm).

How to read the graph

This graph shows all the present rainfall shortages at Manilla, short term and long term, as percentile values. The latest values are shown by a thick black line with large circles. Those from one month earlier are shown by a thinner line with small diamonds. [The method is described in “Further Explanation” below.]


Further Explanation

The following notes explain aspects of this work under these listed headings:

Data analysis

Cumulative rainfall totals
Percentile values
Severity of rainfall shortages

Limitations of this analysis

Monthly rainfalls form a single population
Observations are not retrospective
The rain gauge failed

Data analysis

Continue reading

February 2020: one drought record left

Rainfall status Manilla Jan-Feb 2020

Changing shortages

Very high February rainfall of 165.4 mm further reduced nearly all rainfall shortages, especially short-term ones. The 12-month rainfall total (432 mm) now just qualifies as a “serious shortage” below the 10th percentile.
Despite the general improvement, 10 of the longer-term totals are still extreme shortages, below the 1st percentile. However, only one breaks a record.

One record low rainfall

Only one rainfall total was a new record low value: the 96-month (8-year) total of 4104 mm. This record, having stood at 4405 mm since November 1919, was broken successively in November and December 2019 and January and February 2020.

Record-breaking low rainfall totals from 2018

Until 2018, no new records for low rainfall had been set since 1971. Most records had stood since the droughts of the 1940’s, more than 70 years ago.
In September 2018, a new record was set for the 15-month total (400 mm).
Since then (to include February 2020), new records have been set for 12-, 15-, 18-, 24-, 30-, 36-, 42-, 48-, 60-, 72-, 84-, and 96-months. That is, at 12 of the 25 selected durations. Some records have been broken repeatedly; five times in the case of the 15-month duration.
To judge by records broken, this drought is by far the worst at Manilla since readings began (1883).

How to read the graph

This graph shows all the present rainfall shortages at Manilla, short term and long term, as percentile values. The latest values, as at the end of February 2020, are shown by a thick black line with large circles. Those from one month earlier are shown by a thinner line with small diamonds. [The method is described in “Further Explanation” below.]


Further Explanation

The following notes explain aspects of this work under these listed headings:

Data analysis

Cumulative rainfall totals
Percentile values
Severity of rainfall shortages

Limitations of this analysis

Monthly rainfalls form a single population
Observations are not retrospective
The rain gauge failed

Data analysis

Continue reading

2019 new hottest and driest year

At Manilla, NSW, in the twenty years from 2000, the year 2019 was the hottest and the driest, overtaking the year 2018.

Climate logs Manilla 20-years

Climate records kept at 3 Monash Street, Manilla from April 1999 yield these eight graphs of climate variables. The graphs on the left (red) show heat and those on the right (blue) show moisture.
These graphs show the figures for calendar years, not for seasons.
In general, the temperatures in this 20-year record rose, with a pause between 2004 and 2012. Moisture peaked about 2010.
At Manilla, a sudden rise in temperature and fall in rainfall happened after 2017, having been much slower before that.
Dashed horizontal lines mark the normals for the decade from April 1999.

Left column graphs (red)

Yearly Mean Maximum Screen Temperatures

Day temperatures are shown by the mean maximum temperature in the Gill-type thermometer screen. The year 2019, at 27.91°, had the hottest days by far. The year 2018 had 27.13°, and 2002 and 2014 were almost as warm.The coldest days were in 2008 (24.57°) and 2010 (24.60°), followed by 2001 and 2011.
The 4th-order trend line shows a minimum about 2010, followed by a rapid rise.

Yearly Mean Screen Temperatures

This graph shows warmth in general, as in the study of global warming. Daily maximum and daily minimum temperatures are averaged. The year 2019 was the warmest (19.83°), followed by 2018, 2014, and 2009. The coolest year in this century was 2008 (17.19°), followed by 2001, 2011, and 2012.
The 4th-order trend line shows near-constant temperature from 2000 to 2011, followed by a rapid rise.

Yearly Minimum Screen Temperatures

Night temperatures are shown by the mean minimum temperature in the thermometer screen. While 2018 had not had very warm nights, 2019, at 11.75°, had warmest nights as well as days. The next warmest were in 2014, 2010 and 2009. Years with nights cooler than 10° on average were 2012, 2008, 2006 and 2001.
The 4th-order trend line shows a rise from 2000 to 2008, then near-constant temperature to 2014, followed by a rapid rise.

Yearly Subsoil Temperatures

Yearly temperatures in the subsoil (at 750 mm depth) hardly related at all to air temperatures read in the Gill Screen. The best match is in 2008, when the subsoil temperature was lowest (19.00°), as were the screen mean (17.19°) and the screen maximum (24.57°).
[Note that world temperature was low late in 2007.]
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January 2020: still 5 drought records

Rainfall status Dec-19, Jan-20

Changing shortages

January rainfall of 46.8 mm further reduced short-term shortages, bringing the 9-month total (212 mm) out of the “extreme shortage” class. Most longer-duration totals remained in that class, however.

Fewer record low rainfalls

By December 2019, there had been 10 new record low rainfalls. Records were set not only for 12-months duration, but for every one of the 9 chosen durations from 24-months to 96-months. In January 2020 there were only 5 new records, although there were 4 2nd-lowest values that also plotted on the 0.1th percentile line. The 5 new records were:

36-months duration: 1098 mm;
48-months duration: 11775 mm;
60-months duration: 2384 mm;
84-months duration: 3419 mm;
96-months duration: 4132 mm.

How to read the graph

This graph shows all the present rainfall shortages at Manilla, short term and long term, as percentile values. The latest values, as at the end of January 2020, are shown by a thick black line with large circles. Those from one month earlier are shown by a thinner line with small diamonds. [The method is described in “Further Explanation” below.]


Further Explanation

The following notes explain aspects of this work under these listed headings:

Data analysis

Cumulative rainfall totals
Percentile values
Severity of rainfall shortages

Limitations of this analysis

Monthly rainfalls form a single population
Observations are not retrospective
The rain gauge failed

Data analysis

Continue reading