October 2017: no drought

Grevillea robusta flowers

Flowers of Silky Oak

No temperatures were extreme in this month. In the second week, the mean weekly temperature was four degrees above normal, rather like the last week of September.
Dry air on the 6th and on the 31st made the dew point eight degrees low, but humid air on the 11th made it seven degrees high.
My rain gauge registered six rain days, with high readings of 38.5 mm on the 9th, 22.0 mm on the 12th, and 16.8 mm on the 21st. (The automatic gauge at the Museum remained down.)

Weather log for October 2017

Comparing October months

As shown by the arrow on the second graph, October months became warmer and more moist with each year from 2012 to 2015. October 2016 was very cool, then this month was again warm. The trend to more moisture continued through all six October months from 2012 to 2017. It was shown not only by rainfall, but also by cloudiness, dew point, and narrowing daily temperature range. No other calendar months had this trend.
The high total rainfall of 84.1 mm (80th percentile) wiped out the serious and severe rainfall shortages seen in September. Now, the lowest percentile value is that for the 4-month total (117 mm). Being at the 15th percentile, it does not rate as serious.

Climate for October

Data. A Bureau of Meteorology automatic rain gauge operates in the museum yard. From 17 March 2017, 9 am daily readings are published as Manilla Museum, Station 55312.  These reports use that rainfall data when it is available.  The gauge last reported on 24 September 2017.

All other data, including subsoil at 750 mm, are from 3 Monash Street, Manilla.


Manilla Dew Point leads ENSO by three months

Manilla dew point lags NINO3.4 sea surface temperature by 3 months.

(This material justifies a statement in the post “Predict weather from ENSO?”)

The graphs above are like those in two previous posts, but show how Manilla smoothed monthly dew point anomalies, like temperature anomalies and rainfall anomalies, relate to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

High (El Niño) values of Sea Surface Temperature (NINO3.4) are shown here to relate to low humidity at Manilla, NSW. As humidity data, I estimate dew points daily at sunrise. Dew points, like Sea Surface Temperatures, are expressed in degrees celsius, but corresponding anomalies take the opposite sense. The first graph plots the Manilla dew point anomaly, given a  negative sign, and the NINO3.4 anomaly. To improve the match, I have lagged the Manilla dew points by three months. As an example, I have noted on the graph the match of Manilla’s November 2005 humidity peak with the La Nina ENSO peak of February 2006.

To the eye, the over-all match is better than in either the rainfall or the maximum temperature plots of earlier posts. The two curves here match very well from 2000 to 2007.

The second graph shows the discrepancy between the two curves. Dashed lines show limits of a good match at +/-0.5 degrees. The nature of each larger discrepancy is noted. (“Here” in text boxes means “at Manilla”.)
After 2007 there are large mis-matches between Manilla dew point and ENSO. Dew point fluctuations suddenly become less than might be expected from NINO3.4 values. It may be relevant that, as I posted elsewhere  in July 2010, skies suddenly became very much cloudier at Manilla after August 2007.

I have also tried plotting the following variables against NINO3.4:

Daily minimum temperature;
Daily temperature range;
Percent cloudy mornings;
Subsoil temperature.

None of them matches NINO3.4 well enough to display.

The three sets of graphs show “teleconnections” between Sea Surface Temperatures in the equatorial Pacific and climate variables at Manilla in inland NSW, Australia. Climatic peaks come earlier at Manilla than in the Pacific:

Peaks of daily maximum temperature come one month earlier;
peaks of rainfall come two months earlier;
peaks of Dew Point come three months earlier.

In a simple-minded way, it seems to me more likely that Australia’s climate drives the Southern Oscillation than the other way around. I know that this is speculation. (Sort of like Abraham Ortellius suggesting in 1587 that Africa and South America might have drifted apart.)

1. High frequency noise is reduced in the case of the Manilla monthly data by a Gaussian smoothing function of half-width six months.
2. On advice, I represent the El Nino – Southern Oscillation phenomenon (ENSO) by the NINO3.4 area anomalies from the OISSTv2 data set.
My enquiries about the best data to use are in this “weatherzone”  thread.
The ensemble of sea surface temperatures does not have much high-frequency noise. There is some, however, and I have used the same smoothing as used in the (formerly authoritative) Oceanic Nino Index (ONI), that is, a running mean of each three monthly values.

This was posted originally in a “weatherzone” forum, with the date 12 November 2011. It is posted here with the nominal date 29 November 2011.


Dry, Dry March 2008

The daily weather log

Weather log March 2008

After 115.6 mm of rain in February, March crashed to just 2.2 mm with only three rain days. In 1971 it was worse: that year February had 173 mm and March 1 mm!
This month the air was very dry, too. Morning Dew Points which had been quite low (10°) all month, plunged to zero or less in the last days.
Although there were six cloudy mornings, eighteen mornings were completely cloud-free. The whole of the summer had only thirteen free of cloud!
Due to the dry, fine weather, three-quarters of the days had a range of temperature higher than the normal value of 15.4°. Three days had a range of 21° or more.
The 7-day average temperature began and ended well below normal, but was above normal in the third week. Nights were cold (8° below normal) in the first and last days.

 Comparing March months

Climate March 2008

The mean daily maximum temperature this March (29.9°) is normal, but the mean daily minimum (12.2°) is the lowest in ten years. It is 2° below the average, and 4° below that of 2007 (and 2000).
The mean morning Dew Point, 8.8°, is 3° lower than normal for March. This shows very dry air, which is wilting many shallow-rooted plants.
The total rainfall of 2.2 mm is much lower than the other Marches on the graph. It is not very low compared with Marches in the long-term record: it is on the 6th percentile. In Manilla, rainfall varies more in March and April than in other months.
There must be a lot of water deep in the soil. Total rainfalls for the last 2, 3… 18 months are all above the median. The four and five-month totals are particularly high, in the 83rd percentile.

Data. Rainfall data is from Manilla Post Office, courtesy of Phil Pinch. Dew point values before August 2005 are from Tamworth Airport 6 am data supplied by the Bureau of Meteorology. Temperature and other data are from 3 Monash Street, Manilla.