Major Snow: Garlic chives sprout

June 20th, 2012
by Jo Law

We spent the majority of the last pentad in Canberra. We arrived in the capital city on the afternoon of Saturday June 16th when the lowest monthly maximum to-date of 9.3ºC was recorded. After our return to Austinmer, the overnight minimum fell to -6.3ºC on the morning of Wednesday June 20th. Having visited Canberra in previous winters, we felt prepared having packed our various layers of merino thermal wear. Even so, for those of us unused to inland winters, the cold was unforgiving. … {read on}

from my balcony

June 17th, 2012
by Michele Elliot
The Manning River is the only river in the southern hemisphere that has two openings into the sea. It is a magnificent body of water with abundant bird-life, and at this time of year, a beautiful winter stillness. I was fortunate to spend most of this week in Taree, installing work in an exhibition at the Manning River Regional Gallery. The Gallery has a dedicated and generous team of volunteers who prepare and install their exhibitions. I was reminded of just how many cultural organisations in regional towns rely on the ongoing work of such committed people.

Major Snow: Tiger begins to roam

June 15th, 2012
by Jo Law

In this pentad, a trough brought heavy rainfall to the New South Wales coast. Bellambi AWS recorded 50.4mm of rain on Monday June 11th, the Queens Birthday public holiday, bringing total rainfall for the first half of June to 141.4m. In ancient China, the once wide ranging  Panthera tigris was observed to become active looking for food. The Almanac presents a further reason to stay put indoors. … {read on}

Major Snow: Copper pheasant silent

June 10th, 2012
by Jo Law

A cold drizzling morning followed the night of the storm. The low pressure system passed by leaving fallen leaves, torn branches, and broken debris as evidence of its existence. On that day, the transit of Venus could be observed in Sydney from 08:16 am. On subsequent days, the sub-tropical ridge urshed in high pressure systems which brought stable conditions. This pentad concluded with another low trough and associated precipitation. The lowest overnight minimum to-date is 7.1ºC recorded at Bellambi (AWS) on June 8th and highest maximum of 20ºC on June 4th. Daylength continues to decrease as we head towards the June solstice on the 21st day. We sink deeper into winter. … {read on}

Minor Snow: Winter takes hold

June 5th, 2012
by Jo Law

This last pentad of Minor Snow coincides with the beginning of winter as reckoned by the meteorological model used in Australia. In the first 5 days of June, the lowest minimum temperature recorded at Bellambi (AWS) is 10.2ºC at 3.53am on the morning of June 5th and lowest maximum is 15.3ºC on June 3rd. The weather in the Illawarra has been affected by the ‘East Coast Lows’, that become prominent in winter. Low pressure systems formed on the Tasman Sea moving eastwards and northwards bringing precipitation to the coast. There is no time like a cold wet day to light up the hearth. … {read on}

Minor Snow: Heaven’s essence rises, Earth’s essence sinks

May 31st, 2012
by Jo Law

The pentad when ‘heaven’s essence rose’ and ‘earth’s essence sank’, great winds swept across the Australian’s east coast. Bellambi AWS recorded wind gusts up to 94 km/h from a west northwest direction on Saturday June 26th. Elsewhere, a slow moving low pressure system brought heavy rain to Victoria causing flooding on city streets made worse by accumulation of autumn leaves near drainage areas. The precipitation also fell in the alpine region, amassing up to 300mm of fresh snow in some towns. The cold change swept across the continent bringing wintery conditions throughout, and to the delight of weather watchers, breaking records. Canberra is said to have experienced an overnight sub-zero average of -0.2º C, reportedly the coldest May in half a century. Darwin experienced a chilly 24.8ºC maximum on Tuesday June 29th, the coldest May day in 31 years. … {read on}

Minor Snow: Rainbows hide

May 25th, 2012
by Jo Law

Bellambi (AWS) recorded 16.8mm for the first 25 days of May 2012 compared to a monthly average of 94.6mm from 1997 – 2011.  Several news headlines declared: ‘Rain just a trickle in driest May since 1859′, ‘Sydney is experiencing its driest start to May in more than 150 years’, and ‘Sydney’s driest start to May in 130 years’. These articles painted a picture of nervous weather statisticians attentively watching the rain gauge as clouds built up and precipitation moved north towards Sydney on the morning of May 21st. The online news article in the Sydney Morning Herald featured a rainbow against a mottled sky over central Sydney’s skyline. Perhaps the rainbows are not hiding afterall. After so many dry days, the continuous light rain on the night of May 24th seemed strange yet familiar. … {read on}

Start of Winter: Pheasants enter the water turn into monster clams

May 20th, 2012
by Jo Law

From our Earth-bound view, the sun continues to move along to ecliptic passing the cross-quarter point that marks the start of winter. While the overnight minimums hover around 13ºC, the daily maximums still reach the high teens and low twenties. Shadows lengthen as the sun climbs a fraction lower in the sky each day at noon. Hollis and I shared our lunch on the front deck enjoying the brief warmth. We heard a nearby rooster crowed. The season deepens. … {read on}

Passing view of January (a winter Hong Kong)

May 19th, 2012
by Jo Law

Start of Winter: Earth begins to freeze

May 15th, 2012
by Jo Law

During the past 5 days, both the monthly lowest minimum of 8.5ºC and the lowest maxiumum of 16.6ºC were recorded on May 14th at Bellambi (AWS). The Chinese Almanac tells of a much harsher winter to come as earth begins to freeze at the start of winter. In comparison, the Australian winter is much milder with the Southern Ocean tempering much of the cold polar air. Earth has not begun to freeze in the Illawarra (nor will this be likely) but the air has began to dry. … {read on}

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