AUTUMN has ended with a cold blast and the lowest May temperatures on record for Lithgow.
The chilly last days of May made a strong contrast to rest of the season as Lithgow’s warm autumn temperatures contributed to Australia’s hottest autumn on record with the nation’s temperatures 1.86 degrees above average.
Monday’s minimum of -7.7 degrees freezer-burned away the previous record May low temperatures of -6.1 at the old Lithgow weather station at Birdwood Street and -5.9 at the new Cooerwull site.
Tuesday morning’s -6.1 degrees also would have equalled or beaten the previous May minimum records.
Tuesday’s low had the distinction of being the coldest temperature around NSW for that day.
While May ended with Lithgow residents rugged up and ready to buy toboggans, earlier in the month Lithgow experienced possibly its highest ever minimum for the month and some pretty warm maximum temperatures.
The 13.4 degrees minimum recorded on May 9 was just 0.1 off the unofficial highest minimum temperature of 13.5 recorded at the new Cooerwull site on May 3, 2015.
At the old site where Lithgow’s statistics officially come from May 2016’s highest minimum went just above the 13.3 degrees recorded in May 2000.
May 2016’s maximum mean of 16.4 was more than two degrees above the official 14.3 degrees from the old Birdwood site.
April 2016’s mean maximum temperature of 21.5 degrees was also well above official (18.4) and unofficial (18.0) mean maximum temperatures for the month.
March 2016’s mean maximum temperature followed the same trend as the rest of autumn being around two degrees above the official maximum mean.
The warmer weather also was coupled with low rainfall around Lithgow.
Monthly totals were well below average especially for April with only 6.4 millimetres recorded compared to the average 62.7 millimetres.
May ended being around 40 millimetres below the average with 20.6 millimetres.
March, one of Lithgow’s best months for rain, had 36.8 millimetres with the mean for the month 83.9 millimetres.