The summer of 2013/2014 in Armidale was very dry and very warm compared to long term averages (LTA).
Rain fronts were scarce, and low pressure troughs, which often bring in moisture from the tropics, instead brought hot drying winds from the centre of the continent with little or no rain.
Moderate and heavy falls of rain often occur with summer thunderstorms, however December and January, which are normally very thunderstorm active months, recorded storms on only three days. February fared a little better with storms on three days with two of the storms producing moderate falls of rain.
The rainfall total for the three months was 88.8 millimetres which was 191 mm lower than the LTA and was the driest summer on record from 150 years of rainfall records. The previous driest was 1964/65 which recorded 112.0 mm.
December recorded 22.0 mm (LTA 89 mm), January 17.2 mm (LTA 101.9 mm) and February 49.6 mm (LTA 89 mm). The highest daily fall was 16.4 mm on 14th February. There were no hailfalls.
It was Armidale’s hottest summer since 1958 with day temperatures well above the LTA in all three months. Temperatures reached 30.0 degrees or higher on 26 days with the highest being 37.1 deg on 3rd January. This was Armidale’s hottest day since 26th January 1952 when the post office recorded 38.4 deg. The hot summer weather started on 8th December and continued through to the end of February.
Despite the many above average hot days, overnight minimums were mostly a little cooler than the LTA. The lowest was 0.4 deg on 7th December with a light frost.
It was a reasonably sunny summer with 45 sunny days (LTA 43 days).
Prevailing winds were westerlies in December, and easterlies in January and February.