May breaks the record for cold weather

CANBERRA has so far experienced the coldest May in 51 years and the second coldest May on record, says weatherzone.com.au.

According to the Weatherzone, overnight minimum temperatures have averaged -0.2 of a degree, compared to Canberra’s average overnight temperatures in May of 3.1 degrees.

The last time May had an average minimum this low was in 1961.

“Most residents would not have experienced a May this cold in Canberra, given that it’s been 51 years since the average May minimum temperature has been sub-zero,” Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said.

“It’s felt more like we’ve skipped May and June and gone straight from mid-autumn to mid-winter. This freezing weather is more typical of July, when the average minimum is -0.1.”

Mr Dutschke said it will come as no surprise that more than half of the nights this month, 15 of them so far, have chilled below freezing.

He said in a typical May there are eight nights which dipped to zero or below.

“With another one-or-two freezing nights to come this month, this will almost certainly turn out to be the coldest May in 55 years,” Mr Dutschke said.

Canberra’s coldest May was recorded in 1957; with an average minimum of -2.6 degrees. However this May, Canberra has experienced an extra hour of sunshine per day, with humidity six per cent below average. Canberra has also recorded 21mm of rain; less than half the long-term average of 44mm.

“The weather pattern has been dominated by high pressure systems,” Mr Dutschke said.

“Skies have been clearer than normal and the air drier than normal, which have combined to make most nights dip below freezing.

“Looking ahead to winter, more freezing nights are likely, but overall, nights should turn out to be near average. Daytime temperatures and rainfall should also turn out close to normal, given that we are in a near-neutral climate phase.”

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