It’s been a wet and gloomy couple of weeks for much of NSW, but the weather bureau says there is light at the end of the tunnel of rain that’s brought devastating floods to some communities, while luckier residents have only had to contend with being stuck indoors alongside rising mould.
By the time the rain clouds finally lift at the end of this week, Sydney will have been raining nigh-on non-stop for more than a fortnight.
The last day without any rain recorded at Observatory Hill was on February 21. Since then, rainfall in the city center has averaged at 33 millimetres a day, with eight millimetres falling on the driest day (February 22) and 105.2 falling on the wettest ( February 23).
On Friday, Sydney broke its previous record of eight days of consecutive rainfall over 13 millimetres. It’s now been 13 days and counting.
Relative humidity observations, recorded twice daily, have not dropped below 76 per cent during the same period and have frequently skirted close to, if not reaching, 100 per cent. The average relative humidity for February and March is a reading of 74 per cent at 9am and 64 per cent at 3pm.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Grace Legge said during the past fortnight of wet weather systems, NSW has missed out on the arrival of high pressure systems that would usually dry things out between bouts of rainfall.
Usually, she said, it “might take a day or two” for a system like a low or a trough to start to drag moisture from the tropics down into NSW.
But because there hasn’t been any clearance of the high moisture and humidity, “it’s already there” – and “as soon as the system moves through, it grabs onto this moisture and leads to this rainfall straight away”.