Lower Hunter summer to be wetter with “less extreme temperatures”

A cool November, a hot spring and a wet December.

It has been a jumbled couple of months of weather, with Maitland also a good chance of avoiding the baking days we sweated through last season this summer. 

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Felicity Gamble said conditions on the threshold of La Nina meant an increased likelihood of rain this summer, bringing down the chances of extreme temperatures.  

“The rain fall outlook for December to February is showing high chances of above average rainfall. December’s likely to be pretty wet for most of NSW,” Ms Gamble said.  

The La Nina part of the climate cycle points towards increased rainfall for Queensland and the eastern state, with the Lower Hunter to be impacted.

“It’s on the threshold of La Nina conditions, which may mean we don’t see those really extreme temperatures.”

It's on the threshold of La Nina conditions, which may mean we don’t see those really extreme temperatures

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Felicity Gamble

The predictions come after a hotter than average spring.

While November was cooler than usual, September and October brought the spring temperature to above average, with the hottest day a 36.2 degree stinker on October 30. 

“November in the Hunter was reasonably mild compared to the last few year, but it was still an above average spring,” Ms Gamble explained.  

“We’ve been conditioned somewhat to warmer than average springs.”

December’s predicted wet weather will also be welcome news for both firefighters and dam levels. 

Chichester Dam currently sits at 68.1 per cent full. It hit a low of about 53 per cent in February this year following the last hot summer period. 

For firefighters, any rain will be welcomed after a bone-dry winter fostered dangerously good fire conditions ahead of a series of Lower Hunter blazes in September. A cool November combined with a comparatively wet October (93.2mm of rain) has helped allay fire concerns to the new year.