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Bondi Beach at dusk
Photograph: Azucena Stelzer/Unsplash

Sydney City falls short of 140 year record for coldest year ever

But the storms are a comin'

Written by
Maya Skidmore
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Just last week, Sydneysiders received the news that the city’s official weather station on Observatory Hill had not recorded a temperature over 30 degrees celsius in almost a year, with the data indicating that we were well on our way to breaking a 140-year record. Now however, following Wednesday, January 18, this record (despite much speculation) remains unbroken. 

After a lengthy battle of the elements (we’re talking a hot NSW air mass takes on a chilly easterly Tasman airstream), the mercury on Observatory Hill officially hit the big 30 for the first time since February 21, 2022. Despite many of Sydney’s suburbs hitting above 30 degrees over the past year, Observatory Hill was not able to match up, with January 18, 2023 only bringing in a brief 30 degree moment before a swift sea breeze swept in, effectively lowering the temp back down to a more usual 26.3 degrees celsius. At least we tried. 

Despite all this, Sydney city has had an unusually cold year, with Observatory Hill recording 330 consecutive days under 30 degrees celsius, a record that comes in at a close second to Sydney’s all-time coldest year way back between 1882 and 1883, when we had a hefty 339 days on the books without a day over 30 degrees. We hope those Victorians busted out their long johns back then.

Sadly, the summery days of last week don’t look like they’ll feature in our imminent horizons. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued severe storm warnings for much of western and southern NSW, with reports of damaging winds set to hit much of the state on Thursday, while Sydney will reportedly be in for a chilly night, showers and heavy rainfall from now until Sunday. 

Dust off those brollies, folks. It can’t be shiny all the time.

Stay dry with one of these magical things to do in Sydney this weekend.

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