Monday, June 19, 2017

Remarkable' high pressure shielding much of Australia from winter's wrath

Farmers and ski resort operators are watching synoptic charts with growing anxiety as some of the highest pressure readings in a decade reveal an autumn that is refusing to let go.

Dominant high-pressure systems have lately been the norm. Parts of Australia recorded readings of 1039 hectopascals at the start of the month, compared with typical pressure levels of about 1013 hPa. 

"Values that high are quite remarkable [and are] at least a one-in-10-year event...for any time of the year," Andrew Watkins, head of climate prediction services at the Bureau of Meteorology, said.

A string of high-pressure systems in recent weeks have been further south than usual, pushing rain-bearing cold fronts further poleward.

Rainfall totals across the country are running below 20 per cent of a typical June with almost two-thirds of the month over, Dr Watkins said.

Read Peter Hannam’s story in the Melbourne Age - “‘Remarkable' high pressure shielding much of Australia from winter's wrath.”

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