South Coast summer not what it used to be

Last year may have unfurled on the region in a soggy fashion, but don't expect 2013 to follow suit.

Lady La Nina - the weather event that brings an increased chance of wetter conditions - is long gone, replaced instead by a neutral weather period.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Acacia Pepler said the first few months of the year were likely to have less dramatic weather events than the past two years.

"The last couple of years have had some quite wet starts to the year thanks to the La Nina event, but now that we're not in a La Nina or El Nino event we're not having that strong driver towards wet conditions," she said.

The week between February 27 and March 4, 2012, was the equal wettest on record in NSW, Ms Pepler said. Last February, 312mm of rainfall was recorded at Bellambi, more than double the month's 150mm annual average.

In March, 244mm of rain far exceeded the 96mm average and Shellharbour and Wollongong were both declared natural disaster areas when parts of the region were affected by flooding.

Ms Pepler described the past six years as an unusual spell, switching between La Nina and El Nino conditions.

"But that's not what normally happens, you can actually have quite long spells where you don't see either."

Although massive widespread downpours were less likely, individual weather events could not be ruled out, she said.

The highest temperature recorded at the Bellambi weather station in 2012 was surprisingly not in summer, but in September, when the mercury reached 32.2 degrees.

Between now and March temperatures are expected to be higher than average, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

2012 weather snapshot: Bellambi Weather Station

Maximum temperature: 32.2 degrees – Sept 28

Highest wind gust: 102km/h – June 5 and August 10

Wettest day: 88.6mm – March 1

Wettest month: 311.8mm – February

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