It's time to say ‘‘so long’’ to the winter that never really was.
This year’s winter will go down in the annal books as one of the warmest on record in the Illawarra.
Temperatures have been unseasonably balmy with few cold spells through the June to August period.
In Albion Park and Bellambi, maximum temperatures hovered between 17 and 19degrees for most of the typically cooler months.
Residents statewide responded to the warmer weather by switching off their heaters and electric blankets in droves, causing electricity usage to plummet.
The NSW peak demand for power from June to August was about 11,600 megawatts, significantly lower than in previous years, the Australian Energy Market Operator said.
Last year, demand peaked at 12,200 megawatts and in 2010, it reached nearly 13,300 megawatts statewide.
While several factors may have influenced electricity consumption this year, including the rising cost of power, the warmer conditions had a role to play as people kept their heaters switched off.
Temperatures have been particularly warm due to a stronger-than-average subtropical ridge across central Australia, according to a Weatherzone report.
The ridge was also responsible for the clear skies, which hung over most of the country through winter.
For the Illawarra, it was a case of raining one day, blue skies the next.
The region recorded its wettest June in six years as 277millimetres of rain fell in Albion Park – the highest June rainfall since 2007.
Bellambi copped an even heavier bucketing, with 310mm of rain falling over the month.
The wet weather kept the State Emergency Service busy, sending volunteers to 1984 call-outs statewide, and also forced the cancellation of several sporting events including a Kembla Grange race meeting.
But in July, it was a different story with rainfall well down on average.
July averages 63millimetres of rain region-wide but Albion Park recorded just 18.6mm, while a mere 27.8mm fell in Bellambi.
Sea surface temperatures were also warmer than usual.
Today marks the official end of winter, as the Illawarra prepares to welcome what is set to be a gorgeous spring.