Light, but welcome, rain falls across the Illawarra

File photo.
File photo.

It wasn’t drought-breaking, but the rain that fell across parts of Wollongong on Monday morning was the heaviest since late June.

Residents woke to the sound of rain on rooftops across the region as Mother Nature showed she was still capable of producing rain – on the back of an extended dry spell.

The 2.2 millimetres recorded at the Bellambi weather station between 7am and 11am on Monday was more than the total recorded for entire month of July.

Bellambi had just 1.6mm across the 31 days of last month, making it the suburb’s driest July in 22 years of records. The previous dry July record was 2.4mm last year; the monthly average is 73.3mm.

Most of the rain at Bellambi fell between 9am and 11am, 1.8mm, with just 0.4mm recorded prior to 9am.

The most recent recorded total of more than 2.2mm at Bellambi was on June 29, when 4mm fell.

Monday’s showers were associated with a trough and cold front crossing NSW, which also brought a gusty westerly change.

A westerly wind gust of 76km/h was recorded at Albion Park at 6.25am, while a 65km/h gust from the northwest was felt in Bellambi a short time later.

Winds are expected to remain strong on Monday afternoon, with a top of 19 degrees expected in Wollongong and 20 inland.

The windy weather is forecast to continue on Tuesday, before temperatures begin to climb.

At this stage, Wollongong can expect a high of 22 degrees on Thursday and 25 on Friday – well above average for this time of the year. Temperatures away from the coast will be about one degree warmer on both days. 

The Bureau of Meteorology’s outlook predicts warmer-than-usual daytime and night time temperatures across the Illawarra between now and October, as well as below-average rainfall.

August has the highest likelihood of drier-than-normal conditions, the bureau said.

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