The last week of July was noteworthy for warm days with daily maximum temperatures several degrees above average for July.
Both Dubbo and Coonabarabran had their warmest spell for late July since 1975.
Further north Moree on Saturday July 28 recorded 26.7 degrees, its warmest July day since 27.8 in 1958.
Coonabarabran is on target to record its warmest July since 1888 and also its warmest year since 1888 as well.
That may be a good outlook as 1889 saw excessive rains after a very hot November 1888 and both January and February 1889.
It was 53.8 degrees at Cloncurry in January 1889.
In Queensland at both St. George and Roma where we have stayed, the past five days were the warmest for late July since 1958.
This five-day period averaged nearly 27 degrees.
The current drought in our regions is the worst since 1902 to date.
From August to December 1902 it was still dry apart from near normal rain in September and a very wet December.
November 1902 and January 1903 were very hot and dry.
St George has just had its driest April to July period with only 12.2mms rainfall since 1881 when only eight millimetres fell.
Other very dry April to July periods were in 1888, 1902 and 1946.
All four of these years led to excessive heat in the following January.
A local cotton farmer near St. George was most upset when I told him to expect temperatures of over 45 degrees next January again after excessive heat for the past four Januaries.
He threw his photo album down on the ground in frustration.
It is unfortunate that our regions have been running parallel to a long sequence of very hot summers which ran from 1877 to 1885.
Sydney has recorded its driest July since 1995 and this constitutes a rainfall pattern, very dry April-May, very wet June and then a very dry July.
This rain pattern last occurred in 1975 and before that in 1942, 1935 and 1907.
Coonabarabran has recorded back-to-back very dry Julys and the last time this happened was in 1881.
As stated above January and February 1882 were very hot in our regions.
As seen above several weather events are running parallel to 1958 and 1975.
In 1958 the late July warm spell was confined to outback Queensland and inland NSW and not in Victoria as it was this July as well.
In 1975 the late July spell included Victoria.
Both years did lead to a wet August to October period.
There was excessive heat, over 40 degrees in Victoria, in both January and early February of 1959 and excessive rains in February and March of 1959.