Sydney records its wettest July in 50 years

July 22, 2011AUSTRALIA – Parts of NSW have been declared natural disaster zones, as Sydney has experienced its wettest July since 1950. Downpours are playing havoc with roads and public transport across the state, while floods have trapped people in their cars. Police and Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher has added Lithgow, west of the Blue Mountains, Kiama on the south coast and the Illawarra city of Wollongong to the disaster list. “These local government areas follow on the natural disaster declarations for the Blue Mountains, Shoalhaven, Oberon and Wingecarribee made on July 7,” Mr Gallacher said. Almost 23mm of rain has been measured at Observatory Hill in central Sydney since 9am (AEST) on Friday. This has taken Sydney’s July total to 244mm, making it the wettest July since 1950, when 336mm was recorded. That was the wettest year since Bureau of Meteorology records began in 1858. The latest drenching means this month is now the 15th wettest July on record. Bureau meteorologist Julie Evans said warm ocean currents off Sydney and the south coast meant there was more moisture in the air. “That feature could be contributing to the rainfall we’re having.” –Daily Telegraph
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