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Climate


All climate information has been obtained from the freely available data provided on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website- http://www.bom.gov.au/.

Station Locations

Station: 067033 RICHMOND RAAF 
Latitude (deg S): -33.6022
Longitude (deg E): 150.7794
Elevation: 19 metres
Station: 068192 CAMDEN AIRPORT AWS
Latitude (deg S): -34.0391
Longitude (deg E): 150.6890
Elevation: 73.9 metres

Climate Summary

A number of key industry indices, as described by Smart and Dry (1980), have been used to assess the climate parameters within the region and these can be viewed for the stations within the region in Table 1 below. An explanation of the indices used follow:

  1. MJT - Mean January Temperature, also refers to the mean temperature of the warmest month (MTWM) .
  2. MAR - Mean Average Range is calculated by taking the mean temperature of the warmest month (January) and then subtracting the mean temperature of the coolest month (July) - ie. MTWM - MTCM.
  3. HDD - Heat Degree Days is worked out for the growing season (October-April) and is calculated by taking the difference between 10 C and the mean temperature of the month, which is then multiplied by the number of days in the month. The resulting figure for each of the seven months is then tallied to give the HDD in degrees Celcius.
  4. RH - Relative Humidity over the growing season (October-April)
  5. SSH - Sunshine Hours per day over the growing season (October-April)

Table 1: Climate summary of the Sydney wine region

Station MJT 1
(C)
MAR 2
(C)
HDD 3
(C)
Annual
Rainfall
(mm)
Oct-Apr
Rainfall
(mm)
RH 4
(%)
SSH 5
(hrs/day)
Richmond 23.5 13.1 2296 810 573 72.3 7.1
Camden 22.9 12.9 2158 828 571 72.3 n.a.

Based on the information in the table above, we can conclude that Sydney is a hot to very hot, moderately continental, moderately sunny, very humid wine region. We can also say that it is an "east coast - hot humid" (Young, 1995) growing region based on Young's classification of growing regions. Looking at the HDD, we can also conclude that it is a "very hot" wine producing area.

Climate Averages

Tables 2-6 below are provided in order to provide an overview of the climate within the proposed Sydney wine region. Comparing the data between the two stations selected in the region, one can conclude that the climate in the Sydney Basin and on the outskirts of the city of Sydney is very similar.

Table 2: Mean daily maximum temperature (C) in the Sydney wine region

Station Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Richmond 29.6 28.6 27.0 23.9 20.3 17.6 17.2 18.8 21.6 24.5 26.8 28.7
Camden 29.1 28.5 26.7 23.7 20.4 17.6 17.1 18.9 21.6 23.8 25.7 28.5

Table 3: Mean daily minimum temperature (C) in the Sydney wine region

Station Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Richmond 17.4 17.4 15.5 11.8 7.9 5.1 3.6 5.0 7.5 11.0 13.7 15.9
Camden 16.6 16.7 14.8 11.0 7.3 4.4 2.9 3.9 6.6 10.0 12.6 15.0

Table 4: Mean monthly rainfall (mm) in the Sydney wine region

Station Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Richmond 93.3 105.6 92.1 70.3 58.8 56.4 35.9 45.8 40.2 64.1 76.1 71.7
Camden 94.3 99.3 93.9 77.5 68.7 60.5 38.9 46.0 43.4 70.3 78.6 56.6

Table 5: Mean 9am relative humidity (%)in the Sydney wine region

Station Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Richmond 73 78 77 79 83 84 81 75 67 65 66 68
Camden 73 78 75 77 83 82 81 74 67 65 70 68

Table 6: Mean daily hours of sunshine in the Sydney wine region

Station Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Richmond 7.1 6.7 6.4 6.3 5.5 5.7 6.3 7.5 7.7 7.7 7.7 7.8

Note: Shaded areas in tables above represent the growing season where each month has a mean daily minimum temperature greater than 10 C (i.e. October - April).

Regional Climate Comparison

Using data from the Richmond station to represent the climate in the Sydney region, Table 7 below compares Sydney to other neighbouring wine regions. 

Table 7: Comparative climates of neighbouring wine regions

Region (Station) MJT 1
(C)
MAR 2
(C)
HDD 3
(C)
Annual
Rainfall
(mm)
Oct-Apr
Rainfall
(mm)
RH 4
(%)
SSH 5
(hrs/day)
Lower Hunter (Cessnock) 23.8 12.8 2353 763 539 68.9 n.a.
Sydney (Richmond) 23.5 13.1 2296 810 573 72.3 7.1
Mudgee (Mudgee) 23.3 15.4 2069 676 411 64.3 n.a.
Shoalhaven (Nowra) 20.9 9.9 1886 1135 740 70.3 6.9
Southern Highlands (Bowral) 19.4 12.9 1413 946 577 n.a. n.a.

Using the information above, we can convert the figures to industry standard words that are used to describe the results. Once converted it can be seen (refer to Table 8) that the Sydney region is very similar to the Lower Hunter. The exception being that Sydney is rated as "very humid" with a relative humidity greater than 70.0%, compared to the Lower Hunter only having a "humid" relative humidity being within the range of 60-70%. 

Table 8: Data from Table 7 used to describe regional information in words

Region (Station) MJT MAR HDD
Lower Hunter (Cessnock) very hot moderately continental very hot
Sydney (Richmond) very hot moderately continental very hot
Mudgee (Mudgee) very hot continental hot
Shoalhaven (Nowra) warm maritime warm
Southern Highlands (Bowral) warm moderately continental cool

Apart from this similarity, it can be safely concluded that Sydney has a very different climate than the surrounding wine regions of Mudgee, Southern Highlands and the Shoalhaven.

References

Bureau of Meteorology, 2002, Climate Averages for Australian Sites, Retrieved July 31, 2002, from http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/ca_nsw_names.shtml

Smart, Richard E., and Dry, Peter R., 1980, A Climate classification for Australian viticultural regions, The Australian Grapegrower & Winemaker, April issue.

Young, Alan, 1995, Wine is Fun, International Wine Academy, San Francisco, pp81-95.

 

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