New Year's weather round-up

  • Fireworks over Big Ben at New Year 2013. Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Archive/Press Association Images.

    Parts of China have seen a bitterly cold New Year period. ECMWF forecast temperatures to remain sub-zero (represented by the shades of blue) across many northern parts into the weekend.

    Australia, meanwhile, will continue to see a heat wave. The map shows the forecast maximum temperatures on Saturday from ECMWF (note that black area showing 45C).

  • New Year's weather round-up
    03.01.2013 15:27


    Although preceded by very wet weather in the weeks leading up to New Year, the beginning of 2013 was fairly unremarkably here in the UK with just some showers affecting western parts. However, there were more lively conditions elsewhere in the world.

    Parts of China experienced their coldest New Year’s Day for almost thirty years, according to the National Meteorological Office. Beijing plunged to around -13C overnight on Wednesday, but a remote county in the Xinjiang region reported a minimum of -49C. The cold snap has been caused by a large area of high pressure extending from the Arctic Circle towards China, dragging frigid air southwards, and the bitter temperatures look set to continue until at least the start of next week across many northern parts of China.

    In Indonesia, heavy downpours did little to dampen spirits at the Jakarta Night Festival. Despite the heavy showers, 200,000 people attended the first New Year’s Eve street party the capital city has seen, with 16 stages hosting numerous performances through the night. The downpours come after weeks of flooding in the city due to heavy and prolonged rainfall.

    A heat wave led to an uncomfortable first day of 2013 across much of Western Australia. The mercury reached 34.9C in Perth, but an impressive 46.1C was recorded at Cheadanup in the south of the state. Whilst it is currently summer in Australia, the temperatures were not too far off the highest ever observed maximum in the state of 50.5C.

    Meanwhile, a short hop over the Tasman Sea saw very blustery conditions in the New Zealand capital of Wellington. Strong northerly winds caused the cancellation of a midnight firework display from a boat in the harbour, with a gust of 47mph recorded in the inner suburb of Kelburn. High winds were also a feature across the Western Cape of South Africa through the New Year period. Fires that broke out in the township of Khayelitsha were flamed by gusts of up to 55mph, destroying hundreds of shacks and leaving at least one person dead.


    By: Nick Prebble