Australian Open Tennis Torrents

  • Australian Tennis Fan. Credit: Andrew Milligan, PA Photos

    Weather forecast chart for Friday 29th January, confirming the widespread area of low pressure, bringing the showery weather. Credit: Meteogroup

  • Australian Open Tennis Torrents
    28.01.2016 15:55

    As the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Victoria, approaches its conclusion, here's a look at the weather conditions so far, and what weather can be expected in its closing stages.

    The Australian Open is held at Melbourne Park and is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments in the calendar year. It was the first of the four Grand Slams to feature indoor tennis, in the event of very wet weather or extreme heat and it now has retractable roofs on its three primary courts. So, how has the weather faired so far this Championships and will the retractable roofs have to be put into action much through the latter stages of the tournament?

    Following a hot, dry start to the 2016 Championships, with temperatures topping at 35C on the opening day (Monday 18th), which is around 9C above the January average, the temperatures dropped steadily through the first week. Highs of just 22C by Saturday/Sunday (23rd/24th). The first two days were dry but the rest of the first week became unsettled as areas of low pressure pushed in from the east, giving showers and longer spells of rain which caused some disruption to the games on the outside courts – the wettest day being Saturday 23rd when 7mm of rain fell; 5.2mm fell through Sunday too.

    The second week saw a temporary return to dry conditions, as a transient ridge of high pressure extended in from the south through Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th with temperatures rising again to around 30C on Tuesday. Heavy showers returned by Wednesday, with torrential downpours and thunderstorms across parts of the city of Melbourne on Thursday.

    Heading into the business end of the tournament, it looks as though the retractable roofs on the show courts will get further use, but again from a rain sheltering perspective rather than to protect from the heat! A deep area of low pressure will track eastwards across Victoria and the southern half of New South Wales on Friday, only very slowly moving away to the east over the Tasman Sea during the weekend.

    There will be spells of heavy rain on Friday morning, men’s semi-finals day, with 15-20mm falling, while the rain should become more showery in the afternoon, perhaps with a few sunny spells. Temperatures will only rise to 18C. The Finals weekend will be slightly warmer, with maximum  temperatures of 23C. There will be sunny spells, the best of these on ladies final day, while men’s final day on Sunday has the greater likelihood of showers.

    All in all a real mixture of weather during the first Grand Slam tournament of the tennis year, perhaps not unlike the variable weather conditions the crowds are used to at Wimbledon! And might this weather make Andy Murray feel at home?! Let's find out...

    By: Matt Dobson