It has been a cloudy and rainy year thus far for Sydney, with 28 of the 55 calendar days recording rainfall. This unusual summer has seen more days of rainfall than not.
The wet weather is set to continue, with large multi-day rainfall accumulations predicted for the central and northern NSW coast from today through to Monday, March 1st, including Sydney. The heaviest falls are likely to occur during today and on Saturday.
So how cloudy was it?
It has been a cloudier than average beginning to the year for Sydney with only two other cloudier beginnings to the year recorded in the last decade.
The week of January 26 to February 2nd has been the cloudiest week of the year. During this week, Sydney saw less than two and a half hours of sunlight on average per day. In the past decade there have only been two cloudier weeks at this time of year.
The largest daily rainfall total during the same week (week ending February 2nd) was 29.6mm at Sydney Observatory Hill on Saturday the 30th of January. The tropics were particularly active during this week feeding moisture into a low pressure trough on January 30th. As such low solar irradiance was observed for eastern New South Wales (yellow and black in figure 1).
Figure 1: Solcast’s global horizontal irradiance on the 30th of January 2021
During such weather conditions it is especially important for the Renewable Energy industry to have excellent solar forecasting solutions in order to be able to maximize profit and minimize risk. If you want to know more about Weatherzone’s and Solcast’s market leading capabilities in this field please visit our websites (https://business.weatherzone.