6.30am: The brief moment when the sun managed to burn through this morning's cloud cover.
Like this photo? See more early morning shots at Paul Jurak's blog Lake View.
Canberra will record its hottest January ever. But thanks to storms and rain over the weekend, it won't be one of the driest.
With just two days of the month left, and forecast tops of 29 and 31 degrees, Canberra looks to record an average January temperature between 32.3 and 32.5 degrees – half a degree warmer than the previous hottest January on record (in 2010), and more than 4 degrees warmer than the long-term average.
But according to the Bureau of Meteorology's Sean Carson, the most significant measure is comparing the January of last year to the heat of this year so far.
“It's a massive jump from last year,” Mr Carson said. “Last year we didn't make 35 degrees once [in January]. We've done it 11 times this year.”
The number of days over 35 – Canberra's “hot” days – this year is also a new record, beating the previous top of nine days set in 1947.
But, thanks to a quick catch-up over the past few days, it hasn't been as dry as it could have been. And while the rain may have ruined long weekend plans for some, for at least one ACT Minister it probably came as quite a relief.
After nearly three weeks of hot, dry weather, Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury sent out a plea for help to the community.
“Help give over 4,500 trees a drink,” the claxon call read.
Concerned for the newly-planted trees in the Scrivener Dam area, Mr Rattenbury was asking for volunteers to join him for a “labour intensive” but rewarding morning of carting buckets of water up from the Molonglo River to quench the thirst of the natives.
And then the heavens opened.
Up until Friday last week, Canberra had received just 10 millimetres of rainfall since the start of 2013 – almost 50 millimetres less than the January average.
But in a single sitting, 40 millimetres of rain was dumped over the capital on Saturday night, topped up again on Monday, bringing the capital's monthly total to a much more healthy 67.4 millimetres, and saving potentially hundreds from having to spend a Saturday morning on a tree rescue mission.
With more rain forecast for Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, a spokeswoman from Mr Rattenbury's office contacted The Canberra Times yesterday to confirm that the event has now been cancelled.