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Time site last updated: UTC:21:00
24/01/17
WST:05:00
25/01/17
CST:06:30
25/01/17
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25/01/17
CDT:07:30
25/01/17
EDT:08:00
25/01/17

Latest weather extremes prepared 0800 EDT, Wednesday, 25 January 2017
State-by-state daily extremes Severe and noteworthy observations today
Hottest Coldest Wettest     Full list Windiest (km/h)     Full list
NSW: 28.7 at 0730 MOREE AERO
VIC: 16.8 at 0730 GABO ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE
TAS: 15.7 at 0730 FLINDERS ISLAND AIRPORT
SA: 25.7 at 0700 MOOMBA AIRPORT
WA: 30.1 at 0700 PARABURDOO AERO
NT: 28.9 at 0700 MCCLUER ISLAND
QLD: 30.3 at 0730 WINDORAH AWS
NSW: 7.1 at 0700 PERISHER VALLEY AWS
VIC: 5.1 at 0700 WESTMERE
TAS: 4.2 at 0700 LIAWENEE
SA: 6.7 at 0700 ROBE AIRFIELD
WA: 6.7 at 0730 WELLSTEAD AG STATION
NT: 21.6 at 0730 YULARA AIRPORT
QLD: 16.2 at 0700 JIMNA FORESTRY
Highest short duration falls:
NOONAMAH AIRSTRIP NT
4.0 in 30min to 0730
Highest since 9am
KUNUNURRA AERO WA
110.6 to 0700
MAATSUYKER ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE TAS
68 gusting 83/NNW at 0700
KUNANYI (MOUNT WELLINGTON PINNACLE) TAS
53 gusting 79/ W at 0737

Weather, climate
and site news

The news on AWN is collected and written as I have time in between maintaining and developing the site and trying to lead a fairly normal life! As a one-person website, AWN does not have the resources of a fully-fledged newsroom, but there are reputable media that have systems that let you easily find current weather and climate stories if you know where to look. I've listed what I consider the best of these on AWN's Weather and Climate Media Reports page.

*Asterisked links may not be permalinks, i.e. they may cease to work or the content may change after a while. See note at bottom of page.

 

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Record rain brings crocs, grasshoppers, flooding to NT and SA

Torrential rain set new records in the NT and parts of SA bringing unwelcome pests in the north and centre and more records in SA.

The Wet Season has begun in earnest across the NT Top End as the monsoon trough and an embedded low moved south into the Katherine area drawing tropical moisture down from the NW. Labelle Downs Station, 80km SW of Darwin, with over 20 years of observations, recorded its heaviest one-day total for any month of 275.0mm to 9 this morning, while Darwin Airport registered 145.6mm, its heaviest 24-hour total since January 2012.

The wet weather is bringing the crocs out in suburban Darwin, with a one-metre crocodile seen attacking a bin in Palmerston. "Police attended the location only to see the croc make a quick escape down the street drain pipe," Northern Watch Commander Acting Senior Sergeant Drew Slape told ABC News. "It's current whereabouts are unknown but it may still be in the area." This is the second croc to be seen in Darwin's suburbs this wet season.

Severe Weather Warnings are out for much of the Top End, with the Bureau keeping a close watch on the low which is expected to drift west over the next two days bringing further heavy rain, flooding and strong wind squalls over the Top End. Flood watches or warnings have been issued for most Top End rivers. The low is rated a 20% chance of moving offshore and developing into a Tropical Cyclone on Australia Day.

The situation is complicated by a second trough running from the Katherine low through Central Australia into the SE states. BoM duty forecaster Rebecca Patrick told the ABC "They're really experiencing some unusual weather for those parts of the Territory. We've just had the tropics extending right throughout Central Australia, we've got severe weather warning and flood watches for a trough moving through southern parts of the Territory, so it's all happening."

Watarrka, 200km SW of Alice Springs, recorded its heaviest January one-day total in a 25-year history this morning with 93.9mm in the gauge. This area of NT, and a large slice of SA, experienced torrential rain and flooding about a month ago. Many roads, including the main Tanami and Kintore Roads, are closed with lesser roads and tracks quagmires of mud. Food drops to isolated settlements have begun and further road closures are likely. To add to the discomfort, Alice Springs and area has been hit by a yellow-winged grasshopper plague brought on by last month's rain and the prolific vegetation growth following it. The species is more a nuisance than damaging, according to ABC Rural, and there is no likelihood of it migrating to agricultural areas away from the area.

Farther south in SA, the moisture brought south by this trough produced record downpours in the 24 hours to 9 this morning as it was undercut by a cold front moving across the state's south. On the Eyre Peninsula, Cummins with a 100-year history and Elliston with 130 years of rainfall records set new January highs of 50.0 and 60.6mm respectively.

Newsbits

A muggy night in SE Australia: Places in three states set new records for high minimum temperature for the 24 hours to 9 this morning. In NSW, Gulgong Post Office, with a 45-year climatic history, had its all-time highest minimum at 29.0, eclipsing the previous record of 28.0 set back in 1997. Gabo Island VIC, off the SE corner of the continent, set a new January record. Surrounded by sea, its minimum of 21.3 was 0.5 higher than the previous record set in 1982 in a history of nearly 60 years. Down on the TAS East Coast, Bicheno, with 40 years of observations, had its warmest 24-hour period with a minimum of 19.0. With hot air pouring into these three states from the NW and blocked from going farther by a high in the Tasman, hot days, very warm nights and high humidity levels are making life generally unpleasant, even if not record-breaking.

Spare a thought for sweltering Moree: Those that live in the northern inland of NSW are no strangers to hot weather, but the citizens of Moree have had more than their fair share. They have had 29 consecutive days during which the maximum temperatures were 35° or higher, a state record comprehensively beating the previous run of 17 days set in the summer of 1981-82. Rob Taggart of the Bureau told ABC News "We're also forecasting 35 degrees out at Moree for the remainder of the week so it looks like this new record will run out to 34 days in a row."

Monday 23 January 2017

More storms and rain in SA as eastern states feel the heat

Following last Thursday's damaging storms in Adelaide and SA, a line of thunderstorms and heavy rain are again moving across the state today while southeastern states fry ahead of a change.

The heavy rain moved in from the NW ahead of a front this morning, dropping 51mm on Cummins on southern Eyre Peninsula, five times its monthly average rain. 20.6mm, twice the monthly average, was dumped on the town in just 30 minutes to 10.30, after which rain continued steadily until mid-afternoon. The rain moved into the Adelaide area, giving Edithburgh 21.2mm on the Yorke Peninsula and Noarlunga 18.8 in Adelaide's south before moving into southeast SA late afternoon.

Ahead of the change, temperatures have heated up again for eastern states with top temperatures today of 42.5° at Moomba in SA, 44.3° for Hay in NSW and 42.1° at Yarrawonga in VIC. Temperatures were above 40° in all northeastern SA, western NSW and northern VIC. Tomorrow is expected to be the hot one in central and northern NSW, with Sydney seeing tops of 38° on the coast and 41° inland while Canberra has a milder 35°.

Soaked start to the wet season brings floods but happy pastoralists

The start of this year's wet season has brought well above average rains since around 20 December to the WA Kimberley, causing extensive flooding but promising pastoralists a rewarding 2017.

Falls in most parts of the large Kimberley area have been extremely heavy, giving some locations close to their average annual rainfall during the past month. Owen Finger from Debesa Station, west of Fitzroy Crossing, told ABC Rural "The average rainfall here is about 28 inches (711mm) and we've already had about 26 inches (660mm) since the start of December, so 2017 should be all good."

An active monsoon trough in which embedded lows have enhanced rainfall over the region have brought consistent rain for a month as well as occasional heavy totals of between 100 and 225mm in a day. These have hugely swollen streams, frustrating police with the stupidity of drivers who attempt to cross them. Two carloads of people had to be rescued in two consecutive days last week when they tried to drive across lengthy floodways and were swept off.

So far in January, several locations have had around double their averages for the whole of the month including Diggers Rest, just S of Wyndham, which has had 346.7mm (monthly average 138.9mm), Wyndham 374.8 (184.9), Carlton Hill, 40km NW of Kununurra, 506.2 (205.3), Halls Creek 388.6 (150.7), Kununurra 401.8 (198.6), Ruby Plains, 40km S of Halls Creek, 414.2 (123.7), and Camballin, 100km SE of Derby, 351.6 (160.3).

The rain has also pushed well inland. Telfer, 400km S of Broome, has recorded 346.4mm so far in January (average is 49.2), helped along by a torrential downpour on Wednesday evening, 18 January, that produced 127.8mm in 4.5 hours between 19.30 and midnight. Much farther inland, Warburton has had 143.6 (average 28.5), Giles 81.2 (30.1) and Carnegie 175.0 (30.1).

Slip, slop, slap! But for pineapples?

While humans heading for the beach are used to the slip on a shirt, slop on the sunscreen and slap on a hat routine, having pineapples reach for the 30+ seems a bit confronting.

The continuing heatwaves on the Sunshine Coast in SE QLD have the potential to stunt the growth of pineapples, which shut down above about 32° reducing yield and profit. Grower Murray Pike told ABC Rural "The fruit out there that's getting close to harvest gets sunburnt badly. We have had a big natural flowering this year so we could potentially lose quite a bit of money, it just depends when the fruit is ready."

A crushed limestone solution is applied to the fruit destined for the cannery, while a polymer solution that doesn't change the colour of the pineapple is used for the fresh fruit market. Unfortunately, hot nights, when sunshine isn't a factor, can also stunt the fruit's growth and polymers don't work above the mid to high 30s either.

Friday 13 January 2017

Baking heat ahead of cold front sweeping southeastern states
Updated 14/1/17 16.45EDT with Parkes and Forbes information

Some record high temperatures have been recorded in NSW, QLD and SA ahead of a cold front moving into those states today. The northwest and far central west of NSW, as well as SW QLD and NE SA recorded maximum temperatures above 45° with the highest reports being 46.5° at Bourke in NSW, 46.3° at Moomba in SA and 44.7° at Birdsville in QLD. The Central West NSW towns of Parkes and Forbes set new records at their automatic weather stations, which have a history of about 20 years. The Parkes Elvis Festival must have seen fans sweating under their gear as the mercury rose to 44.1°, pipping the previous all-time record by just 0.1°. In neighbouring Forbes, the maximum rose to 45.5°, 0.3° above the previous all-time record.

Minimum temperatures in the 24 hours to 9am were similarly uncomfortable, with the same area reporting figures over 30°, with Oodnadatta the highest on 32.7° and Barcaldine in central western QLD setting a new record of 30.9° in a history of more than 50 years. Badgery's Creek in Sydney's west stewed for the fifth of the past six days with a run of maximum temperatures of 36.7, 35.7, 38.4, 42.8, 31.5 and 45.1. Eastern suburbs were saved by a healthy sea breeze, which did however increase the steamy humidity levels close to the coast in much of NSW.

Behind the change, the day was much cooler with Adelaide reporting a top of only 23.4. The change gave rainfalls of 30 to 35mm in SW SA, Ceduna's 36.2 the highest, before it slid to the SE. Between 09.00 and 23.00 today, much of VIC had falls between 5 and 10mm though the northwesterly stream gave heavy rain to the VIC and NSW alps bringing 49.0mm to Falls Creek and 52.6 to Perisher Valley. Much of the TAS North Coast received between 20 and 40mm over the same time, with Scottsdale in the NE receiving 41.6 and Mt Reid on the West Coast 48.0mm.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Severe weather continues in Europe, but warming starting in the northern hemisphere

The centre of attention today has moved to Macedonia, where very low temperatures, snow stoms and hail have continued for a week now. As of 18.00EDT three deaths have been reported in this small country. Meteoalarm is giving Red Alerts for snow and ice in southern Germany, extremely low temperatures in northern Montenegro and southern Serbia, and a nasty mix of alerts for extreme cold, snow, ice, gales, heavy seas and avalanche risks continue across various parts of Europe. Croatia is experiencing high water levels on the Danube River.

While the cold winter weather has now contracted to southern Europe, and the Balkans in particular, Scandinavia is experiencing a sudden change to heat with temperatures up to 10 or 12° above normal, especially in the north. A similar sudden change is happening in North America where the eastern USA is experiencing temperatures 10 to 12° above average rising to 15° above average over far eastern Canada today.

You should also know:

  • A fierce storm moved down the lower Clarence valley of NSW early this evening, dumping 51.2mm on Yamba in the hour and a half to 2o.30. Farther up the valley, Grafton recorded only 9.0mm.
  • Massive rainfall last month following rain every month in the past year has greened Central Australia, as this report today from Old Man Plains Research Station, just south of Alice Springs, shows.
  • Temperatures in NSW topped out at 46.0° at Bourke today, while in the Sydney basin Badgery's Creek recorded 42.8°. These ABC News reports go through some of the fall-out, from trains running at reduced speeds to a warning issued after higher-than-normal levels of toxic ozone gas were reported.
  • Ausgrid has been restoring power to 23,000 premises in Sydney and on the Central Coast that lost power today as high demand caused blackouts. The cause is still unknown.
  • The Dakar Rally continues to be beset by bad weather as today's stage, which moves from Bolivia into Argentina, was beset by torrential rain that flooded rivers, caused landslides, delayed logistics and led to cancellation of Thursday's stage.
  • Tornadoes moved through the Otago region of South Island, New Zealand, this afternoon with trailers overturned and fences and windows damaged.
  • While in NZ, a drought considered to be the longest in the country's history at two years, has finished in the area from Marlborough, through Canterbury to parts of Otago.
  • More frequent severe weather due to climate warming has a major impact on hospitals, often ill-equipped to deal with it. This thoughtful article from The Conversation explores the details.
Tuesday 10 January 2017

Severe to extreme heatwave to continue in eastern Australia

Already hot conditions in the east of the continent are expected to get hotter as the week progresses, covering much of NSW, the southern half of QLD and adjoining parts of SA and the NT. A large area of high temperatures, both by day and by night, has been steadily moving east across the southern half of the continent since the middle of last week. It produced some record high minimum temperatures around Melbourne on Sunday, with Laverton equalling its highest minimum on record, 28.9°, in nearly 75 years. Moorabbin and Essendon weather stations, with nearly half-century histories, broke their all-time records by around one degree.

The worst days in the east this week will be Friday and Saturday when extreme conditions are expected in a broad band along the NSW/QLD border. Much of northern NSW and the southern third of QLD are expecting severe heat between Wednesday and Sunday. Maximum temperatures in the low to mid 40s will be commonplace in these areas, pushing as high as the high 40s in parts of the inland. Even coastal areas will be very hot where NW winds overcome seabreezes, particularly on Friday, with the added discomfort of high humidity and uncommonly warm nights. Sydney's western suburbs can expect temperatures over 40° on Wednesday and Friday, with seabreezes keeping the east of the city cooler provided they win the battle against strong NW winds.

There will be a short-lived reprieve in far eastern NSW on Thursday as a shallow cool change moves up the coast, but Friday looks like being the hottest day across a broad area of NSW and southern QLD, with fairly strong NW winds added to the heat bringing added fire danger. The BoM Heatwave Service maps* show the movement of the heatwave while this video from the BoM* explains the heatwave in more detail as well as the conditions leading up to it.

Heatwaves are one of the greatest weather killers, and they act silently. State health bodies are pleading with people to be aware of the signs of heat stress, and to know how to avoid it and what to do if it strikes. NSW Health has produced this essential collection of information pages.

Newsbits

Study gives details of the late December floods in Central Australia: The BoM has issued a Special Climate Statement (SCS) which covers both the major rain/flooding event that stretched from the WA Kimberley through the Centre to much of SA in late December. The tropical air brought south by the slow-moving system also gave exceptional, almost unprecedented levels of precipitable water and humidity to SE Australia, more characteristic of Darwin at the peak of the wet season than of southern Australia. The southeast saw record heat, especially at nights, and flash flooding in SA and VIC, especially around Melbourne. The SCS - Humidity, heavy
rain and heat in central and southern Australia
is here.

Australian monsoon to ease: The BoM's Weekly Tropical Climate Note describes the shift of monsoonal activity in northern Australia from the NT to the Gulf of Carpentaria and Far North Queensland due to the development of two tropical lows in the region. These, and the monsoon, are expected to weaken during the next week. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral and is expected to stay this way through summer.

Heavy rain and floods in Thailand's dry season: The Weekly Tropical Climate Note also gives interesting detail and an analysis of the recent heavy rain and flooding event in Thailand. The period from December to February in Thailand typically sees rainfall of around 60mm per month, but up to 600mm has fallen in places during the past week. Nearly one million people have been affected, there has been widespread dislocation and multiple fatalities. The Note gives a background on why it happened.

OK, what does carbon dioxide look like?: We know it's there, but how does it move and change globally through the seasons? Where are the areas of greatest concentration? Using observations from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) satellite, a new NASA supercomputer project has created a sophisticated 3-D Earth system model. In the video with this article from NASA, you can see CO2 through the full depth of the atmosphere around the globe through a year reduced to 78 seconds. Who is emitting it, where does it go, how does it diffuse, how much is Australia affected?

Older items are archived and indexed in the Daily Weather Summary for the relevant date.

 

    

* I link to stories and resources frequently - why re-do what has already been well done? However, a regular problem with the Internet is "link rot". There are two main causes: either the link has ceased to exist, in which case you get the dreaded "Error 404 page not found" or the link exists but the information on it has changed. Where possible, I use "permalinks", URLs which I know are likely not to change in the foreseeable future because the organisation, such as the ABC, has developed a stable link structure. Where I think a link may suffer link rot, I mark it with an asterisk but be aware that there's no guarantee unasterisked links won't evaporate given time.

Unless otherwise indicated, data and charts are provided by the

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