The reports here summarise weather events and climate news, including a round-up of their media coverage. They are archived in the relevant day's Daily Weather Summary to help make it a more complete record of the day's events. Timeliness of the reports is entirely at the mercy of my available time so, for the most up-to-date information, make good use of my media links here.
Sun 11 Nov 2018 WA: Active thunderstorms bring heavy rain from central to southern WA. As can be seen for the rainfall map, there were heavy and widespread thunderstorm rainfalls in a large area of central and southern WA for the 24 hours to 0900 WST on Sunday 11th.
This radar animation loop centred on South Doodlakine and covering most of southwestern WA shows vast storm clusters moving from NW to SE down a trough line which itself was moving slowly eastwards. The time in EDT is given below right of the radar imagery. The animation begins at 2306 EDT (2006 WST) on Friday 9th when storms in the mid-north were still in progress from earlier Friday. They continue, losing only a little strength overnight and by 1200 EDT (0900 WST) Saturday 10th are widespread with many of them dumping heavy rain. It is only towards the end of this 33-hour loop at 0754 EDT (0454 WST) on Sunday 11th that they are weakening and exiting stage right towards SA. [The Weather Chaser]
The heaviest falls were widely spread, with 24-hour records set from the Murchison south through the Central West, Central Wheat Belt and Great Southern across to the Goldfields. Many long-standing November records fell by considerable margins in this area that typically receives between 10 and 25mm for the whole of November. They included Cue, 75km N of Mt Magnet, with 53.8mm (124 years of observations, previous November record 39.9mm), Pullagaroo, 115km S of Mt Magnet, 38.6 (86 years, previous 28.7), Allan Rocks (Little Italy), 85km NE of Lake Grace, 107.0 (48 years, previous 87.6) and Gindalbie, 60km NNE of Kalgoorlie, 32.0mm equalling a fall four years ago in an 86-year history. The 107.0 at Allan Rocks was the highest in the nation.
Sun 11 Nov 2018 QLD: Heavy rain on the Tropical Coast. While on rain, Far North QLD produced some large early wet season totals in the 24 hours to 0900 EST thanks to a slow-moving trough. There were a number of falls between 50 and 100mm between Townsville and Innisfail, with Paradise Lagoon, 60km up the coast from Townsville, top on 102mm.
Sat 10 Nov 2018 WA: Cold snap decimates wine region. The record low temperatures overnight 6/7 November reported by AWN have been disastrous for a number of winegrowers in the Frankland River wine region. The region's Growers and Winemakers Association president Hunter Smith told ABC Rural it was one of the worst frost events the region had ever experienced. Well known vineyard Alkoomi has had about 80% of its crop damaged.
Sun 11 Nov 2018 France: The weather of the Great War. The guns fell silent in World War I one hundred years ago today. An estimated 10 million men lost their lives on the battlefield with twice that many wounded.
While we have images in our minds of countless troops in muddy trenches, we know less about how the weather influenced the course of World War I, or the science available then and how forecasts were made and spread. Météo France has put together this history of what the weather was like† during a number of the War's major episodes, such as the Battle of the Somme and the bitter winter of 1916-17. The War produced progress in the already rapidly developing field of meteorological science, especially its importance in aeronautics. This separate gallery shows how it was the dawn of a new meteorological era†.
Related to this was the work done in France by the then Public Works Department. Now the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, it has put out this set of galleries† to commemorate its efforts in and after the war to end all wars.
These are, of course, all in French. If yours is a bit rusty, your browser can probably give a good translation - if you have difficulty, read the † explanation here.
|Saturday 10 November 2018
It's been a long time between drinks in the news department while my attention has been on the mundane but more important background tasks of keeping the site running smoothly. Now that I have time to record noteworthy weather events again, expect some detailed reports like the one below, but also a flurry of brief reports on events well in the past, written to find their place as a record of events in the relevant day's Daily Weather Summary.
Strong front brings temperature extremes, violent weather and welcome rain
Fri 9 Nov 2018
Heatwaves, snow, storms with high wind gusts and large hail, a massive dust storm, abnormally hot and cold November temperatures and some drought-relieving rain were all in the weather mix in the week to Friday 9 November.
Heat built in a sultry trough that moved across the country during the week, bringing a wave of heatwave-strength night and daytime temperatures as it advanced. Maximum temperatures reached over 42° in northern WA, large areas of the NT and QLD, and northern NSW. Moisture from NW Australia streamed into the country producing some cracker thunderstorms in the unstable air in the trough.
From Monday 5th, a strong cold front began pushing across the south of the continent, undercutting and lifting the moisture and producing some worthwhile rain across large parts of SA, NSW and VIC as well as the south of the NT and QLD. However, because much of the rain came from thunderstorms, results were mixed in pastoral and cropping areas. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said "In cropping regions, rainfall totals were highly variable. Falls of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded in southern New South Wales and South Australia. Falls of between 10 and 25 millimetres were recorded in parts of southern Victoria and Western Australia. For remaining cropping regions, little or no rainfall was recorded."
Among significant events during the week:
- Heatwave conditions began building across SE Australia late in October with Ceduna, Whyalla and Mt Lofty all reporting top temperatures 15° or more above average on Wednesday 31st. Record-breaking high daytime temperatures appeared from the beginning of November. On Thursday 1st Darwin reported its equal highest November maximum in 77 years of observations with 37.3° while on Friday 2nd Green Cape, which juts well out into the Tasman Sea near the far southeastern tip of the continent, utterly demolished its previous November high temperature record of 28.0° with a reading of 34.7°. The highest temperatures during the build-up of heat were in NE SA, SW QLD and NW NSW, and were not record-breakers but still very high for November. They included Urandangie QLD 44.0° and White Cliffs NSW 43.3 on the 2nd, Birdsville QLD 44.3 on the 4th, Windorah QLD 44.0 on the 5th, and St George QLD 43.1 and Moree 43.0 on the 6th. Sydney Airport with a maximum of 38.9 and Wollongong Airport at 38.2 were close to 15° above the November average on the 2nd.
- High overnight temperatures were a feature over a much broader area and more records fell than daytime maxima. The Newcastle NSW area had their warmest November night in around 70 years on Saturday 3rd with minima of 23.1° recorded at both Nobbys Signal Station and Williamtown RAAF Base which have 61 and 69 year histories. Sydney's Observatory Hill reached 22.5, not quite matching its most sleepless November night since 1857 of 24.8. On Tuesday 6th, it was Brisbane's turn to sweat through the night with the Amberley RAAF Base minimum of 23.8° its highest in 77 years; Brisbane City's low of 23.5 felt worse with high humidity brought in on the previous day's sea breeze..
- Storms were active across a large area of WA on Sunday 4th, and a very active area of thunderstorms worked its way across central and eastern SA during the late afternoon and evening of Monday 5th. At Tarcoola on the Trans-Australian Railway, 360km NW of Port Augusta, one storm hit just after 18.00 with a 117km/h wind gust, the highest on record for the settlement. At the same time, 12.8mm fell in less than 15 minutes. Two and a half hours later, a second storm dumped 32.0mm on Tarcoola in one hour, 13.6mm falling in just 10 minutes. When rain eased off, there was 48.2mm in the gauge, the heaviest November one-day total in 115 years of observations.
- As a trough and wind change ahead of the cold front pushed storms into northwestern NSW late afternoon on Tuesday 6th, it raised a large dust storm. An SMH story gathered these images and a dramatic video showing what it was like to meet the dust storm while driving - in a word, black. Much of the area had recorded less than 50mm rain since the start of the year and, as the video shows, the 5 to 15mm that fell in the region from the storms immediately following the dust storm turned everything to mud.
- The Melbourne Cup only just missed the wrath of thunderstorms as they swept across Melbourne on the first Tuesday in November, the 6th. Between 35 and 61mm were unloaded on all but the outer southern and outer NE suburbs in a few hours as the trough and thunderstorms crossed the city. While it stayed dry for the main event, it was the second wettest Cup Day on record giving Melbourne more rain in two hours than it had had in the previous two months. City streets flooded, fourteen people had to be rescued from flooded vehicles and the SES received 400 calls for help. A minor flood warning was issued for the Lower Yarra. A helpful graph tweeted the day before by VIC BoM shows you definitely need a versatile wardrobe to go to Flemington.
- A supercell thunderstorm with giant hail, up to 9cm in diameter, moved ENE from Rollands Plains to Kundabung, 25km NW of Port Macquarie NSW, on the afternoon of Wednesday 7th. In another thunderstorm, a man driving a 4WD 10km NW of Taree narrowly missed impalement when lightning hit a tree by the road causing it to explode and spear a branch through his windscreen. ABC carried a more detailed description and photos of this unusual event as well as video of the giant hail.
- By Wednesday 7th, the cold front moving into NSW set up a sharp contrast between hot temperatures in the mid 30s to low 40s across northern NSW and southern QLD and much colder air in the low to mid teens farther south. The density contrast between the two airmasses caused a strong jet stream to develop near their boundary reaching over 340km/h at times.
- Cold day and night temperatures in the wake of the cold front reached record levels in places, especially in WA on Wednesday 7th. Salmon Gums (half way between Norseman and Esperance) had its coldest November morning in 79 years of observations with -1.2°, the old record having stood since 1958. Ongerup had a record November low in 51 years of observations, and six other stations in the South West with shorter histories set new lows, all breaking records set on 2 November 2005. Perth's temperature got down to 8.0°, its coldest for November in eight years. The cold nights were not as severe in eastern states, but West Wyalong recorded an unusually low November maximum of 12.3° on the 7th, knocking 3.6° off the record, as rain and thick cloud behind the front kept the temperature down.
- In TAS, it was as if winter had returned with snow reported on the Central Highlands on Wednesday 7th and the temperature dropping to -2.9 at Liawenee the next morning. On Thursday, Scottsdale in the northeast recorded -0.5, its coldest November morning in 35 years while Launceston City's 0.4 was its coldest in 15 years. Farther north, wintry hail showers fell over southern VIC and Melbourne on Wednesday night and snow returned briefly to the Alps in both VIC and NSW. The Thursday Alpine minima were decidedly wintry with -5.9 at Thredbo Top Station, -5.4 at Mt Hotham and -5.0 at Falls Creek. A number of places across VIC and NSW had their coldest November morning in 12 years.
[BoM, Andrew Miskelly, ABC, SMH, Weatherzone]
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