Australian Weather News

November 1999

Acknowledgments: Australian Weather News gratefully acknowledges the Bureau of Meteorology as the collector and main source of meteorological data in Australia, along with the thousands of observers who record the weather and rainfall daily. I also thank Don White, Michael Bath, Jimmy Deguara, Jacob Aufdemkampe , and Michael Thompson who routinely provide me with much appreciated information.

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Monday 1 November 1999 NSW Floods; Storms in NE NSW and SE Qld; Snow in Tas

Floodwaters from weekend rain are causing minor to moderate flooding in the NSW Central West. The Macquarie River at Bathurst peaked at 5.45m at 2.30am causing moderate flooding, but no houses were inundated. The Belubula River at Canowindra peaked near 5.4m at 10.30pm last night, just below minor flood level, and the second flood peak in the Lachlan was in the Cowra area, with minor flooding.

Storms and heavy showers caused havoc on Brisbane roads and gave some heavy falls in northeastern NSW today. Wet roads in Brisbane produced a spate of accidents this morning, with peak hour traffic gridlocked after a jack-knifed milk tanker all but blocked Storey Bridge. The rain and storms fell from the trailing edge of the cloudmass that gave NSW heavy weekend rain. Farther south, in NSW, Evans Head recorded 15.6mm in 10 minutes to 7.52am from the same cloudband. Storms redeveloped inland during the afternoon, with Glen Innes Airport recording 42mm in a late afternoon storm, 10.6mm falling in 10 minutes to 4pm. 

Five to 10cm of snow fell across the Tasmanian Highlands overnight as a second cold front brought colder southwesterly winds and showers across the state. 


Tuesday 2 November 1999 Flooding eases in NSW; Cold start in the southeast, and colder day in eastern WA

Flooding on the NSW western slopes eased today, though Graincorp has indicated that many wheat and barley growers in northern NSW will have to wait a week or so before they can begin to harvest sodden fields. Flooding in the Lachlan River has been lower than expected due to absorption of the floodwaters into relatively dry riverbanks, with the river peaking at 8.71m at Nanami around 6am, rather less than forecast. The Macquarie at Bathurst and the Belubula at Canowindra have both dropped below minor flood level, whilst continuing good flows from the Dumaresq in southeastern Queensland are maintaining minor flooding on the Macintyre at Goondiwindi.

Early morning temperatures were unusually cold in a band from central SA to Tasmania today. Clear skies in a cool airmass allowed the temperature to drop to 1 at the Latrobe Valley Airport in Victoria, its coldest November morning since records started in 1984. Arkaroola in the SA Flinders Ranges recorded a minimum of 7, 8 below average. In WA, a 400km-wide band parallel to the WA/SA and WA/NT borders experienced very low daytime temperatures as a result of persistent cloud cover. Maxima were 8 to 14 below the November norm, with Balgair, south of Rawlinna on the Transcontinental Railway, recording a top of only 15.6, 13.5 below. 


Wednesday 3 November 1999 Record storms cause transport problems in central and eastern WA

Conditions were ripe for storm development across central WA today, with an intensifying heat low pressure trough dipping down from the state's north, a tongue of cooler air moving in aloft from the southwest, abundant moisture and strong instability. Broad areas of storms developed late yesterday afternoon a few hundred kilometres to the north and northeast of Perth, and again late this afternoon about 500km northeast of Perth. Each system brought torrential rain and spectacular lightning shows as they moved east to the WA/SA border overnight. Roads in the Sandstone, Youanmi, Menzies and many Central Desert routes are closed, and gravel roads farther east are open but heavy.

The storms this morning gave falls of 20 to 50mm to the area east of Mount Magnet and north of Kalgoorlie. Cashmere Downs, about 150km east of Mount Magnet, recorded 48.8mm in the 24 hours to 9am this morning, 10mm more than its previous November record in nearly 70 years of record, and nearly 5 times its average for the whole of November. Carnegie reported 24mm, Warburton 23 and Leonora 18mm from these storms. The smaller area of storms that developed this evening took a more northerly track, along a line level with the WA/SA/NT border junction. Warburton received a second hiding with a phenomenal 51mm for the 24 hours to 9am Thursday, 12.0mm falling into the airfield's automatic rain gauge in 10 minutes to 7.49pm. The settlement's previous November one-day record was 47.2mm in 40 years of record. 


Thursday 4 November 1999 No reports of significant weather 


Friday 5 November 1999 Heavy rain in N Qld and the NT 8 Nov 1999

The presence of a near-stationery convergence, or shear, line across the northern tropical Queensland coast has meant some heavy rainfall totals for locations to its south. Paluma, on the coastal range about halfway between Townsville and Ingham, and a regular wet spot, recorded 156mm in the 24 hours to 9am this morning, taking its two-day total to 226mm. Other high 24 hour totals were Gairloch, on the Herbert River NW of Ingham 127 and Ingham itself 114.8mm.

Heavy rain also fell in storms and some heavy rain areas in the central Northern Territory. Brunette Downs station on the Barkly Tablelands reported storms throughout the day, with 78mm falling between 3am and midday. Farther west, Larrimah reported unusually heavy overnight rain with 84mm in the gauge between 9pm last night and 9 this morning, and a further 33mm to midday.


Saturday 6 November 1999 Trough system brings widespread rain to eastern states and NT

Storms and rain fell overnight and today from an enormous cloud band which, late last night, stretched in a 4000km arc from west of Tasmania to Townsville and back into the central Northern Territory. Falls of between 10 and 80mm fell across most of Victoria and New South Wales, central Queensland and NT, and parts of Tasmania. A trough amplifying eastwards and northwards over the eastern half of the continent was responsible for uplifting unstable, moist air across an unusually vast region. 

Heaviest falls in the 24 hours to 9am were in northern Queensland, where an area between Hughenden and Ingham recorded between 80 and 110mm as the approaching trough interacted with moist onshore winds and a residual trough line across the coast. Torrens Creek, 85km east of Hughenden, recorded the highest fall of 114mm. Nyngan Airport in NSW recorded 83mm -- breaking a previous November record of 65.3 in composite records for the town stretching back to 1879 -- and Kerang in Victoria 50mm to 9am. Patches of heavy rain, often accompanied by storms, fell for several hours ahead of, and along much of the length of, the trough. Some of the heavier falls:


Sunday 7 November 1999 Cold in SE WA; More heavy rain, tornado in Qld 12 Nov 99; Flooding in NW NSW

A deep layer of cold southern air coupled with thick cloud cover gave the southeastern quarter of WA an exceptionally cold day today. At Warburton the temperature reached only 17.0, 17.2 below average. Wiluna recorded 20 (-13.9), Balladonia 15 (-13) and Leonora 21 (-11.3).

Thunderstorms were widespread across northern and eastern Queensland during the day. A large storm complex which developed near the southeastern corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria gave Burketown 28mm and Normanton 37mm together with some hail between 9am and noon before moving east to drench Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands with 83mm between 3 and 9pm.

In the state's southeast, storms during the evening produced heavy rain, strong gusty winds and at least one tornado. A huge (yet to be confirmed) supercellular thunderstorm raged from Goomeri to past Gympie, bringing down trees and branches across the road between the two towns. A tornado funnel was sighted in Gympie, and a confirmed tornado cut a swathe of damage about 100m across through the settlement of Cedar Pocket, about 10km SE of Gympie. Several houses were damaged and one half-destroyed in what appears to have been an F1, or fairly weak, tornado. Toolara Forestry, 30km northeast of Gympie, recorded 45mm in the storm, 22.6mm falling in 10 minutes to 9pm. One to 2.5cm hail was reported from some Brisbane suburbs, and downed trees cut power to a large area north of Ipswich for over two hours.

Yesterday's heavy rain resulted in minor rural flooding today on the Castlereagh River around Mendooran, and on the Mooki River and Coxes Creek, which flow into the Namoi, around Tambar Springs, 60km SW of Gunnedah.


Monday 8 November 1999 Cold in the south; Storms and heavy rain in northern NT, most of Qld and eastern NSW

A cold outbreak more typical of winter spread made itself felt in different ways across the southern half of the continent today. A surge of sub-polar air produced some record November low temperatures, snow in alpine areas, a spate of thunderstorms across Queensland and torrential rain in Sydney's west. As the cold air pushed northeast across southeastern states during the day, the temperature gradient at upper levels across the continent tightened to produce a galloping jet stream, with winds of 260 to 280km/h at the 200hPa level over northern SA. This in turn helped to deepen a trough lying through central NT and Queensland and northeastern NSW, with a low developing off the northern NSW coast late this evening. Instability ahead of the change also sparked thunderstorms across much of Queensland and in eastern NSW. Behind the change, heavy snow began falling on the NSW and Victorian Alps late in the day.

The most remarkable feature was the area of low maximum temperatures, which were 8 to 14 below normal in a band from central eastern WA, across most of SA, and into the western two-thirds of NSW. In much of this area, top temperatures were more than 10 below average, kept down in SA and NSW by a huge cloudmass as well as the cold airmass. Wilcannia's top of 16.7 was 14.5 below, followed by Marla, SA, 18.9 (-14.1) and Broken Hill 14.8, -13.8. Morning minimum temperatures were less of a departure from normal, but managed to break November records in WA and SA. In southeastern WA, Balladonia's minimum of 1.5 was 1.1 below its previous November minimum in 32 years of record, while in SA, Parafield Airport to the north of Adelaide recorded 3.4, 0.3 below its November record in 38 years. The official minimum for Adelaide, taken at the Bureau's Kent Town site, was 5.7, breaking the previous record of 6.5 in 22 years at this location, though probably not a record compared to some lower observations at the old site. The minimum temperature on the grass at Kent Town was -1.6, and even Adelaide Airport, close to the sea, had a grass minimum of -1.

In the trough ahead of the advancing cold air, moist northeasterlies and widespread instability lead to thunderstorms with some heavy falls across Queensland. Blackall, in the state's central west, recorded 47mm in 12 hours to 9am, and other heavy falls from the synoptic reports included Winton 34mm in 3 hours to noon, Goondiwindi 47 and Surat 35mm in 6 hours to 3pm, Coolangatta Airport 47 and Toowoomba Airport 32mm in 6 hours to 9pm, and Miriam Vale 53mm in the 6 hours to 3am Tuesday. Gladstone Airport recorded 53.6mm the hour to 4pm, with 17.4mm falling in the last 10 minutes, then received a further 31.4mm in 1 hours to 1am Tuesday in a second thunderstorm. Mount Larcom, 70km SE of Rockhampton, reported 176.6mm in the 24 hours to 9am Tuesday, the state's (and nation's) highest. On the NSW Mid North Coast, Smoky Cape Lighthouse registered 101mm between noon and 9pm in a succession of thunderstorms, with 80mm falling in 3 hours to 6pm. A band of rain swept across the Sydney metropolitan area late afternoon giving torrential falls in the western suburbs, particularly to the north of Parramatta, where there was an unconfirmed report of 94mm in 75 minutes at North Rocks. 39.6mm was recorded between 5.49 and 7.12pm at Observatory Hill.

A huge area of storms developed in moist, unstable northwesterlies across the Top End of the Northern Territory and around the Gulf into Qld during the early afternoon, with anvils from the storms spreading out to cover the entire Top End by early evening. Borroloola AWS, near the southwest corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria in NT, received 115mm from one of the storms between midday and 3pm, 94.4mm falling between 12.46 and 1.30pm, and 56.2 of that falling in 10 minutes to 1.20pm. However, although the station's 24-hour total to 9am Tuesday of 96.0 casts some doubt on the reading, McArthur River Mine, across the border in NT, reported 144 mm for the 24 hour period, almost double its November one-day record of 72.4 in 30 years of record..


Tuesday 9 November 1999 Still cold in southern Australia

Well below normal temperatures both overnight and during today continued across most of the southern half of the continent as an upper cold pool, with a central temperature of around -31 at 500hPa (~18,000 feet), moved from near Melbourne to near Wagga during the morning. Minimum temperatures were 6 to 14 below average in southeastern WA, most of SA, central Victoria and western NSW, with Yeelirrie in central eastern WA reporting the greatest departure, 10.6 below, with a minimum of 5.5. Several November records were set -- Eucla WA 4.0 (previously 4.4 in 36 years of record, but there has been a site change farther inland), Oodnadatta Airport SA 9.6 (previously 9.8 in 48 years), Arkaroola SA 4.7 (6.7 in 17 years), and Latrobe Valley Airport Vic 1.0 (1.4 in 15 years). Orbost Vic came within 1 of its record November low in over 100 years of record with a minimum of 2.4. Snow fell overnight in the Victorian and NSW Alps, with 4cm cover at Charlotte Pass at 9am.

Daytime temperatures were 6 to 12 below average over all mainland states south of the Tropics, apart from southern and western WA and the remaining coastal fringe. The coldest area relative to normal continues to be central eastern WA and the SA/NT border country, where Kulgera NT reported a top temperature of only 22.0, 11.6 below. The mean maximum temperature for the first 9 days of November at Giles, in WA near the border west of Uluru, is 24.0, 9.6 below normal, an unusually large departure for such a long period.


Wednesday 10 November 1999 Still cold in central southern Australia

Minimum and maximum temperatures were only a degree or two warmer across much the same area of central southern Australia which experience unseasonable cold yesterday. Residents of southern NT and central western Qld shivered as morning temperatures dropped to 6 at Kulgera (12.5 below normal) and 8 at Alice Springs Airport and Charleville Airport, both nearly 10 below. During the day, areas as widely spread as Jerrys Plains in the NSW Hunter Valley, Quilpie in western Qld and Kulgera in far southern NT reported maxima 9.5 below normal.


Thursday 11 November 1999 Cold morning in Qld and eastern NSW

The area of low temperatures contracted to central Queensland and eastern NSW this morning, with Yamba (10.0) and Point Perpendicular Lighthouse, Jervis Bay (5.6) both reporting record low minima for November in about 40 years of record. Canberra's minimum was -1, only the third time a subzero temperature has been recorded so late in spring. Mount Isa Airport in northwestern Queensland recorded a minimum of 11, 10.7 below normal and only 0.3 above its record November low in records dating back to 1966. Burketown's 16.9 was 0.2 above its November record.

While still well below normal, daytime temperatures showed a warming trend across the areas affected by cold weather today.


Friday 12 November 1999 Record cold night in Mt Isa

Mount Isa Airport recorded a minimum temperature of 10 degrees this morning, its coldest November minimum on record in 34 years of computerised records.


Saturday 13 November 1999 Cold and windy in Tasmania; Flooding continues in SW Qld and northern NSW; Cold morning in NT; Heavy rain on Cape York Peninsula

A cold front swept across Tasmania today bringing gusty winds, showers of hail and gales to exposed mountain and coastal areas.

Flood peaks from recent rain in the NSW/Qld border area continued to move downstream. Minor to moderate flooding is being experienced on the Macintyre River downstream from Goondiwindi, where it peaked at 7.22m at 9am Thursday with moderate flooding. Farther west, the Paroo peaked at Eulo at 3.35m at 9.30am Friday with moderate flooding.

The central north and eastern portions of the Northern Territory recorded some record low temperatures this morning as the cold dry air mass that has been a feature of southern Australian weather for the past week pushed well into the tropics. A number of stations with periods of record from 15 to 20 years had their coldest November morning with minima in the mid to high teens, some 9 or 10 below normal. These included Alyangula, Timber Creek, Katherine, Mango Farm on the Daly River, and Elliott. Larrimah, with 33 years of record, broke its previous November low of 15.5 with a reading of only 14.1 this morning.

Lockhart River station, about halfway up Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, recorded 84.6mm for the 24 hours to 9am this morning, a record November day total in 43 years of recording. The station has received 180.6mm from showers and thunderstorms over the past 3 days, over three times its November monthly average of 58.4mm.


Sunday 14 November 1999 Windy with highland snow in Tasmania; Another cold morning in NT

A cold front which crossed Tasmania overnight, and a following upper cold pool, brought further gusty winds to the state during the morning with gales in highland and coastal areas. Snow fell to the 700m level.

The central north of the Northern Territory again shivered this morning, with minimum temperatures at some locations even lower than yesterday's record lows. Timber Creek with 15.2, Katherine Aviation Museum with 14.5 and Mango Farm with 17.1 all broke their November records set yesterday. Although computerised temperature records at these locations only go back 15 to 20 years, two consecutive record-breaking "cold" mornings is a noteworthy achievement.


Monday 15 November 1999 Continuing highland snow in Tasmania

A cold unstable westerly stream continued to produce overnight snowfalls down to about 700m on Tasmania's Central Plateau and West Coast mountains. Mount Read AWS, behind Rosebery on the West Coast and at an altitude of 1120m, recorded 36mm in the 24 hours to 9am with a temperature range of +3.0 to -1.0, so that much of the precipitation would have fallen as snow.


Tuesday 16 November 1999 Heavy thunderstorms in WA, Qld and NSW; Cold in WA, Tas, Vic

Thunderstorms affected the west and east of the continent today. In Western Australia's south, an unusual meteorological mix brought storms to a broad band of the state from Perth east to the SA border. Converging air south of a heat low moving southeast through the Goldfields district, good mid-level uplift into the entrance zone of a strong upper jet stream, and the movement across the region of a tongue of colder upper air all combined to develop the storms during the early morning -- an unusual time for storm development. Beverley, 100km east of Perth, recorded a November record of 63.6mm in the 24 hours to 9am, 25mm above any other November one-day fall in nearly a century of record. Rottnest Island registered 52mm, Coolgardie, 30km west of Kalgoorlie, had 42.4mm and Bullfinch, 35km NW of Southern Cross, 40.3mm in the same period. During the day, the area of storms moved east and weakened, giving Kalgoorlie 13mm between 9am and noon, and Warburton 14mm between noon and 3pm. Winds gusted to 122km/h at Warburton as the storm passed just before 3pm. Cold air brought down to the surface in the early-morning storms was ollowed by cloud cover during the day, giving the southern Goldfields district an extraordinarily cold day, with maximum temperatures of 15.0 at Kalgoorlie-Boulder AP, 13.9 below normal, and 16.4 at Balgair and 15.3 at Norseman, both 12.7 below.

Hail was a feature of storms which moved east ahead of a trough line across the southern Darling Downs to the coast in southeast Queensland during the day. Golfball sized hail caused up to $2m worth of damage to one grower's cotton crop alone in the Cecil Plains area west of Toowoomba during the afternoon. The hailstorm cut a swathe 4 to 7km wide and around 100km long from Cecil Plains, through Pittsworth to Clifton, south of Toowoomba. Another storm cut through Brisbane's northern suburbs, bringing down trees and producing 15cm drifts of marble-sized hail to the northwest of the city.

In New South Wales, storms occurred overnight throughout the state north of a line from around Nyngan to the Hunter coast as the trough moved through. Murrurundi recorded 25mm between 6am and 9am. The rain in the state's wheat-growing areas in the northwest has again disrupted harvesting, with growers saying they have lost millions of dollars due to the unseasonable rain of the past month. Unusually, a second area of storms developed late in the afternoon in the strong southerly stream behind the trough, possibly triggered by the passage of a rather sharp upper thermal trough. Large hail was reported from Singleton, 1 to 2 cm hail in Sydney's northern suburbs of Galston and Asquith, and brief torrential rain at Port Macquarie where the airport registered 10.2mm in 10 minutes to 11pm.

Victoria and Tasmania continued to experience wintry weather, with hail showers reported in Melbourne suburbs and snow on Mt Baw Baw, 115km east of Melbourne, where the temperature only rose to -1.0 all day. Overnight snow fell again on the Tasmanian Central Plateau down to at least the 700m level. Launceston Airport, in a somewhat frost-prone hollow south of the City, recorded an overnight low of -2, 9 below average and possibly a record for so late in the season. 


Wednesday 17 November 1999 Cold in the southeast; Floods diminish in NSW, Qld

Clear skies after the recent cold outbreak gave another exceptionally cold night. Nhill in western Victoria recorded -0.6, 10 below average and 1.1 degrees below the previous lowest November minimum in 43 years of record. Echuca's 1.3 was 9.9 below, and Parkes in NSW recorded 4.0, 9.4 below. Liawenee, on the Central Plateau of Tasmania, recorded -4.0.

Floodwaters continue to move down western river systems in NSW and southern Queensland, with their impact gradually dimishing as bank absorption occurs. The Lachlan peaked at Euabalong at 6.29m this evening, while the Paroo at Hungerford peaked at 1.40m this morning, and the Macintyre at Terrawah peaked at 6.78m yesterday. Flooding to just above minor levels continues in these systems, and in the Thompson River north of Longreach in Queensland.


Thursday 18 November 1999 Another torrent for Borroloola NT; Active thunderstorms on Qld Central Coast; Waterspout observed off Newcastle

The settlement of Borroloola, NT, in the southwestern corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria, experienced another major downpour this morning, not far short of its drenching 10 days ago. A storm which developed after midnight to the south of the settlement developed explosively as it arrived over warmer Gulf waters and dumped 74.8mm in 41 minutes to 6.22am. 39.2mm fell in 10 minutes to 6.02am, while the 24 hour total to 9am was 96mm. The storm moved north up the western Gulf coastline, hitting Groote Eylandt late morning. Unfortunately, the automatic weather station at Alyangula ceased operating, but the manual rainfall reading for 9am to 3pm was 114mm.

Seasonal thunderstorms continue to produce sporadic heavy rainfall across the Queensland tropics. Several isolated but very active storm cells moved northeast this afternoon and evening over the North and Central Coasts and Central Highlands. One brought 50mm of rain to Mackay Met Office between 6 and 8pm, 31.6mm falling between 7.20 and 8. Strong wind and hail were also reported in Mackay and the Pioneer Valley to the west, with trees brought down and two houses unroofed. Cotton and grape crops were damaged in the Emerald area, while local flooding and power outages occurred in Proserpine.

A waterspout was reported (and captured by surfcam!) off Newcastle NSW this morning about 7.30. A fresh southeasterly wind was blowing at the surface with an sharp upper thermal trough aloft.


Friday 19 November 1999 Heavy rain on N Qld coast

The area of high humidity and broad convergence that gave the Queensland Central Coast thunderstorms last night was pushed north today by a strengthening ridge up the Queensland coast. Cardwell on the North Coast recorded 153mm, mostly from rain and showers, between 3am and 3pm. On Cape York Peninsula, Lockhart River Station recorded 99mm between 9am and 6pm in a prolonged thunderstorm. Hail was reported from the Atherton Tablelands.


Saturday 20 November 1999 More heavy rain on the N Qld coast; Storms in western Qld and NSW 24 Nov 1999

A narrow band of heavy rain fell on the Queensland North Coast around Ingham today. The town reported 109mm between 9am and 3pm after an overnight total of 62mm in the 12 hours to 9am.

Early morning thunderstorms in western Queensland gave Mount Isa Airport 20mm in one hour to 3am, for a total of 33mm between midnight and 3am. Severe electrical and dust storms were reported from northwest NSW and southwest Qld this evening. Cunnamulla recorded 32mm between noon and 6pm. Hail fell in the St George area during the evening, damaging an estimated 4000 hectares of cotton, of which 1200ha was expected to be written off.


Sunday 21 November 1999 Widespread heavy rain central & southern Qld, western Vic; Yet another downpour at Borroloola NT; Heavy rain in north Queensland

A slow-moving trough system brought widespread rain to eastern states today, with heavy falls in inland parts of Queensland and western Victoria.

In Queensland, the heaviest falls were in the Warrego and Maranoa districts in the south and from the Central Highlands westwards. Thunderstorms, which developed east of a trough in the state's west yesterday afternoon, developed into major storm zones in these two areas overnight as the trough moved slowly east into an area of very moist unstable air. In the Warrego, Cunnyana, 80km NE of Bollon, recorded 82.6mm for the day ended 9am, while Woodlands, 30km farther northeast recorded 71.0. To the west, Whyenbah received 68mm and, across the border in NSW, Enngonia recorded 69mm. In central western Queensland, Trinidad, about 150km NNW of Quilpie, recorded 67mm, and Camoola Park, 55km NE of Longreach, received 62.8mm. Longreach Airport registered 61mm, a November record, 48 falling in a storm between midnight and 2am.

In Victoria, the heavy rain was produced by a small low which developed in the trough as it moved through southeastern SA yesterday. The low tracked SE across western Victoria, entering Bass Strait near Cape Otway, and giving falls of 40 to 70mm in parts of the Mallee, Wimmera and Lower North for the day ended 9am -- equivalent to two months' average rainfall for the area. The heaviest falls were to the west of Bendigo where Charlton received 72.4mm, St Arnaud 55, and Navarre 54.2. Stawell Airport recorded 48mm, 40 of which fell in the three hours before 9am. An unofficial but reliable report from Wycheproof, just NW of Charlton, stated that 64mm fell in 5 hours to 8.30am. Walpeup, just west of Ouyen in the Mallee district, reported 39.6mm, its highest November daily total in 60 years of record. A line of storms and heavy rain propagated east and northeast during the day, with severe storms reported during the afternoon in the Shepparton -- Benalla -- Albury area and parts of the NSW Riverina. Finley recorded 30mm between noon and 3pm, and Albury Airport 22mm between 3 and 5pm.

Whilst torrential downpours from thunderstorms are commonplace in the NT Top End at this time of year, the Borroloola automatic weather station raingauge has been getting more than its fair share. A developing line of storms along the Gulf coast this afternoon gave the small settlement 39.6mm in 10 minutes to 12.54pm CST. A second downpour shortly after produced 29.6mm in 20 minutes to 2.19pm.

Storms and rain areas on the Cape York Peninsula and the Queensland North Tropical Coast continue to push the areas rainfall totals well above November averages. Mean rainfall across the Peninsula for November ranges between 50 and 100mm, grading up to 150mm in the wetter parts of the North Coast south of Cairns. Rain areas moving onshore produced 137mm at Halifax and 124.8 at Ingham in the 24 hours to 9 this morning, and 146 at Daintree Village north of Cairns in the following 24 hours to 9am Monday. Thunderstorms developed this evening over the Peninsula, one lashing Strathmay Station, 250km WNW of Cooktown, around midnight and giving 163mm in the gauge for the 24 hours to 9am Monday.


Monday 22 November 1999 Severe storms in SE Qld; Wind and rain in NSW/Vic Alps

Severe thunderstorms developed across southeastern Queensland late this afternoon in a cloudband moving southeast ahead of a slowly advancing trough. A storm caused hail and wind damage to vegetable crops in the Laidley area west of Ipswich early evening, with hail said to be cricket-ball size. A separate area of heavy storms gave Dalby Airport 27mm and Roma Airport 24mm during the late afternoon.

Strong winds and heavy rain were experienced in and near the NSW and Victorian Alps overnight as the low system that gave heavy rain to western Victoria yesterday moved slowly southeast across Bass Strait and Tasmania. Winds gusted to 104km/h at Mt Hotham and Thredbo Crackenback and to 100km/h at Falls Creek during the morning. Top one-day rainfall totals to 9am in the area were 56 at Batlow, 49 at Mt Hotham, 48 at Thredbo Village and 46.8 at Yackandandah.


Tuesday 23 November 1999 Isolated very heavy rain continues across the tropics

Slow-moving thunderstorms and rain areas in tropical Queensland, NT and WA continue to produce some isolated heavy falls, even by tropical standards. Steady, heavy overnight rain gave Charters Towers in northern Queensland 115mm for the 12 hours to 3am for a one-day total to 9am of 126.8mm, over three times its monthly average. This is the city's highest November one-day total by far, eclipsing the previous record of 83.8mm in a record stretching back to 1882.

In the Northern Territory, Leanyer, in the eastern suburbs of Darwin, recorded 78mm in an overnight storm while the Airport, only a few kilometres away, recorded only 7. Borroloola again received a downpour, with 31.6mm in 10 minutes to 12.17pm and 69mm for the day ended 9am Wednesday. The settlement has now received 369mm in four major storms so far in November -- 96mm in the 24 hours to 9am on the 9th, 96 on the 18th, 108 on the 22nd and 69 on the 24th. Average November rainfall is 43.6mm while the highest November monthly total in over 90 years of record is 219.2mm. Several other locations in the Top End have already exceeded 200mm for the month.

In the Western Australian Kimberleys, a thunderstorm late last night dumped 91.6mm on Moola Bulla Station, 15km west of Halls Creek. The Airport recorded 63mm, twice its monthly average.


Wednesday 24 November 1999 Temperature extremes across WA

The contrast in maximum temperatures across Western Australia was unusually large today. While eastern parts of the state shivered with temperatures 8 or 9 degrees below normal, the southwest sweltered as temperatures rose to 13 degrees above. Giles recorded a maximum of 25, 9.4 below the November norm, as heavy cloud cover and a cold airmass drifting across the state's central east kept daytime temperatures down. The southwest of the state was swept by warm air from the north, and cloudless skies allowed Albany Airport to record 34, 13.3 above, Lancelin 37.5 (+13.2) and Pemberton 34.0 (+13.1). Giles Meteorological Office, about 400km west of Uluru (Ayers Rock) has had a remarkable run of below average temperatures, and is heading towards a November record for cold days and nights.


Thursday 25 November 1999 Continuing hot in WA; Huge storm sweeps Cape York Peninsula

A persistent northerly airstream ahead of a weak trough down the west Australian coast brought hot conditions to Western Australia again today. Temperatures between 36 and 41 occurred across the state's north, west and southwest apart from the coastal fringe. Maxima were 10 to 13 above the November average south of a line from about Perth to Esperance, with the highest temperatures relative to average being Pemberton 34.5 (up 13.6 on average), Esperance Airport 36.0 (+13.1) and Ongerup 36.9 (+13.0).

An area of storms generated over the New Guinea highlands yesterday drifted south over Torres Strait this morning and down Cape York Peninsula during the afternoon. Coconut Island, halfway between New Guinea and Cape York, recorded 95mm between 6am and noon, while Horn Island, just SE of Thursday Island, recorded 53mm in the same period. Farther south, the storm area brought Lockhart River, halfway down the eastern coast of CYP, 57mm between noon and 6pm, giving the station 83.6mm in the 24 hours to 9am Friday. Lockhart River has now broken its previous daily rainfall record for November three times in the past fortnight. The record November one day rainfall since records began in 1956 was 78.4mm. The station recorded 84.6mm on 13 November, 101.0mm on the 20th and 83.6 on the 26th. The station has received 440.5mm in the first 26 days of November, over 7 times its November average of 58.4mm.


Friday 26 November 1999 Unusually cold in western Qld, hot in southern WA

Heavy cloud cover and low level advection of cooler air from the east kept maximum temperatures across central western Queensland up to 16 below average today. Isisford's top of 19.6 was 16.2 below its November normal, and 3 below its July normal! Longreach Airport only reached 21 (-15.4) and Windorah recorded 20.2 (-15.2). With an upper level trough approaching, it was wet as well, with 15 to 30mm falling over most of the state's southwest, mostly from rain rather than thunderstorms. Longreach recorded 22mm in 6 hours to 3am, Isisford reported 22mm between 9am and 3pm, Cunnamulla 26mm in 3 hours to 3pm, and Winton 34mm between 3 and 9pm. In Western Australia it was a different story, with continuing northerly winds giving daytime temperatures of 36 to 40, or 10 to 12 above average, across the central inland and the south coast east of around Albany. Esperance Airport recorded 39, 16 above average.


Saturday 27 November 1999 Wet weather continues on Queensland north coast 30 Nov 1999; Mount Isa has record rainfall

An unusual combination of factors produced very heavy overnight rain on the Queensland north tropical coast, with 24 hour totals between 100 and 175mm reported between Ingham and Cooktown. A moist, converging onshore stream was assisted by strongly diverging air aloft ahead of an approaching jetstream entrance to produce strong but relatively localised uplift -- and the resultant unusually heavy rain. Highest falls were Gairloch, on the Herbert River inland from Ingham, 173mm, Cooktown's Mission Airstrip 151.3, Ingham 138.2 and Tully 133. Ingham recorded 131mm in 9 hours to 6 this morning, and the town's 24 hour total was a November record, though computer records only go back to 1968. Cooktown has reported steady, heavy rain since Thursday night, with 6-hourly totals of 17mm to 3am yesterday, 19mm 3 to 9am, 30mm 9am and 3pm, 68mm 3 to 9pm, and 46mm 9pm to 3am this morning after which the rain eased. Cooktown's average monthly November rainfall is 46mm, though this steps up to 203mm for the month of December.

Mount Isa experienced an unusual, isolated storm around midnight which gave the mining city 60mm between 11 last night and 2 this morning. The daily total to 9am of 61mm is the heaviest November one day total since records began in 1966.


Sunday 28 November 1999 Cold and wet in SW Qld and NW NSW

A band of lower level moisture interacted with an upper cold pool over southwestern Queensland and northwestern NSW today to produce 20 to 60mm from storms and rain areas and temperatures 10 to 15 below average in this normally dry, hot region. In southwest Queensland, Windorah recorded 57.8mm for the day ended 9am Monday, 30mm falling between 6 and 9 this evening, though no thunderstorms were reported. Quilpie recorded 26mm from storms between 9am and 9pm, then a further 20mm from steady rain between 9pm and 3am Monday for a 24 hour total of 47.8mm. In northwest NSW, the rain and storms occurred earlier as the cold air moved northeastwards across the region. Wilcannia recorded 26mm between 6 last night and 9 this morning. The cold airmass and persistent cloud cover resulted in maximum temperatures in the area more suited to mid-winter. Windorah's top of 20.9 was 14.5 below average, while White Cliffs in NW NSW recorded 18.9 (-12.6) and Wilcannia 19.8 (-11.4).


Monday 29 November 1999 No reports of significant weather 


Tuesday 30 November 1999 More big storms in NT Top End and NW Qld; Hot across the south with fires in Victoria; November weather sets new extremes 6 Dec 1999

Converging winds around a small low pressure system in the western Gulf of Carpentaria gave Borroloola, NT, its fifth major downpour in just over 3 weeks. A slow-moving late afternoon storm dumped 163mm on the settlement, 152.6 falling between 4.43 and 7.05pm. The automatic raingauge recorded 18.6mm in 4 minutes to 5.06pm! Earlier, the settlement notched up a record November rainfall when the month's records closed off with the 9am reading. 389.8mm was recorded, mostly in 4 heavy storms (see news for 23 November), beating the previous November record of 219.2mm in over 90 years of record. Had the official month closed off at 9am on 1 December, Borroloola's total would have been an even more impressive 576.8mm, including 187.0 measured for the 24 hours to 9am on 1 December. The storms, which moved northwards up the east Arnhemland coast, gave Gove Airport in the Territory's northeast 110mm between noon and 6pm. Tennant Creek in the centre of the Territory recorded 42mm in a heavy thunderstorm around 3.30pm.

Well above average daytime temperatures were recorded in WA, SA, Victoria and Tasmania today as a northwesterly stream brought hot conditions from the interior over the four states. In Western Australia, the heat was confined to the southeast of the state as cooler southeasterlies swept into the southwest around a broad low pressure system. Eucla Airport recorded a top of 39.6, 14 above normal, and Eyre 40.1, 16.2 above. In southern SA, Victoria and Tasmania, temperatures 8 to 14 above average were the norm, with Melbourne recording a top of 34, 12 above. Seven bush and grass fires occurred in central Victoria during the day, one, at Epsom, north of Bendigo, resulting in the death of a man.

Preliminary figures for November show some interesting anomalies. Winter-like intrusions of cold southern air and heavier cloud cover than usual produced extraordinarily low average November temperatures in widely scattered areas. Giles weather station, in central Australia 400km west of Uluru, recorded an average maximum temperature of 28.3, 6.1 down on normal, and an average minimum of 15.9, down 3.9. In a record which stretches back to 1956, the previous record low maximum for Giles was 31.2 in 1981. A mean temperature departure of this magnitude for a full month is a rare event. Warburton Airfield, south of Giles, recorded a mean maximum of 26.7, 7.5 below average, but only 21 of the 30 daily observations are currently available. Other low average maxima were Isisford in central Queensland 28.3 (-5.5), Murrurundi in the NSW Upper Hunter 22.1 (-5.4), and Armidale University 19.0 (-5.3). Longreach Qld, and Coonabarabran, Brewarrina and Coonamble in NSW all recorded average maxima 5.1 or 5.0 below normal, and it is likely that many locations in a belt across the centre of Australia experienced record low average maximum temperatures. Brisbane Airport set records for both its mean maximum (25.0, -2.4 on average) and mean minimum (16.3, -1.8).The Airport site has been operational since 1949, though lower temperatures have been recorded at the old city site.

November rainfall records were broken at many centres in northern Qld and NT. Some of those with longer periods of record are: Borroloola 389.3 (previous record 219.2 in 90 years), McArthur River Mine 179.0 (136.7, 29 years), Coen Airport 279.6 (274.3, 47 years), Lockhart River Airport 530.7 (373.3, 43 years), Mt Isa Airport 185.0 (101.4, 33 years), Hughenden PO 216.5 (157.1, 115 years), Cardwell 652.2 (641.2, 127 years), Ingham 784.4 (412.0, 31 years), Isisford 176.4 (156.8, 114 years) and Windorah 116.2 (102.1, 112 years). In Western Australia, Warburton Airfield recorded 115.4 (83.3, 40 years). At the other extreme, many stations in southwestern WA recorded their driest Novembers on record, with several locations, including Jurien, Cape Naturaliste and Dwellingup, recording no rain at all.