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Friday 11 February 2000

Today's weather extremes

Torrential rain in Central Australia
Bushfires in Sydney's west

Highest rainfall, 24 hours to 9am

190.0 Erldunda Station NT
167.0 Hilltop Qld
154.0 Topaz Malanda Qld
152.0 Cairns AP Qld

Other heavy SA/NT falls:
151.0 New Crown Station NT
150.8 Glendambo SA
130.0 Mt Dare SA
98.0 Idracowra Station NT
94.8 Watarrka (Kings Canyon) NT
88.7 Kulgera NT
85.0 Mereenie NT
84.4 Wallace Rock Hole NT
80.7 Ormiston Gorge NT

Some of the heaviest rainfall on record closed roads across most of far southern NT and the northeastern quarter of SA overnight and into today. The thumbnails at right (click to expand) show daily rainfall to 9am yesterday (top), today (middle) and tomorrow (bottom). In the 24 hours to 9am, Erldunda station, 180km south of Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway, recorded 190mm, while New Crown Station, 80km to the SE, recorded 151mm. Farther south, in central SA, Glendambo, a truck stop on the Stuart Highway east of Kingoonya, recorded 150.8mm. Other heavy falls are given at left.

The sealed Stuart Highway was closed by washaways and flooding of the Finke and Palmer Rivers between the Alice Springs prison turnoff and Erldunda, while all unsealed roads in the area will be closed for some weeks. Travellers have been stranded in NE SA, and it is expected to be about two weeks before they will be able to be drive out.

Converging tropical moisture from the monsoonal trough lying across northern Australia into a deep low pressure system west of the Tanami Desert in western NT is responsible for the heavy rain. The rain and heavy cloud cover kept daytime temperatures 10 to 13 below normal across a vast area of northern SA and southern NT today.

Bushfires in Sydney's western suburbs threatened properties this afternoon as temperatures rose into the high 30s for the third day in a row. A large fire occurred at Londonderry with smaller grass fires at Blacktown.

Highest & Lowest Temps

Maximum Minimum
41.0 Carnarvon AP WA 29.6 Onslow WA
10.1 Mt Read Tas 2.3 Mt Wellington Tas

Greatest variations from normal

Maximum Minimum
38.0 Sydney AP NSW
35.6 Moruya Heads NSW
18.2 Thredbo Village NSW
23.2 Marree PO SA
23.0 Giles MO WA
23.4 Marla SA
15.2 Yeelirrie WA
Other extreme readings
Darwin AP NT: 55mm in 3hrs to 9pm with 75mm reported in Darwin suburbs between 6.45 and 7.45pm
Thredbo Crackenback NSW: 27mm in 3hrs to 6pm
Records set this day
Kulgera NT: Heaviest February 24-hour rainfall in 27 years record -- 88.7mm breaking previous record of 64.8mm

  • Times stated are the clock time in force in the relevant state or territory

  • Stories, including those in the archives, are as new and corrected information becomes available, with updates underlined

  • 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 and the many contributors to the Aussie Weather mailing list who routinely provide much appreciated information.