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Tuesday 4 April 2000

Wild winds cause damage around Adelaide
Storms widespread in NSW and northern WA
Temperature extremes in west and east
A small low pressure system which formed just west of Adelaide late last night intensified and remained slow-moving today bringing squally westerly winds to the Adelaide Hills and plains and Kangaroo Island. Trees and powerlines were brought down, particularly in the Hills and the city's northern suburbs, with resulting blackouts. Some roofing damage also resulted from the winds, which gusted to 111km/h on Mt Lofty. The low developed in a trough system when the entrance to a 260km/h jet stream passed over the area, causing dramatic but localised uplift in the atmosphere.

Violent electrical storms were widespread in NSW ahead of the trough this morning, an unusual hour for strong storm development. One line of storms, which formed in the state's Central West around 3am dumped 46mm on Parkes as it passed, and intense electrical activity accompanied the storm band until it weakened near the coast. Storms redeveloped during the afternoon, giving falls of 50 to 60mm to an area between Goulburn and Cowra. Golspie, 50km north of Goulburn, recorded 57mm for the 24 hours to 9am Wednesday, and Bigga, a further 50km NW, 55.4mm.

Storms, and an area of heavy rain, also developed over central northern WA late last night and drifted southeast this morning. The mining community of Telfer, in the Great Sandy Desert 400km SE of Port Hedland, recorded 73mm of steady rain between 9 last night and noon today, 60 of it falling in the 24 hour period to 9am. The town's average April rainfall is 15mm, and its previous heaviest April 24-hour fall had been 36.2mm in 27 years of record.

Temperature conditions across the continent today varied wildly. Daytime maximum temperatures (below right) across much of Western Australia were from 6 to as much as 14 below normal as cold winds swept in from the south and cloud cover put a stop on daytime warming. Warburton recorded at top of only 15, 14 below, and Giles Meteorological Office 17, 12.4 below. Meanwhile, much of central eastern Australia experienced an abnormally warm night (above right), as warm, muggy conditions persisted ahead of the trough. Urandangie, Windorah and Cunnamulla in Queensland all recorded minimum temperatures in the mid 20s, around 10 above normal. Daytime temperatures in the area were also around 8 to 10 above normal.

Today's highest rainfall totals for the 24 hours to 9am

275.0 Townsville AP Comparison Site Qld
263.0 Townsville AP Qld
262.0 Yabulu Townsville Qld
123.0 Gairloch Herbert River Qld
118.2 Exelby Upper Stone Qld

Today's highest & lowest temps

Other extremes

Telfer AP WA: 73mm in 15h to noon
Neptune Is SA: 16mm in 3h to 3am
Innisfail Qld: 54mm in 3h to 9am
South Johnston Qld: 94mm in 6h to noon, with 31mm in 1h to 9am
Townsville AP Qld: 465mm in 48h to 9am
Parkes NSW: 45mm in 3h to 9am
Horsley Park NSW: 20mm in 3h to midnight

Wind gusts:
Gooseberry Hill WA: 96km/h at 2.30am
Neptune Is SA: 102km/h at 12.52pm
Edithburgh SA: 85km/h at 2.51pm and 3.30pm
Mt Lofty Summit SA: 111km/h at 6.30pm

Flood peaks:
Haughton at Powerline Qld: 10.62m at 4am with major flooding

Records set this day
Highest April daily rainfall:

Telfer AP WA: 60mm. Previous record 36.2mm in 27
years record

Maximum Minimum
38.0 Curtin AP Derby WA 27.1 Centre Is NT
4.9 Mt Read Tas -1.3 Mt Wellington Tas
-1.3 Barren Tier Tas

Greatest variations from normal

Maximum Minimum
36.7 Tibooburra NSW
26.6 Urandangie Qld
15.0 Warburton AF WA
1.0 Salmon Gums WA

  • 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.