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Tuesday 12 December 2000

Wet in NT as ex-TC Sam moves slowly east
Heavy rain on Qld tropical coast
Hot around Sydney, cold in the tropics
Heavy rain moved across central southern NT today as former tropical cyclone Sam drifted slowly into the Tanami Desert from Western Australia. The rain depression has maintained a strong identity, with central pressure today around 988hPa, bringing heavy downpours to the Tanami, Victoria River and Barkly districts. Epenarra, 140km SE of Tennant Creek, has recorded 102.8mm in the 2 days to 9 this morning, while Wycliffe Well, 130km S of Tennant Creek recorded 184.8mm in 3 days ended 9am Wednesday. Other heavy falls are given below and in Wednesday's rain list. Many roads in southern NT are now impassable because of the rain. The Mereenie loop road west of Alice Springs, the Plenty Highway northeast to Queensland and the Tanami Highway northwest to WA all closed.

An active monsoon trough continues to extend from ex-TC Sam across the southeastern Gulf of Carpentaria and NE across Cape York Peninsula. Heavy storms that developed in the eastern Gulf last night drifted across the Peninsula during the early morning giving Lockhart River on the east coast 95mm in 12 hours to 3am and Cape Keerweer on the west coast 125mm for the 24 hours to 9am. An intense shower gave South Johnstone, 8km SSW of Innisfail, 48.8mm in just 20 minutes to 2.19am with 31.6mm falling in the last 10 minutes.

Maximum temperature variations from normal today.BoM

Hot weather continued in western NSW today, with top temperatures again around 42 or 43 degrees. Northwesterly winds brought the heat to the coast around Sydney, giving the city temperatures 12 to 13 above normal during the day. Meanwhile, heavy cloud cover associated with ex-TC Sam and the monsoon trough kept daytime temperatures 10 to 15 below normal in a band across the north of the continent. Balgo Hills, near the WA/NT border and between the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts, recorded a top temp of only 23.9, 15.6 below the average.

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

125.0 Cape Keerweer Qld
104.0 Lockhart River Qld
70.0 Benmara NT
62.4 Pormpuraaw Qld

Other heavy falls in northern WA, central and southern NT:
61.2 Epenarra NT (102.8 in 48h to 9am)
54.0 Brunette Downs NT
53.0 Ammaroo Station NT
40.6 Balgo Hills WA

High falls for other periods:

Northern Territory:
31mm in 6h to 9pm
Brunette Downs: 20mm in 3h to 9am
Rabbit Flat: 35mm in 9h to 9pm
Yuendumu: 43mm in 12h to 9pm
Ti Tree: 25mm in 3h to 9pm

Lockhart River:
95mm in 12h to 3am
South Johnstone: 79.6mm in 1h49m to 3.39am, 48.8mm in 20m to 2.19am

Today's highest & lowest temps

Wind (mean refers to the average windspeed over 10 minutes; gust is the highest speed recorded):

Other extremes


Records set this day


Maximum Minimum
44.2 Gascoyne Jn WA
43.0 White Cliffs NSW
30.2 Wittenoom WA
30.0 Moomba AP SA
29.2 Birdsville Qld
8.4 Mt Read Tas -2.4 Perisher Valley NSW

Greatest variations from normal

Maximum Minimum
38.0 Sydney City NSW
38.3 Riverview Observatory NSW
38.0 Sydney AP NSW
24.5 Ravensthorpe WA
27.3 Arkaroola SA
25.5 Hawker SA
23.9 Balgo Hills WA
22.6 Yuendumu NT
25.4 Croydon Town Qld
-2.4 Perisher Valley NSW

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