Australian Weather News
Sunday, 01 SEP 2002
thunderstorms brush eastern Sydney
|DROUGHTWATCH: NSW fire season starts early; Drought impacts NSW fishing industry; NSW grain crop estimates down; Lack of feed leads to NSW stock sell-off
In what could have been a repeat of the April 1999 hailstorm in Sydney's eastern suburbs, a complex of severe storms developed rapidly off the coast southeast of the city this morning. A weak low pressure system that had been tracking eastwards across central NSW crossed the Mid North Coast around 4am, while a weak high pressure system over the state's west extended a ridge across the South Coast. The increased pressure gradient was enough to sharpen both the strength and curvature of winds around the southern flank of the low in the Sydney area, while at the same time a tongue of cold air aloft passed across, suddenly increasing instability. The result was the explosive development of a chain of storms extending over 100km to the east of Sydney. A second chain of weaker storms developed along a convergence line to the SSE of the city.
Detailed radar returns indicated that there were large columns of hail in several of the storm centres close to the coast, and heavy, though small, hail fell for about 10 minutes at Clovelly in the eastern suburbs, sufficient to cover the ground to a depth of 2 to 3cm and to take over a day to fully melt. 27mm of rain was recorded at Little Bay between 8 and 9am, though most fell in about 10 minutes accompanied by small hail. Minor roof damage from rain and hail resulted in about 30 calls for SES assistance in Waverley, Woollahra and Randwick. Several storm cells crossed the Northern Beaches coastline, giving Avalon 49mm by 9am. Rainfall reports from other parts of the city were nil or negligible.
The storms moved north during the late morning and early afternoon, while the low off the Mid North Coast deepened slightly. Strong winds on the Mid North Coast during the afternoon brought down powerlines and trees, blocking the Oxley Highway to the west of Port Macquarie, and Lake Road in the city's southwest. A motel in the city lost half its roof, and the SES were called to a dozen jobs in the Port, Camden Haven and Wauchope.
A pair of active cold fronts crossed southwestern WA today, bringing galeforce winds and heavy showers. Forest Edge, 10km south of Margaret River, recorded 51.2mm for the 24 hours to 9am and Dwellingup recorded 51. Perth City recorded 34.4mm to 9am, half as much rain as it recorded all winter, its wettest first day of spring on record, and its wettest September day in 14 years. Wind gusted to nearly 100km/h at various coastal locations during the day. Details are below.
The NSW bushfire danger period, which generally begins on 1 October, has been declared one month early for a large part of eastern NSW. Permits are required for the lighting of fires in Sydney, Wollongong and the South Coast and some other eastern NSW areas. Rural Fire Service spokesman John Winter says it is because of the continuing dry weather also exaccerbated by recent widespread frosts. "We really are beginning to see indications that this could be a difficult summer, certainly this period that we're dealing with right now is already difficult," he said. "We've had a number of fires in the northern region of the state and indeed fires in the greater Sydney area in the last two or three days, so we are seeing those earlyindicators of what may be a troublesome fire season."
The NSW coastal fishing industry is facing decline due to low winter rainfall. With the levels of many coastal lakes, rivers and creeks falling, sandbars are now blocking their access to the sea. Professional fisherman Ron Snape, on the NSW South Coast, says this means the fish do not migrate in and out of the estuaries. "This is accompanied with a lot of the predatory birds, the shags, cormorants, pelicans and the like coming into the estuaries from out west and taking the fish as well. We've got a real problem" he said on ABC radio.
Graincorp has again revised its NSW crop receivals estimate downwards due to the drought in NSW. Its July winter crop estimate of 6 million tonnes has been reduced to 4.5, assuming average seasonal conditions in the period before harvest.
A general lack of feed across NSW is lifting stock sales. There was a near-capacity yarding of about 1,700 cattle at a sale in Bega last Thursday where stock agents are also planning an additional two special sales in the next few weeks to help producers reduce their stock numbers. Local agents say conditions are the worst since 1968.
weather extremes for today
|Quality control note: Data is complete, and has been visually checked by AWN for gross errors. Less obvious errors may remain. See Explanation of Extremes Pages for more information
|Records set this day (none known)
Todays highest rainfall totals for the 24 hours to 9am. It includes the top 5 totals received, and/or all reported falls of 50mm or more.
51.2 FOREST EDGE
High rainfall for periods of 6 hours or less.
Todays highest & lowest temperatures
36.0 WARMUN E Kimberley WA
36.0 CADJEBUT W Kimberley WA
36.0 FITZROY CROSSING AERO W Kimberley WA
36.0 BRADSHAW Darwin-Daly NT
36.0 JERVOIS Alice Springs NT
36.0 RABBIT FLAT Alice Springs NT
36.0 URANDANGIE Northwest QLD
26.0 NORTHERN ENDEAVOUR Islands
24.0 BLACK POINT Darwin-Daly NT
24.0 MCCLUER ISLAND Darwin-Daly NT
23.0 COCONUT ISLAND N Peninsula QLD
23.0 HOLMES REEF Islands
4.0 THREDBO (CRACKENBACK STATION) AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
4.8 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
5.9 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
6.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
6.0 MOUNT READ W Coast TAS
-2.1 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
-2.1 LIAWENEE AWS Central Plateau TAS
-2.0 PERISHER VALLEY SKI CENTRE Snowy Mtns NSW
-1.1 ORANGE AIRPORT AWS C Tablelands S NSW
-1.0 YONGALA Upper North SA
-1.0 THREDBO (CRACKENBACK STATION) AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
-1.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
Todays greatest temperature variations from normal
31.8 EUCLA Eucla WA
+9.1 29.9 EYRE Eucla WA
+8.6 31.0 NULLARBOR ROADHOUSE W Agricultural SA
+7.6 34.2 KULGERA Alice Springs NT
+7.6 34.0 TAROOM POST OFFICE Central Highlands QLD
15.5 MURRURUNDI POST OFFICE Hunter Valley NSW
+10.3 15.2 QUIRINDI POST OFFICE NW Slopes S NSW
+9.8 18.9 BOLLON MARY ST Warrego QLD
+9.8 14.0 BARRABA POST OFFICE NW Slopes N NSW
+9.4 16.2 GUNNEDAH POOL NW Slopes S NSW
29.0 ELLIOTT Barkly NT
-5.4 14.8 BEVERLEY Gt Southern WA
-5.3 27.0 MARDIE W Pilbara WA
-4.8 15.2 PEARCE RAAF Lower West WA
-4.6 16.6 JURIEN Lower West WA
7.0 PROSERPINE AIRPORT Central Coast E QLD
-6.2 0.5 POLDA (GUM VIEW) W Agricultural SA
-5.8 15.0 TIMBER CREEK Victoria NT
-5.5 2.0 PEMBERTON SW & S Coast WA
-5.5 3.9 ELLISTON W Agricultural SA
-5.5 11.0 PALMERVILLE S Peninsula QLD
Highest wind gusts above 89km/h or mean wind above 62km/h (gale force). Wind direction and mean windspeed shown in brackets.
ROTTNEST ISLAND Lower West WA : 89 (340/ 69 ) at 02:10