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Thursday, 19 SEP 2002

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Blizzards and heavy snow to low levels in Tasmania
NEWSBITS: Bushfires in SE Qld 24/12/02

Winter was far from over in Tasmania overnight and today as up to 30cm of snow accompanied strong to gale force winds across much of the southwestern half of the state. Very cold air in the lower and middle levels of the atmosphere accompanied a strong unstable southwesterly stream, with a succession of snow-producing cumulonimbus cells racing across the state bringing snow to within sight of the sea. The temperature at 700hPa (around 10,000 feet) dropped below -15° across southern Tasmania for much of last night, while the temperature at the summit station on Mt Wellington overnight and today ranged between -4.1 and -5.6. Wind gusts today reached 128km/h at Cape Grim, 119 at Cape Bruny and 109 on Keogh's Pimple in the Hartz Mountains about 60km SW of Hobart.

In the official synoptic reports, many weather stations reported hail or snow:

  • Lake Leake in the northeast highlands reported snow at both 9am and 3pm
  • Cape Bruny reported hail at each 3-hourly observation from 9am to 9pm, and some thunder
  • Hobart City reported sleet and a temperature of 3.1 at 9am
  • Grove Research Station, 20km SW of Hobart in the Huon Valley and 60m above sea level, reported past snow at both the 9am and 3pm observations
  • Palmers Lookout, just southwest of Port Arthur (191m) reported snow between 3 and 9am
  • Melton Mowbray, 50km NNW of Hobart (215m), and Maydena in the Derwent Valley (275m) reported overnight and late morning snow
  • On the Central Plateau, Tarraleah reported 15cm snow depth at 3pm, Liawenee 30cm at 9am, and Cradle Mountain Airstrip 15cm at 9am and 16cm at 3pm
  • In the southwest, Strathgordon (322m) reported hail at 9am and snow through the day to 3pm

Among the unofficial reports, Bronte Park (Central Plateau) had 15 to 20cm on the ground by late last night; snow was reported falling at 70m elevation in Kingston just south of Hobart, and lying thickly on surrounding hills; Nelson Road, leading up to Mt Nelson, a southern Hobart suburb, was reported covered by 4cm of snow during the morning; Ferntree (450m) on the southeastern flank of Mt Wellington reported blizzard conditions around dawn with 22cm snow on the ground increasing to 25 to 30cm by mid afternoon; Ridgeway to the east and Longley to the south reported 7 to 15cm depth; and snowshowers were reported at around 20 to 30m elevation in central Hobart mid morning.

Many roads were either closed or open to 4wd vehicles only. Around Mt Wellington, the Old Huon Highway was closed from Strickland Avenue to Neika until early afternoon, the new Huon Highway was icy at Vinces Saddle, and the Pinnacle Road to the summit was closed above the Springs (720m) for two days. The main Midland Highway, connecting Hobart and Launceston was closed for a time around St Peters Pass, and extreme caution was advised in other areas. The main Lyell and Lake Highways and the connecting Marlborough Highway were closed for most of the day.

NEWSBITS: Bushfires on the Queensland Sunshine Coast worried firefighters today. A major blaze at Wamurun, 10km NW of Caboolture, threatened to spread southeast toward Caboolture and Morayfield and also endangered a $400,000 eucalypt plantation. Smaller fires were reported at Tewantin and Pomona near Noosa. More than 200 fires were reported burning across Queensland today.

National weather extremes for today
Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology
Last updated at 17:02 EST on 22/09/02

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.

53.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
53.0 MOUNT BUFFALO CHALET Upper NE VIC
46.6 THREDBO VILLAGE Snowy Mtns NSW
41.0 CABRAMURRA SMHEA AWS SW Slopes S NSW
38.0 LILY CREEK (LAROMMI) W Gippsland VIC

NEW SOUTH WALES
    Snowy Mtns
46.6 THREDBO VILLAGE
    SW Slopes S
41.0 CABRAMURRA SMHEA AWS

VICTORIA
    Upper NE
53.0 MOUNT BULLER
53.0 MOUNT BUFFALO CHALET
    W Gippsland
38.0 LILY CREEK (LAROMMI)

High rainfall for periods of 6 hours or less.

None reported

Todays highest & lowest temperatures

Maximum Minimum
38.0 WYNDHAM AERO N Kimberley WA
38.0 FITZROY CROSSING AERO W Kimberley WA
37.5 KIMBERLEY RES.STATION E Kimberley WA
37.3 WYNDHAM POST OFFICE N Kimberley WA
37.1 CURTIN AERO W Kimberley WA
26.0 NORTHERN ENDEAVOUR Islands
25.6 BLACK POINT Darwin-Daly NT
25.2 TROUGHTON ISLAND N Kimberley WA
25.0 MCCLUER ISLAND Darwin-Daly NT
25.0 WARRUWI Arnhem NT
-4.1 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
-1.8 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
-1.6 MOUNT READ W Coast TAS
-1.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
0.5 HARTZ MOUNTAIN(KEOGHS PIMPLE) Southeast TAS
-5.6 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
-5.0 CHARLOTTE PASS (KOSCIUSKO CHALET) Snowy Mtns NSW
-5.0 THREDBO (CRACKENBACK STATION) AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
-4.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC

Todays greatest temperature variations from normal

Maximum Minimum
+11.9   31.2 ESPERANCE SW & S Coast WA
+11.8   31.3 RAVENSTHORPE Gt Southern WA
+11.6   31.7 HYDEN Gt Southern WA
+10.6   31.0 SALMON GUMS RES.STN. Goldfields WA
+10.1   30.4 NAREMBEEN Gt Southern WA
+6.4   13.0 CAMDEN AIRPORT AWS Illawarra NSW
+6.1   9.7 COONABARABRAN (NAMOI STREET) CW Slopes N NSW
+5.8   12.9 BENCUBBIN Cent Wheatbelt WA
+5.8   12.7 JERRYS PLAINS POST OFFICE Hunter Valley NSW
+5.7   15.1 AMBERLEY AMO Brisbane/SE Coast QLD
-9.2   26.0 ELLIOTT Barkly NT
-8.2   -4.1 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
-7.1   2.8 LAKE ST CLAIR NATIONAL PARK Central Plateau TAS
-6.1   5.4 STRATHGORDON VILLAGE W Coast TAS
-5.9   -1.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
-9.4   1.7 JERVIS BAY (POINT PERPENDICULAR LIGHTHOU Illawarra NSW
-8.4   4.5 URANDANGIE Northwest QLD
-8.3   8.0 WOLLOGORANG Roper-McArthur NT
-8.2   6.5 ALI CURUNG Alice Springs NT
-8.2   4.9 YUENDUMU Alice Springs NT

Highest wind gusts above 89km/h or mean wind above 62km/h (gale force). Wind direction and mean windspeed shown in brackets.

CAPE LEEUWIN SW & S Coast WA : 83 (290/ 63 ) at 17:55
MOUNT BOYCE AWS C Tablelands S NSW: 96 (260/ 54 ) at 02:00
KURNELL AWS Sydney--east NSW: 83 (240/ 63 ) at 04:06
RICHMOND RAAF Sydney--west NSW: 80 (250/ 65 ) at 03:14
BELLAMBI AWS Illawarra NSW: 91 (290/ 67 ) at 00:30
GOULBURN AIRPORT AWS Goulburn/Monaro NSW: 87 (290/ 63 ) at 03:00
WILSONS PROMONTORY LIGHTHOUSE W Gippsland VIC: 141 (250/108 ) at 03:51
KINGFISH A SHIP LOG 206 W Gippsland VIC: 113 (241/ 83 ) at 05:30
CAPE OTWAY LIGHTHOUSE W Coast VIC: 87 (250/ 69 ) at 00:21
COLAC (MT GELLIBRAND) W Coast VIC: 74 (240/ 65 ) at 09:18
CAPE NELSON LIGHTHOUSE W Coast VIC: 91 (270/ 56 ) at 00:26
CAPE GRIM B.A.P.S. N Coast TAS: 128 (250/ 98 ) at 02:00
SMITHTON AERODROME N Coast TAS: 78 (240/ 63 ) at 10:32
MAATSUYKER ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE Southeast TAS: 115 (270/ 95 ) at 04:28
MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS: 80 (230/ 65 ) at 15:31
TASMAN ISLAND Southeast TAS: 108 (210/ 70 ) at 12:48
HARTZ MOUNTAIN(KEOGHS PIMPLE) Southeast TAS: 109 (240/ 65 ) at 09:56
CAPE BRUNY (CAPE BRUNY) Southeast TAS: 119 (240/ 76 ) at 09:44
STRAHAN AERODROME W Coast TAS: 76 (240/ 63 ) at 03:56
FLINDERS ISLAND AIRPORT Flinders Is/Bass St TAS: 89 (250/ 70 ) at 00:34

Other extremes

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