Above: Rainfall for the week
ended 9am Friday 3 October, most of which fell from the rain event that
crossed the continent from 29 September. Recent good rains in wheat-producing
areas of the country has led the independent Australian Wheat Forecasters
group to forecast a national harvest
of 24.4 million
tonnes, close to the record 1999-2000 harvest of 24.9 million tonnes.
Below: Maximum temperatures were again 6 to 11 below normal
across an enormous area of the continent today. BoM
|Below: Surface chart for 4pm
EST shows the main low that drifted across NSW overnight now centred in
the Tasman with a central pressure of 986hPa. A secondary low, which
formed in SW NSW early this morning as the parent low was crossing the
South Coast, is now crossing the coast near Sydney. The troughs associated
with the two lows brought widespread thunderstorms this afternoon and evening
from the NSW Mid North Coast to the QLD Sunshine Coast. BoM
useful rain sets October records
including some heavy thunderstorm falls, set new October records in western
NSW and the NSW/QLD border highlands.
The most remarkable falls were around the eastern QLD/NSW border. Wallangarra
PO QLD with 110 years of records and Glen Innes PO NSW with 119 both experienced
their heaviest October one-day rainfall with 109.6 and 85.8mm respectively.
Stanthorpe QLD and Pindari Dam NSW, with about 30 years of record, also set
new highs. Yesterday's heavy storm also gave Cobar Met Office its heaviest
24 hour total in 42 years with 45.4mm. Details of records and other
heavy totals are below.
The rain was mostly very good news for those on the land. NSW Agriculture
agronomists said that the timing of the rain for spring crops around
west around Moree and Collarenebri. Border rivers in eastern QLD experienced
their first significant flows in six months, a boon for local irrigators.
Around 30 to 40mm fell in the
NSW Central West, filling out maturing wheat and canola
to produce good spring grazing. It helped to counter the effects of recent
frosts and hot dry winds in the region.
The heavy rain in NE NSW was a mixed blessing
for firefighters, either extinguising or helping to damp down some major
blazes but hindering backburning operations and making access on slick forestry
roads impossible. Strong winds around the Low also kept fires alight and
assisted with drying vegetation. The Hewitts Peak fire SE of Glen Innes had
16,820ha by today.
in NE NSW, SE QLD
thunderstorms accompanied a trough as it crossed the NE NSW and SE
QLD this afternoon and evening. The SES fielded
about 100 callouts for damage on the Mid
Coast. In the area between Port Macquarie and Yamba a severe windstorm
caused about $1m worth of damage to banana plantations with plants blown
over and infrastructure like packing sheds extensively damaged.
Roofs were blown from houses in Port Macquarie and at Kempsey where
the wind gusted to 109km/h. Kempsey SES had 28 calls for assistance after
the 10-minute storm, 18 to attend
to roof damage of which 3 homes had lost entire roofs. There were widespread
blackouts affecting Bellingen, Woolgoolga, Coffs Harbour, Dorrigo,
Port Macquarie, Wauchope,
Dungog. Strong winds and hail caused structural damage to haouses and
brought down trees and powerlines in Grafton and Lismore, while on the
Northern Tablelands Guyra was completely blacked out. West of the ranges
at Inverell, two houses sustained roof damage from a storm
minor damage around the town. Damage was also reported from the Tamworth
to Gunnedah area where the wind gusted to 104km/h at each location.
Brief but intense storms during the early evening caused 35,000 customers
to lose power in southern
Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, southern Gold Coast and Darling Downs.
An Energex spokeswoman said there were "hundreds of wires down" due
to downed tree branches and lightning strikes. 1,000 customers were
still without power
afternoon but almost all had been restored by early Friday evening.
Fallen trees caused damage to several houses and cars in Texas, Esk,
Logan, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, and a man was trapped when powerlines
fell onto his har in Logan.
air moving up from the south behind the low again gave a huge chunk of southern
Australia an uncomfortably cold spring day. Temperatures across
most of the continent were below average, with all of SA and much of WA,
NSW and VIC
6 to 11 below average. Continuing frosts in the SA Murray Valley have caused
extensive damage, and shattered the prediction of bumper crops for many farmers.
Some have lost up to half their expected yields. In the Murray Mallee, which
stretches across NW VIC and SA south of the Murray, this year's severe frosts
follow on from heavy frost losses in 2000 and 2001.
crop damage in southern WA
Early morning thunderstorms around Esperance brought hail up to 2cm
diameter, causing some crop damage.
News sources: Northern Daily Leader, Wellington Times, ABC, Inverell Times,
AAP, Courier Mail, NSW RFS, Glen Innes Examiner, SMH, Central Western Daily,
Kempsey Argus, Murray Valley Standard