Tuesday 28 OCT 2003

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2003

Dec

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Nov

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Oct

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July

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June

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May

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April

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March

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January

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Extraordinary synoptic situation brings heat and dust storms to SA, NT, QLD, NSW, cold to VIC
Heat records fall in QLD, NT


Above
: The AWN surface synoptic chart for 9pm local time shows a deep low tracking across southern NSW. With a central pressure around 988hPa, it brings unusually low barometer readings, strong winds and dust storms. Below: The low draws hot dry air into NSW from the north while Victorians to the south of the low shiver in cold southerlies with daytime temperatures 6 to 8C below normal. This AWN chart for 8pm EDST shows wind streamlines pinpointing the surface vortex over the NSW Riverina. The red isotherms show a tongue of plus-30° air being drawn into central NSW, while the green lines of equal humidity show air below 20% relative humidity being drawn into the centre of the low.

The wider area surface chart animation (9am and 9pm today and 9am Wednesday) reveals that the NSW low is one of a pair, dumbelling around one another. The NSW low holds its unusual northerly latitude partly due to the dumbelling, and partly because the pair is cradled by a ridge of high pressure running from southern WA down to 60°S then NE to under New Zealand. BoM.

Extraordinary synoptic situation brings heat and dust storms to SA, NT, QLD, NSW, cold to VIC

In a rare meteorological event today, a low moved east across southern NSW, slowly deepening yet provoking almost no rain. It did, however, generate significant wind which, with the accompanying hot dry conditions, led to widespread raised dust and dust storms across SA, NT, QLD and NSW. South of the low, wintry conditions prevailed with daytime temperatures 6 to 8 below average across Victoria and light snow flurries between 8am and 1pm at Kosciuszko Chalet.

The low was originally the heat low that normally resides over northern WA for most of the summer half of the year. This was displaced southeastwards into SE WA by a strong upper trough on Sunday, then tracked east along the SA coastline Monday, being kept to the north by a strong high pressure ridge. Today, the low was captured into the circulation of a 985hPa low about 1000km SE of Hobart and the two began to dumbell around one another (see animation at right). The former WA heat low moved inland near Adelaide late this morning with a central pressure of 994hPa. It then steadily deepened, its lowest recorded pressure (corrected to mean sea level) over land being 986.7hPa at Griffith Airport at 7pm. It split and weakened as it approached the Great Dividing Range around midnight, with centres around 990 near Wagga and off the coast near Newcastle. On Wednesday, it pirouetted away across the Tasman with its partner, and by 10am EST Wednesday was the dominant performer in the pas de deux with a central pressure of 982hPa.

Gales with wind gusts to storm force were widespread across SA, NSW and southern QLD, with many locations reporting gusts of 90km/h or above. The top gusts of 119km/h at Roma Airport and 100 at St George and Charleville Airports may have resulted from thunderstorm downburst winds being added to the strong gradient winds around the low. Unroofed houses and downed powerlines and trees were reported from Roma, Charleville, St George, Quilpie and Tara (80km west of Dalby), while an electrical storm in Toowoomba blacked out 5,000 homes and unroofed a block of flats. Dust whipped up by the wind in SA plumed east into northern NSW and southern QLD, reaching maximum density late this afternoon and into the night. Gale force winds also caused problems for emergency services.

Reports from specific centres:

  • SA:
    • Adelaide: strong winds from about 3am as the low approached the coast brought down trees and powerlines, closed roads and blacked out at least 20,000 homes. A tree crashed into a house in Woodville. The worst affected suburbs were Netherby, Hackam, Paradise, Highbury, Springfield and Salisbury.
    • Woomera visibility in dust 2km at 3pm. Top wind gust 95km/h. Extensive areas of blowing dust were reported from parts of the Northwest and Northeast pastoral districts.
  • QLD:
    • Quilpie visibility 500m at 3pm, less than 50m at 6pm
    • Thargomindah 800m at 3pm and 9pm
  • NSW:
    • Tibooburra 300m at 3pm, 100m at 6pm, 400m at 9pm. Top wind gust 93km/h
    • Wilcannia 900m at 3pm, 700m at 6pm. Top wind gust 91km/h
    • Wanaaring 100m at 3pm
    • Broken Hill 98km/h wind gusts brought down trees, closed roads and unroofed some homes and a gallery in Silverton. The SES had 39 callouts
    • Ivanhoe 200m at 6pm. Top wind gust 93km/h
    • Nyngan 1km at 9pm
    • Hillston 900m at 9pm
  • VIC:
    • Mildura 2.5km at 6pm

As the low crossed NSW, hot dry air that has been setting October heat records in QLD and the NT was ducted south resulting in some remarkably high night-time temperatures and low humidities for October across central western NSW. Some examples:

Location

Time

Temperature

Dew Point

Relative Humidity

Walgett AP

11pm

31.6

-5.1

9%

Cobar MO (Town)

9pm

28.0

-13.1

6%

Forbes AP

10pm

28.5

-10.6

7%

 

 
Temperature departures from normal today: Minimum temperatures left, Maximum temperatures right. BoM

Heat records fall in QLD, NT

October heat records again fell in QLD today as well as in the eastern NT. Mt Isa Airport's top of 42.5 and Clermont's 40.5 were the hottest October days in 36 and 41 years of computer records respectively. In the NT, Centre Island's new record of 39.2 was 1.3 above the previous October record in 27 years. Hot, windy conditions around Darwin caused another fire today which threatened several houses at McMinns Lagoon and destroyed a 136-tree mango plantation.

In addition, October high minimum temperature records for both the NT and QLD may have been broken. The overnight minimum of 31 (rounded) at Jervois, about 400km NE of Alice Springs, may have eclipsed the previous highest Territory reading of 30.5 at Elliott in 1989, depending on the decimal point. In QLD, the situation is also uncertain. The QLD October high minimum record is held by Boulia with a reading of 31.4 in 1980. Trepell Airport, 150km NE of Boulia, recorded a minimum of 32.9 in the 24 hours to midday today. However, official records are based on minimum readings taken for the 24 hour period to 9am, and Trepell only reports maximum and minimum temperatures at 9am to the nearest whole degree. The minimum reported to 9am this morning was 31, though the temperature in the screen at that time was 31.6.

News sources: ABC, Northern Daily Leader (Tamworth), AAP

National weather extremes for today

Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology

Records set this day (previous record and years of computerised record shown in brackets):
Highest daily maximum temperature for October:
Northern Territory:
014703 CENTRE ISLAND 39.2 (37.9, 27)
014707 WOLLOGORANG 43.1 (43.0, 20)
Queensland:
029127 MOUNT ISA AERO 42.5 (42.3, 36)
034038 MORANBAH WATER TREATMENT PLANT 40.4 (40.3, 17)
035019 CLERMONT POST OFFICE 40.5 (40.4, 41)

Quality control note: Data is final. It includes late-received rainfall data and has been subject to BoM quality control checks.
Data is as received at 13:38EST, 03/03/2004.

Weather observations for today
Noteworthy  Weather         Capital  Cities         Regional  Cities       Alpine  Stations
Bureau of Meteorology Rainfall Bulletins and Weather Notes

Hottest
Highest maximum temperature>Greatest variation above normal maximum Highest minimum temperatureGreatest variation above normal minimum

46.1 CENTURY MINE Gulf Country QLD
43.6 MCARTHUR RIVER MINE N Rivers NT
43.3 CLONCURRY AIRPORT Gulf Country QLD
43.1 WOLLOGORANG N Rivers NT
43.0 NGUKURR N Rivers NT
43.0 BORROLOOLA N Rivers NT

+11.2   36.9 COBAR MO Upper Darling NSW
+11.1   41.2 THARGOMINDAH POST OFFICE Far SW QLD
+10.2   39.7 CUNNAMULLA POST OFFICE Warrego QLD
+9.7   39.2 BOLLON MARY ST Warrego QLD
+9.6   41.0 EMERALD AIRPORT Central Highlands QLD

31.0 TREPELL AIRPORT Northwest QLD
30.9 JERVOIS N Plateau NT
30.0 URANDANGIE Northwest QLD
29.7 ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT N Plateau NT
29.6 THE MONUMENT AIRPORT Northwest QLD

+15.7   30.9 JERVOIS N Plateau NT
+15.0   29.7 ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT N Plateau NT
+13.6   29.0 TERRITORY GRAPE FARM N Plateau NT
+12.5   30.0 URANDANGIE Northwest QLD
+10.1   27.7 WINTON POST OFFICE Northwest QLD

Coldest
Lowest maximum temperatureGreatest variation below normal maximum Lowest minimum temperatureGreatest variation below normal minimum

2.0 MT BAW BAW W Gippsland VIC
3.7 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
4.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
4.5 LOOKOUT HILL Western Plains VIC
4.8 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS

-8.5   10.6 CASTLEMAINE PRISON N Central VIC
-8.3   11.7 MARYBOROUGH N Central VIC
-7.9   10.4 OMEO Upper NE VIC
-7.9   11.0 CASTERTON SHOWGROUNDS W Coast VIC
-7.8   11.5 BUNDOORA (LATROBE UNIVERSITY) E Central VIC

-2.5 CRESSY RESEARCH STATION N Coast TAS
-2.4 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
-2.2 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
-2.1 LAKE LEAKE (ELIZABETH RIVER) E Coast TAS
-2.1 LIAWENEE Central Plateau TAS

-6.8   4.5 YARRAS (MOUNT SEAVIEW) MidNorth Coast S NSW
-5.8   -2.1 LAKE LEAKE (ELIZABETH RIVER) E Coast TAS
-5.4   -0.4 FINGAL (LEGGE STREET) E Coast TAS
-5.0   7.4 KALBARRI Central West WA
-5.0   0.0 WOOLBROOK (DANGLEMAH ROAD) NW Slopes S NSW
-5.0   3.2 MURRURUNDI POST OFFICE Hunter Valley NSW

Wettest Major City Extremes
Todays highest rainfall totals for the 24 hours to 9am. It includes the top 5 totals nationally followed by all reported falls of 50mm or more.

52.0 AMELUP Cent Wheatbelt WA
31.8 JACUP Cent Wheatbelt WA
28.0 MACEDON FORESTRY W Central VIC
27.6 NORFOLK ISLAND (BALL BAY) Islands ISL
25.6 CECIL PLAINS HOMESTEAD Darling Downs E QLD

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    Cent Wheatbelt
52.0 AMELUP
31.8 JACUP

QUEENSLAND
    Darling Downs E
25.6 CECIL PLAINS HOMESTEAD

VICTORIA
    W Central
28.0 MACEDON FORESTRY

ISLANDS
    Islands
27.6 NORFOLK ISLAND (BALL BAY)

  Max+/- norm Min+/- normRain to 9am
BROOME AIRPORT 29.3 -3.5 23.4 +1.1 0.0
ALBANY AIRPORT 17.3 -1.4 7.5 -1.5 16.0
PERTH AIRPORT 21.5 -0.9 8.4 -1.8 0.6
KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT 23.4 -2.2 10.1 -0.8 3.8
DARWIN AIRPORT 34.7 +1.6 27.2 +2.2 0.0
ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT 38.2 +7.4 29.7 +15.0 0.0
ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN) 22.5 +0.9 11.8 +0.4 2.2
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO 11.3 -6.5 6.8 -0.3 4.8
CAIRNS AERO 30.8 +1.3 19.7 -0.9 0.0
TOWNSVILLE AERO 31.2 +1.8 24.0 +3.3 0.0
ROCKHAMPTON AERO 33.1 +3.5 22.5 +5.6 0.0
AMBERLEY AMO 30.6 +3.0 13.3 -0.1 0.0
BRISBANE AERO 31.5 17.0 0.0
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS 24.8 3.7 0.0
COFFS HARBOUR MO 28.4 +4.9 15.7 +1.9 0.0
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS 27.1 +5.0 14.3 +0.4 0.0
SYDNEY (OBSERVATORY HILL) 21.3 -0.7 14.9 +1.4 0.4
PROSPECT DAM 23.3 -0.2 11.7 -0.4 0.0
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY 20.1 -1.9 11.8 -0.8 0.5
CANBERRA AIRPORT 17.9 -1.3 6.7 +0.7 0.8
WAGGA WAGGA AMO 19.8 -1.4 7.4 -0.3 1.6
MILDURA AIRPORT 30.7 +7.0 10.4 +0.7 0.4
EAST SALE AIRPORT 12.9 -6.2 4.5 -3.1 0.0
MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE 12.6 -7.0 9.6 +0.2 0.0
LAVERTON RAAF 12.0 -7.0 7.3 -0.9 0.2
BALLARAT AERODROME 9.0 -7.5 5.7 -0.5 0.6
LAUNCESTON AIRPORT 14.6 -1.8 0.8 -4.8 0.0
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) 14.6 -2.3 4.9 -2.8 0.0

Downpours Gales & Gusts
High rainfall for periods of 6 hours or less. Highest wind gusts above 89km/h (storm force) or mean wind above 62km/h (gale force). Wind direction and mean windspeed shown in brackets.
QUEENSLAND
    Brisbane/SE Coast
KINGAROY AIRPORT
5.4mm in 8 min to 22:17 40.5mm/h

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    NW Pastoral
WOOMERA AERODROME : 95(240/ 65 ) at 15:12
    NE Pastoral
LEIGH CREEK AIRPORT : 78(260/ 65 ) at 14:20
MARREE AERO : 85(260/ 67 ) at 13:30
    Northeast
YUNTA AIRSTRIP : 96(270/ 69 ) at 16:30
QUEENSLAND
    Brisbane/SE Coast
CAPE MORETON LIGHTHOUSE : 72(360/ 63 ) at 21:00
    Maranoa
ROMA AIRPORT : 119(270/ 98 ) at 18:41
ST GEORGE AIRPORT : 100(300/ 76 ) at 18:21
    Warrego
CHARLEVILLE AERO : 100(310/ 56 ) at 16:24
NEW SOUTH WALES
    Far Northwest
WILCANNIA AERODROME AWS : 91(290/ 61 ) at 15:24
TIBOOBURRA AIRPORT : 93(270/ 70 ) at 18:00
    Lower Darling
BROKEN HILL AIRPORT AWS : 98(310/ 74 ) at 14:37
    Upper Darling
COBAR AIRPORT AWS : 93(290/ 56 ) at 17:01
    Southwest Plains
IVANHOE AERODROME AWS : 93(300/ 65 ) at 18:00
    Hunter Valley
MURRURUNDI GAP AWS : 98(350/ 78 ) at 19:21
    CW Slopes S
PARKES AIRPORT AWS : 78(280/ 65 ) at 21:49
    SW Slopes S
CABRAMURRA SMHEA AWS : 91(330/ 37 ) at 21:03