and minimum (below) temperature departures from
normal today. BoM
brings bushfires to SA, VIC, TAS
dry northerlies moved into eastern SA, southern NSW, VIC and TAS
today bringing widespread bushfires to three states. Maximum
temperatures were 10 to 18 above average across most of the southeast
of the continent.
Melbourne City recorded a top of 39.1, 17.3 above normal, while on
the TAS east coast, Bicheno had its hottest November day on record
with a maximum of 33.9. A cool change moved across the area late
in the day.
In TAS, over 150 fire crews fought over 80 scrub
fires in the state's southeast, east coast, north and on Flinders
Island, while 8 fires on the West Coast are believed to have been
started by lightning. Although vegetation
across the state is not dry enough to be a major problem, the hot
conditions combined with strong winds allowed those fires that were
started to spread quickly. Wind gusted to 93km/h in Hobart, where
a fish farm in Prince of Wales Bay was blown from its moorings and
a yacht on the Derwent overturned. The winds were strongest
across the state during the afternoon as a deepening low pressure
system skirted the south coast. Trees were brought down and power
supplies cut. Some
places were without TV and radio for an hour from 7.15pm, causing
anguish among Rugby World Cup fans.
In VIC, a dozen fires spread quickly in the hot,
windy conditions in the Gippsland area. The worst was at Willow Grove,
30km NW of Morwell, where the town was threatened and 600ha burnt
out. Another fire at Longford, just south of Sale, threatened property.
In SA, scrub fires were reported from around Adelaide,
on the Yorke Peninsula and in the Southeast at Tintinarra.
storms cause $10m damage in WA
unstable air swept northeast across WA today, bringing
a dramatic drop in temperatures and widespread thunderstorms.
Maximum temperatures in the state's southeast were as much
as 25° lower
than yesterday -- compare the top of 43.2 at Eucla yesterday
with 18.7 today.
Storms were widespread in the unstable conditions,
with a severe storm causing over $10m in hail damage to crops
as it swept across a dozen farms in a 10km swathe through the
Valley, 40km NE of Geraldton. Geraldton Wesfarmers Federation
Insurance agent Barry Rowcroft, whose company is involved with
of the claims, told The West Australian: "I
have been here for 32 years and I have never seen a hail
to add up the total damage, but I expect it to run well into
many millions of dollars." Barley, wheat and lupin crops
were stripped, with only the stalks left standing. Many of
the crops were uninsured.
Strong winds with the storm blew the verandah off a farmhouse
it into a sheepyard 100m away.
Heavy rain fell with the storm,
one farm north of Nabawa recording 66mm in 30 minutes. Official
rainfall stations at Beacon, Bonnie Rock and Mouroubra, all
with around 60 to 70 years of records, set new records for
November daily rainfall (see records below). Around
3,000 homes and farms in an arc from Binnu in the north through
Valley to Mullewa lost power during the storm, some for
several days. To the north of Geraldton, hail 3 to 4cm in diameter
was reported from Red Bluff Point near Kalbarra, and hail
near Northampton stripped vegetation and heavy rain flooded
In the WA Kimberley, an overnight storm and rain gave Doongan 65mm
for the 24 hours to 9am, a new November record. Other heavy storm
falls occurred in the Central Wheat Belt and Goldfields. Mouroubra
Homestead, 200km north of Kellerberrin, recorded 52mm for the 24
News sources: ABC, Examiner, Sunday Tasmanian, Mercury, West