Saturday 15 NOV 2003

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2003

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Heatwave brings bushfires to SA, VIC, TAS
Severe storms cause $10m damage in WA

Maximum (above) and minimum (below) temperature departures from normal today. BoM

Heatwave brings bushfires to SA, VIC, TAS

Hot, 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.

Severe storms cause $10m damage in WA

Cold, 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 Chapman Valley, 40km NE of Geraldton. Geraldton Wesfarmers Federation Insurance agent Barry Rowcroft, whose company is involved with the majority of the claims, told The West Australian: "I have been here for 32 years and I have never seen a hail claim this big and it looks bad. It's far too early 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 and lifted a 5m silo off its base and threw 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 Chapman 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 roads.

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 hours.

News sources: ABC, Examiner, Sunday Tasmanian, Mercury, West Australian

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 rainfall for November
Western Australia:
001025 DOONGAN 65.0 (64.4, 15)
010004 BEACON 30.8 (27.4, 68)
010011 BONNIE ROCK 33.0 (21.4, 68)
010107 MOUROUBRA 52.0 (46.6, 58)
Highest daily maximum temperature for November
Tasmania:
092003 BICHENO (COUNCIL DEPOT) 33.9 (33.6, 28)

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

44.4 ROSEWORTHY AG COLLEGE Adelaide/Lofty SA
43.4 MARREE NE Pastoral SA
42.8 OODNADATTA AIRPORT NE Pastoral SA
42.6 MARREE AERO NE Pastoral SA
42.6 PORT AUGUSTA AERO W Agricultural SA
42.6 RENMARK AERO Murray Valley SA

+17.8   39.1 LAVERTON RAAF W Central VIC
+17.4   37.5 LAKES ENTRANCE E Gippsland VIC
+17.3   39.1 MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE E Central VIC
+16.6   38.5 BUNDOORA (LATROBE UNIVERSITY) E Central VIC
+16.5   38.0 MELBOURNE AIRPORT E Central VIC

27.8 TROUGHTON ISLAND N Kimberley WA
27.3 PARABURDOO AERO E Gascoyne WA
27.2 CENTRE ISLAND N Rivers NT
27.0 NORTHERN ENDEAVOUR Islands ISL
26.9 NORMANTON AIRPORT Gulf Country QLD

+12.8   24.8 CLEVE W Agricultural SA
+10.7   22.7 MAITLAND Yorke Pen/Kanga Is SA
+10.2   24.8 BROKEN HILL (PATTON STREET) Lower Darling NSW
+9.8   21.0 CAPE BORDA Yorke Pen/Kanga Is SA
+9.8   20.9 WALPEUP RESEARCH Mallee N VIC

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

15.4 NORSEMAN AERO Goldfields WA
15.6 KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT Goldfields WA
15.8 NORSEMAN Goldfields WA
16.0 BALLADONIA Eucla WA
16.3 ESPERANCE AERO Lower West WA
16.3 SALMON GUMS RES.STN. Goldfields WA

-13.3   15.6 KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT Goldfields WA
-12.2   15.8 NORSEMAN Goldfields WA
-11.7   16.0 BALLADONIA Eucla WA
-11.7   20.5 LEONORA Goldfields WA
-10.4   19.2 SOUTHERN CROSS Goldfields WA

3.8 BRIDPORT (EMMA STREET) N Coast TAS
4.6 BRAIDWOOD RACECOURSE AWS South Coast NSW
4.7 GOULBURN AIRPORT AWS Goulburn/Monaro NSW
4.9 THREDBO VILLAGE Snowy Mtns NSW
5.1 CHARLOTTE PASS (KOSCIUSKO CHALET) Snowy Mtns NSW

-7.8   9.3 LORD HOWE ISLAND AERO Islands ISL
-6.2   10.2 GYMPIE Brisbane/SE Coast QLD
-5.5   12.7 DENHAM W Gascoyne WA
-5.2   10.6 LISMORE (CENTRE STREET) North Coast NSW
-5.1   11.0 BALLINA AIRPORT AWS North Coast 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.

72.8 NITMILUK RANGERS N Rivers NT
69.8 WATTONING Cent Wheatbelt WA
65.0 DOONGAN N Kimberley WA
58.0 SOUTH ALLIGATOR RESORT N Rivers NT
52.0 MOUROUBRA Cent Wheatbelt WA

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    N Kimberley
65.0 DOONGAN
    Cent Wheatbelt
69.8 WATTONING
52.0 MOUROUBRA
51.4 JOURERDINE

NORTHERN TERRITORY
    N Rivers
72.8 NITMILUK RANGERS
58.0 SOUTH ALLIGATOR RESORT

  Max+/- norm Min+/- normRain to 9am
BROOME AIRPORT 32.0 -1.5 26.1 +1.1 0.0
PERTH AIRPORT 26.4 +0.8 15.1 +2.5 0.0
ALBANY AIRPORT 18.2 -2.6 11.8 +1.2 0.0
KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT 15.6 -13.3 14.4 +0.4 29.0
DARWIN AIRPORT 34.2 +1.0 23.0 -2.3 20.0
ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT 36.8 +3.2 21.0 +3.2 0.0
ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN) 37.6 +13.0 18.0 +4.2 0.0
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO 29.5 +9.4 13.6 +5.4 0.0
CAIRNS AERO 30.9 +0.3 22.1 -0.2 2.8
TOWNSVILLE AERO 30.1 -0.6 20.7 -2.1 1.2
ROCKHAMPTON AERO 29.6 -1.6 17.2 -2.2 0.0
AMBERLEY AMO 28.9 -0.6 11.3 -5.0 0.0
BRISBANE AERO 25.6 14.1 0.0
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS 27.6 9.7 0.0
COFFS HARBOUR MO 28.7 +3.8 14.7 -1.3 0.0
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS 28.3 +4.7 14.5 -1.6 0.0
SYDNEY (OBSERVATORY HILL) 28.8 +5.2 16.1 +0.6 0.0
PROSPECT DAM 37.5 +12.4 12.8 -1.3 0.0
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY 30.0 +7.2 13.5 -0.9 0.0
CANBERRA AIRPORT 32.6 +10.1 8.1 -0.5 0.0
WAGGA WAGGA AMO 36.8 +11.4 13.1 +2.6 0.0
MILDURA AIRPORT 40.3 +13.1 16.9 +4.6 0.0
EAST SALE AIRPORT 36.6 +15.6 9.4 0.0 0.0
MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE 39.1 +17.3 19.6 +8.5 0.0
LAVERTON RAAF 39.1 +17.8 14.0 +4.1 0.0
BALLARAT AERODROME 32.8 +13.4 12.8 +5.1 0.0
LAUNCESTON AIRPORT 26.3 +7.6 12.5 +5.4 0.0
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) 32.6 +14.0 12.9 +3.7 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.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    Murchison
MEEKATHARRA AIRPORT
11.0mm in 1 hr to 06:00 11.0mm/h
    Goldfields
YEELIRRIE
17.0mm in 3 hr to 09:00 5.7mm/h
LEINSTER AERO
9.0mm in 46 min to 08:46 11.7mm/h
5.4mm in 14 min to 09:00 23.1mm/h
14.4mm in 1 hr to 09:00 14.4mm/h
NORTHERN TERRITORY
    Darwin-Daly
CAPE DON
55.0mm in 3 hr to 14:00 18.3mm/h
55.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 18.3mm/h
62.0mm in 3 hr to 16:00 20.7mm/h
16.0mm in 3 hr to 17:00 5.3mm/h
16.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 5.3mm/h
DUM IN MIRRIE AWS
14.6mm in 18 min to 18:30 48.7mm/h
25.0mm in 3 hr to 21:00 8.3mm/h
ISLANDS
    Islands
POINT FAWCETT
20.8mm in 45 min to 17:30 27.7mm/h
22.2mm in 1 hr to 17:30 22.2mm/h
22.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 7.3mm/h

VICTORIA
    W Gippsland
WILSONS PROMONTORY LIGHTHOUSE : 96(270/ 76 ) at 15:44
KINGFISH B SHIP LOG 272 : 80(242/ 69 ) at 21:40
TASMANIA
    N Coast
CAPE GRIM B.A.P.S. : 76(210/ 63 ) at 23:00
    Southeast
HOBART AIRPORT : 85(280/ 69 ) at 19:28
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) : 93(310/ 74 ) at 13:30
MAATSUYKER ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE : 109(310/ 91 ) at 15:46
MOUNT WELLINGTON : 139(260/ 98 ) at 18:01
TASMAN ISLAND : 109(190/ 59 ) at 19:51
HARTZ MOUNTAIN(KEOGHS PIMPLE) : 109(320/ 61 ) at 11:32
CAPE BRUNY (CAPE BRUNY) : 104(240/ 76 ) at 19:01
    Derwent Valley
BUSHY PARK (BUSHY PARK ESTATES) : 96(320/ 63 ) at 13:39
ISLANDS
    Islands
HOGAN ISLAND : 95(250/ 78 ) at 20:30