Wednesday 19 NOV 2003

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2003

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Heatwave conditions spread in eastern AUS as TAS fires continue
Severe storms in SA, VIC with possible tornado

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

Heatwave conditions spread in eastern AUS as TAS fires continue

High temperatures spread from SA and SW QLD across VIC, TAS, and much of NSW and QLD with daytime temperatures generally 8 to 16° above normal. Windorah Post Office's top of 46.0 set a new November record for the town, while Boulia Airport's 32° minimum was an uncomfortable 11 above average. In TAS, 500 firefighters continue to battle bushfires that have consumed 36,000ha since last Saturday.

Severe storms in SA, VIC with possible tornado

Severe thunderstorms crossed SE SA and western VIC this afternoon and evening, with one storm and a possible tornado west of Mildura causing over $1m in damage.

The high instability and deep moisture levels that have produced severe storms and heavy rain over Central Australia and northern SA over the past few days moved southeast into the region this afternoon. In addition, multiple lows developed in western VIC late afternoon as a complex trough/frontal system crossed the SE SA coast, adding to the convergence and uplift occurring in the system.

The most damaging storm cut a 35km long, 5km wide, swathe from near the SA/VIC border to the small town of Lake Cullulleraine, 50km west of Mildura VIC. Hail, rain and wind shredded vineyards and over 20,000 hectares of cereal crops during the two-hour storm, leading Elders' Mildura insurance manager, Peter Wise, to tell ABC News that "it just looks like they've been through a harvester already. There's just nothing left at all - nothing salvageable from what we've seen so far." He estimated there would be at least 50 claims for crop damage totalling $1m. The damage on one uninsured 30 hectare melon farm is put at $500,000.

The storm hit Lake Cullulleraine at 5.30pm, lasting 30 minutes and unroofing the town's store and several houses, destroying the yacht club, overturning caravans, damaging 12 houses and other buildings and uprooting trees. Hail the diameter of 20c pieces fell, and a brick wall at the community centre was blown over.

Elsewhere in VIC

  • In Mildura, homes and trees were damaged as the city was clipped by the edge of the Lake Cullulleraine storm around 7pm.
  • At Portland, flash flooding entered several shops and a cafe in Percy Street, one of the town's main streets, causing at least $10,000 in damage in an electrical store. In Tyers Street, over $200,000 worth of stock was destroyed when the whole floor area of a furniture warehouse was flooded. Marble sized hail was reported with the storm, but in the Cashmore, Heathmere and Westlakes Road areas it reached sizes larger than golf balls. One hail stone in Cashmore was measured at 7.5cm diameter. Damage was reported due to the hail, or hail blocking drains and downpipes. Cashmore Airport AWS recorded 14mm during the storm, but 7.6mm fell in 4 minutes to 8.01pm
  • Warrnambool SES had 28 calls for help in 10 minutes, most from people with blocked gutters who had rain and hail spilling through the eaves and into their homes. $10,000 in electrical stock was damaged due to a roof leak in one shop, while a book shop and restaurant were also flooded. Wind gusted to 91km/h at the airport at 8.50pm.
  • Power blackouts occurred in and around Ballarat soon after midday, cutting power to 4,400 homes. Around Warrnambool, ligntning strikes to powerlines blacked out 1065 properties around Koroit from 8.30pm and 1,985 around Terang from 11.30pm.
  • Scrub fires started by lightning around 10.30pm at Galaquil, 30km north of Warracknabeal, burnt through 10ha of scrub.
  • After a muggy evening, with the temperature still 30° at 11pm, Melbourne's southeastern suburbs experienced flash flooding from a late evening storm.

In SA:

  • Near Hatherleigh, 60km NW of Mt Gambier, two trucks, one a B-double, rolled over within a kilometre of one another on the Princes Highway in heavy rain, hail and wind during a storm, closing the highway for nearly 24 hours. Winds were strong enough to uproot or snap dozens of pine trees in the area, and cause widespread damage to trees, sheds, silos and irrigation equipment. Hail up to 4 to 6cm diameter was reported. Mt Gambier received two bursts of heavy rain, 11.2mm in the hour to 9pm and 11.4mm in the hour to 11pm. Wind gusted to 100km/h at Coonawarra, 91 at Cape Jaffa and 87 at Robe during the early evening.
  • On the Yorke Peninsula, 5 minutes of hail up to 4cm diameter around 4.30pm destroyed crops and caused property damage at Dowlingville, 20km ENE of Maitland. Hail damage was also reported to the south of Kulpara, north of Arthurton, and near Port Wakefield and Brinkworth, all to the northeast of Maitland.
  • 3cm diameter hail was reported from the southern Adelaide suburbs of Hallett Cove, Morphett Vale and Woodcroft.
  • Powerlines were brought down between Loxton and Alawoona possibly by the developing Lake Cullulleraine storm, blacking out northern Mallee towns and isolated properties in the Mallee and Riverland for up to 24 hours.
  • Wind gusted to 115km/h at Woomera around 4pm, and 106 at Yunta and 104 at Marree during the early evening. Across the border in southern NT, Kulgera experienced an afternoon thunderstorm that produced wind gusts to 109km/h and a heavy dust storm.

A detailed report of events in western VIC is available from StormPlanet.

News sources: ABC, AAP, Courier (Ballarat), Warrnambool Standard, Herald Sun, Portland Observer, Yorke Peninsula News, Wimmera Mail-Times, The Age, Bendigo Advertiser, Mercury

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 November
Queensland:
038024 WINDORAH POST OFFICE 46.0 (45.6, 36)

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

46.0 WINDORAH POST OFFICE Channel Country QLD
45.2 THARGOMINDAH POST OFFICE Far SW QLD
44.5 BEDOURIE POLICE STATION Channel Country QLD
44.5 BALLERA GAS FIELD Far SW QLD
44.3 CENTURY MINE Gulf Country QLD

+16.4   40.9 PRICE Yorke Pen/Kanga Is SA
+15.2   40.4 MURRAY BRIDGE Murray Valley SA
+14.9   40.9 WHYALLA AERO W Agricultural SA
+14.6   39.2 KEITH Mallee/Upper SE SA
+14.0   36.6 MENINGIE Murray Valley SA
+14.0   35.2 ESSENDON AIRPORT E Central VIC

32.0 BOULIA AIRPORT Channel Country QLD
30.0 NORTHERN ENDEAVOUR Islands ISL
29.3 WYNDHAM N Kimberley WA
29.1 ARGYLE AERODROME E Kimberley WA
29.0 TROUGHTON ISLAND N Kimberley WA

+10.9   32.0 BOULIA AIRPORT Channel Country QLD
+10.7   20.6 LAMEROO Mallee/Upper SE SA
+10.6   25.1 BROKEN HILL AIRPORT AWS Lower Darling NSW
+10.5   25.1 BROKEN HILL (PATTON STREET) Lower Darling NSW
+10.3   28.0 CHARLEVILLE AERO Warrego QLD
+10.3   27.7 TIBOOBURRA POST OFFICE Far Northwest NSW

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

16.0 BICKLEY Lower West WA
16.0 SHANNON Lower West WA
16.1 MANJIMUP Lower West WA
16.4 MAATSUYKER ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE Southeast TAS
16.8 ROCKY GULLY Lower West WA

-9.3   20.0 DALWALLINU COMPARISON Central West WA
-9.1   24.9 MURCHISON W Gascoyne WA
-9.1   24.0 MEEKATHARRA AIRPORT E Gascoyne WA
-8.9   21.0 CARNAMAH Central West WA
-8.7   19.6 NORTHAM Cent Wheatbelt WA

4.4 EYRE Eucla WA
5.5 CHARLOTTE PASS (KOSCIUSKO CHALET) Snowy Mtns NSW
6.0 MOUNT READ W Coast TAS
6.1 TIDBINBILLA NATURE RESERVE Goulburn/Monaro NSW
6.1 LIAWENEE Central Plateau TAS

-8.7   9.0 BRIGALOW RESEARCH STN Central Highlands QLD
-7.6   4.4 EYRE Eucla WA
-7.1   11.5 MEEKATHARRA AIRPORT E Gascoyne WA
-6.8   10.0 MURCHISON W Gascoyne WA
-6.3   6.3 CUNDERDIN Cent Wheatbelt WA

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.

80.0 EAST ARM N Rivers NT
50.0 MEREENIE N Plateau NT
39.4 UPPER VICTORIA RIVER N Rivers NT
30.8 ELIZABETH VALLEY N Rivers NT
27.4 PORT KEATS AERO N Rivers NT

NORTHERN TERRITORY
    N Rivers
80.0 EAST ARM
39.4 UPPER VICTORIA RIVER
30.8 ELIZABETH VALLEY
27.4 PORT KEATS AERO
    N Plateau
50.0 MEREENIE

  Max+/- norm Min+/- normRain to 9am
BROOME AIRPORT 32.1 -1.4 26.3 +1.3 0.0
ALBANY AIRPORT 17.9 -2.9 9.0 -1.6 8.2
PERTH AIRPORT 19.6 -6.0 10.8 -1.8 5.8
KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT 23.3 -5.6 10.0 -4.0 0.0
DARWIN AIRPORT 33.3 +0.1 24.5 -0.8 0.8
ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT 40.5 +6.9 22.9 +5.1 0.0
ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN) 37.3 +12.7 23.6 +9.8 0.0
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO 30.2 +10.1 13.3 +5.1 2.2
CAIRNS AERO 32.0 +1.4 20.9 -1.4 0.0
TOWNSVILLE AERO 30.7 0.0 22.0 -0.8 0.0
ROCKHAMPTON AERO 33.6 +2.4 19.9 +0.5 0.0
AMBERLEY AMO 30.7 +1.2 18.3 +2.0 0.0
BRISBANE AERO 28.1 20.6 0.0
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS 28.0 10.8 0.0
COFFS HARBOUR MO 26.3 +1.4 17.2 +1.2 0.2
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS 22.8 -0.8 15.8 -0.3 0.0
SYDNEY (OBSERVATORY HILL) 23.8 +0.2 14.5 -1.0 0.2
PROSPECT DAM 29.1 +4.0 14.1 0.0 0.0
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY 23.5 +0.7 15.0 +0.6 0.0
CANBERRA AIRPORT 32.7 +10.2 9.9 +1.3 0.0
WAGGA WAGGA AMO 35.9 +10.5 13.2 +2.7 0.0
MILDURA AIRPORT 40.0 +12.8 18.8 +6.5 0.0
EAST SALE AIRPORT 34.1 +13.1 10.5 +1.1 0.0
MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE 35.3 +13.5 17.8 +6.7 0.0
LAVERTON RAAF 35.1 +13.8 15.4 +5.5 0.4
BALLARAT AERODROME 31.2 +11.8 12.8 +5.1 2.8
LAUNCESTON AIRPORT 24.7 +6.0 12.4 +5.3 0.0
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) 28.5 +9.9 13.8 +4.6 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
    N Kimberley
WYNDHAM AERO
5.0mm in 7 min to 14:44 42.9mm/h
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    Mt Lofty Ranges
HINDMARSH ISLAND AWS
1.6mm in 1 min to 18:12 96.0mm/h
    Lower SE
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO
11.2mm in 1 hr to 21:00 11.2mm/h
11.4mm in 1 hr to 23:00 11.4mm/h
CAPE JAFFA (CURLEY HILLS)
5.0mm in 12 min to 05:55 25.0mm/h
VICTORIA
    W Coast
PORTLAND (CASHMORE AIRPORT)
5.8mm in 3 min to 20:00 116.0mm/h
1.8mm in 1 min to 20:01 108.0mm/h
14.0mm in 1 hr to 20:30 14.0mm/h
PORT FAIRY AWS
14.4mm in 23 min to 21:00 37.6mm/h
14.4mm in 1 hr to 21:00 14.4mm/h
20.0mm in 3 hr to 21:00 6.7mm/h
14.4mm in 1 hr to 21:30 14.4mm/h
MORTLAKE RACECOURSE
5.8mm in 32 min to 23:30 10.9mm/h

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    SW & S Coast
CAPE LEEUWIN : 89(280/ 70 ) at 02:31
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    NW Pastoral
WOOMERA AERODROME : 115(300/ 87 ) at 15:55
TARCOOLA AERO : 78(320/ 63 ) at 15:05
    NE Pastoral
LEIGH CREEK AIRPORT : 87(270/ 72 ) at 15:35
MARREE AERO : 104(350/ 59 ) at 19:16
    Northeast
YUNTA AIRSTRIP : 106(350/ 78 ) at 17:47
    Lower SE
COONAWARRA : 100(160/ 43 ) at 19:14
CAPE JAFFA (CURLEY HILLS) : 91(190/ 56 ) at 18:22
ROBE AIRFIELD : 87(220/ 70 ) at 18:34
NEW SOUTH WALES
    Lower Darling
BROKEN HILL AIRPORT AWS : 95(290/ 72 ) at 20:15
VICTORIA
    Mallee S
SWAN HILL AERODROME : 78(260/ 63 ) at 19:46
    W Gippsland
KINGFISH B SHIP LOG 272 : 95( 0/ 20 ) at 09:00
MT MOORNAPA : 106(330/ 76 ) at 10:02
    W Coast
WARRNAMBOOL AIRPORT NDB : 91(280/ 41 ) at 20:50