Thursday 20 NOV 2003

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2003

Dec

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Severe storms in Melbourne and NE VIC
Storms cut power in N TAS, W NSW
Heat continues in NE NSW, S QLD
Rare sea fog blankets coastal Sydney
Bushfires continue in TAS and on NSW Mid North Coast

 

Severe storms develop through central and northeastern VIC today. Left: Melbourne radar animation from 0100 to 0500 UTC (noon to 4pm EDST) shows the development and movement of the two separate storm complexes, one across Melbourne and the Latrobe Valley, the other more fragmented system in the state's northeast. Because the slanting radar beam is far higher in the atmosphere over NE VIC than around Melbourne, the intensity of the rainfall there is understated. Right: Higher scale 128km Melbourne radar at 0230 UTC (1.30pm EDST) shows the storm at its height in the city's southeastern suburbs. The huge pink area represents torrential rain, while the deep red areas of higher reflectivity suggest very heavy rain or areas of hail. BoM


 

Severe storms in Melbourne and NE VIC

A trough followed a few hours behind by a cold front bounded an active thunderstorm zone that crossed central and northeastern VIC early this afternoon causing widespread but brief torrential rain, flash flooding and extensive though moderate wind damage.

The airmass in which the storms generated was the same as the one that has spawned heavy rain events and thunderstorms over the past few days from Central Australia to western VIC. There were high levels of moisture from the surface to around 10km, and the morning balloon traces from Melbourne showed instability through the same depth, though rates of vertical ascent in the cloudmass today were somewhat less than they have been over previous days.

A feature of these storms, which helped to moderate their effects, was their rapid movement. This seems to have been more as a result of cells propagating southeast along the frontal zone than the speed of the front itself, which was eastwards at about 40km/h. The first signs of storms on Melbourne radar was at noon around Ballarat, yet they arrived in Melbourne CBD around 12.40pm and Wonthaggi about 1.20pm, giving a southeast propagation speed of approximately 140km/h. The leading edge of developing cells in the northeastern complex was north and west of Deniliquin at noon, yet had covered 250km to be around Bright by 2pm, an average speed of 125km/h. Falls of 30mm in the storms were common, with Boho, 13km SE of Violet Town, recording 69.8mm in the 24 hours to 9am Friday, of which 48mm fell in the hour to 10pm. Myrrhee, 40km SE of Benalla, registered 49.8 in the 24 hours to 9am Friday. Details of other heavy falls are below.

The Melbourne storms flooded three shopping centres, brought trains to a halt and caused dozens of traffic accidents. The rain was most intense in southeastern suburbs, with flash flooding reported from Hampton, Dandenong, Springvale, Pakenham, Knoxfield, Chelsea, Frankston and Keysborough. The SES and Metropolitan Fire Brigade attended over 100 calls, while there was significant water damage in Dandenong Plaza, Narre Warren's Fountain Gate and Keysborough's Parkmore shopping centres. In Pakenham, the library, Centrelink, Safeway, Coles and a real estate agency received building damage when an estimated 35mm fell in half an hour. A power surge blacked out signals, stopping trains on the Ringwood line.

In northeastern VIC, Wodonga was worst hit with structural and roof damage to about 50 buildings, flash flooding and widespread tree damage and uprootings. Wind gusted to 95km/h at Albury Airport at 2.56pm. Wodonga SES had 80 calls for help. The City Council's Manager estimated the work of clearing trees and branches would take 3 weeks and cost $80,000 to $100,000. Damage was also reported from Mt Beauty to the southeast, where a supermarked was flooded, and from Tatura SW of Shepparton and Yarroweyah S of Tocumwal. Large hail was reported at Myrtleford and wind gusts of 91km/h at Wangaratta and 85 at Rutherglen. Hail to 2cm diameter was reported at Wilby, 15km S of Yarrawonga. Wind caused tree damage and 25mm of rain fell in 30 minutes at Numurkah, 30km N of Shepparton. Building damage was reported in Cudgewa, 15km W of Corryong.

Lightning sparked 10 bushfires in East Gippsland during the afternoon, all of which had been brought under control by late Friday morning.

Storms cut power in N TAS, W NSW

A storm that remained nearly stationary between Launceston and Oatlands TAS during the early evening blacked out around 2,000 homes in Conara, Campbell Town, Oatlands, Jerico and Macquarie Plains for 3 hours after lightning struck a transformer around 7.30pm. 50.4mm was recorded in the 24 hours to 9am Friday, mostly from the storm, at Campbell Town where students at the high school had Friday off when it was closed for the day by electrical problems and flooding.

A line of storms in western NSW later afternoon cut power to Wilcannia, White Cliffs and Menindee around 5pm. Power had still not been restored late the following morning.

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

Heat continues in NE NSW, S QLD

High temperatures continued in the NE half of NSW and across S QLD both by night and by day. Quilpie's top of 44.5 was the town's hottest November day in 46 years. Longreach, Winton and Windorah all recorded maxima of 44 or above. For many western QLD residents, it was the seventh consecutive day of 40°+ heat. Overnight temperatures west of the Divide in NSW and southern QLD were 10 to 13 above average, with readings of 25 to 30° the norm. Birdsville, with a temperature of 35 at 2.30am looked like setting a new November high minimum temperature record when a downdraft from a nearby thunderstorm dropped the temperature by 5°. Isisford, Boulia, Quilpie and Ballera Gas Field all reported minima or 30° or above, which are rare events south of the tropics. Isisford's overnight low of 30.4 was its highest in 45 years of records.

Rare sea fog blankets coastal Sydney

Sea fog enveloped Sydney's beach suburbs from La Perouse to Pittwater this morning, reducing visibility to between 50 and 100m. The result of warm, very humid air moving across cold water, sea fog is a relative rarity in Sydney. The fog area extended north to Norah Head on the Central Coast, where it cleared at 12.45pm. It lasted over 10 hours in some places.

Bushfires continue in TAS and on NSW Mid North Coast

Two large fires 10km apart continue to burn out of control in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area of NW TAS. One south of the Arthur River has burnt through 15,000ha, while a second near the coast between Temma and Balfour has consumed 9,000ha. Tasmania Fire Service, Parks and Wildlife, and Forestry Tasmania firefighters have been working in difficult terrain to stop the fire jumping the Pieman River and gaining access to southern forests. The fires are believed to have been started by lightning last Saturday. Forest fires in NE TAS are mostly under control, but have burnt through 1500ha of prime regenerated forests and 10ha of plantations worth an estimated $7m to $8m.

A bushfire that started in hot gusty winds on Sunday has burnt through hundreds of hectares of the Comboyne-Kerewong State Forest northwest of Taree NSW. The fire was partly contained today, but continues to burn as a 2.5km backburn operation attempts to bring it under control.

News sources: News.com, ABC, Border Mail, Herald Sun, AAP, The Age, Courier-Mail, Examiner, Pakenham Gazette

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:
045015 QUILPIE AIRPORT 44.5 (44.3, 46)

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

44.8 WINTON AIRPORT Northwest QLD
44.5 LONGREACH AERO Central West QLD
44.5 QUILPIE AIRPORT Far SW QLD
44.2 WINDORAH POST OFFICE Channel Country QLD
44.0 TREPELL AIRPORT Northwest QLD

+12.4   32.7 WILLOW GROVE (BLUE ROCK RESERVOIR) W Gippsland VIC
+11.9   32.8 BOMBALA (THERRY STREET) Goulburn/Monaro NSW
+11.8   37.9 CESSNOCK AIRPORT AWS Hunter Valley NSW
+11.6   33.0 ORBOST (COMPARISON) E Gippsland VIC
+11.4   38.6 CESSNOCK (NULKABA) Hunter Valley NSW
+11.4   30.4 SWANSEA POST OFFICE E Coast TAS

30.4 ISISFORD POST OFFICE Central West QLD
30.2 BOULIA AIRPORT Channel Country QLD
30.0 BALLERA GAS FIELD Far SW QLD
30.0 QUILPIE AIRPORT Far SW QLD
30.0 NORTHERN ENDEAVOUR Islands ISL

+13.4   26.9 IVANHOE POST OFFICE Southwest Plains NSW
+12.8   25.5 CONDOBOLIN AG RESEARCH STN CW Plains S NSW
+12.4   23.0 TEMORA A.R.S. SW Slopes N NSW
+12.1   29.5 TIBOOBURRA POST OFFICE Far Northwest NSW
+12.1   24.2 WYALONG POST OFFICE SW Slopes N NSW

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

11.7 MOUNT READ W Coast TAS
12.3 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
13.3 MAATSUYKER ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE Southeast TAS
15.3 SCOTTS PEAK DAM W Coast TAS
15.4 PORTLAND (CASHMORE AIRPORT) W Coast VIC

-8.2   16.5 RAVENSTHORPE Cent Wheatbelt WA
-7.4   18.7 SALMON GUMS RES.STN. Goldfields WA
-6.6   22.3 KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT Goldfields WA
-6.5   19.9 LAKE GRACE COMPARISON Cent Wheatbelt WA
-6.3   21.7 NORSEMAN Goldfields WA

7.6 HARVEY Lower West WA
7.7 HEYWOOD FORESTRY W Coast VIC
8.0 CHARLOTTE PASS (KOSCIUSKO CHALET) Snowy Mtns NSW
8.2 KELLERBERRIN Cent Wheatbelt WA
9.0 DALWALLINU Central West WA
9.0 BICKLEY Lower West WA
9.0 DWELLINGUP Lower West WA

-4.8   13.8 MEEKATHARRA AIRPORT E Gascoyne WA
-4.8   11.3 YEELIRRIE Goldfields WA
-4.8   14.3 CARNEGIE Interior WA
-4.3   12.5 MURCHISON W Gascoyne WA
-4.1   8.2 KELLERBERRIN 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.

44.0 MOUNT ELIZABETH N Kimberley WA
38.0 CAMPBELL TOWN (GREENHILL) Midlands TAS
37.0 YETHOLME (KURRAWONG) C Tablelands S NSW
34.6 CAPE BRIDGEWATER W Coast VIC
32.6 COLES BAY (FREYCINET) E Coast TAS

  Max+/- norm Min+/- normRain to 9am
BROOME AIRPORT 33.0 -0.5 27.1 +2.1 0.0
PERTH AIRPORT 24.6 -1.0 12.8 +0.2 1.6
ALBANY AIRPORT 16.3 -4.5 12.3 +1.7 1.6
KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT 22.3 -6.6 12.9 -1.1 0.0
DARWIN AIRPORT 33.1 -0.1 25.3 0.0 2.0
ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT 36.7 +3.1 21.0 +3.2 3.2
ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN) 27.8 +3.2 18.1 +4.3 2.0
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO 18.1 -2.0 14.9 +6.7 30.6
CAIRNS AERO 31.5 +0.9 21.1 -1.2 0.0
TOWNSVILLE AERO 30.5 -0.2 24.1 +1.3 0.0
ROCKHAMPTON AERO 32.2 +1.0 21.3 +1.9 0.0
AMBERLEY AMO 31.2 +1.7 21.8 +5.5 0.0
BRISBANE AERO 28.3 22.2 0.0
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS 29.9 13.4 0.0
COFFS HARBOUR MO 28.9 +4.0 21.5 +5.5 0.0
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS 23.6 0.0 17.9 +1.8 0.0
SYDNEY (OBSERVATORY HILL) 25.9 +2.3 18.5 +3.0 0.0
PROSPECT DAM 34.6 +9.5 15.9 +1.8 0.0
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY 27.5 +4.7 15.6 +1.2 0.0
CANBERRA AIRPORT 29.2 +6.7 14.5 +5.9 0.0
WAGGA WAGGA AMO 35.4 +10.0 20.6 +10.1 0.4
MILDURA AIRPORT 29.7 +2.5 20.5 +8.2 6.4
EAST SALE AIRPORT 32.2 +11.2 17.8 +8.4 3.4
MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE 31.8 +10.0 17.9 +6.8 1.2
LAVERTON RAAF 31.1 +9.8 15.3 +5.4 1.6
BALLARAT AERODROME 23.7 +4.3 13.9 +6.2 1.4
LAUNCESTON AIRPORT 24.0 +5.3 14.4 +7.3 1.0
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) 19.5 +0.9 15.5 +6.3 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.
NORTHERN TERRITORY
    Darwin-Daly
PORT KEATS AERO
26.4mm in 1 hr to 17:30 26.4mm/h
26.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 8.7mm/h
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    Lower SE
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO
17.0mm in 3 hr to 00:00 5.7mm/h
NEW SOUTH WALES
    CW Plains N
COONAMBLE AIRPORT AWS
4.4mm in 6 min to 18:01 44.0mm/h
    C Tablelands N
NULLO MOUNTAIN AWS
12.0mm in 1 hr to 19:00 12.0mm/h
    Snowy Mtns
THREDBO AWS
5.0mm in 3 min to 16:31 100.0mm/h
7.0mm in 12 min to 16:43 35.0mm/h
25.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 8.3mm/h
    SW Slopes S
KHANCOBAN AWS
6.2mm in 9 min to 16:23 41.3mm/h
5.2mm in 3 min to 16:26 104.0mm/h
14.2mm in 1 hr to 17:00 14.2mm/h
16.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 5.3mm/h
VICTORIA
    Lower NE
BENALLA (SHADFORTH STREET)
15.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 5.0mm/h
HUNTERS HILL
16.6mm in 1 hr to 16:00 16.6mm/h
12.0mm in 1 hr to 17:00 12.0mm/h
10.0mm in 1 hr to 17:30 10.0mm/h
32.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 10.7mm/h
    Upper NE
MT HOTHAM
1.6mm in 1 min to 15:12 96.0mm/h
6.8mm in 7 min to 15:19 58.3mm/h
5.2mm in 11 min to 15:30 28.4mm/h
17.6mm in 1 hr to 15:30 17.6mm/h
20.6mm in 1 hr to 16:00 20.6mm/h
25.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 8.3mm/h
    E Gippsland
MALLACOOTA
1.4mm in 1 min to 16:51 84.0mm/h
1.4mm in 1 min to 16:52 84.0mm/h
3.2mm in 2 min to 16:54 96.0mm/h
GELANTIPY
5.4mm in 14 min to 16:55 23.1mm/h
    W Gippsland
BAIRNSDALE AIRPORT
27.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 9.0mm/h
    E Central
MOORABBIN AIRPORT
14.0mm in 1 hr to 13:30 14.0mm/h
23.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 7.7mm/h
    W Central
LAVERTON RAAF
9.2mm in 33 min to 13:00 16.7mm/h
    W Coast
CAPE OTWAY LIGHTHOUSE
11.6mm in 1 hr to 02:00 11.6mm/h
17.0mm in 3 hr to 03:00 5.7mm/h
MORTLAKE RACECOURSE
4.6mm in 3 min to 01:16 92.0mm/h
1.8mm in 1 min to 01:17 108.0mm/h

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    NE Pastoral
MOOMBA AIRPORT : 80(250/ 69 ) at 22:13
NEW SOUTH WALES
    South Coast
GREEN CAPE AWS : 89(210/ 65 ) at 18:21
    Snowy Mtns
THREDBO AWS : 85(320/ 67 ) at 08:01
    SW Slopes S
ALBURY AIRPORT AWS : 95(250/ 46 ) at 14:56
VICTORIA
    Lower NE
RUTHERGLEN RESEARCH : 85(270/ 70 ) at 14:21
WANGARATTA AERO : 91(280/ 52 ) at 14:03
    Upper NE
MT HOTHAM : 106(340/ 72 ) at 02:01
    E Gippsland
ORBOST : 80(230/ 63 ) at 16:35