Wednesday 07 JAN 2004

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2004

Dec

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January

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WA records most widespread rain in 3 years
Mixed bag of weather in eastern state as cold airmass replaces hot
Bushfires continue in NSW, TAS

Above: National rainfall for the week ended 9am today shows the heaviest, most widespread rain in WA since late February 2001. BoM
Minimum (above) and maximum (below) temperature departures from normal today. BoM

WA records most widespread rain in 3 years

While Tropical Cyclone Ken only barely achieved cyclone status, it gave WA the state's most widespread heavy rain since late February 2001. Virtually every part of WA recorded rain in the week to 9am today, a rare feat as the systems that produce rain in the north are seldom active at the same time as those that produce rain in the south. Highest totals for the week were in the Kimberley where Kuri Bay topscored with 248.3 followed by Doongan on 190.4. Significant falls elsewhere included Cardabia 80, Gascoyne Junction 67.5 and Yaringa Station 62 in the West Gascoyne; Munarra 68.2 in the East Gascoyne; Mt Barker 58.4 on the South Coast; Desert Fringe 67 and Wattle Dale 66.8 in the Central Wheat Belt; Koolyanobbing 64.4 and Southern Cross 58.2 in the Goldfields; and Balgo Hills 95.4 in the NE Interior. Most of the heavy rain away from the Kimberley fell from thunderstorms, with several areas, notably the Pilbara, Central West and Perth Metro areas, receiving little or nothing.

The storms continued in the 24 hours to 9am today, giving some torrential downpours in the Gascoyne and NE Interior. Balgo Hills recorded 75.4, Dairy Creek 51.6 and Dalgety Downs 50.0. The ABC reported that Murchison Downs in the West Gascoyne recorded 72mm in a storm around 2am. The storm gave Meekatharra Airport 23mm and a wind gust of 95km/h.


Mixed bag of weather in eastern state as cold airmass replaces hot

The most significant airmass change in over a month continued to move through SE Australia today producing a wild mixture of weather events. The temperature differences across the cold front were extreme, Gosford's maximum of 41.2 (13.8 above normal) for example contrasting with 24.0 (-7.4) at Wagga 400km away. A strong jet stream accompanied the sharp temperature gradient which, together with a trough preceding the cold front, brought rain and thunderstorms, some severe. In TAS, VIC and southern NSW and SA the day was unusually cold and windy, with many locations reporting wind gusts to storm force.

Heat: The hottest places relative to normal were on the NSW coast from Sydney north. Gosford's 41.2, at 13.8 above normal, was the greatest variation, while Grafton recorded 43.7 (+13.7) and Riverview in Sydney 39.1 (+12.7). Windorah and Quilpie QLD, and Grafton, Walgett and Collarenebri NSW all recorded tops of over 44. Minimum temperatures this morning were again 8 to 12 above average in a band through northern NSW and southern QLD into Central Australia, with 33.6 at Cunnamulla QLD the highest, and 31.0 (+12.3) at Gunnedah NSW the greatest departure from normal.

The prolonged heatwave in southern QLD has seen record electricity consumption as air conditioners are turned up to full blast. Powerlink's usage peaked at 7,400 megawatts mid-afternoon yesterday, 270 megawatts up on the previous record. That record was broken today, with a peak consumption of 7689 megawatts at 3.30pm. The Queensland Ambulance Service attended 22 cases of heat stress in Brisbane during the day. In western QLD, the heat has taken a toll on stock, pastures and kangaroo joeys. The Queensland Department of Primary Industries warned that intense heat was causing a huge reduction in feed intake by stock, as well as lowering the quality of pasture. Many kangaroos have been observed abandonning their joeys. Queensland Parks and Wildlife officer Steven Gear told AAP female kangaroos left their young to fend for themselves when food and water became too scarce.

Cold: The large blue area in the lowest map shows the area that recorded maximum temperatures 8 to 12 below average. An area around the SA/VIC border failed to make 20°, with Casterton reaching a top of only 17.7 (-9.4) and Keith 19.5 (-10.3).

Severe thunderstorms: The strong temperature gradient and resultant jet stream caused ideal conditions for the development of severe thunderstorms which produced little rain but a lot of wind and lightning. The SES responded to 165 calls to assist with wind damage in the Hunter and Mid North Coast.

In the Hunter Valley, a violent storm swept ESE down the valley between 3 and 5pm, unroofing several houses. Worst hit was the Mount Pleasant area, 20km north of Singleton. The historic Roselands Uniting Church was destroyed, the public school library lost its roof and framing while a house in the settlement lost its roof and several others suffered roof damage. The wind was sufficiently strong to blow in two rollerdoors of a Besser block garage, then blow out the side walls. Trees believed to be at least 200 years old were blown down by the wind. The Hunter SES received 70 calls for assistance, 58 from the Singleton and Muswellbrook areas. Wind gusted to 117km/h at Scone Airport and 122km/h at the Tocal Ag College south of Paterson. Three people were struck by lightning -- at Williamtown, Hawks Nest and Muswellbrook -- but survived. 12,000 homes were left without power for up to an hour after the storm. 12,000 homes between Maitland and Nelson Bay were blacked out.

Farther north, late afternoon storms rampaged through an area bounded by Manilla, Armidale and Inverell. Two homes at Manilla were unroofed, and 5 seriously damaged. A house at Bingara was unroofed. At Kings Gap, northeast of Bundarra, wind ripped the roofs off a house, shearing shed and machinery shed at the one property. On Clerks Creek Road, between Bundarra and Glen Innes, a recently built machinery shed was destroyed at Outer Clerkness and a Toyota Landcruiser parked in a paddock rolled over by the wind. Widespread tree damage was reported around Bundarra. In Armidale, the Council works depot had its roof peeled back and CBD businesses had to close early when power was lost. On the Mid North Coast, evening storms caused extensive damage to numerous homes and buildings in the Nambucca area, with 19 SES callouts and up to a dozen badly damaged properties. Powerlines and many trees were brought down in Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Telegraph Point, Roland Plains and Nambucca Heads, and there were widespread blackouts lasting up to 5 hours. A Country Energy spokeswoman said that up to 10,000 properties were thought to have lost power, with some still not restored the next day. Little rain was recorded in most of the storms, with a report of an impressive dust cloud preceding the storm at Attunga, 20km NW of Tamworth. However, Kings Plains, 25km WNW of Glen Innes, recorded 48mm for the 24 hours to 9am Thursday.

Bushfires continue in NSW, TAS

In NSW, 300 firefighters continued to contain a fire in the Goonoo State Forest NE of Dubbo which has burnt through 1,800ha.

In TAS, the Fortescue Bay fire on the Tasman Peninsula continued to burn out of control in difficult country. 80 campers were evacuated from a camping area on the bay, 3km from the fire front.

News sources: ABC, Sunshine Coast Daily, AAP, Border Mail (Albury), Daily Telegraph, Singleton Argus, Inverell Times, Northern Daily Leader (Tamworth)

National weather extremes for today

Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology

Records set this day: (none known)

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 22:17EST, 27/10/2004.

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 WINDORAH POST OFFICE Channel Country QLD
44.6 GRAFTON RESEARCH STN North Coast NSW
44.5 WALGETT AIRPORT AWS NW Plains W NSW
44.2 QUILPIE AIRPORT Far SW QLD
44.2 COLLARENEBRI (ALBERT ST) Upper Darling NSW

+13.8   41.2 GOSFORD (NARARA RESEARCH STATION) AWS Hunter Valley NSW
+13.7   43.7 GRAFTON OLYMPIC POOL North Coast NSW
+12.7   39.1 RIVERVIEW OBSERVATORY Sydney--east NSW
+12.6   39.4 PEATS RIDGE (WARATAH ROAD) Hunter Valley NSW
+12.4   40.6 PARRAMATTA NORTH (MASONS DRIVE) Sydney--east NSW

33.6 CUNNAMULLA POST OFFICE Warrego QLD
33.4 BEDOURIE POLICE STATION Channel Country QLD
32.9 JERVOIS N Plateau NT
32.6 LIGHTNING RIDGE BOWLING CLUB Upper Darling NSW
32.6 BOLLON MARY ST Warrego QLD

+12.3   31.0 GUNNEDAH SCS NW Slopes S NSW
+12.0   28.3 BARRABA POST OFFICE NW Slopes N NSW
+11.8   32.3 COLLARENEBRI (ALBERT ST) Upper Darling NSW
+11.6   29.9 GUNNEDAH POOL NW Slopes S NSW
+11.5   33.6 CUNNAMULLA POST OFFICE Warrego QLD

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

5.9 MOUNT READ W Coast TAS
6.0 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
7.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
7.1 THREDBO AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
7.2 FALLS CREEK Upper NE VIC
7.2 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS

-10.3   19.5 KEITH Mallee/Upper SE SA
-10.1   20.5 WARRACKNABEAL MUSEUM Wimmera N VIC
-9.9   19.2 RAVENSTHORPE Cent Wheatbelt WA
-9.7   23.2 KYANCUTTA W Agricultural SA
-9.4   21.2 YONGALA Upper North SA
-9.4   17.7 CASTERTON SHOWGROUNDS W Coast VIC

3.7 MOUNT READ W Coast TAS
4.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
4.0 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
4.0 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
4.2 FALLS CREEK Upper NE VIC

-6.0   12.2 KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT Goldfields WA
-5.4   10.0 ALBURY AIRPORT SW Slopes S NSW
-4.4   20.8 BALGO HILLS Interior WA
-4.3   19.9 MEEKATHARRA AIRPORT E Gascoyne WA
-4.1   13.6 MERREDIN 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.

87.0 NORTHCOTE HOMESTEAD N Coast--Barron QLD
75.4 BALGO HILLS Interior WA
72.0 MURCHISON DOWNS E Gascoyne WA
70.0 GLEN HARDING N Coast--Barron QLD
70.0 MULAN Interior WA

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    W Gascoyne
51.6 DAIRY CREEK
    E Gascoyne
72.0 MURCHISON DOWNS
67.0 MOUNT HALE
50.0 DALGETY DOWNS
    Cent Wheatbelt
50.0 OAK PARK
    Interior
75.4 BALGO HILLS
70.0 MULAN

NORTHERN TERRITORY
    N Rivers
70.0 NGANMARRIYANGA
53.0 INVERWAY
51.0 RIVEREN
51.0 MONTEJINNI

QUEENSLAND
    N Coast--Barron
87.0 NORTHCOTE HOMESTEAD
70.0 GLEN HARDING
63.0 MALANDA ALERT
53.0 MALANDA POST OFFICE

TASMANIA
    W Coast
52.2 MOUNT READ

  Max+/- norm Min+/- normRain to 9am
BROOME AIRPORT 31.3 -2.1 27.4 +1.1 0.0
ALBANY AIRPORT 18.6 -6.3 13.3 -0.3 1.2
PERTH AIRPORT 31.9 +0.4 16.7 -0.2 0.0
KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT 26.0 -7.6 12.2 -6.0 0.0
DARWIN AIRPORT 32.0 +0.2 25.6 +0.8 0.0
ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT 37.2 +1.0 29.2 +7.9 4.2
ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN) 20.6 -8.3 15.3 -1.6 5.0
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO 17.4 -7.7 12.5 +1.5 4.4
CAIRNS AERO 34.1 +2.7 25.3 +1.7 2.0
TOWNSVILLE AERO 34.2 +2.9 26.8 +2.6 0.2
ROCKHAMPTON AERO 37.8 +5.9 23.0 +1.0 0.0
AMBERLEY AMO 40.9 +9.8 22.6 +3.0 0.0
BRISBANE AERO 32.1 25.3 0.0
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS 34.9 20.6 3.4
COFFS HARBOUR MO 36.0 +9.2 22.7 +3.3 0.0
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS 29.3 +3.7 18.8 -0.3 1.0
SYDNEY (OBSERVATORY HILL) 32.5 +6.7 19.7 +1.1 0.0
PROSPECT DAM 39.3 +11.3 19.0 +1.5 0.0
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY 32.3 +6.7 18.2 +0.3 3.1
CANBERRA AIRPORT 23.0 -4.8 14.0 +1.0 10.0
WAGGA WAGGA AMO 24.0 -7.4 13.8 -2.3 18.8
MILDURA AIRPORT 26.3 -5.8 15.3 -1.2 3.0
EAST SALE AIRPORT 26.3 +1.0 13.2 +0.5 0.6
MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE 21.6 -4.2 15.0 +0.8 0.0
LAVERTON RAAF 21.6 -4.0 14.0 +0.4 0.0
BALLARAT AERODROME 16.4 -8.5 9.9 -0.9 0.8
LAUNCESTON AIRPORT 17.9 -5.3 12.6 +2.4 3.8
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) 20.2 -1.4 13.9 +2.1 1.6

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
KALUMBURU
10.2mm in 18 min to 18:00 34.0mm/h
10.4mm in 1 hr to 18:00 10.4mm/h
    E Gascoyne
MEEKATHARRA AIRPORT
7.0mm in 12 min to 01:36 35.0mm/h
23.0mm in 3 hr to 03:00 7.7mm/h
NORTHERN TERRITORY
    N Rivers
WARRUWI
11.8mm in 1 hr to 13:30 11.8mm/h
18.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 6.0mm/h
GOVE AIRPORT
19.6mm in 30 min to 14:00 39.2mm/h
22.4mm in 1 hr to 14:00 22.4mm/h
19.6mm in 1 hr to 14:30 19.6mm/h
24.0mm in 3 hr to 15:30 8.0mm/h
DALY WATERS AWS
16.0mm in 3 hr to 21:00 5.3mm/h
20.0mm in 38 min to 21:23 31.6mm/h
WOLLOGORANG
16.0mm in 3 hr to 18:30 5.3mm/h
DELAMERE WEAPONS RANGE
10.2mm in 1 hr to 20:00 10.2mm/h
    N Plateau
RABBIT FLAT
30.0mm in 3 hr to 00:30 10.0mm/h
QUEENSLAND
    S Peninsula
LOCKHART RIVER AIRPORT
58.8mm in 1 hr 2 min to 18:00 56.9mm/h
61.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 20.3mm/h
    Central West
LONGREACH AERO
6.0mm in 18 min to 22:18 20.0mm/h
12.8mm in 12 min to 22:30 64.0mm/h
18.8mm in 1 hr to 22:30 18.8mm/h
21.6mm in 1 hr to 23:00 21.6mm/h
10.6mm in 30 min to 23:30 21.2mm/h
13.4mm in 1 hr to 23:30 13.4mm/h
BLACKALL AIRPORT
4.6mm in 6 min to 17:18 46.0mm/h
    Maranoa
INJUNE POST OFFICE
22.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 7.3mm/h
NEW SOUTH WALES
    NW Plains E
MOREE AERO
3.6mm in 2 min to 16:39 108.0mm/h
12.2mm in 30 min to 21:00 24.4mm/h
12.2mm in 1 hr to 21:00 12.2mm/h
12.2mm in 25 min to 21:55 29.3mm/h
    Hunter Valley
WILLIAMTOWN RAAF
5.8mm in 8 min to 16:25 43.5mm/h
TASMANIA
    W Coast
STRAHAN AERODROME
10.2mm in 1 hr to 07:00 10.2mm/h
MOUNT READ
28.0mm in 3 hr to 06:00 9.3mm/h
18.0mm in 3 hr to 09:00 6.0mm/h

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    E Gascoyne
MEEKATHARRA AIRPORT : 95(330/ 76 ) at 01:19
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    W Agricultural
NEPTUNE ISLAND : 91(260/ 65 ) at 13:01
    Yorke Pen/Kanga Is
MOONTA (WARBURTO POINT) : 78(230/ 63 ) at 21:27
    Adelaide/Lofty
MOUNT LOFTY : 83(260/ 63 ) at 16:30
HINDMARSH ISLAND AWS : 80(280/ 63 ) at 12:09
NEW SOUTH WALES
    NW Plains E
MOREE AERO : 87(330/ 63 ) at 15:10
    MidNorth Coast S
PORT MACQUARIE AIRPORT AWS : 91(340/ 46 ) at 19:14
    Hunter Valley
PATERSON (TOCAL AWS) : 122(300/ 80 ) at 16:12
SCONE AIRPORT AWS : 117(330/ 70 ) at 15:40
MURRURUNDI GAP AWS : 85(320/ 63 ) at 14:01
    Goulburn/Monaro
BOMBALA AWS : 74(290/ 65 ) at 17:05
    Snowy Mtns
THREDBO AWS : 91(320/ 56 ) at 15:00
VICTORIA
    Upper NE
MOUNT BULLER : 93(340/ 54 ) at 14:00
MT HOTHAM : 96(330/ 59 ) at 16:24
    W Gippsland
WILSONS PROMONTORY LIGHTHOUSE : 96(270/ 59 ) at 12:05
KINGFISH B SHIP LOG 272 : 91(241/ 58 ) at 15:00
    E Central
SOUTH CHANNEL ISLAND : 96(270/ 54 ) at 11:01
DUNNS HILL : 98(350/ 46 ) at 11:47
    W Central
GEELONG AIRPORT : 74(270/ 63 ) at 10:23
POINT WILSON : 76(270/ 69 ) at 16:51
    W Coast
COLAC (MT GELLIBRAND) : 83(310/ 63 ) at 09:41
PORT FAIRY AWS : 82(270/ 63 ) at 12:01
CAPE NELSON LIGHTHOUSE : 85(270/ 67 ) at 11:19
TASMANIA
    E Coast
EDDYSTONE POINT : 96(320/ 76 ) at 12:22
SWAN ISLAND : 82(330/ 69 ) at 12:00
    Southeast
MAATSUYKER ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE : 96(310/ 85 ) at 17:38
MOUNT WELLINGTON : 78(320/ 63 ) at 06:30
CAPE BRUNY (CAPE BRUNY) : 95(270/ 70 ) at 13:17
ISLANDS
    Islands
HOGAN ISLAND : 100(280/ 76 ) at 21:14