Thursday 08 JAN 2004

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2004

Dec

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January

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Violent storms follow record heat in QLD
Bushfires flare up around Sydney
Wintry conditions in SE states

Above: Lightning tracker and radar show the size of the storm complex north of Brisbane at 8.15pm. Weatherzone
Below: Surface chart for 4pm EST shows a trough moving fairly quickly northeast just behind the storms. The tail end of a cold front is moving through Sydney, bringing very dry and freshening southwesterlies. BoM

Violent storms follow record heat in QLD

Colder air moving slowly NE contracted high temperatures to the far east and northeast of the continent today, with temperatures in the low 40s reported from the NSW North Coast and SE QLD. In NSW, Yamba reported a top of 41.1, 14.5 above average, and Casino 40.5. In QLD, Taroom recorded 41.5 and Amberley 40.9. Redcliffe, 30km north of Brisbane CBD, recorded its highest January maximum in 20 years of record with a top of 38.4, while Mackay Aero's 35.8 set a new January record for the 18 year old Met Office. Townsville's maximum of 37.0 was the highest temperature in the city since 11 February 2002, and occurred with a humidity of 45%.

Widespread and often violent thunderstorms developed ahead of a troughline as it crossed eastern QLD this afternoon and evening. The trough separated the very hot, humid NE winds in the east, with precipitable water content around 55mm in the Brisbane area at 10am, from SE winds to the west with an airmass some 16° cooler. The trough lay through SW QLD early this morning, but picked up speed during the afternoon, passing through Brisbane around 10pm.

In SE QLD, storms developed between Gayndah and Kingaroy during the middle afternoon, and remained active in this area while propagating ESE to the northern Sunshine Coast by 6pm. This storm area then moved northwards to be active in the Rockhampton area around midnight. The storms caused widespread damage, disruption, and the loss of one life.

  • A woman died near Gin Gin, west of Bundaberg, after a branch fell 20m on to her car though to be due to a storm
  • A man was struck from the side by lightning at Goomboorian, 15km NE of Gympie, amazing doctors by emerging unscathed from the incident
  • A hailstorm with strong winds brought down powerlines and trees and unroofed houses at Nanango, 20km SE of Kingaroy, blacking out 1,500 residents in the town and blocking the main street
  • Lightning cut power to 3,000 homes in Agnes Water, Miriam Vale, Turkey Beach, Many Peaks and Monto. 500 in Agnes Water were without power for 15 hours.

There were some heavy falls with the storms in the Burnett, with Biloela-Valbona reporting 85.0mm, Thangool Airport 82.2 and Builyan 68.4 in the 24 hours to 9am Friday. Of Thangool's total, 72mm fell in the period 3 to 9pm. Other heavy falls included 46mm in 90 minutes to 11.30pm at Gladstone Radar. Overnight storms Wednesday/Thursday also brought some heavy rain in western QLD, with 40mm in the 3 hours to midnight at Longreach and 24mm in the 3 hours to 3am at Winton.

Bushfires flare up around Sydney

Bushfires broke out to the north, west and southwest of Sydney today in unusual weather conditions. The same trough that brought storms to SE QLD passed through Sydney yesterday evening, leaving the metro area cloudy but dry with light S to SE winds. Much drier and surprisingly warmer air arrived mid afternoon as the tail of a cold front flicked past the city, marking the arrival of air of southern origin and strengthening SW winds. Humidities, which had been around 40 to 60% during the morning dropped to the low teens by mid afternoon, and as low as 7% at Liverpool and 9% at Horsley Park, while winds freshened to 30 to 40km/h with gusts to 60km/h and temperatures rose to the high 20s.

South of Campbelltown, a fire which started near Wilton had burnt into inaccesible country in the Clements Creek gorge and threatened rural properties and the St Mary's Towers retreat before it died down during the evening after burning through 500ha. A second fire was controlled on the Cordeaux Road at Mt Kembla behind Wollongong. At Cranebrook, 3km north of Penrith, a grass fire threatened 25 homes and a school and burnt out 70ha before being brought under control during the evening. To the north of the city, fires were reported at Cowan, Ingleside and Akuna Bay.

In the state's Central West, the Goonoo fire northeast of Dubbo was declared contained today, thanks to milder weather and the efforts of over 300 firefighters. The fire burnt through 2,300ha, mostly state forest.

Cold conditions spread across much of southern Australia today, pushing the recent heatwave into the far northeast of the country. Blue marks the area with maximum temperatures 6 or more degrees below average. BoM

Wintry conditions in SE states

Summer visitors to alpine ski resorts in NSW and VIC awoke to snow this morning. At Kosciuszko Chalet in the Snowy Mountains, there was 3cm of snow on the ground at 9am with snow settling to the 1,800m level. In VIC, Mt Hotham, Falls Creek and Mt Buffalo all reported a dusting. Maxima today were between 6 and 14 below normal across the huge area shown in blue on the map at right. Most alpine stations only reached 4°, as much as 14 below average, with Mt Hotham only rising to 2.3.

News sources: Townsville Bulletin, AAP, Courier Mail, ABC, SMH, Illawarra Mercury, Daily Telegraph, ABC, Wellington Times

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 January
Queensland:
033045 MACKAY AERO 35.8 (35.6, 18)
040697 REDCLIFFE COUNCIL 38.4 (38.2, 20)

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

43.9 CENTURY MINE Gulf Country QLD
41.5 TAROOM POST OFFICE Central Highlands QLD
41.1 YAMBA PILOT STATION North Coast NSW
40.9 AMBERLEY AMO Brisbane/SE Coast QLD
40.5 CASINO AIRPORT North Coast NSW

+14.5   41.1 YAMBA PILOT STATION North Coast NSW
+10.9   38.0 ALSTONVILLE TROPICAL FRUIT RESEARCH STAT North Coast NSW
+10.6   37.4 COFFS HARBOUR MO MidNorth Coast N NSW
+10.1   38.0 BALLINA AIRPORT AWS North Coast NSW
+9.9   40.1 ARCHERFIELD AIRPORT Brisbane/SE Coast QLD

28.6 GREEN ISLAND N Coast--Barron QLD
28.6 GRAFTON RESEARCH STN North Coast NSW
28.4 LUCINDA POINT N Coast--Herbert QLD
28.4 CASINO AIRPORT North Coast NSW
28.3 ALVA BEACH Central Coast E QLD

+9.7   28.4 CASINO AIRPORT North Coast NSW
+8.5   24.8 QUIRINDI POST OFFICE NW Slopes S NSW
+8.4   25.9 TAREE (RADIO STATION 2RE) MidNorth Coast S NSW
+7.9   23.1 MURRURUNDI POST OFFICE Hunter Valley NSW
+7.8   27.4 GRAFTON OLYMPIC POOL North Coast NSW
+7.8   24.6 SCONE SCS Hunter Valley NSW

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

2.3 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
4.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
4.0 MT BAW BAW W Gippsland VIC
4.0 PERISHER VALLEY SKI CENTRE Snowy Mtns NSW
4.3 FALLS CREEK Upper NE VIC

-14.2   4.0 PERISHER VALLEY SKI CENTRE Snowy Mtns NSW
-12.3   4.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
-11.7   16.7 LAKE EILDON GOULBURN MURRAY WATER (LAKE N Central VIC
-11.3   17.0 TUMBARUMBA POST OFFICE SW Slopes S NSW
-11.0   11.5 MAYDENA POST OFFICE Derwent Valley TAS

-2.6 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
-2.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
-1.9 THREDBO AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
-1.7 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
-1.6 FALLS CREEK Upper NE VIC

-9.7   -2.0 MOUNT BULLER Upper NE VIC
-8.9   5.0 MANGALORE AIRPORT N Central VIC
-8.1   -1.9 THREDBO AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
-7.4   8.0 ALBURY AIRPORT SW Slopes S NSW
-7.3   7.9 WALPEUP RESEARCH Mallee N VIC

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.

108.0 GLENLYON STATION Northwest QLD
78.8 NUTWOOD DOWNS N Rivers NT
74.4 VICTORIA RIVER ROADHOUSE N Rivers NT
73.0 LAJAMANU N Rivers NT
66.8 MUCKATY N Plateau NT

NORTHERN TERRITORY
    N Rivers
78.8 NUTWOOD DOWNS
74.4 VICTORIA RIVER ROADHOUSE
73.0 LAJAMANU
56.8 THE PINES
54.0 BERRY SPRINGS RANGERS
    N Plateau
66.8 MUCKATY
52.6 NEWCASTLE WATERS

QUEENSLAND
    S Peninsula
60.6 LOCKHART RIVER AIRPORT
    Northwest
108.0 GLENLYON STATION
    Wide Bay/Burnett
50.2 TANNYMOREL

NEW SOUTH WALES
    NW Slopes N
51.2 KINGS PLAINS (CROYE)
    N Tablelands W
57.0 SWAN VALE (PIETA)
50.4 SWAN VALE (NUMERALLA)

  Max+/- norm Min+/- normRain to 9am
BROOME AIRPORT 31.8 -1.6 27.4 +1.1 0.0
PERTH AIRPORT 32.8 +1.3 15.3 -1.6 0.0
ALBANY AIRPORT 21.3 -3.6 13.5 -0.1 0.2
KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT 25.2 -8.4 12.6 -5.6 0.0
DARWIN AIRPORT 30.5 -1.3 23.9 -0.9 14.6
ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT 33.9 -2.3 21.2 -0.1 0.6
ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN) 21.6 -7.3 13.2 -3.7 0.8
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO 18.3 -6.8 7.9 -3.1 7.6
CAIRNS AERO 35.2 +3.8 25.7 +2.1 0.6
TOWNSVILLE AERO 37.0 +5.7 27.6 +3.4 0.0
ROCKHAMPTON AERO 38.9 +7.0 26.2 +4.2 0.0
AMBERLEY AMO 40.9 +9.8 26.9 +7.3 0.0
BRISBANE AERO 34.7 26.3 0.0
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS 28.6 18.7 6.2
COFFS HARBOUR MO 37.4 +10.6 26.7 +7.3 0.0
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS 30.7 +5.1 20.4 +1.3 2.4
SYDNEY (OBSERVATORY HILL) 28.4 +2.6 23.0 +4.4 0.0
PROSPECT DAM 28.0 0.0 22.2 +4.7 0.0
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY 26.2 +0.6 18.3 +0.4 0.0
CANBERRA AIRPORT 19.2 -8.6 11.5 -1.5 0.0
WAGGA WAGGA AMO 23.1 -8.3 12.1 -4.0 1.4
MILDURA AIRPORT 25.0 -7.1 10.1 -6.4 0.0
EAST SALE AIRPORT 18.0 -7.3 11.0 -1.7 1.0
MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE 20.6 -5.2 11.3 -2.9 3.2
LAVERTON RAAF 20.1 -5.5 9.4 -4.2 1.8
BALLARAT AERODROME 16.6 -8.3 5.6 -5.2 6.6
LAUNCESTON AIRPORT 16.9 -6.3 6.2 -4.0 7.2
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) 16.2 -5.4 8.9 -2.9 2.6

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
    W Kimberley
CURTIN AERO
15.4mm in 34 min to 17:00 27.2mm/h
15.6mm in 1 hr to 17:00 15.6mm/h
16.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 5.3mm/h
    E Gascoyne
PARABURDOO AERO
16.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 5.3mm/h
NORTHERN TERRITORY
    N Rivers
DARWIN AIRPORT
10.0mm in 12 min to 10:55 50.0mm/h
8.8mm in 17 min to 11:41 31.1mm/h
28.0mm in 3 hr to 12:30 9.3mm/h
DARWIN AIRPORT COMPARISON
30.0mm in 3 hr to 12:30 10.0mm/h
CHANNEL POINT
42.0mm in 6 hr to 15:30 7.0mm/h
BATCHELOR AERO
10.6mm in 1 hr 1 min to 19:30 10.4mm/h
DUM IN MIRRIE AWS
17.0mm in 3 hr to 15:30 5.7mm/h
WARRUWI
6.0mm in 4 min to 15:40 90.0mm/h
11.8mm in 50 min to 16:30 14.2mm/h
20.6mm in 1 hr to 16:30 20.6mm/h
28.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 9.3mm/h
MANINGRIDA AERO
5.0mm in 3 min to 16:31 100.0mm/h
GROOTE EYLANDT AIRPORT AWS
15.0mm in 3 hr to 21:00 5.0mm/h
15.2mm in 1 hr 5 min to 21:30 14.0mm/h
DALY WATERS AWS
17.0mm in 3 hr to 00:00 5.7mm/h
LAJAMANU
34.4mm in 40 min to 05:10 51.6mm/h
1.4mm in 1 min to 05:11 84.0mm/h
17.0mm in 19 min to 05:30 53.7mm/h
52.8mm in 1 hr to 05:30 52.8mm/h
56.0mm in 3 hr to 06:00 18.7mm/h
12.2mm in 1 hr 1 min to 07:30 12.0mm/h
17.0mm in 3 hr to 09:00 5.7mm/h
CENTRAL ARNHEM PLATEAU
9.2mm in 13 min to 13:40 42.5mm/h
29.0mm in 3 hr to 15:30 9.7mm/h
TINDAL RAAF
13.0mm in 1 hr to 09:00 13.0mm/h
    N Plateau
TENNANT CREEK AIRPORT
6.8mm in 9 min to 23:22 45.3mm/h
QUEENSLAND
    N Peninsula
WEIPA AERO
6.6mm in 15 min to 13:00 26.4mm/h
    Upper Carpentaria
RICHMOND AIRPORT
6.8mm in 38 min to 13:54 10.7mm/h
    Central West
LONGREACH AERO
18.8mm in 1 hr to 00:00 18.8mm/h
40.0mm in 3 hr to 00:00 13.3mm/h
10.2mm in 1 hr to 00:30 10.2mm/h
    Northwest
WINTON AIRPORT
16.6mm in 1 hr to 02:00 16.6mm/h
24.0mm in 3 hr to 03:00 8.0mm/h
    Wide Bay/Burnett
GAYNDAH POST OFFICE
35.0mm in 6 hr to 21:00 5.8mm/h
GAYNDAH AIRPORT
7.8mm in 47 min to 18:00 10.0mm/h
4.4mm in 11 min to 19:00 24.0mm/h
15.0mm in 1 hr to 20:00 15.0mm/h
24.0mm in 3 hr to 21:00 8.0mm/h
THANGOOL AIRPORT
72.0mm in 6 hr to 21:00 12.0mm/h
GLADSTONE RADAR
10.4mm in 30 min to 22:30 20.8mm/h
10.4mm in 1 hr to 22:30 10.4mm/h
23.8mm in 30 min to 23:00 47.6mm/h
34.2mm in 1 hr to 23:00 34.2mm/h
11.8mm in 30 min to 23:30 23.6mm/h
35.6mm in 1 hr to 23:30 35.6mm/h
GLADSTONE AIRPORT
11.2mm in 1 hr to 23:00 11.2mm/h
NEW SOUTH WALES
    NW Plains E
MOREE AERO
12.2mm in 30 min to 06:00 24.4mm/h
12.2mm in 1 hr to 06:00 12.2mm/h
12.2mm in 1 hr to 06:30 12.2mm/h

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    E Gascoyne
PARABURDOO AERO : 87(340/ 69 ) at 13:55
NEW SOUTH WALES
    South Coast
GREEN CAPE AWS : 80(240/ 65 ) at 15:14
    Snowy Mtns
THREDBO AWS : 89(290/ 67 ) at 03:53
VICTORIA
    Upper NE
MT HOTHAM : 95(320/ 45 ) at 04:10
    W Gippsland
WILSONS PROMONTORY LIGHTHOUSE : 122(270/ 96 ) at 04:05
KINGFISH B SHIP LOG 272 : 98(257/ 70 ) at 17:30
    W Central
AVALON AIRPORT : 76(270/ 63 ) at 11:25
    W Coast
COLAC (MT GELLIBRAND) : 83(240/ 63 ) at 15:30
CAPE NELSON LIGHTHOUSE : 80(260/ 65 ) at 03:25
TASMANIA
    N Coast
CAPE GRIM BAPS : 106(250/ 76 ) at 13:00
    E Coast
SWAN ISLAND : 89(270/ 65 ) at 22:29
    Southeast
MAATSUYKER ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE : 109(300/ 89 ) at 23:12
MOUNT WELLINGTON : 121(240/ 70 ) at 17:04
CAPE BRUNY (CAPE BRUNY) : 85(260/ 65 ) at 18:50
    Flinders Is/Bass St
FLINDERS ISLAND AIRPORT : 83(260/ 63 ) at 16:16
ISLANDS
    Islands
HOGAN ISLAND : 113(260/ 91 ) at 19:00