Sunday 04 APR 2004

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2004

Dec

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January

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Torrential showers bring flash flooding to Sydney and Illawarra
Cold morning in TAS

Radar and lightning animation hourly from 6pm Saturday to 11pm this evening shows the heavy localised concentration of showers about the Illawarra Escarpment for most of the period, and its excursion into southwestern Sydney during the afternoon. Weatherzone
Meso-LAPS Surface wind and temperature analysis at 10pm Saturday. Note the marked convergence line between SE and E winds just north of 35°S, just south of Wollongong. This line moved slowly north today triggering the heaviest falls. Weatherzone Silver, BoM
Lower atmosphere chart for 850hPa (around 1.4km) at 10am today. The contours (°C) show a weak upper thermal trough at this level up the NSW coast while the green shading shows a narrow band of moisture coinciding with the convergence line. COLA
The upper air diagram for Sydney airport for 6am (blue) and 3pm (red) shows nearly saturated air up to 500hPa (about 18,000 feet), with fresh southeasterlies in the lowest few thousand feet feeding more moisture in from the Tasman Sea. The curved grey line sloping upwards and to the left shows the temperature that saturated air would need to be to remain in neutral buoyancy. As the temperature traces (righthand red and blue lines) are to the left of this and colder, the air can be seen to be slightly unstable all the way up to 300hPa. BoM
24 hour rainfall totals to 9am today (above ) and Monday (below ). BoM

Torrential showers bring flash flooding to Sydney and Illawarra

A nearly continuous stream of heavy showers brought from 100 to over 200mm of rain and widespread flash flooding from Wollongong to the southwestern suburbs of Sydney today.

The rain and flash flooding resulted from a classic alignment of events that regularly but infrequently brings torrential rain to the Illawarra Escarpment area. From late yesterday, a narrow band of very moist air was directed onto the coast around Wollongong in a fairly strong east to southeasterly stream , . The escarpment behind Wollongong rises to a height of almost 400m within a few kilometres of the coast, adding rapid uplift to the onshore stream. At the same time, a weak upper trough with cooler temperatures aloft developed up the coast providing deep marginal instability. The trigger for the heavy rain was a zone of wind convergence at the surface and in the lower atmosphere. This convergence line formed south of Wollongong mid evening Saturday and moved slowly north over the next 12 hours or so, generating thunderstorms off the Illawarra coast for several hours in the early morning, and producing heavy rain from around Wollongong into the southern and southwestern suburbs of Sydney . Several convergence lines reformed in the area during the remainder of the day leading to renewed heavy showers.

The distribution of the rainfall over the two rain days ended 9am today and Monday is shown in and . The heaviest falls on both days were on the Illawarra Escarpment north of Wollongong. Darkes Forest (Kintyre), 20km north of Wollongong, recorded the national top total to 9 this morning of 130mm and followed this up with a further 119.4 to 9am Monday, a 48 hour total of 249.4mm. The AWS on Bellambi Point, 10kmm north of Wollongong, recorded 59.6 to 9 this morning and the national high of 179.2 to 9am Monday for a 48 hour total of 238.8mm. The detailed record for Bellambi below shows the rain falling through the day until about 7pm, with occasional heavy bursts. Heavy totals from the flood warning rain network for the 24 hours to 9 this morning were Balgownie 95, Kembla Grange 87, and Cringilla and Keiraville 80, all suburbs of Wollongong.

The heaviest rain around Wollongong fell in two bursts, the first between 11 last night and 3 this morning. Wongawilli recorded 47mm 11pm to 1am, Kembla Grange 58mm midnight to 2am, and Scarborough 39mm in the hour to 3am. Further heavy showers gave Balgownie 70mm 7 to 11am and Wollongong City 56mm 7 to 10am.

The rain in the Illawarra led to flash flooding, flooded houses, landslips and road and rail closures. Most of the 15 calls received by the SES in the Illawarra were for water damage to houses due to blocked guttering and drains. Rockfalls closed the northbound Princes Highway at Bombo north of Kiama, and there were minor rockfalls at Mt Keira west of Wollongong. Carters Way and Squires Lane at Fairy Meadow, just north of Wollongong, were closed by flash flooding around 10.30am. About 10 road accidents were reported around Wollongong, one closing Mt Ousley Road. Local flooding closed the Princes Highway between Berry and Gerringong, and roads at Albion Park, Cringila and Audley.

During the early afternoon, an area of heavy rain associated with the convergence line moved slowly over Sydney's southwestern suburbs, then on into the western suburbs during the late afternoon. The flood warning gauge at Liverpool registered 105mm between 1pm and 3pm, with the manually read Michael Wenden Centre gauge in Liverpool reported 72mm between 9am and 3pm. Other heavy falls were Cronulla South 44mm 6 to 8am, Woronora Dam 42mm 9am to midday, Bankstown Airport 42.4mm in the hour to 3pm, Potts Hill 52mm midday to 3pm, and Greystaynes 30mm 3 to 4pm.

The SES fielded about 85 calls, mostly from Bankstown, Liverpool and Holsworthy to assist with flooded roads and houses and leaking roofs. The basement of Liverpool Hospital was flooded about 5pm. Ambulances attended 55 road accidents in the metropolitan area, about 2.5 times the norm, while police rescued 3 people from a flooded car in Bankstown around 2pm.

The rain continued into Monday (see separate report).

Cold morning in TAS

Clear skies under a high pressure system following the cold outbreak of the past few days resulted in a chilly start to the day across southern and central TAS. Tunnack, 20km SE of Oatlands, recorded the lowest minimum of -5.3 closely followed by -5.2 at Liawenee on the Central Plateau. Bushy Park in the lower Derwent Valley recorded -2.4, 8.7 below normal, while on the West Coast, Strahan Airport, which is just behind the beach, reported in with a low of just 1.3.

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

38.7 MANDORA E Pilbara WA
38.6 URANDANGIE Northwest QLD
38.2 CURTIN AERO W Kimberley WA
38.1 BOULIA AIRPORT Channel Country QLD
38.0 JULIA CREEK AIRPORT Gulf Country QLD

+9.7   30.5 ALBANY Lower West WA
+9.5   35.0 HYDEN Cent Wheatbelt WA
+9.1   31.0 ALBANY AIRPORT Lower West WA
+8.9   35.0 NORTHAM Cent Wheatbelt WA
+8.5   34.3 BENCUBBIN Cent Wheatbelt WA
+8.5   34.1 CUNDERDIN Cent Wheatbelt WA
+8.5   34.0 KELLERBERRIN Cent Wheatbelt WA

27.1 BEDOUT ISLAND E Pilbara WA
26.8 TROUGHTON ISLAND N Kimberley WA
26.3 COCONUT ISLAND N Peninsula QLD
26.0 MCCLUER ISLAND N Rivers NT
26.0 WARRUWI N Rivers NT

+10.8   19.0 COWRA AIRPORT CW Slopes S NSW
+10.7   20.0 WELLINGTON (AGROWPLOW) CW Slopes S NSW
+10.5   18.1 BARRABA POST OFFICE NW Slopes N NSW
+10.3   24.2 PEARCE RAAF Lower West WA
+10.2   19.4 GRENFELL (QUONDONG RD) SW Slopes N NSW

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

5.3 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
9.5 MOUNT READ W Coast TAS
11.0 MT BAW BAW W Gippsland VIC
11.0 MOOGARA (UXBRIDGE BACK ROAD) Derwent Valley TAS
11.1 LIAWENEE Central Plateau TAS

-4.9   14.5 COOMA VISITORS CENTRE Goulburn/Monaro NSW
-4.6   14.8 BOWRAL (PARRY DRIVE) Illawarra NSW
-4.0   16.0 GOULBURN (PROGRESS ST) Goulburn/Monaro NSW
-3.9   14.6 TARALGA POST OFFICE Goulburn/Monaro NSW
-3.7   20.1 CAMDEN AIRPORT AWS Illawarra NSW

-5.3 TUNNACK FIRE STATION Southeast TAS
-5.2 LIAWENEE Central Plateau TAS
-3.1 MELTON MOWBRAY (NORTH STOCKMAN) Southeast TAS
-3.1 OUSE FIRE STATION Derwent Valley TAS
-2.7 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS

-8.7   -2.4 BUSHY PARK (BUSHY PARK ESTATES) Derwent Valley TAS
-7.9   -1.7 GROVE RESEARCH STATION Southeast TAS
-6.8   -1.6 MAYDENA POST OFFICE Derwent Valley TAS
-6.8   1.3 STRAHAN AERODROME W Coast TAS
-6.6   -0.2 GEEVESTON (CEMETERY ROAD) Southeast TAS

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.

130.0 DARKES FOREST (KINTYRE) Illawarra NSW
100.0 MOUNT KEIRA YATES AVE Illawarra NSW
97.0 KIAMA (BRIGHTON ST) Illawarra NSW
91.0 JAMBEROO (THE RIDGE) Illawarra NSW
87.0 CATARACT DAM Illawarra NSW

QUEENSLAND
    N Coast--Barron
53.0 GRAHAM RANGE

NEW SOUTH WALES
    Illawarra
130.0 DARKES FOREST (KINTYRE)
100.0 MOUNT KEIRA YATES AVE
97.0 KIAMA (BRIGHTON ST)
91.0 JAMBEROO (THE RIDGE)
87.0 CATARACT DAM
85.0 TOOLIJOOA (NYORA)
82.0 WOONONA POPES RD
81.0 GERRINGONG (MAYFLOWER VILLAGE)
80.0 WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY
73.0 WATTAMOLLA (GRIFFITHS)
66.2 WOMBARRA (REEF AVE)
59.8 BERKELEY NORTHCLIFFE DRIVE
59.6 BELLAMBI AWS
53.0 PORT KEMBLA (BHP CENTRAL LAB)
50.0 CALLALA TREATMENT PLANT
    South Coast
74.0 MILTON POST OFFICE

  Max+/- norm Min+/- normRain to 9am
BROOME AIRPORT 36.1 +1.8 25.9 +3.4 0.0
PERTH AIRPORT 31.6 +6.1 22.7 +9.7 0.0
ALBANY AIRPORT 31.0 +9.1 15.9 +4.2 0.0
KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT 31.8 +6.7 14.9 +2.3 0.0
DARWIN AIRPORT 33.6 +0.9 23.1 -0.9 16.4
ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT 32.8 +4.8 16.9 +4.4 0.0
ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN) 25.4 +3.0 12.6 +0.4 0.0
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO 19.7 +0.3 9.3 +0.7 0.0
CAIRNS AERO 31.0 +1.8 23.8 +2.2 12.2
TOWNSVILLE AERO 32.4 +2.8 22.2 +1.7 0.2
ROCKHAMPTON AERO 31.0 +2.3 20.7 +2.9 0.0
AMBERLEY AMO 27.9 +0.8 16.8 +2.7 0.0
BRISBANE AERO 26.2 20.6 0.0
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS 22.3 12.0 0.0
COFFS HARBOUR MO 25.5 +1.5 16.8 +1.6 0.0
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS 25.5 +2.7 21.2 +5.9 0.0
SYDNEY (OBSERVATORY HILL) 21.4 -0.9 19.5 +4.9 10.8
PROSPECT DAM 21.9 -1.6 19.3 +6.2 0.0
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY 19.0 -3.5 14.8 +0.5 80.0
CANBERRA AIRPORT 19.0 -0.8 14.1 +7.5 0.0
WAGGA WAGGA AMO 27.6 +5.3 15.9 +6.7 0.0
MILDURA AIRPORT 27.2 +3.8 10.4 +0.3 0.0
EAST SALE AIRPORT 21.8 +1.6 11.7 +3.1 0.2
MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE 23.0 +2.8 13.3 +2.6 0.0
LAVERTON RAAF 20.9 +0.8 14.2 +4.4 0.0
BALLARAT AERODROME 19.0 +1.5 9.4 +2.0 0.0
LAUNCESTON AIRPORT 17.3 0.0 4.6 -2.0 0.0
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) 14.1 -3.2 3.8 -5.1 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
    N Rivers
DARWIN AIRPORT
4.2mm in 3 min to 05:30 84.0mm/h
12.2mm in 30 min to 06:00 24.4mm/h
16.8mm in 1 hr to 06:00 16.8mm/h
17.0mm in 3 hr to 06:00 5.7mm/h
12.2mm in 1 hr to 06:30 12.2mm/h
DARWIN AIRPORT COMPARISON
18.0mm in 3 hr to 06:00 6.0mm/h
QUEENSLAND
    N Coast--Herbert
SOUTH JOHNSTONE EXP STN
11.8mm in 1 hr to 18:00 11.8mm/h
    Brisbane/SE Coast
CAPE MORETON LIGHTHOUSE
10.6mm in 1 hr to 03:30 10.6mm/h
NAMBOUR DPI
12.4mm in 1 hr to 05:00 12.4mm/h
18.0mm in 3 hr to 06:00 6.0mm/h
12.4mm in 1 hr to 16:00 12.4mm/h
GOLD COAST SEAWAY
11.2mm in 35 min to 22:30 19.2mm/h
12.4mm in 1 hr to 22:30 12.4mm/h
19.2mm in 1 hr to 23:30 19.2mm/h
NEW SOUTH WALES
    CW Slopes S
PARKES (MACARTHUR STREET)
30.0mm in 6 hr to 15:00 5.0mm/h
    Sydney--east
SYDNEY AIRPORT AMO
8.8mm in 12 min to 20:12 44.0mm/h
6.4mm in 18 min to 20:30 21.3mm/h
15.2mm in 1 hr to 20:30 15.2mm/h
18.0mm in 1 hr to 21:00 18.0mm/h
18.0mm in 3 hr to 21:00 6.0mm/h
BANKSTOWN AIRPORT AWS
13.4mm in 30 min to 14:30 26.8mm/h
13.6mm in 1 hr to 14:30 13.6mm/h
29.0mm in 30 min to 15:00 58.0mm/h
42.4mm in 1 hr to 15:00 42.4mm/h
53.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 17.7mm/h
31.6mm in 1 hr to 15:30 31.6mm/h
12.4mm in 30 min to 21:30 24.8mm/h
13.8mm in 1 hr to 21:30 13.8mm/h
13.8mm in 1 hr to 22:00 13.8mm/h
HOMEBUSH (OLYMPIC STADIUM) AWS
15.0mm in 30 min to 12:30 30.0mm/h
20.2mm in 1 hr to 12:30 20.2mm/h
12.4mm in 30 min to 13:00 24.8mm/h
27.4mm in 1 hr to 13:00 27.4mm/h
12.8mm in 1 hr to 13:30 12.8mm/h
35.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 11.7mm/h
    Sydney--west
LIVERPOOL (MICHAEL WENDEN CENTRE)
72.0mm in 6 hr to 15:00 12.0mm/h
BADGERYS CREEK AIRPORT AWS
12.4mm in 1 hr to 14:00 12.4mm/h
15.2mm in 1 hr to 14:30 15.2mm/h
12.0mm in 1 hr to 15:00 12.0mm/h
24.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 8.0mm/h
11.8mm in 30 min to 15:30 23.6mm/h
18.4mm in 1 hr to 15:30 18.4mm/h
20.6mm in 1 hr to 16:00 20.6mm/h
17.8mm in 1 hr to 16:30 17.8mm/h
12.0mm in 1 hr to 17:00 12.0mm/h
34.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 11.3mm/h
HORSLEY PARK EQUESTRIAN CENTRE AWS
17.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 5.7mm/h
    Illawarra
NOWRA RAN AIR STATION AWS
19.0mm in 3 hr to 00:00 6.3mm/h
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY
42.0mm in 6 hr to 14:00 7.0mm/h
BELLAMBI AWS
7.6mm in 10 min to 01:40 45.6mm/h
15.0mm in 1 hr to 02:00 15.0mm/h
15.4mm in 1 hr to 02:30 15.4mm/h
19.0mm in 3 hr to 03:00 6.3mm/h
15.2mm in 38 min to 04:30 24.0mm/h
19.2mm in 1 hr to 04:30 19.2mm/h
27.0mm in 3 hr to 06:00 9.0mm/h
11.4mm in 1 hr to 09:00 11.4mm/h
10.2mm in 30 min to 09:30 20.4mm/h
10.2mm in 1 hr to 09:30 10.2mm/h
14.2mm in 26 min to 09:56 32.8mm/h
15.6mm in 1 hr to 10:30 15.6mm/h
32.0mm in 3 hr to 12:00 10.7mm/h
15.6mm in 1 hr to 12:30 15.6mm/h
15.0mm in 1 hr to 13:00 15.0mm/h
19.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 6.3mm/h
15.6mm in 1 hr to 18:00 15.6mm/h
17.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 5.7mm/h
12.4mm in 1 hr to 18:30 12.4mm/h
    South Coast
MERIMBULA AIRPORT AWS
20.0mm in 3 hr to 21:00 6.7mm/h
VICTORIA
    E Gippsland
GABO ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE
28.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 9.3mm/h

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    Lower West
CAPE LEEUWIN : 87(300/ 69 ) at 19:12
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    Adelaide/Lofty
OUTER HARBOUR (BLACK POLE) : 152(200/ 22 ) at 14:00
QUEENSLAND
    N Coast--Barron
GREEN ISLAND : 72(160/ 63 ) at 15:00
    Central Coast E
HAMILTON ISLAND AIRPORT : 72(120/ 63 ) at 16:40