|Departures from normal today for minimum
temperatures (above) and maxima
6-hourly sequence of surface charts from 10pm Tuesday to 10pm today shows
north to northwesterly stream over the southeast. This conveyor belt of
hot inland air has been nudged only very slowly east by a weak trough
and dying cold front. BoM
records tumble in VIC, NSW as fires break
Heatwave conditions moved from SA into NSW and VIC today, breaking
long-standing April temperature records and sparking widespread fires across
Over 50 fires broke out in VIC, giving firefighters their worst day of the
fire season. The main concentration of blazes was in the mountains to the
east and northeast of Melbourne, where dozens of fires were burning between
Alexandra and the Latrobe
Valley. From west to east, the most
- Around Horsham, 9 private burn-offs got out of control as wind at the airport
gusted to 74km/h. The main fire on the Longerenong Road burnt through 50ha.
- Coonooer Bridge, 20km N of St Arnaud: 200 firefighters and 2 water-bombing
aircraft fought a blaze which consumed around 400ha. Winds were said to
be gusting to 120km/h.
- A number of fires were burning around Castella and Toolangi, 15km NNW
- A fire in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Wantirna Park was fought by 65
CFA crew. It threatened homes and burnt 15ha.
- Blue Rock Dam, 15km NW of Moe: ultimately to become the largest fire, had
burnt through about 1250ha by early Thursday morning. Residents at Tanjil
South, SE of the blaze, were advised to activate their bushfire plans in
anticipation of an ember attack on Thursday.
- Morwell: A 10ha fire closed the Princes Highway for an hour.
- A 30ha fire at Flaggy Creek 17km NW of Bairnsdale threatened homes.
The fire weather developed in an unusual, lazy synoptic situation that
gave record or near-record April high temperatures across western and central
VIC and southern NSW .
Victoria's top temperature was 36.6 at Walpeup in the far west, with Ouyen,
Swan Hill and Kerang all reporting highs of 36.0°.
The departures from normal were greatest in the Gippsland, however, where Lakes
Entrance, East Sale, Morwell, Orbost and Bairnsdale all reached around 35°,
14 to 15 above average. Long standing records fell at Horsham, Kerang, Castlemaine
and Wilsons Promontory (see records below).
Melbourne's maximum of 32.5 was just shy of the 1938 record of 34.9 and the
warmest April day since 1985. In southern NSW, Lake Cargelligo, Bombala and
Thredbo Village all had their warmest April day in 30 or more years of computerised
Ahead of the hot day lay an uncomfortably warm night. Melbourne's official
minimum for the 24 hours to 9 today was 14.5, but this was the temperature
at 9am yesterday morning. Overnight, the temperature only dropped to 21.8,
for which you have to go back to 1985 to find an equally warm April night and
back to 2 April 1887 to find a warmer one, the April record of 22.2. Official
minima were from 6 to 13 above normal across most of SA and the western parts
of NSW and VIC .
this day (previous record and years of computerised record shown in brackets):
Highest daily maximum temperature for April
New South Wales:
070005 BOMBALA (THERRY STREET) 30.0 (28.9, 35)
071041 THREDBO VILLAGE 22.3 (22.0, 30)
075039 LAKE CARGELLIGO AIRPORT 34.5 (34.4, 33)
079023 HORSHAM (POLKEMMET) 35.2 (34.6, 42)
080023 KERANG 36.0 (34.4, 41)
081123 BENDIGO AIRPORT 33.7 (30.5, 12)
085096 WILSONS PROMONTORY LIGHTHOUSE 29.2 (29.0, 47)
085280 MORWELL (LATROBE VALLEY AIRPORT) 35.0 (33.9, 20)
086375 CRANBOURNE BOTANIC GARDENS 32.3 (30.0, 13)
088110 CASTLEMAINE PRISON 32.2 (31.6, 34)