Thursday 15 APR 2004

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2004

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VIC bushfires concentrate east of Melbourne
Melbourne's hottest April night in over 148 years
Heat records fall in southern NSW

Bushfire status at 7pm. Blaze symbols are going (spreading) fires, star symbols are contained fires and red dots are fires under control. VIC DSE
Today's temperature departures from normal: minima (above) and maxima (below). BoM

VIC bushfires concentrate east of Melbourne

Two major fires continued to burn out of control east of Melbourne this evening. The most threatening was at Tonimbuk, 25km NW of Warragul in the West Gippsland. The fire, covering about 700 hectares, was being attended by 65 firefighters and 53 CFA tankers mostly engaged in protecting houses and property. The largest blaze, on the eastern side of Blue Rock dam 25km NE of Warragul, had burnt over 2,000ha by early this evening and was still burning in native forest.

Elsewhere across the state , milder conditions and gradually easing winds allowed firefighters to contain and begin mopping up fires. Major fires brought under control included

  • the 375ha Marginal Road fire 20km NNW of Healesville, which threatened homes in Glenburn to the north and Castella to the south and closed the Melba Highway,
  • the 240ha Patrol Road fire 17km NNE of Warragul, which burnt to within 1km of houses,
  • the 60ha Glow Worm fire 15km SE of Eildon,
  • and the 20ha Agters West fire 20km SE of Alexandra.

Around 50 fires were still burning across the state late today keeping about 400 firefighters busy. The CFA told the ABC today that most of the fires yesterday started from private burn-offs started a few days before.

Melbourne's hottest April night in over 148 years

A weak trough heralding cooler air crept across VIC today, but not before providing a record warm April night. In Melbourne city, the mercury sat on 26.8 at midnight, dropping slowly to 26.1 at 3am, 24.9 at 6am and 23.9 at 9am. The official minimum temperature for the 24 hours to 9am was 23.0°, 12.3 above average and the highest minimum temperature recorded in April in the city since records began in May 1855. The previous highest April minimum was 22.2 on 2 April 1887. The highest minimum temperature recorded in VIC was 23.5 at Lakes Entrance, while Strathbogie in the northeast ranges reported a low of 21.5, 16 above average.

The timing of the trough produced well above normal night-time temperatures from central and eastern VIC northwest to the northern Flinders Ranges of SA . It also presented some other unusual temperature anomalies. Wilsons Promintory, not renowned for its balmy nights, recorded its maximum temperature for the day ended 9am at 6 this morning with a reading of 28.9. The trough moved through and by 9am the temperature was down to 19.4 with a 52km/h westerly. The Prom's warmest April night in 45 years of computer records was 22.8 in 1994. The trough produced wind gusts of 95km/h atop Mt Buller at 7am and 87km/h on Mt Hotham summit at 9am. These peaks, respectively 1707 and 1849m asl, recorded temperatures in the mid-teens throughout the day, only marginally lowering by a few degrees during the evening. In the state's far east, the trough did not move through until early afternoon. Point Hicks recorded a maximum of 33.9, 14.2 above normal, around midday.

Heat records fall in southern NSW

Ahead of the trough, southern NSW set some new record high April temperatures (details below). Lake Cargelligo, which set a new 33-year high yesterday, reset it today with a top of 35.2. Tumbarumba, Yass and Taralga all recorded their highest April maxima in around 40 years of computer record. Canberra Airport recorded a top of 30.7, 10.9 above and the warmest April day since the record of 32.6 was set on 4 April 1986. In the state's west, White Cliffs, Wilcannia and Ivanhoe all reached or exceeded 37°.

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 April
New South Wales:
070080 TARALGA POST OFFICE 28.9 (28.2, 43)
070091 YASS (LINTON HOSTEL) 31.2 (30.5, 36)
070310 TIDBINBILLA NATURE RESERVE 29.3 (28.5, 18)
072043 TUMBARUMBA POST OFFICE 29.4 (29.0, 37)
075039 LAKE CARGELLIGO AIRPORT 35.2 (34.5, 33) previous record set yesterday

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

37.5 WHITE CLIFFS POST OFFICE Far Northwest NSW
37.4 IVANHOE POST OFFICE Southwest Plains NSW
37.3 WILCANNIA AERODROME AWS Far Northwest NSW
37.1 WILCANNIA (REID ST) Far Northwest NSW
37.0 WYNDHAM AERO N Kimberley WA
37.0 IVANHOE AERODROME AWS Southwest Plains NSW

+14.2   33.9 POINT HICKS (LIGHTHOUSE) E Gippsland VIC
+12.4   34.7 WAGGA WAGGA AMO SW Slopes S NSW
+12.0   32.5 BAIRNSDALE AIRPORT W Gippsland VIC
+11.8   37.4 IVANHOE POST OFFICE Southwest Plains NSW
+11.6   35.8 HILLSTON AIRPORT Riverina W NSW

28.0 NORTHERN ENDEAVOUR Islands ISL
27.3 BEDOUT ISLAND E Pilbara WA
27.2 TROUGHTON ISLAND N Kimberley WA
27.2 COCOS ISLAND AIRPORT Islands ISL
26.4 VARANUS ISLAND Islands ISL

+16.0   21.5 STRATHBOGIE Lower NE VIC
+14.2   21.3 RUTHERGLEN RESEARCH Lower NE VIC
+13.1   22.7 BUNDOORA (LATROBE UNIVERSITY) E Central VIC
+13.0   23.8 ARKAROOLA NE Pastoral SA
+13.0   22.4 ECHUCA AERODROME Lower North VIC

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

9.8 MOUNT READ W Coast TAS
13.6 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
14.6 SCOTTS PEAK DAM W Coast TAS
15.2 WEEAPROINAH W Coast VIC
15.2 STRATHGORDON VILLAGE W Coast TAS

-4.4   24.6 WARBURTON AIRFIELD Interior WA
-3.7   26.0 CARNEGIE Interior WA
-3.4   20.7 CEDUNA AMO W Agricultural SA
-3.4   20.4 KIMBA W Agricultural SA
-3.3   31.0 TELFER AERO Interior WA

5.2 WOOLBROOK (DANGLEMAH ROAD) NW Slopes S NSW
5.6 MURRURUNDI POST OFFICE Hunter Valley NSW
6.0 GINGIN AERO Lower West WA
6.1 PERISHER VALLEY SKI CENTRE Snowy Mtns NSW
6.2 GOULBURN AIRPORT AWS Goulburn/Monaro NSW

-6.8   7.1 PEARCE RAAF Lower West WA
-4.8   13.8 MOUNT ISA AERO Gulf Country QLD
-4.3   11.1 GERALDTON AIRPORT Central West WA
-4.2   8.8 PERTH AIRPORT Lower West WA
-4.1   8.8 MERREDIN Cent Wheatbelt WA
-4.1   7.9 NORTHAM 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.

22.0 ELLISTON (THREE LAKES) W Agricultural SA
21.4 PORT KENNY W Agricultural SA
19.4 ELLISTON (LAMBING STATION) W Agricultural SA
19.0 ELLISTON W Agricultural SA
18.8 YEELANA (BRIMPTON LAKE) W Agricultural SA

  Max+/- norm Min+/- normRain to 9am
BROOME AIRPORT 34.6 +0.3 24.0 +1.5 0.0
PERTH AIRPORT 26.8 +1.3 8.8 -4.2 0.0
ALBANY AIRPORT 21.0 -0.9 13.6 +1.9 1.8
KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT 25.8 +0.7 9.8 -2.8 0.0
DARWIN AIRPORT 33.6 +0.9 24.6 +0.6 0.0
ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT 32.7 +4.7 16.1 +3.6 0.0
ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN) 21.1 -1.3 17.7 +5.5 2.2
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO 21.3 +1.9 15.9 +7.3 3.4
CAIRNS AERO 28.9 -0.3 21.5 -0.1 2.8
TOWNSVILLE AERO 31.7 +2.1 20.3 -0.2 0.0
ROCKHAMPTON AERO 30.1 +1.4 19.3 +1.5 0.0
AMBERLEY AMO 27.8 +0.7 15.2 +1.1 0.0
BRISBANE AERO 26.6 17.1 0.0
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS 24.7 11.4 0.0
COFFS HARBOUR MO 24.9 +0.9 15.3 +0.1 0.0
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS 24.2 +1.4 16.8 +1.5 0.0
SYDNEY (OBSERVATORY HILL) 26.0 +3.7 17.2 +2.6 0.0
PROSPECT DAM 27.4 +3.9 13.8 +0.7 0.0
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY 26.8 +4.3 16.9 +2.6 0.0
CANBERRA AIRPORT 30.7 +10.9 9.2 +2.6 0.0
WAGGA WAGGA AMO 34.7 +12.4 16.1 +6.9 0.0
MILDURA AIRPORT 26.5 +3.1 19.9 +9.8 0.0
EAST SALE AIRPORT 28.1 +7.9 17.3 +8.7 0.0
MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE 24.4 +4.2 23.0 +12.3 0.0
LAVERTON RAAF 23.6 +3.5 20.6 +10.8 0.0
BALLARAT AERODROME 20.5 +3.0 17.0 +9.6 0.0
LAUNCESTON AIRPORT 20.7 +3.4 13.5 +6.9 0.2
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) 23.0 +5.7 15.3 +6.4 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.
NEW SOUTH WALES
    SW Slopes S
CABRAMURRA SMHEA AWS
20.8mm in 1 hr to 15:00 20.8mm/h

VICTORIA
    Upper NE
MOUNT BULLER : 95(350/ 59 ) at 07:00
MT HOTHAM : 87(350/ 63 ) at 09:00
TASMANIA
    Southeast
MAATSUYKER ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE : 102(310/ 85 ) at 10:00
MOUNT WELLINGTON : 89(290/ 70 ) at 11:00
TASMAN ISLAND : 85(300/ 72 ) at 11:14
ISLANDS
    Islands
HOGAN ISLAND : 80(260/ 67 ) at 09:30