|The surface chart for 4pm EST shows a secondary
low of 987hPa on the west coast of Tasmania poised to cross the island.
Squally winds with gusts to storm force accompanied the front and troughs
as they crossed southeastern states. BoM
blizzards, dust storms, fire, flooding and a tornado in the SE
Winds swirling around a low pressure system brought a wild concoction
of weather to southeastern states today. The 987hPa low took the
unusual course of making a land crossing of northern TAS during the evening;
most lows pass either down the West Coast
While TAS benefited from relatively lighter winds near the centre of the
low, nearby mainland states bore the full brunt of the tight pressure gradient
surrounding it. A cold front and two troughs circling the low each brought
several hours of even stronger, squallier winds with their passage. In the
NSW Snowy Mountains and VIC Alps, blizzard conditions closed roads and blew
over heavy vehicles. On the Alpine Way around midday, four vehicles, including
vans, boats and a 20-seater bus, were blown on their sides
completely off the
road. A semi-trailer was blown on its side on the Kosciuszko Road between Jindabyne
Valley around 11.30am, blocking the road for 2 hours. Tourist buses were prevented
from leaving resorts for fear that they would be blown over. The Great Alpine
Road was also closed for a time today between Harrietville and Mt Hotham when
blizzard conditions cut visibility to zero.
Unfortunately, most Alpine AWS anemometers
were affected by icing today, so the peak gusts listed below are not necessarily
representative, but emergency workers in the Snowy Mountains estimated winds
of up to 120km/h as they were rescuing overturned vehicles. The highest wind
in NSW were 104km/h at Bellambi, 96 at Braidwood and Goulburn and 94km/h at
Nowra RAN. Kosciuszko Chalet reported 2.75m of snow on the ground at 9am, and
or so at Snowy Mountains resorts during the day. In VIC, Mt Buller reported
a top gust of 106km/h, the new AWS at Omeo got a workout with a top gust of
96km/h and Mt Hotham reported 95km/h, possibly ice affected.
While blizzards were raging in the high country, the winds fanned a fire through
10 to 15ha of forest country 60km S of Cooma. Dust storms caused problems with
reduced visibility on the Cann River Highway,
the Snowy Mountains Highway,
the Monaro Highway and the Kings Highway around Bungendore and Braidwood, while
a large tree blown across the Kings Highway between Braidwood and Batemans
Bay brought traffic to a standstill. Farther afield, many stations in northern
SA, SW QLD and NW NSW reported raised dust during the day, with Thargomindah
in SW QLD reporting a full-on dust storm reducing visibility to 100m at 3pm.
Stations across SA today reported gales, with the top gust 100km/h at Hindmarsh
Island, 70km SSE of Adelaide.
For good measure, there were unconfirmed reports of a tornado striking Yankalilla,
65km SSW of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula. A line of thunderstorms and
showers crossed the area soon after 10am, and radar returns indicate that a
small area of intense rainfall moved across the Yankalilla area from the WNW
at about 10.10am. No other details are known at present.
In TAS, 5 days of rain across the state has resulted in flood alerts being
posted for all river systems. Today, minor flooding was reported from some
gauges on the middle Derwent and in the Jordan River which also flows into
the Derwent Estuary. Other systems remain below minor flood level.
continue in QLD
Sporadic bushfires again caused damage in SE QLD today, while dozens
of fires continue to burn across the state. The hotspot map at right
gives an indication of the widespread nature of bushfires across QLD at present.
The continuing absence of rain coupled with warm periods of strong, dry westerly
winds has led fire authorities to warn that this is one of the most dangerous
fire seasons that QLD has had to face.
Among the incidents
fire that burnt through 2ha at Mt Tamborine behind the Gold Coast destroyed
a shed and a car.
- Firefighters were trying to bring a blaze threatening farmland near Kenilworth
on the Sunshine Coast under control late this
- An illegal burn got out of control at Bouldercombe, 20km S of Rockhampton.
- Several hundred hectares of grassland were burnt out at Cabarlah, 15km
NNE of Toowoomba.