Saturday 14 AUG 2004

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2004

Dec

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Wild winter weather sweeps southeastern states
Bushfires continue in QLD, NSW

A pair of lows, the secondary with a central pressure of 988hPa off NE TAS and its parent low of 966hPa close to Antarctica, conspired to create a southerly airstream extending all the way from polar regions to Australia's southeast today. The Indian and Southern Ocean analysis above is for 10pm Friday, and shows the front marking the leading edge of the cold air moving into NSW. BoM

Wild winter weather sweeps southeastern states

High seas caused death and injury, snow fell to low levels in VIC and Melbourne had its coldest August day in 26 years today as winds straight from the Antarctic cut through southeastern states. In a day characterised mostly by wintry conditions, bushfires, flooding and duststorms also figured in an extraordinary mix.

Hardest hit was VIC. The 122m container ship Aotearoa Chief was struck by a large wave after it left Port Phillip Bay around 6pm. The pilot had just transferred from the ship to the pilot boat and two of the ship's crew were hauling in the ladder when the wave struck, swamping the deck, killing one of the men and breaking the leg of another. The seas were whipped up by strong southerly winds which had peaked during the late morning with gusts of 100km/h on South Channel Island in southern Port Phillip Bay, 98km/h at Cape Otway and 93km/h at Airey's Inlet. While the swell height was estimated at 4 to 6m, the wave that broke over the Aotearoa Chief is thought to have been much higher, the result of two waves of different wavelength and period combining briefly in a confused sea.

Snow was reported in central western VIC at Kyneton (510m asl), Maryborough (250m), Woodend (560m), Macedon (500m) and Daylesford (610m), but strong winds prevented it from settling. High windchills caused sporting fixtures to be called off in Trentham, while footballers at matches in Melbourne and Castlemaine had to be treated for hypothermia. There was heavy tree damage from wind throughout the region. Melbourne's top temperature of 9.8C was its coldest day in 6 years, and coldest August day in 26 years. Substantial rain was recorded in the city's water catchment areas, however, with up to 60mm in the 48 hours to 9am Sunday. Weeaproinah, in the Otway Ranges SW of Melbourne, recorded 79.4mm for the two days.

Heavy rain fell in NE TAS with top falls for the 24 hours to 9am just below 50mm. Rain eased in the southeast of the state, however, with minor flooding in the Jordan and lower Derwent Rivers easing. Snow was reported from the central, western and northeastern highland areas, and sleet was reported at Cape Bruny.

Strong wind ahead of the front produced widespread dust and some dust storms in the northern half of NSW and SE QLD.

Bushfires continue in QLD, NSW

Hundreds of homes were evacuated and roads closed in SE QLD today as about 20 fires flared in the warm, dry and windy conditions ahead of the front. Fires were also widespread in NE NSW.

In SE QLD, fires burned across Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and areas around Ipswich, Toowoomba, Gympie and Maryborough. Temperatures were up to 6° above average, with Brisbane City recording a top of 27. The most serious fires were at Calamvale in SW Brisbane where a state of emergency was declared and over 100 homes evacuated as grass fires reached property boundaries. Only one shed was lost. On the Gold Coast, several massive grass fires forced police to evacuate homes and close roads. The QLD Sunday Mail reported that fires also burned in the Ipswich-Toowoomba areas of Coolana, Haigslea and Withcott; Esk in the Brisbane Valley; Currumbin Valley and Mudgeeraba on the Gold Coast; Howard, near Maryborough; and Widgee in the Gympie State Forest. Smaller fires were also reported around Brisbane at Rochedale, Forestdale, Eatons Hill, Mansfield, Victoria Point, Richlands and Oxley. By the end of the day, eight fires remained burning out of control.

In NE NSW, a fire at Jackadgery, 40km WNW of Grafton, had burnt through 4,000ha by late today, closing the Gwydir Highway linking Grafton to Glen Innes. Smaller fires were reported from Billinudgel, 20km NNW of Byron Bay, and near Coffs Harbour. Farther south, fires were reported around Lake Macquarie, and in Sydney's west at Penrith.

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):
Lowest daily minimum temperature for August
Queensland
027045 WEIPA AERO 12.9 (13.6, 12)

Quality control note: Data is complete, and has been visually checked by AWN for gross errors. Less obvious errors may remain.
Data is as received at 00:57EST, 28/10/2004.

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

35.1 WYNDHAM AERO N Kimberley WA
34.0 WYNDHAM N Kimberley WA
34.0 BRADSHAW N Rivers NT
33.9 KIMBERLEY RES.STATION E Kimberley WA
33.8 KALUMBURU MISSION N Kimberley WA

+6.2   29.9 BRIAN PASTURES Brisbane/SE Coast QLD
+6.1   26.9 COOLANGATTA AIRPORT Brisbane/SE Coast QLD
+6.0   31.0 ST LAWRENCE POST OFFICE Central Coast E QLD
+6.0   25.7 COFFS HARBOUR MO MidNorth Coast N NSW
+5.7   29.6 GLADSTONE RADAR Wide Bay/Burnett QLD

26.0 NORTHERN ENDEAVOUR Islands ISL
23.7 TROUGHTON ISLAND N Kimberley WA
23.4 MCCLUER ISLAND N Rivers NT
23.0 COCOS ISLAND AIRPORT Islands ISL
22.3 CHRISTMAS ISLAND AERO Islands ISL

+8.4   14.9 PATERSON (TOCAL AWS) Hunter Valley NSW
+8.0   12.6 WALGETT AIRPORT AWS NW Plains W NSW
+8.0   15.3 CASINO AIRPORT North Coast NSW
+7.4   13.0 SCONE SCS Hunter Valley NSW
+7.3   9.8 MURRURUNDI POST OFFICE Hunter Valley NSW

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

-3.3 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
-1.7 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
-1.0 THREDBO AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
-1.0 MT BAW BAW W Gippsland VIC
-0.4 MOUNT READ W Coast TAS

-5.8   8.3 SCORESBY RESEARCH INSTITUTE E Central VIC
-5.8   7.4 FINGAL (LEGGE STREET) E Coast TAS
-5.7   -3.3 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
-5.5   11.6 RAVENSTHORPE Cent Wheatbelt WA
-5.5   12.9 WHYALLA AERO W Agricultural SA
-5.5   7.9 NOOJEE (SLIVAR) W Gippsland VIC
-5.5   7.8 CASTLEMAINE PRISON N Central VIC

-4.6 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS
-4.5 CHARLOTTE PASS (KOSCIUSKO CHALET) Snowy Mtns NSW
-3.6 THREDBO AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
-3.1 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
-3.0 FALLS CREEK Upper NE VIC
-3.0 MT BAW BAW W Gippsland VIC

-8.1   5.0 GEORGETOWN POST OFFICE Upper Carpentaria QLD
-7.4   1.0 WATARRKA N Plateau NT
-6.3   12.1 OENPELLI N Rivers NT
-5.9   10.2 KOWANYAMA AIRPORT Gulf Country QLD
-5.7   13.4 JABIRU AIRPORT N Rivers NT
-5.7   12.9 WEIPA AERO N Peninsula QLD
-5.7   6.0 KAIRI RESEARCH STATION N Coast--Barron QLD

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.

86.6 FRANKLIN Southeast TAS
68.0 MOUNT BUFFALO CHALET Upper NE VIC
66.4 HOBART (TURNIP FIELDS) Southeast TAS
62.4 WOODLEA NURSERY N Coast TAS
55.8 PYENGANA (SEA VIEW) E Coast TAS

VICTORIA
    Upper NE
68.0 MOUNT BUFFALO CHALET

TASMANIA
    N Coast
62.4 WOODLEA NURSERY
    E Coast
55.8 PYENGANA (SEA VIEW)
    Southeast
86.6 FRANKLIN
66.4 HOBART (TURNIP FIELDS)
52.0 GLENORCHY (GLENORCHY RESERVOIR)

  Max+/- norm Min+/- normRain to 9am
BROOME AIRPORT 28.7 -1.6 13.5 -1.5 0.0
ALBANY AIRPORT 12.8 -3.2 9.0 +1.6 9.6
PERTH AIRPORT 16.5 -1.9 10.2 +2.2 8.8
KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT 18.2 -0.2 4.3 -1.2 0.0
DARWIN AIRPORT 29.5 -1.8 16.6 -3.9 0.0
ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT 23.0 +0.5 5.3 -0.7 0.0
ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN) 13.7 -2.8 7.2 -1.0 6.2
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO 10.4 -3.6 5.4 0.0 9.4
CAIRNS AERO 25.9 -0.6 13.7 -3.7 0.0
TOWNSVILLE AERO 26.5 +0.5 10.7 -4.0 0.0
ROCKHAMPTON AERO 29.6 +4.9 8.9 -1.7 0.0
AMBERLEY AMO 26.8 +4.3 11.3 +4.9 0.0
BRISBANE AERO 27.0 13.6 0.0
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS 13.9 7.3 0.0
COFFS HARBOUR MO 25.7 +6.0 11.8 +3.6 0.0
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS 19.5 +1.5 13.4 +4.2 0.0
SYDNEY (OBSERVATORY HILL) 20.6 +2.9 11.7 +2.8 0.0
PROSPECT DAM 20.0 +1.5 9.0 +2.2 0.0
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY 20.1 +1.9 4.9 -3.9 0.0
CANBERRA AIRPORT 12.4 -0.5 5.3 +4.4 5.0
WAGGA WAGGA AMO 10.5 -3.9 7.4 +3.8 5.4
MILDURA AIRPORT 13.9 -3.2 6.7 +1.4 0.2
EAST SALE AIRPORT 11.9 -3.1 8.0 +3.9 1.2
MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE 9.8 -5.1 7.2 +0.6 12.4
LAVERTON RAAF 10.2 -4.6 6.5 +1.1 7.4
BALLARAT AERODROME 6.2 -5.2 3.2 -0.5 13.6
LAUNCESTON AIRPORT 8.3 -3.7 5.4 +2.4 13.0
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) 8.1 -4.9 5.4 +0.2 29.0

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.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    Central West
NORTH ISLAND
11.4mm in 35 min to 11:00 19.5mm/h
11.4mm in 1 hr to 11:00 11.4mm/h
19.0mm in 3 hr to 12:00 6.3mm/h
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    Adelaide/Lofty
ROSEWORTHY AG COLLEGE
13.4mm in 1 hr to 18:30 13.4mm/h
VICTORIA
    Upper NE
MOUNT BULLER
23.0mm in 3 hr to 12:00 7.7mm/h
18.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 6.0mm/h
    W Gippsland
BAIRNSDALE AIRPORT
7.0mm in 31 min to 17:00 13.5mm/h
TASMANIA
    Derwent Valley
OUSE FIRE STATION
18.0mm in 3 hr to 09:00 6.0mm/h

NEW SOUTH WALES
    N Tablelands W
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS : 85(270/ 63 ) at 03:10
    Hunter Valley
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS : 82(270/ 65 ) at 19:18
MURRURUNDI GAP AWS : 102(320/ 76 ) at 00:21
    Illawarra
BELLAMBI AWS : 96(330/ 72 ) at 00:32
    South Coast
MONTAGUE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE : 85(170/ 70 ) at 22:21
GREEN CAPE AWS : 83(180/ 69 ) at 22:00
VICTORIA
    Wimmera S
HORSHAM AERODROME : 82(200/ 69 ) at 12:34
    W Gippsland
WILSONS PROMONTORY LIGHTHOUSE : 78(140/ 67 ) at 15:00
KINGFISH B SHIP LOG 272 : 91(176/ 78 ) at 17:10
    E Central
SOUTH CHANNEL ISLAND : 100(240/ 70 ) at 10:53
FRANKSTON AWS : 80(250/ 65 ) at 10:30
FAWKNER BEACON : 87(220/ 67 ) at 10:27
    W Coast
CAPE OTWAY LIGHTHOUSE : 98(200/ 74 ) at 10:30
AIREYS INLET : 93(230/ 52 ) at 09:30
CAPE NELSON LIGHTHOUSE : 87(190/ 74 ) at 09:46
TASMANIA
    N Coast
CAPE GRIM BAPS : 82(190/ 65 ) at 13:00
    E Coast
EDDYSTONE POINT : 93(160/ 76 ) at 11:00
SWAN ISLAND : 91(150/ 70 ) at 10:30
    King Island
KING ISLAND AIRPORT : 83(210/ 63 ) at 06:31
ISLANDS
    Islands
LORD HOWE ISLAND AUTO : 96(310/ 56 ) at 07:35
HOGAN ISLAND : 91(140/ 72 ) at 15:06
LORD HOWE ISLAND AERO : 89(260/ 70 ) at 12:30