NSW: Heavy rain on North Coast
Moist easterlies streamed onto the NSW North Coast yesterday and overnight as the low pressure system responsible for earlier floods in QLD hovered east of Brisbane. The heaviest falls were right on the coast between Grafton and Kempsey. Minnie Waters Pump Shed near Wooli ESE of Grafton recorded 196.0mm for the 24 hours to 9am, while Smoky Cape Lighthouse, NE of Kempsey, recorded 174.0, of which 90 fell between 9 last night and 3 this morning. Coffs Harbour Airport recorded 114.0
TAS: Rare thunderstorm paralyses Hobart
Thunderstorms in Hobart are rare. The city averages five "thunderdays" a year -- about one in each of the summer months -- but a "thunderday" can be as little as the rumble of distant thunder. Hobartians were surprised today, therefore, when much of the CBD lost power at about 4.10pm for around 80 minutes as a result of a lightning strike on transmission lines between the Gordon Power Station and the Chapel Street substation. Power was also cut to about 22,000 premises in South Hobart, Dynnyrne, Fern Tree, Battery Point, parts of Sandy Bay and the Tasman Bridge. The strike also took out power to Huonville and towns farther south, while lighting activity also blacked out Orford and Triabunna on the East Coast. All traffic lights in the city and traffic control systems on the Tasman Bridge were knocked out. Most shops closed early to avoid security problems.
SA, VIC, TAS: Lightning-initiated fires still burning
Bushfires continue to be ignited by lightning in southeastern states, while those still burning are proving difficult to extinguish. Many have been in remote areas difficult of access. In SA, two large fires in the Ngarkat Conservation Park have burnt through 14,000ha in the past 48 hours. In VIC, 93 fires have been contained, of which 20 started today.
In TAS, fires in the Southwest National Park, and the danger of more being started by lightning, have caused the the Parks and Wildlife Service to close many of the most popular walking tracks at the peak walking time. The tracks closed are the South Coast Track, Western Arthurs Track, Arthur Plains Track, the Huon Track, the Farm House Creek Track leading to Moss Ridge, the Southern Ranges Track from Lune River and the track from the Cracroft Crossing to Federation Peak. Parks and Wildlife Director Rob Giason said "The major fires are burning at the mouth of New River Lagoon on the South Coast Track and north west of the Cracroft River at the eastern end of the Arthur Plains near Federation Peak."