NT, SA, QLD, NSW, VIC: Record heat as Autumn begins
Hot northwesterlies ahead of a cold front brought extremely high early Autumn
temperatures across four states and the NT today, while hot southeasterlies
produced another sizzler in WA's Pilbara region. Some long-standing March maximum
temperature records were broken in NSW, QLD and WA, and a couple of shorter-term
records in the NT and SA. Top temperatures in NSW and WA came close to breaking
state records for March.
The maximum temperature maps at right show the unusually widespread area of
heat, with a band from NE SA through to the VIC Gippsland coast reaching 10° or
more above the average. Gippsland anomalies were the highest, with Bairnsdale's
38.2 a whacking 14.6 above normal. Melbourne's top temperature was 35.9, 12.1
above. The actual maximum temperatures map shows temperatures exceeding 40
in an arc from western VIC, through western NSW, SW QLD, NE SA and southern
NT to the WA Pilbara where the national top temperature of 46.9 was recorded
Details of new records set are in Records below,
but of particular note are tops of 41.5 at Broken Hill (highest in 90 years
of record), Menindee 43.0 (88 years), Hillston 42.0 (48 years), Thargomindah
43.0 (47 years) and Port Hedland Airport 45.9 (57 years). In NSW, Tibooburra's
top of 44.5 was the equal second-highest maximum temperature on record anywhere
in NSW for March, the state record being 45.0 at Tibooburra in 1951.
The WA, and Australian, March record high maximum is 47.8 at Roebourne in 1998
-- today, Roebourne came within a whisker of that with a top of 46.9.
The Port Hedland extreme comes after one of the hottest summers on record
for the Pilbara. Marble Bar recorded only three days below 40 for the season,
record, and its average maximum temperature over Summer was 43.4, also a new
record in over
100 years of observations.
VIC, S NSW: Thunderstorms
cause severe damage
A line of scattered storms, some severe, developed ahead of a cold front
as it moved through the eastern half of VIC and southern NSW this evening.
Storm cells first developed from about Corowa to Mt Buller around 6pm, and
by 8pm a broken line of storms lay from east of Leeton to east of Sale. The
storms became very active electrically as they moved across Gippsland and the
NSW Southern Tablelands and South Coast during the late evening and early Wednesday
morning. Merimbula Airport on the NSW far South Coast recorded 10.2mm in just
8 minutes shortly before midnight, but generally rainfall totals were light.
An isolated severe cell struck Wodonga between 7.00 and 7.30pm causing damage
estimated at over $1m. Based on storm descriptions, senior Bureau of Meteorology
forecaster Terry Ryan told the Border Mail that wind speeds
of 120km/h were likely to have occurred in what appeared to have been a localised
strong microburst blowing out of the storm cell. In West Wodonga, high winds
unroofed one house, partially unroofed several others
down on houses and cars. One 6 x 4m steel shed was torn from its concrete
slab and blown 100m. Buildings at the Wodonga La Trobe University campus were
damaged, and two walls of the Border Mail building were blown down,
damaging the newspaper's printing press. Dozens of trees were uprooted at the
Wodonga Country Club golf course. The most severe damage was confined to a
strip several hundred metres wide that
Park Rd, Dick St and Oakmont Circuit.
and house damage produced 177 calls to the SES for assistance, and clean-up
Thursday with over 180 personnel from Wodonga and neighbouring areas involved.
reports of large hail in the area, but wind was the main cause of damage.
A tree blown onto railway tracks between Chiltern and Wodonga derailed
the leading pair of wheels of a Melbourne-Albury passenger train,
were no injuries. Power was cut to more than 3,000 homes in Wodonga, as
well as homes at Barnawartha, Wahgunyah, Chiltern, Rutherglen and Beechworth.