Heat and rainfall records tumble across the south
See this special report on
the causes of today's extreme weather.
record heat continues
For the second day in a row, dozens of April heat records fell or were equalled
across a huge area of the continent. In the NT, SA and TAS, records set yesterday
were eclipsed today. As yesterday, both minimum and maximum temperatures were
up to 15 to 17° above average with the area of extreme anomaly expanding
to cover much of SA and extending into western VIC and TAS. All known records
are shown below, but some stand-out events were:
- April high maximum temperature records were set or equalled by stations
with substantial periods of record in the NT, SA, NSW, VIC and TAS.
- The maximum of 36.9 at the Bureau's Adelaide City site is
the highest on record at the current Kent Town location (29 years' record),
and is 1.1° higher than any April maximum in the 1887 to 1978 period
of record at the previous West Terrace site. The minimum of 26.6 is also
the highest April minimum for either site.
- In SA, Woomera, Cleve, Yongala, Kadina and Parafield Airport, all with
around half a century of observations, exceeded previous April highs by 1.0
- In NT, Alice Springs Airport, which set a new 64-year high of 39.1 yesterday,
reached 39.9 today.
- In TAS, Eddystone Point, with a 47 year history, eclipsed its previous
record of 25.0 by 1.2°.
|A duststorm front sweeps across Franklin Harbor
on the eastern side of Eyre Peninsula. Donna Lamb
SA: Major duststorms
accompany cold change
Relief from the sweltering heat described above came at a cost in SA, with
storm force winds causing duststorms that lasted for hours, reduced visibility
to a few metres and turned day into night.
The Eyre Peninsula was worst affected, its fragile topsoil only just beginning
to recover from the 11 January firestorm that incinerated vegetation across
much of the southern peninsula. A wall of dust marked the gust front accompanying
a cold change that swept across the peninsula between 3 and 6pm. Highest gusts
were 104km/h at Cleve and 102km/h at Wudinna. Port Lincoln police
advised motorists to delay travel in the Port Lincoln - Tumby
so low drivers could not see the road beyond their car hoods. The duststorm
lasted about two hours at Whyalla, 1.5 at Cowell and one at Port Lincoln.
Duststorms were reported elsewhere in the state, both with the front and in
the strong northerly winds preceding it. The Marree observer reported dust
with visibility 200m at both the 9am and 3pm observations, the Port Pirie observer
described a severe duststorm about 6pm and a duststorm hit Eudunda with
the front at 7.30pm reducing visibility to 20m.
to 80 to 95km/h were widespread -- see gales and gusts below.
VIC: Fire out
of control at Wilsons Prom
A hazard reduction burn in Wilsons Promontory National Park blazed out of
control in strong winds overnight and was burning on a 40km perimeter late
today after burning through 4,000 ha (40 sq km). Park rangers awoke 550 campers
at Tidal River and evacuated them, and 30 others helicoptered from other parts
of the park, to a beach at nearby Norman Bay until it was safe for them to
drive out. Fires were also reported near Powelltown and Jindivick east of Melbourne.