N TAS, S NSW: Record heat, fires, storms, dust and squalls as cold
change crosses southeast
April heat records fell at over a dozen locations across the southeast today
before an active cold front sent thermometers plunging. Bushfires flared in
northwesterlies. Violent storms that developed on a trough ahead of the
front brought damaging wind, brief torrential rain and duststorms.
The charts at right tell the temperature story of the day. Overnight minima
were 8 to 14° above average over most of SA, western VIC and NSW and SW
QLD. Castlemaine VIC posted the highest anomaly, its minimum of 21.5 some 14.2
above the April norm.
Extreme maxima for today were concentrated ahead of the
cold change along a line from Melbourne to Alice Springs. Melbourne city's
top of 34.5 was 14.3 above normal and the second-highest April maximum since
records began in May 1855 (the record is 34.9 on 5/4/1938). Most weather
stations around Melbourne have shorter computerised histories and consequently
records today, sometimes 2 to 3° above their previous April high. Laverton's
35.5 beat a previous record of 34.1 in 62 years of climate history; other
significant records were Essendon 35.2 (33.7, 36), Moorabbin 34.9 (32.8,
31), and Scoresby
33.3 (32.8, 38). Elsewhere in VIC, Wonthaggi set a new April heat record
for the second day in a row, Ballarat and Kerang set new records and Bendigo
Wangaratta equalled theirs. Wilsons Promontory's top of 32.2 was 3.0° higher
than any other April day there in the past 49 years. In northern TAS, Eddystone
Point, which broke a 47-year record on 2 April broke it again today with
a top of 26.5 while Flinders Island's 31.7 was a 43-year high. Full details
are in records below.
|In impressive band of thunderstorms developed
rapidly after midday ahead of the frontal rainband. Weatherzone, BoM, Kattron.
Thunderstorms developed along a troughline through central VIC and SW NSW
soon after midday, giving brief strong winds and torrential rain as they moved
east during the afternoon and evening. Deniliquin NSW recorded a wind gust
of 113km/h at 3.15pm with 9.4mm falling in 4 minutes. Shepparton VIC recorded
10.8mm in 6 minutes
and a top gust of 95km/h at 4.43pm. Shepparton's total storm fall of 18.4mm
was six times the total it received in March, but was one of the highest delivered
by the storms in their passage through eastern VIC and SE NSW.
At Bendigo, 8 people were taken to hospital
a 30x10m catering
were standing in at a Rural Fire Brigades Association event. At Long Gully,
in the city's inner north, trees were uprooted and brought down on houses.
Downed trees caused blackouts in Bendigo, damaged cars in Bendigo and Castlemaine
and injured a woman at Castlemaine. Heavy hail, rain and strong wind caused
widespread tree damage in nearby Harcourt. Two trees were blown onto the
Goulburn Valley Highway near Kialla West, blocking traffic.
flooding caused minor damage to several businesses in the Swan Hill CBD. Raised
dust was reported at Mildura for most of the morning and at Ouyen where visibility
was down to 800m at 3pm as the main front passed through. At Essendon, the
minutes with the arrival of the change.
Bushfires already going in the VIC flared in the hot windy conditions, but
rain with the change helped firefighters gain control. They included the blaze
in Dunmore State Forest (see report yesterday)
which has burnt 1,860ha, a 17ha pine plantation fire east of Linton near
Ballarat, and reignition of
parts of the Wilsons Promontory fire which further delayed the reopening of
the National Park to visitors.
in the south, stormy in the NW
The same airmass that brought record temperatures to the southeast gave
the southern NT another hot day. Yuendumu, 250km NW of Alice Springs,
recorded a top of 38.5 today -- in 38 years it has reached that temperature
three times, all in this April. Most locations in the south of the Territory
recorded overnight and daytime temperatures 8 to 10 above average.
Late season thunderstorms brought some moderate totals around Darwin
and the northwest coast. Territory Wildlife Park, 30km SSE of Darwin,
recorded 53.8mm for the 24 hours to 9am, while afternoon storms dumped
7.4mm on Warruwi in 3 minutes and 32.6mm at Port Keats in 2 hours.