WA: Good rain
moves farther south
The rain-bearing cloudmass over western WA moved farther south today, giving
widespread light to moderate falls across that part of the state with heavier
totals reaching as far as Perth by mid-evening. Details of significant short-duration
falls in the Perth area are in downpours below.
The heaviest totals to 9am were again along the northwest coast, with Thevenard
Island recording 65.8mm and Barrow Island 62.0. In the 3 days to 9 this morning,
Barrow Island has registered 166.6mm. The island's long term (91-year) average
for April and May combined is 70.9mm.
Warm across much of the continent
Apart from rain-affected parts of western WA and southeastern states, most
of the rest of the continent returned to very warm conditions for May. Both
minima and maxima were well above normal, with maxima exceeding 30C in most
of the northern half of Australia and reaching 36 to 40C in the northwest.
West Roebuck, inland from Broome, topscored with 40.3. Western parts of Brisbane
had an unusually warm May Day. The University of Queensland site at Gatton,
with 40 years of observations, shaved 1.1 off its previous May record maximum
with a top of 31.6. Amberley, near Ipswich, reached 31.0.
Strong winds continued and snow returned to TAS as the third in a succession
of cold fronts crossed the state. Hail showers were reported in the southeast
and there was a light snow cover down to the 700m mark across the Central Plateau.
The strongest winds were during the early morning hours, with Hobart City,
Tasman Island and Hartz Mountains all reporting wind gusts of 102km/h. Atop
Mt Wellington, the wind gusted to 133km/h.
Drizzle cuts power in Bendigo
Overnight drizzle following a long dry period was blamed for a blackout that
cut power to 2,700 properties and numerous traffic lights in Bendigo and Eaglehawk
at 8am. In a situation similar to one that caused a major blackout in Perth
on 30 JAN 2005, a build-up of dust on power wires
and insulators was made more conductive by drizzle, leading to a flashover
and a pole-top fire. Power was not restored to some properties until after