NSW, QLD: Storms cause a death, injury, wind and flash flood damage
An unusually long troughline, shown on the surface chart above, moved east across the NE half of NSW and southern and central QLD today producing a nearly continuous line of thunderstorms that at times stretched from the central southern Tasman Sea to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
In NSW, an elderly couple were struck by lightning at Merrygoen, 75km NE of Dubbo, about 3.15pm. The woman was killed and the man suffered burns to 30% of his body. A man struck by lightning while holding a metal railing at Katoomba was taken to hospital reporting pain in his arms, while another man in a car struck by lightning in the Hunter Valley was uninjured.
Strong winds accompanied some of the storms in NSW. Gusts reached 98km/h at Tamworth at 2.05pm, 96 at Newcastle Nobbys at 3.46pm and 95 at Richmond RAAF at 4.25pm, while Grafton reported a 10-minute average of 67km/h at 7.50pm. Homes were damaged at Tamworth, Narrabri, Manilla and Uralla. A downed tree briefly blocked the Newell Highway near Moree, and tree damage threatened a house in Inverell and blocked roads and rested on powerlines in Tamworth. Trees were also reported down at Uralla, Bundarra, Manilla and Ashford. Power was lost for an hour in southern and western Tamworth and for 5 hours at Nundle, 45km SE of the city.
Torrential rain in Uralla caused flash flooding, bringing the SES out to sandbag shops in the town's steep main street. The town recorded 67.5mm in the 24 hours to 9am Friday, most of which is likely to have fallen in the storm. Collarenebri recorded 30mm for its 9am to 3pm total, while Narrabri Airport registered 8.8mm in 13 minutes, Tamworth 4.2 in 3 minutes and Armidale Airport 10.4mm in 21 minutes (see Downpours).
There were some heavy storm falls in QLD, too. Roma Airport recorded 31mm between 1 and 3pm. Tabers, 20km N of Roma, recorded 62.0mm in the 24 hours to 9am Friday, In the north of the state, Hughenden Airport received 43mm in a storm, with nearly 20mm falling in 20 minutes around 6pm.
NSW, ACT: Unprecedented warm nights start November
The first 10 days of November have seen the warmest average overnight minimum temperatures on record for this time of year for Sydney, Canberra, and a host of coastal and rural centres in NSW, according to figures released by the Bureau today. Sydney's average minimum temperature of 19.7°C was over 4C above average and the warmest for the 1 to 10 November period since records commenced in 1859. Overnight temperatures and humidity have been even higher than those typically experienced in mid summer, with the average 6am humidity so far this month standing at 85%. Canberra's 10-day average minimum has been 13.7C, over 5 above average and the highest since observations began at the airport site in 1939. Combined with average early morning humidity levels of 88%, these conditions are more typically experienced in February and March.
A number of other NSW centres have also experienced unprecedented high average minimum temperatures for the first 10 days of November including Richmond in Sydney's west, Williamtown, Katoomba, Bathurst and Orange.
A strong cold front moved through SE AUS today, finally purging the heat and humidity.
South Australia is benefiting from the extensive rainfall in the Murray Valley over the past week. River Murray water flowing into SA peaked today at 13,500 megalitres, more than double the norm for November and the strongest flow for years.
A fire started by lightning 9 days ago in Karijini National Park in NW WA (see report for 4 NOV) had burnt through 130 square kilometres by today. It is about 10km from Dales Campground, which remains closed.
Australia's sub-Antarctic weather station on Macquarie Island has recorded its highest November rainfall in its 39 years of operation. The previous record of 21.0mm was broken with a fall of 29.8mm for the 24 hours to 9 this morning, and the gauge registered a further 27.0mm for the 24 hours to 9am Friday. The cause of the unusual November moistness was a strong infeed of the humidity over SE AUS into the near-stationary trough that can be seen right at the bottom of the surface chart at the top of this page. The island lay virtually on the axis of this trough from late Wednesday morning to early Friday morning.
Frost-level temperatures returned to southern WA this morning, with minimum temperatures 6 to 10 below average in an arc through the South West across the Great Southern to the Eucla. Salmon Gums, halfway between Norseman and Esperance, recorded -0.1, the only sub-zero reading and a 35-year record low November minimum for the station. Perth Airport's low of 4.4 was 8.2 below average.
After a long period of unusually warm spring weather, it was cold enough today for snow to fall on the Victorian Alps. The passage of the second trough marked on the surface map at the top of the page ushered in colder air while there was still enough moisture to produce precipitation. Mounts Baw Baw and Buller both recorded 18mm of precipitation between 3 and 9pm with the temperature hovering around zero. Falls Creek and Mt Hotham recorded 8 to 10mm. Light snow fell on the Snowy Mountains, with Kosciuszko Chalet reporting 3cm on the ground at 9am Friday.
Sydney Airport was the hottest spot in NSW today with a maximum temperature of 35.5. Its departure above the November average was 11.6C as was Wollongong University's with a maximum of 34.4, the two places sharing the honour of being the hottest places in Australia relative to normal.
The storm season in the Northern Territory is well underway. Storms were widespread in the Top End yesterday and again today. The highest 24-hour rainfalls in the nation were all in the Darwin-Daly region of the NT with Edith Farms Road, 60km SSE of Pine Creek, topping the list with 96.6mm.