NSW, VIC, QLD, TAS: Storm in teacup as third ECL brings widespread snow, cold and big seas: This event covered in the Daily Weather Summary for 20 June.
WA, NT, QLD, NSW: Extreme cold and wet "dry" season in the north. A look through the records sections in the Daily Weather Summaries for today, 20 June and 21 June shows an enormous slab of the continent experienced its coldest days on record for June and, in many cases, its lowest maximum temperatures ever over these three days. Temperatures on 20 and 21 June were between 12 and 17 below average across about half of tropical Australia. In addition, June rainfall records across the north continue to fall, with dozens broken across the WA Kimberley and NT Top End for the 24 hours to 9am 20 June.
Two interrelated events have produced this extraordinarily widespread event. Low pressure in the Tasman Sea has transported very cold air northwards across SE AUS and into QLD, setting record low daytime temperatures in western NSW today and 20 June. The long wave trough, in which the Tasman low is active, lies across eastern Australia and has forced the sub-tropical jet stream northwards, dragging moisture into tropical AUS from the north and northwest. On 17 June, even low-level winds across the NT and QLD tropics turned northerly, which is very rare in the dry season when the SE Trades blow uninterrupted. This moisture has led to extensive cloud buildup since 15 June, and produced heavy and widespread record winter rainfall across the NT Top End and tropical QLD. The combined effects of an absence of sunshine and the evaporative cooling of rain has produced unheard-of low day-time temperatures across the WA Kimberley and much of the NT and QLD, while it is the invasion of southern air that has produced record cold days in western NSW and southern QLD.
Heavy rain coming in the middle of the dry season has brought unimagined problems in the north. Boggy ground has stopped the first musters of the season, closed roads, stopped supplies and export cattle trucks, and stranded hundreds of tourists in the Kimberley. Mango growers in the Top End are concerned at the effects of the cold on trees about to flower.
Here a just a few of the remarkable events that have made climatic history over this period.
- Maximum temperatures in NSW today:
- Cobar Met Office's top of 6.6 was 1.1 below the previous June record in 45 years. If record from an earlier site at Cobar are considered, it was the lowest June maximum temperature in over 100 years.
- Maximum temperatures in QLD on 20 June:
- The Monument Airport, 120km SSE of Mt Isa, recorded a 24-hour maximum temperature of 7.7C, believed to be the lowest maximum temperature ever recorded in the tropics in Australia.
- Applethorpe, in the Granite Belt south of Toowoomba, recorded a top of 4.9C, the lowest maximum temperature ever recorded in the state in June.
- Boulia's top temperature of 9.0 was its lowest ever recorded in 120 years. The previous record of 9.6 was set on 5 July 1895.
- 12.5 at Richmond in the Upper Carpentaria shaved half a degree off its lowest June maximum in 113 years.
- Some locations with 40 to 50 years of climatic history broke their previous all-time records by large margins: Mt Isa (9.4, previous 10.6), Springsure (9.2, 12.0), Tambo (7.3, 10.0), Isisford (10.0, 11.7), Urandangie (8.0, 11.2), Winton (9.6, 12.2), Longreach (8.3, 12.5), and most remarkable of all, Barcaldine (7.8, 12.6).
- Maximum temperatures in NT on 20 June:
- Darwin Airport's 22.7 was the city's second lowest maximum on record in 66 years, and broke the lowest June maximum record by 1.5.
- Larrimah's 14.9 was 2.0 lower than any maximum temperature in 43 years.
- Katherine Aviation Museum's coldest day in its 26 year history was 23.2 in 1995. Today's top of 22.3 shaved 0.9 off that only to be smashed by a frigid high of 16.5 on 20 June, a further 5.8 below.
- Tennant Creek's 8.0 was 3.9 below its previous all-time record. The temperature at Tennant Creek stayed below 10C for nearly 40 hours!
- Maximum temperatures in WA on 20 June:
- Warmun in the East Kimberley recorded a top of 15.3, 1.5 below its previous all-time record in 45 years .
- Rainfall, 24 hours to 9am 20 June:
- Moola Bulla. 20km W of Halls Creek in the Kimberley recorded 40.0mm, its highest June one-day total in 93 years.
- Victoria River Downs NT recorded 56.4mm, its previous record in 114 years being 20.8mm in 1913.
- Maximum temperatures in QLD on 21 June:
- Townsville AP's top of 13.9 was its coldest day in 67 years by 0.7C.
- Richmond in the Upper Carpentaria knocked a further 1.3C off its 113-year June record set yesterday with a top temperature of 11.2.
- Locations with between 30 and 55 years of climatic history that broke their previous all-time records by large margins: Croydon (14.6, previous 18.0), Mornington Island (15.2, 16.7), Ayr (12.4, 14.8 in 55 years), Collinsville (11.0, 13.0 in 50 years), Mackay MO (11.8, 13.0).
- Burketown PO's top of 13.4 was 2.5 lower than any June maximum in 106 years.
- Wind: The abnormal conditions produced record windiness for June. Darwin set a new record on 20 June, then went one better by breaking its record a second time on 21 June with an average 24-hour wind speed of 25.9km/h.
VIC: Heavy rain brings flooding in Gippsland. Falls of up to 150mm caused flooding and closure of several schools in Central and Eastern Gippsland today. Bairnsdale Secondary College as well as small schools at Tambo Upper, Swan Reach, Clifton Creek, Paynesville and Lindenow all received water damage that closed them for the day. Strong, moist southeasterlies swung onshore by the developing low near the NSW coast brought 156mm to Bairnsdale AP in the 30 hours to 3pm, 74mm falling between 9am and 3pm today. There were many falls of 50-150mm elsewhere in Gippsland (see downpours and wettest for today and tomorrow as well as the Noteworthy Observations page.) The Mt Baw Baw ski fields were a beneficiary, with 80mm falling between 6am and 9pm with the temperature mostly just below zero.
Rain eased mid to late afternoon, but produced minor flooding in the Mitchell, Avon and Macalister Rivers and some tributaries. The Mitchell peaked at Glenaladale on 3.78m at 11.45am Wednesday, at Rosehill on 7.29m late Wednesday, and at Bairnsdale Pump House on 5.28m at 9.30am Thursday, all with minor flooding. The Avon at Stratford peaked about 9am Wednesday on 5.96m, just below moderate level. Minor flooding in the Macalister above Glenmaggie Reservoir gave Licola a peak of 3.3m overnight into Wednesday.
NSW: Brief flooding around Newcastle. Stormwater drains flooded in parts of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie early this morning after 25-35mm of rain fell in a few hours. The rain gave Norah Head its heaviest June fall in 12 years. See downpours.