WA, SA, NSW, VIC, TAS: Heatwave conditions develop in the south. All southern states reported high minimum and maximum temperatures today with October records falling in three states. As the temperature anomaly charts below show, maximum temperatures were more than 12 above the October average in five states, and were up to 15 above the norm in western VIC. Warburton WA and Cressy TAS set new October highs (see records). In SA, Oodnadatta reached 41.0C, in VIC Mildura 38.2, in TAS Swansea 30.9 and in NSW Pooncarie 39.5. Minimum temperature anomalies were 6 to 12 above average over a broad area, with Burnie and Orford TAS recording their warmest October night in over 40 years. Carnegie WA, Rhyll on Phillip Island VIC and Ross TAS also set new records.
NT, NSW: October hot in Darwin, cool in Sydney. Hot, dry southeasterlies gave Darwin its hottest month on record with an average maximum temperature of 34.8C. The previous record, again for any month, was 34.4 set in October last year. Darwin climatologist Dr Shaik Hakeem said that the 38.0 recorded on the 18th was the second highest daily maximum temperature on record at Darwin Airport, while the 37.8 the previous day ranks equal third. The highest maximum temperature ever recorded at Darwin Airport occurred on 18 October 1982 when the mercury reached 38.9. However, humidities were down, making it a drier build-up month than usual. "We had an unseasonably dry east to southeast air flow combined with almost cloudless skies. The 3 pm relative humidities remained lower than the long-term mean", Dr Shaik said. "The relative humidity on the 18th was 6 per cent , the lowest ever reported relative humidity for the month of October and the second lowest for any month."
On the other hand, an unusually large number of days with cool southeasterlies and overcast skies saw Sydney produce its coolest October in 17 years. The average maximum for the month was 21.4, 0.7 below average. The same windy, overcast weather however produced mild nights with the average minimum of 14.1 coming in 0.5 above average.
VIC: Thunderstorm brings flash flooding to Melbourne. Storms moved across parts of VIC for the second day in a row this afternoon and evening. Though not as intense as yesterday's, they brought flash flooding to Daylesford and Melbourne's inner northern suburbs.
PHILIPPINES: Typhoon Mirinae brings more flooding, damage. The third severe tropical cyclone in 5 weeks smashed through the country overnight bringing further flooding, damage and disruption to Manila and surrounding areas at a time when floodwaters from earlier Typhoons Ketsana and Parma have still not receded. At least 19 people were reported dead. In Laguna, people were being rescued from rooftops in Santa Cruz. With the earlier cyclones resulting in officially 929 deaths but possibly over 1100 deaths, pre-emptive evacuation over over 120,000 people ahead of Mirinae appears to be responsible for the low casualty rate. Four bridges collapsed or were washed away in urban areas south of Manila, while electricity supplies were taken out in parts of Manila and 22 towns, and roads made impassable in and around the capital by downed trees and power poles. Manila Airport was closed, cancelling 180 outbound flights.
Mirinae came ashore near Infanta in Quezon early morning local time, then weakened as it crossed the main island of Luzon following a similar track to Typhoon Ketsana in late September. It tracked south of Manila, but at 8am was still producing gusts of 160km/h in the provice of Batangas as it moved SW at 24km/h. Its higher speed than Ketsana resulted in lower relative rainfall - Ketsana gave Manila its highest rainfall in 40 years. Known rainfall totals include 85mm in Manila. Daet on the east coast 149 millimeters and Virac, which sits on an island that juts into the Pacific, 72mm.
Videographer James Reynolds told CNN the storm was weaker than expected, but it still brought fierce winds and lots of rain. "The wind and the rain and the floods have still caused quite a considerable amount of damage, certainly in the southeastern portion of the city, which is where we were. We saw many shanty-type houses that had been washed away and residents frantically try to get hold of their household material."
USA: Storms, tornados strike southern states. A line of thunderstorms caused flooding and spawned at least 5 tornados in Louisiana and neighboring Arkansas. Three tornados touched down in NW Louisiana and two in Arkansas where roads were flooded in the southwest of the state. In Shreveport Louisiana a landmark steeple was blown off a church onto a car, seriously injuring its driver while another driver was killed when his car hit a downed tree.