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Tropical Cyclone Hilda gives Broome a blow
Wed 27 Dec 2017
Tropical Cyclone Hilda was named as a category 1 system at 18.00WST on 27 Dec as it approached Broome WA. Its spiral banding is clearly visible on this Broome radar image for 18.10WST. The developing tropical low gave the Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome, record rain in the 24 hours to 09.00WST Wednesday. Cygnet Bay, near the tip of the peninsula, recorded 291.5mm, its heaviest one-day total for any month in 54 years of observations. A further 137.1mm to 09.00 on Thursday produced a two-day total of 428.6, also a record, while the 84.2mm to 09.00 on Friday took the three-day total over the half-metre to a very soggy 512.8mm.
As Hilda was being named, it cruised past Broome giving a wind gust of 139km/h at 18.00 and minimum pressure of 983.9hPa at 18.30 at the weather station on the end of Broome Wharf. Hilda continued to move SSW, crossing the coast at a very narrow angle near Bidyadanga soon after midnight on Thu 28 Dec. The cyclone tracked more southerly bringing widespread rain and thunderstorms, as well as coastal gales as it then moved inland, being downgraded to a tropical low on Thursday afternoon.
The cyclone caused extensive damage in Broome, with less damage reported from Bidyadanga [ABC]. Downed powerlines in Broome blacked out about 2,000 premises. Hilda also attracted international news coverage, such as this article on Al Jazeera.
Heavy storm rainfall continues on NSW Mid North Coast
Wed 27 Dec 2017
Isolated torrential rain fell on the NSW Mid North Coast in the 24 hours to 09.00EDT today, with Port Macquarie Airport registering a record 202mm. This fell mostly in two storms, 67mm between 11.00 and 13.00 yesterday, 26 Dec (of which 41.4 fell in 20 minutes to 11.50), and 105.4 between 23.20 and 01.20 overnight. An upper trough above Port Macquarie intensified the second storm, helping to produce nearly 25,000 lightning strikes within 50km of the city between 09.00 yesterday and 04.00 today according to Weatherzone*.
Either some gauges were playing up or the rain was extremely variable. The BoM's Hydro gauge in Koala St, Port Macquarie town, only recorded 46mm for the 24 hours and the airport record shows evidence of at least two power outages. But a private weather station immediately to the SW of the CBD, adding its records for the two calendar days 26 and 27 December together, recorded 277.1, another just W of the Airport (26 + 27) had 158mm, while a third, W of Lake Innes SW of Port Macquarie (26 + 27), had 219.5. There is therefore good support for the official airport figure which sets a new all-time record for the 22-year-old station. Three other Hydro station on or east of the Comboyne Plateau recorded between 105 and 166mm, and Smoky Cape had 102.