|This morning's minimum temperatures (above) and departures from normal
frost blankets parts of NSW, VIC
Frost blanketed parts of central Victoria and the NSW Central Tablelands
this morning that rarely see frost in January. Minimum temperatures
between 3 and 6°, 8 to 11 below normal, were widespread along and inland
from the Great Dividing Range, with sheltered upland areas recording minima
of 1 or 2°. Centres in both states set new January minimum low records (see
Woodend VIC recorded an unofficial but reliable air minimum of
1.3 and a grass minimum of -1.1. Private climatic records taken at Trentham,
20km WSW of Woodend and at a similar altitude, have no record of frost-level
temperatures in the first two weeks of January in at least the past century.
While light frosts have been reported in the district in late January, none
had been recorded at Trentham before the first week in February making this
morning's occurrence likely to be the earliest frost in at least a century
for the area.
The event was particularly dramatic in NSW, where at least five locations
reported minima 15° colder than yesterday morning. In the NSW Upper Hunter
January morning in 38 years of record this morning (4.2°, 11 below normal).
This was 18.9 degrees lower than yesterday's 23.1 which was the warmest January
the site since 1987. Jerrys Plains minimum of 7.7 was its lowest for January
in 43 years of record.
continue to burn north and southwest of Sydney
Over 500 firefighters continued to work on major blazes in Ku-ring-gai
Chase National Park to the north of Sydney and a fire near Wilton
in Wollondilly Shire, south west of the city. The northern fire
has burnt through 1,000ha since it began yesterday, and has closed the National
Park and many main access roads in the area. It flared again this afternoon,
direction up to 1km downwind into urban areas, with the RFS placing residents
of Terry Hills, Duffys Forest, Elvina Bay, Lovett Bay, Church Point, Bayview,
on alert, though no evacuations, apart from some children, were required
nor damage to property reported.
Between Appin and Wilton, south of Campbelltown, 120 firefighters continued
containment work on a fire
which has so
far burnt 550ha
areas around Allens Creek and Cataract Gorge. No property was threatened.
Both fires are believed to have been started by arsonists.
downpours in QLD, northern WA
The trough that gave heavy rain in SE QLD yesterday retreated west
to lie NW/SE through central QLD today. Storms again developed to
the east of the trough this afternoon, one particularly active storm giving
Emerald Airport 97mm between 6pm and midnight, of which 58.6mm fell between
9pm and a further 23.2mm from 9pm to 10pm. Storms were also widespread
across the Kimberley early this morning, one giving
Roebuck, 30km ENE of Broome, 50mm of which 35.2mm fell in 30 minutes to
|Areas of NSW suffering drought at the beginning
of January 2004. NSW Agriculture
area expands in NSW
The area of NSW drought declared increased during December. 86%
of the state is now either in drought or marginal, with parts of Nyngan, Coonamble,
Northern Slopes, Narrandera and South Coast Rural Land Protection Districts,
and all of Goulburn, moving into drought during the month.
Also of concern is that all inland water storages continue to drop despite
restrictions. Percentage of capacity in the major inland storages in early
January were: Pindari 40%, Copeton 12, Split Rock 12, Keepit 12, Chaffey 37,
Burrendong 23, Windamere 50, Wyangala 16, Lake Cargelligo 46, Burrinjuck 50,
Blowering 49 and Hume 61%. Levels in Sydney's Warragamba dam have fallen below
60% for only the fifth time in more than 40 years.
News Sources: Clyve Herbert, Blair Trewin, NSW Agriculture Resource Information,
ABC, NSW RFS, Daily Telegraph, AAP