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Hi Kiwi...no not really! The suburbs on the river front and the city centre had to contend with some icy patches only, which looked like light frost. Once the sun broke thru a couple of hours after su

Sunday night 1030pm: Snow is falling in downtown Hobart ( sealevel ) for first time since 2008. It's trying very hard to settle. Everything is going to plan for the first settled fall here as low as t

Part 3  End. Launceston, Tasmania. That feeling of witnessing snow for the very first time in your home environment.   

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Looks like an early season heatwave is on the way for south east Aus. Bom going for up to 4 days with temps around 30 for Melbourne and much warmer inland from the coming weekend. El Niño springs have historically been more likely to have heatwaves.

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Incredible temperatures for the October 2-6 period for sure, got to wonder whether this is a case of 'here we go again' following the record breaking warm seasons of 2013&2014 across Australia.  Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Hobart forecast to have the sort of heat only matched once or twice over the last 100 years and longer of records, for this early in the season. That is either duration of high temperatures or peaks.  Hobart 29C on the 5th ( 12C above October average ), if we can manage a 30C instead, will be the second-earliest 30C for us on record. BOM might need to release their forecast heatwave charts a month early.

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Two consecutive 35 degree days forecast for Melbourne on Monday and Tuesday, if it comes off it will be the earliest 35 degree day in the year by about a week , and the first ever two consecutive 35 degree days in October.

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Yesterday's storm activity and rain brought 44mm here, which was our wettest September day since 1998 (17 years). On average, September is the driest month of the year here and it is quite unusual to get heavy falls during this month. As you can see, it is notably drier than every other month of the year -

TW8zBOR.png

Remarkably, there was even heavier rain near the end of the month. There were persistent showers and an isolated storm along the coastal fringe which affected this area (as you can see in one of the images below, rainfall sharply decreased away from the fringe) and the Bureau's weather station at Smoky Cape about 5kms away from my house officially recorded its wettest September day on record with 89.0mm falling in the 24hrs to 9am Sep 26th (beating the record set in Sep 1998 by just 0.2mm), and this September was also officially the second wettest on record at that site.

yISLKkf.png

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The wettest September days recorded since 1939:

1st - 89.0mm 26/9/2015 (I recorded 53.2mm on this day at my house)

2nd - 88.8mm 12/9/1998

3rd - 81.5mm 21/9/1954

=4th - 64.5mm 4/9/1965

=4th - 64.5mm 26/9/1963

6th - 54.9mm 8/9/1961

7th - 53.0mm 15/9/1988

8th - 49.0mm 16/9/1988

9th - 45.2mm 18/9/1976

10th - 44.8mm 10/9/1990

11th - 42.6mm 18/9/2015 (I recorded 44.0mm on this day at my house)

 

The wettest September's since 1939:

1st - 1954: 254.4mm

2nd - 2015: 199.4mm (I recorded 142.2mm for the month at my house)

3rd - 1998: 179.2mm

4th - 1990: 176.0mm

5th - 1959: 141.0mm

6th - 1988: 139.2mm

7th - 1961: 133.4mm

8th - 1976: 124.7mm

9th - 2008: 122.0mm

10th - 1975: 97.9mm

11th - 1943: 81.8mm

 

The September wet here contrasted with dry to very dry conditions over most other parts of the state during the month: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/nsw/archive/201509.summary.shtml

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A cool change is sweeping thru the south east this afternoon ending a remarkable October heatwave for southern Australia.

 

latest_zpsmjkiastp.gif

 

This is yesterdays temperature chart - but the anomalies are generally applicable for the entire 2nd-6th period. Almost all places in the high temperature area broke a daily early spring temperature record and had their earliest temperature thresholds reached ( 30+ or 35+ ). A significant number of locations had their hottest October 4 or 5 day period on record ( an exceptional result for the start of the month! ). Hobart, Melbourne ,Canberra and Sydney had top 5 hottest days ever recorded for any time in October.

 

Hobart

The warmest 4 and 5 days of heat for any October period since records began in 1882. The 5 day average of 27.7 is 10C above the October average. That 5 day period included the second earliest 30 recorded for any spring and the equal fifth hottest October day ( 31.7C today ).

Fires

The Tasmania Fire Service declared two total fire ban days during this period, the earliest stage in the warming season with a rolling elevated bushfire risk based on reliable records, although October 11-12 2006 saw extreme conditions. Thankfully, no major incidents.

 

I said in an earlier post that the snow drifts in the highlands are likely to last into the summer, well we can forget about that scenario, this has been a heatwave that would have been notable for mid summer. If the forecasts are correct we will have 0.2mm in the guage for October up to  14th and probably beyond, in a month that is traditionally wet with regular snowfalls in the higher places. 

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A cool change is sweeping thru the south east this afternoon ending a remarkable October heatwave for southern Australia.

 

latest_zpsmjkiastp.gif

 

This is yesterdays temperature chart - but the anomalies are generally applicable for the entire 2nd-6th period. Almost all places in the high temperature area broke a daily early spring temperature record and had their earliest temperature thresholds reached ( 30+ or 35+ ). A significant number of locations had their hottest October 4 or 5 day period on record ( an exceptional result for the start of the month! ). Hobart, Melbourne ,Canberra and Sydney had top 5 hottest days ever recorded for any time in October.

 

Hobart

The warmest 4 and 5 days of heat for any October period since records began in 1882. The 5 day average of 27.7 is 10C above the October average. That 5 day period included the second earliest 30 recorded for any spring and the equal fifth hottest October day ( 31.7C today ).

Fires

The Tasmania Fire Service declared two total fire ban days during this period, the earliest stage in the warming season with a rolling elevated bushfire risk based on reliable records, although October 11-12 2006 saw extreme conditions. Thankfully, no major incidents.

 

I said in an earlier post that the snow drifts in the highlands are likely to last into the summer, well we can forget about that scenario, this has been a heatwave that would have been notable for mid summer. If the forecasts are correct we will have 0.2mm in the guage for October up to  14th and probably beyond, in a month that is traditionally wet with regular snowfalls in the higher places. 

Yes, October looks like it could be very dry, particularly inthe south east.

I see that the Met bureau have issued a special update to their Oct-Dec outlook, which highlights the unusually dry conditions expected through the month.

http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/archive/outlooks/latest-outlook.shtml

Obviously doesn't bode well for the bushfire season.

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Time will tell how close that updated three month forecast turns out to be. I have a feeling that many more years of analysis of the main climate drivers and their interactions is needed before those forecasts can considered to be modestly reliable. I understand the rain and temperature outlook it's framed around a percentage likelyhood only but it takes just one wayward cyclone moving inland or a stubborn inland trough to create a significant rain event and then consequent cooling. The winter forecast was also way off the mark I must say ( colder and drier in the south east ) and summer 2012-13 was an angry summer that no one saw coming.

 

Bushfire season will be bad if the dry September ( and now October ) lasts into the summer. Looking at severe bushfire events in the past though they have happened under different lead up conditions. What they all had in common was a severe weather day after about 4 weeks of close to no rainfall, that's all it seems to take. One thing that might reduce the intensity of fires this year is a lack of spring rain, preventing very high growth rates of the forest understory and grasses. 

 

--------------------

 

BOM has released a comprehensive Significant Climate Statement on the October heatwave for those wanting to check out some maps and temperature records that fell  http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/statements/

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Now this is one squally thunderstorm. Impact town: Fernvale, just 40 miles from central Brisbane, yesterday. Several houses lost their roofs. This is usually an active time for severe storms in the subtropics.

 

 

Australia highly likely to record it's hottest October on record for mean maximum temperature. Presently, hundreds of weather sites across most states are registering a record. If realised this will beat the previous record set only last year. The anomaly in Victoria in particular this month has been staggering.

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BOM has just released the national statistics for October and it was a monster of a month. The mean maximum temperature as expected was a national record with a +3.44C anomaly ( 1961-90 )...the largest anomaly ever recorded for any month ( exceeding September 2013 which had a maximum anomaly of 3.41C ).

 

More than half the continents land mass exceeded its previous October record, reflected in measurements from hundreds of stations across all states that returned a record.

 

This is the third spring in a row for a monthly mean maximum record ( Sep 2013, Oct 2014, Oct 2015 ) 

 

octobermax_zpswmd3ephm.gif

 

The overall mean temperature was also a record high for October, with an anomaly of +2.89C, overshooting other historical highs by a long way. This is also the highest mean anomaly recorded for any month ( exceeding September 2013 which had a mean anomaly of +2.75C )

 

It is also the third spring in a row to have a monthly heat record in the season. ( Sep 2013, November 2014, October 2015 ).

 

octobermean_zpsj7hs3c9t.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

Four people have died in bushfires near the town of Esperence on Western Australia's south coast. It is the highest casualty bushfire toll in Western Australia since the 1960s. Dry lightning ignited over 100 blazes and a windy cool change with 100km/h gusts behind the front fanned the flames.

 

Hero:

 

One of the men killed was a local farmer who had been driving around warning his neighbours to evacuate.
 
Esperance resident Andy Johnston told the ABC the farmer ensured his neighbours escaped before getting in his own car.
 
Mr Johnston said the man had been driving away from the fire front when he stopped to warn another neighbour who was driving into the fire, and he did not make it back out.
 
"One of my mates' neighbours unfortunately passed away with possibly another person that he was trying to warn to tell to turn around and head the opposite way as they were fleeing from the fire," he said.
 
Recent dry conditions there are not El Nino related, spring rainfall in the west is primarily determined by strong Southern Ocean fronts, at times colluding with tropical moisture from the Indian Ocean. The Southern Ocean has been spectacularly quiet cross the board this season. Tasmania's west has suffered the most, our hydro electricity supplies rely on spring rain incoming from the west, levels are dropping fast.
 
Tasmania as a whole and Victoria are incredibly dry. There are deficiencies almost everywhere else but not as severe ( yet ) as previous years, like the recent Millenium drought, or 1982-83. 
 
latest_zpsyctkltgd.gif
 
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BBC may have been closer to the mark afterall. BOMs updated forecast maximum for Sydney is now 41C - the November record is 41.8C in 1982. The airmass over the continent is superdry as the monsoon in the tropics is yet to break. Humidity levels in New South Wales are going to plummet as the  heat mass extends across the state from the inland, to the seaboard.

 

New South Wales has widespread heat forecast in the range of 39-45C on Friday. The November averages are low to mid 20s on the coast and near to 30C inland.  Expect some coastal locations to break monthly records tomorrow.

 

Untitled_zps4hodwuxg.png 

 

All national parks in New South Wales will be closed tomorrow to prevent accidental ignition,  cars back firing, cigarrette butts out windows, and for possible nefarious behavior.

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^ Certainly a sharp cool change in the south yesterday, a very biting wind  - a snowline of near 700m in Tasmania with a 24 hour temperature range in Hobart of 5-13C, and low of -3.3C on the mountain summit ( 1270m ). Snow was falling near 400m at times but the ground is too warm now for it to stick. It's slightly unusual - but not rare for us to have snow on the ground at this elevation close to summertime. All gone now as temperatures rebound back to close to average.

 

snow_zpsjozqap4k.png

 

ROB O'BRIEN - THIS MORNING

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springrain_zps15jenpqi.gif

 

A dry spring in Australia, relieved by November rains, bridging the nationwide anomaly which was much sharper earlier on. Many springs have been drier.  Tasmania stands out as an exception. This may have been the driest spring on record for us, with only 1914 a year to compare. In the west, hydro electricity storage stands at 26%, the lowest level for many years. Two major infrastructure projects in the last 15 years have drought proofed the island to a large degree. A Bass Strait cable connecting Tasmania to the south east mainland electricity grid and new irrigation dams and pipelines in the rural midlands. Nevertheless, importing energy rather than selling it would have a major impact on the state budget, and there's only so many months of dry weather that will enable agriculture to go on with drying up rivers and dams without dramatically lowering yields. Summer weather will determine what happens next.  

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The spring temperature statistics have just been released. A truly remarkable outcome. The second warmest spring on record, narrowly falling short of last year's historical high. I am unaware of any season or month in Australia that has the warmest thru to the third warmest running side by side. 

 

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Spring temperature anomaly ( 1961-90 comparison ):

September:  +0.2  

October:  +2.9     Record

November: +1.9   Third warmest

 

latest_zps7pwpqi8c.gif

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Volunteer weather observers: more than 100 years of vital data collection

From seas to storms and rainfall to rivers, thousands of volunteers across Australia gather weather, climate and water information to help strengthen our long-term understanding of Australia's climate and deliver crucial weather and forecasting services to communities across Australia.

http://media.bom.gov.au/social/blog/853/volunteer-weather-observers-more-than-100-years-of-vital-data-collection/

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9-11C in Hobart this afternoon for the West Indies v Australia test match. Must be some of the coldest weather ever played in an international test match? Light snowfalls to 600m developing.

CV638BbWsAAKv8E.thumb.jpg.d7c0697f3e595c

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Quite an unusual summer scene!  5.0C in Hobart at daybreak ( 6 below average ) and -3.0C on the mountain pinnacle ( 1270m ). Readings fall reasonably short of December records.

medium.thumb.jpg.6c2c3b865ae006a3f2f3894

A 41 degree variation in temperature in Australia presently, from 36C at Telfer in Western Australia to -5C at Mount Hotham ( 1800m ) in Victoria.

121215.thumb.png.d09b5bc463e0852bad7fd7c

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The first severe heatwave of summer for southern Australia is on the way. The three day temperature outlook for locations in the orange colour coded area suggests  a heatwave unmatched largely since 2009 for the first month of summer. There will be minor exceptions.  So it's an early one.

Red ( extreme )  is much rarer, a once in 30 year to historical event for a particular region for that specific time period. 

heatwave.thumb.png.1146124d57147c1471d6a 

http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/heatwave/?ref=marketing

Adelaide from Wednesday:  38, 39, 41, 42.....( 3 days over 40C would be very rare for December but they last got it in 2013 the start of the angry summer )

Melbourne from Thursday:  33,33,39,35

Launceston ( Northern Tasmania ) from Thursday:  29,31,30,30 ( 4 days over 30C would be very rare for December )

 

 

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