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The potential November heat record of 40c in Perth on Saturday ( 13 above average ) is being driven by a west coast trough dragging intense heat from the north-west all the way south. The north-west region has seen elevating heat for a number of days and it is about to enter an official extreme heatwave, as defined by the BoM.  At 11am it is 34.8c in Perth. 

There doesn't appear to be any connection between the heat in the west and the hot and windy day yesterday which resulted in severe bushfires in the east. Many of these fires are flare-ups from existing hot spots which have been burning for several weeks in unprecedented drought conditions. There were no temperature records yesterday but it was windy and the humidity was very low. A few minutes ago the NSW Fire Service reported 150 homes destroyed, 2 deaths, 7 people missing. This appears to be the worst bushfire incident in terms of property destruction in Australia since the Blue Mountains bushfires in New South Wales in October 2013 ( which destroyed 250 homes ). The NSW Fire Commissioner said yesterday: "We are in uncharted territory. We've never seen this many fires concurrently at emergency level". This statement appears in all the media without explanation. It is based on the new bushfire alert system for communities enacted around 2011, following a review of the messaging system after the  Black Saturday fires in Victoria in 2009. So a bad situation and outcome with resources stretched, but no where near unprecedented in the history of bushfires in that state. 

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Hot and windy across the entire state of New South Wales this Tuesday. The NSW Fire Service has just issued a Catastrophic Fire Danger rating for Greater Sydney this Tuesday. This is the first time any major city in Australia has been issued the highest fire danger rating since the new rating system came into place in 2009. It is a threat based warning system based on a formula of weather conditions on the day, and soil moisture levels. Prior to 2009 the highest rating was Extreme - that was an occasional declaration. Catastrophic also means school closures and mass preventative actions including strong advice to leave, prior to any fire activity. How this plays out in Australia's largest city on Tuesday will be interesting. Sydney has a forecast maximum of 37c on Tuesday with winds of 50-75km/hr. 

 

 

 

Edited by Styx

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BoM has released a short video on the "evolving and dangerous" weather situation for New South Wales and Sydney tomorrow which may be of interest.  I should also add humidity levels will be exceptionally low due to the widespread drought. The cold front moving up from the south is intense again explaining the strength of the winds forecast for NSW. There is a very large temperature divergence between the two air masses -  snowfall is forecast to 600m asl in Tasmania and 900m asl in Victoria, for example. Judging by media coverage this evening this upcoming weather event is getting the most amount of attention and tone of foreboding since coverage of Cyclone Yasi in Queensland, in 2011. 

 

 

Edited by Styx

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4pm - No bushfires causing any concern anywhere near Sydney. There are 10 emergency fires in northern New South Wales posing direct threat to towns and communities. The NSW Fire Service web site is frequently updating with new information and the changing status of all the fires.

 

491534376_BushfireNSW.thumb.png.bfb93aee3f7b923fd6cca07b8ca5a0e8.png

 

 

 

Edited by Styx

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4 hours ago, Styx said:

4pm - No bushfires causing any concern anywhere near Sydney. There are 10 emergency fires in northern New South Wales posing direct threat to towns and communities. The NSW Fire Service web site is frequently updating with new information and the changing status of all the fires.

 

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Been watching this situation unfold. Worrying. The In-Laws live in Port Macquarie and have family and friends in the Blue Mountains and Sydney. Fingers crossed that the worst is over.

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12 hours ago, stainesbloke said:

Been watching this situation unfold. Worrying. The In-Laws live in Port Macquarie and have family and friends in the Blue Mountains and Sydney. Fingers crossed that the worst is over.

I too sincerely hope so. Have family on north shore of Sydney, northwest near Penrith and in Blue Mountains. My sister has taken her two young granddaughters down to her house as there’s a fire close to their Blue Mountain location, that although under control is still burning. Her own house backs onto the fairway of BIL’s golf club and the bush starts on opposite side of fairway. They’ve had grass fires close to them today but firefighters and volunteers managed to deal with them before they spread. She said her neighbourhood is anxious, not sleeping much, although remaining mostly calm due to the extraordinary efforts of the NSW Rural Fire Service who are instilling confidence and viewed with the highest respect. However, I can’t help remaining concerned for all in the fire areas. 

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12 hours ago, knocker said:

 

The introductory comment from the twitter user has no truth to it. It's an interesting story from the journalist but he has used exactly the same storyline a couple of times in the last few years. The quote from the BoM says it all really " Andrew Watkins from the bureau said a lack of rain across almost the entire country was "fairly unusual," but there have occasionally been days with virtually no rainfall". I feel sorry for journalists nowadays because a) they are forced to write more content than they used to without  the time to properly investigate the facts and b) they need to dramatise the content for an audience that is disengaging from mainstream media. BoM's excellent online climate database shows no notable dry rainfall records recently but it is exceptionally dry in northern NSW especially on longer time scales and its very dry everywhere else. The January-October rainfall total for the continent is the second loweston record ( which granted - is a big deal ).

Edited by Styx

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There's concern about hot weather at the end of next week extending across the country. Potentially much hotter in NSW than it was yesterday but it's not certain yet the intense heat  will make it to the east. Whether the heat comes with strong wind is going to depend on the timing and intensity of fronts moving up from the south-east. GFS 850 futures looks potent and very summery. Many people are not happy with the word 'unprecedented' being tagged to describe these fires ( word had been taken out of context ) but unless rain comes soon its possible with a level-head to see an outcome heading toward that.

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Edited by Styx

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A November temperature record of 40.4c in Perth today ( 13 above average ). It spiked at 41-43c at other stations in the Perth metropolitan area just before the trough line came through, so the official maximum for the city could have certainly been higher, given a little more time. The Western Australian maximum was 45.8c in the north-west. The heat reaches the east Wednesday-Friday. BoM has a lot of New South Wales under a severe heatwave but the coastal strip ( where many of the fires are ) will be cooler.  

1659816186_November16Temps.thumb.png.e91e4cc584cfafdf32c13d77a71268b5.png1689633688_November20Heatwave.thumb.png.281dddc05557998358e6c35a7e4ece81.png

Perth highest November temperatures ( records since 1897 )

40.4.....2019 16th

40.3.....2003 11th

40.3.....1913 24th

40.1.....1978 22nd

39.9.....1962 24th

Edited by Styx

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WWW.MSN.COM

At the same time as bushfires threaten communities west of Brisbane, south-east Queensland was battered by a huge hail storm.
giant_hail.jpg
WWW.SOTT.NET

Hail the size of a cricket ball has been reported north of Brisbane as dangerous thunderstorms move across south-east Queensland, but...

 

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Smoke from the Gospers mountain fire visible across Sydney this morning. 

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This is a cool month in Tasmania and snow is still falling regularly in the mountains. The cool month in Tasmania and the southern fringe of south-east Australia ( from about Adelaide to Melbourne ) is linked to the rare stratospheric warming event and persistent Southern Ocean fronts. The current snowline ( made up of large patches of snow and drifts in shady areas that have been around for weeks )  is about 1200-1300m asl.  Dove Lake ( in the picture ) is 940m asl and the mountain top is 1545m. The latest webcam image shows snow near the lake has gone, but the upper mountain sides has been snow covered for weeks - likewise Tasmania's southern ski-field of Mount Mawson ( 1250m ) in the picture below. 

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WWW.BBC.COM

The warnings for South Australia and Victoria come as massive fires ravage other parts of the nation.

South Australia was very hot today but there were no serious bushfires and a cool change has now gone through. There were ten November heat records in South Australia but Adelaide's 41.6 wasn't one of them ( it was 1.4c short of the November record but 16c above average) and the state maximum was 46.6c at Nullarbor ( 20 above average ) near the coast, in the western part of South Australia. This was just 1.5c short of the state record for November. Thursday will be hot and windy in Victoria and Tasmania. Temperature records far less likely. The catastrophic alert for Victoria is just for northern districts.

Nullarbor's readings were pretty impressive today.  I have never seen a 1% relative humidity reading before. Nullarbor also started the day at 13c minimum - a massive 33c diurnal temperature range.

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Edited by Styx

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The Gospers mountain fire looks to be getting worse. You can hardly see Sydney now.

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MIDDAY THURSDAY - An absolute scorcher in Tasmania. Hot, breezy, low humidity and diluted sunshine through cirrus. Hobart right now  36.8c ( 18 above average ) and tie with November record. The state maximum so far 37.7c - 0.8c below the state record for November. Not smelling any smoke out there so that's good. More later... 

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What would be useful is an areal average temperature for Tasmania for today. BoM rarely releases those details and we don't have anything like a daily CET measurement that is publicly available. Campania is 20km to the north of Hobart and while it almost broke the state record, it only has 20 years worth of temperature records. There are no closed weather stations in that geographical area either that may offer an insight of previous weather.  Hobart has by far the longest dataset on the list ( 138 years ), followed by Bushy Park and Flinders Island ( 58 years ) and Fingal ( 34 years ). The rest on the list: Tunnack, Ouse, Devonport have 22-28 years of data. It took about 5 hours for the cool wind change to clear the island from south to north ( a slow mover ) and right now it's a pleasant 16c at 11pm.

Hobart highest November temperatures ( records since 1882 )

36.8.....2019 21st

36.8.....1937

36.7.....1888

36.1.....1966

35.8.....1982

  

Edited by Styx

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I forgot to talk about Melbourne. It was also the equal-hottest November day for that state capital on Thursday. Melbourne has records since 1855 and for over a century the station was at the same inner city site. In recent times too much UHI warming was causing problems. In 2014 a new station began operating at Olympic Park near the Melbourne Cricket Ground. When the two sites were operating in tandem during the 18 month switch over period it showed the inner city site was +0.8c warmer for maxima and +0.4c warmer for minima. It was never used for state or national averages. The other sites listed in the record table are all in Victoria's south. Wilson's Promontory Lighthouse ( records since 1910 ), Laverton and East Sale ( records since the early 1940s ) and Mangalore ( records since 1959 ). The Victoria state maximum was 44c in the north-west ( about 2c below the state record ).

Edited by Styx

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https://youtu.be/hSsMIyTS13k

Terrible Bush fires unfolding over there, for both people & animals, watching that video was very hard, especially hearing the poor thing screeching in pain. Not all angels have wings & the lady who saved that poor koala certainly is one! 

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Australia crushed its spring rainfall record for dryness. Consequently the January-November period is likely to be a record too - but that's yet to be confirmed. 1902 is the only other year that was as dry as this from beginning to end across the continent. 1902 was the final stage of a multi-year drought across Australia known as the Federation Drought, the most severe the country has seen ( those summers produced some extreme heat events ).    

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 It was the fifth warmest spring on record. The mean maximum was the second warmest ( fractionally below the 2014 record ) and the mean minimum came in 20th.

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There are many other maps and graphs on the BoM website but I think these ones sum things up nicely.

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