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Time site last updated: UTC:17:59
20/09/17
WST:01:59
21/09/17
CST:03:29
21/09/17
EST:03:59
21/09/17

27 September: Essential Energy has advised that our area will have a PLANNED POWER OUTAGE NEXT TUESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER from 9am to 3pm. During that time there will be no updates to AWN products on the site, but they will be updated soon after power is restored. The site will remain available during the outage as our web server is located elsewhere. Our apologies for any inconvenience this causes.
Latest weather extremes prepared 0359 EST, Thursday, 21 September 2017
State-by-state daily extremes Severe and noteworthy observations today
Hottest Coldest Wettest     Full list Windiest (km/h)     Full list
NSW: 16.8 at 0330 BYRON BAY (CAPE BYRON AWS)
VIC: 15.8 at 0300 CAPE OTWAY LIGHTHOUSE
TAS: 13.1 at 0300 GROVE (RESEARCH STATION)
SA: 21.7 at 0300 HINDMARSH ISLAND AWS
WA: 26.1 at 0300 TROUGHTON ISLAND
NT: 27.7 at 0330 BRADSHAW
QLD: 25.2 at 0300 HORN ISLAND
NSW: -0.4 at 0330 TEMORA AIRPORT
VIC: 1.4 at 0330 RUTHERGLEN RESEARCH
TAS: 3.6 at 0330 BUTLERS GORGE
SA: 7.1 at 0330 CUMMINS AERO
WA: 10.7 at 0300 CHAPMAN VALLEY AG STATION
NT: 12.2 at 0330 RABBIT FLAT
QLD: 5.6 at 0300 WARWICK
Highest short duration falls:
VASSE AG STATION WA
3.6 in 30min to 0330
WAROONA WA
2.8 in 30min to 0300
Highest since 9am
WAROONA WA
55.4 to 0300
GRAMPIANS (MOUNT WILLIAM) VIC
50 gusting 72/NNW at 0300
WALLAN (KILMORE GAP) VIC
50 gusting 68/ N at 0324
CAPE OTWAY LIGHTHOUSE VIC
46 gusting 66/ N at 0330

Weather, climate
and site news

Reviews of weather events and climate news are normally written some days after the fact to give time for accurate information to become available, and as I have the time to research and write it. If you're looking for weather news as it breaks, I've listed reliable, organised sources on AWN's Weather and Climate Media Reports page.

For information on how AWN uses annotations (*, †) and attributions, go here.



Wednesday 20 September 2017

Australian weather briefs

  • Heavy rain on the QLD Far North Coast eased off late yesterday as the trough bringing wet weather moved away to the east. The heaviest total in the 24 hours to 09.00 today was 97.0mm at Cowley Beach between Innisfail and Tully. Between 100 and 225mm was recorded in many gauges between Babinda and Tully over two days in an early start to the wet season in northern coastal QLD.
  • Late dry season heat is building in northern WA with the first temperatures nationally above 40° recorded in the East Pilbara and West Kimberley today. Roebourne reported a top of 41° while West Roebuck and Port Hedland reached 40°.
  • Ben Domensino notes on Weatherzone that the 0.2mm of rain that has fallen at Sydney Observatory Hill so far this month has given the city the driest start to spring since records began there in 1858. Other locations around the Sydney metro aren't faring much better. Eastern suburbs have picked up the odd coastal shower, giving Dover Heights 4.6mm and Rose Bay 5.2 while in the western suburbs very isolated showers have given Abbotsbury (Fairfield) 9.0mm and Shanes Park 13.6. No other gauges have recorded more than 1.8mm with most completely dry for the month so far.
Tuesday 19 September 2017

 Heavy rain sets records at top and bottom of the country

Unseasonally heavy rain has given some heavy totals on the QLD Far North Coast and eastern Atherton Tablelands in the 24 hours to 09.00 today and has continued through the day. The heaviest falls have been between Babinda and Tully with many gauges reporting totals between and 100 and 225mm over the 36 hours to 21.00 this evening.

The rain is being caused by a stationary or slow-moving upper trough providing instability to moisture-laden onshore winds. Babinda recorded 143mm in the 24 hours to 09.00 today, comfortably above its September monthly average of 122.4 but a long way off its record daily fall for September of 174.2 back in 1953. The nearby Clyde Road Flood Alert gauge recorded 170mm to 09.00 and has seen a further 54mm to 21.00. Babinda has been recording rain for 107 years, but many of the gauges in the area with shorter histories set new September records today.

At the bottom end of the country, as far south as you can go before you get to Antarctica, lonely Macquarie Island also set a new September rainfall record with 31.0mm. Rain has been recorded at Macquarie since 1948. This heavy fall was the result of a moist NW airstream moving down over the island ahead of a succession of fronts.

 History repeats as Dominica receives direct hit from Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria, which intensified rapidly overnight to a category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, made a direct hit on the small eastern Caribbean island of Dominica at about 13.00EST today. Dr Jeff Masters, in Category 6 on Weather Underground, reports that a US Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft reported surface winds of 257km/h and a pressure of 924hPa at landfall.

Conditions on the island of 72,000 are not yet known, but are likely to be better than those endured on the island of Barbuda after it was hit by the stronger Hurricane Irma just under two weeks ago. Barbuda is three islands north of Dominica in the arc of the Leeward and Windward Islands at the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela. All 1,800 residents of Barbuda have been relocated to Antigua, the nation of Antigua and Barbuda's larger island, as Barbuda has been left effectively uninhabitable [The Weather Network].

Hurricane Irma is expected to pass over or close to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday and Thursday Australian Eastern Standard Time (EST), then close to the north coast of the Dominican Republic before curving into the Atlantic Ocean east of the United States.

The best information on the current status and forecast movement of the hurricane comes from the National Hurricane Center of NOAA. Be sure you're on the Atlantic tab then click the red hurricane symbol. This brings you to many graphics, but the detail is in the text report links above the graphic thumbnails. Public Adv[isory] links to a summary of the current status of the hurricane and all warnings and watches which is followed by a straightforward description of the current situation and forecast. The Discussion link takes you to the forecaster's own report on the situation, including details of recent hurricane hunter aircraft penetrations and more detailed analysis of the situation.

If you want to know more about how the widely-used Saffir-Simpson scale compares to the Australian BoM scale of tropical cyclone intensity, Wikipedia has this useful article.

Monday 18 September 2017

 The news returns tomorrow

This section of the site will return to normal tomorrow, with the usual digest of information on Australian and overseas weather events, climate news, outlooks and the occasional oddball item I find in my wanders thrown in to keep it from getting too serious.

The causes of the long break have been back end problems in keeping the site running, mainly telecommunications complications that have proved hard to track down and fix. AWN's web servers are in Sydney but most of the work is done where I live in regional NSW, so having the technology that connects us reliable is essential. Fortunately, we have been able to keep most of the site that users rely on most heavily running almost without a break over the past month.

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