Australian weather Fri 20 Jul 2018
SE Australia: Cold airmass moves in. Light snow fell briefly across southern parts of the Central Tablelands during the day in the wake of a cold front with the temperature at, for example, Orange hovering between 1 and 3° all day. The front, and cold air behind it, brought good rain to SA and VIC with thunderstorms and hail in parts of VIC last night. A Tigerair flight from Melbourne to Adelaide had to turn back after being struck by lightning in one storm.
NSW: Good Alpine snowfalls. 32mm of melted snow fell at Perisher Valley in the 24 hours to 2300 Friday evening, the equivalent of over 30cm of fresh snow. The nearby Snowy Hydro snow depth measurement at Spencers Creek came in at 99.8cm on Thursday, 12cm ahead of the same time last year though still below the long-term average. This substantial top-up will be welcome after four weeks of only light snowfalls.
International weather Fri 20 Jul 2018
Vietnam, Philippines: Tropical Cyclones Son-Tinh brings flooding. Tropical Cyclone Son-Tinh made landfall near Dien Thai city, Vietnam, 250km S of Hanoi on Wednesday 18 July. It had been downgraded to Tropical Storm status, but still brought 350mm to some coastal parts of the country, along with one death, flooding and the threat of landslides. It will weaken as it moves NW further into Vietnam and neighbouring parts of Laos, Thailand and China.
A few days earlier, nearly eight thousand people were evacuated in the Philippines as the cyclone passed, with rainfall as heavy as 165mm per hour reported by satellite in the Phillipine Sea.
Scandinavia: "Historic" forest fires, record heat. High temperatures and dry weather have caused forest fires to flare since June following Norway's hottest May since records began in 1900. As of Thursday 19 July, 44 fires were burning across Sweden with the largest in the central regions of Jämtland, Gävleborg and Dalarna. International firefighting help has been called in from Italy and France. It is being referred to as a "historic wildfire outbreak" in Sweden.
Figures supplied by the Washington Post show that temperatures more than 10° above the usual comfortable early 20s have been recorded in Scandinavia, with Trondheim Airport, Norway, hitting 32.4° last Monday, an all-time record.
The heat extends across the water to Finland, where Turku recorded 33.3 on Tuesday, its highest since 1914, and Helsinki reported one of its hottest two-day periods on record last Sunday and Monday.
Europe, UK: Fires threaten elsewhere. Following last summer's widespread and major fires around Europe, this dry late summer period is not looking good. As of Thursday 19 July, the European Forest Fire Information System reported extreme fire danger in parts of Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy and Turkey as well as on Sicily and Cyprus.
Some good news, though, is that a fire burning in peat and brush on Saddleworth Moor, 20km ENE of Manchester, has been extinguished by rain after over three weeks of effort by firefighters from seven counties and the army. The longest heatwave in at least five years has raised threats seldom bargained for in Britain - extensive wildfires on home soil, as well as water shortages.