VIC, NSW fires continue. The Tatong fire SE of Benalla continued to burn fiercely and erratically today, and has consumed 150sq km. A 25km long backburn was started last night on its southern flank to protect property in advance of expected hot northerly winds in coming days. The Great Divide southern complex fire near Tambo Crossing moved north during the day, and two outbreaks of concern developed to the east of the settlement in rugged country. A further fire, started by lightning yesterday, has developed near Tom Groggin, 15km west of Thredbo alpine village. The fire in the Goonoo Community Conservation Area north of Dubbo continued to burn strongly, and had burnt through 180sq km of bushland by late this evening.
WA, NT: Heavy monsoon rain develops. The surface charts show that a low in the monsoon trough has developed over the WA West Kimberley, drawing tropical moisture into the Kimberley region and adjacent areas of NW NT. Scattered light to moderate rain yesterday turned to more widespread heavy falls overnight and continued through today. Rain began at Kuri Bay WA, on the coast 220km NNE of Derby, after 3pm yesterday, and by 9 this morning there was 160.8mm in the gauge. A further 115mm was recorded to 3pm giving a respectable 24-hour to 3pm total of 275.8mm. Rain still continued, and by 9am Monday Kuri Bay had accumulated a 48-hour total of 358.2mm. Mount Hart Station, 150km SSE of Kuri Bay, recorded 126mm in the 24 hours to 9 this morning, and a further 77.0mm to 9am Monday. Gaugings to 9 this morning elsewhere in the Kimberley and NW NT were more restrained, but still in the 25 to 80mm range - see wettest and the rainfall chart.
QLD: Severe storms in the west. A line of thunderstorms developed late Saturday evening from Goondiwindi to Longreach, then during the dark hours of this morning was steered northwestwards along its own axis by a weak low that developed over far SW QLD. Some of the storms were severe. Winton recorded a wind gust of 104km/h at 12.40am with 17.6mm falling in 10 minutes to 12.42am for a storm total of 26.0mm. At Longreach, the wind reached 100km/h around the same time, with 10.6mm falling in just 6 minutes to 12.41am for a storm total of 29.0mm. Storms redeveloped during this afternoon giving some heavy falls across the Gulf Country (see downpours).
WA: Hot in the west and South West. Most of the western half of the state reported maximum temperatures above 39C today, with maxima in the South West and along the South Coast generally 8 to 13 above average. Pearce RAAF Base, 35km NNE of Perth, recorded a top of 43.8, while Perth Airport's 42.1 was 10.6 above average and the highest since the same temperature was reached on 15 February 2005. Bickley, with only a 14-year climatic history, set a new January record with 41.0C.