Daily Archives: January 1, 2016

Possible rain event across eastern Australia 2 – 8 January 2016

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While southern Australia is being impacted by heat and ensuring bush fires and a tropical cyclone looms deep in the Pacific Ocean north east of Queensland, another weather event could potentially unfold across eastern Australia over coming days.

Recently a monsoon low impacted the top end of Northern Territory producing substantial flooding and cutting roads. That low has tracked deeper into Northern Territory, northern South Australia and into inland south west Queensland.

During the last day of December 2015, the cloud mass as seen in the attached satellite photo from NASA produced some light to moderate rain across desert regions of three states. Rainfall figures include 10 to 24 mm across northern South Australia and 17 mm at Maree. Birdsville had 32 mm which is a significant fall considering its location. In Northern Territory, Alice Springs enjoyed 1 to 6 mm after 9 am 31/12/15. However up until 9 am 31/12/15, the main weather station at Alice Springs recorded 49.6 mm from the cloud mass.

Furthermore, a weather station at Jervois north east of Alice Springs received 77.2 mm to 9 am 31/12/15.

It appears that the cloud mass will continue to travel east and south east, interact with new moisture as it advances and deliver a significant rain event for some regions. The Bureau of MeteorologyWater and the Land” is suggesting a very widespread rain event for most of Queensland with some moderate to heavy falls across the inland. It is suggested that some regions in the drought affected areas would receive 100 to 150 mm.

The Bureau of MeteorologyWater and the Land” is suggesting a substantial rain event for the north east third of New South Wales and even suggests as much as 200 to 300 mm across parts of the Mid North Coast of New South Wales taking in Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour. The model is suggesting some reasonable falls around Sydney and the Lower Hunter Valley of 100 mm to 150 mm over coming days.

The Weatherzone model suggests much lighter falls for Sydney but heavy falls for North East New South Wales (Mid North Coast to the Queensland state border) and falls of 120 to 200 mm for inland Queensland.

The inland region of Queensland has been hit hard by drought and such a rain event as suggested would alleviate this.

It is interesting to note that both models suggest reasonable rainfall over Eastern Victoria but light falls over southern and western New South Wales.

The cloud mass that moved over the Top End of Northern Territory appears to be more significant given its movement across inland Australia. It is now poised to affect eastern Australia, especially New South Wales and Queensland in coming days.


1 - NASA 0Worldview) with overlays acquired 31/12/15.
2 - Bureau of Meteorology "Water and the Land”.
3 - Weatherzone (Precipitation model for New South Wales, southern Queensland and Victoria) 1 to 7 January 2016.

Heat and fires South Australia & Victoria 30 – 31 December 2015

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The satellite image of a portion of southern Victoria centered on Lorne and the Great Otway National Park is clearly showing the bush fire at Wye River and Separation Creek. The burn mark within the forest is also visible.

The fire hot spot which appears as red dots has been layered onto a second image and the smoke plume passing south east over Bass Strait is easily visible.

This is the fire that started on December 19 by a lightning strike and on Christmas Day, destroyed 116 homes. The fire has now been burning for 12 days and is still not out.

During the past two days, the fire flared again as another burst of hot dry conditions swept across Victoria from South Australia. A cool change has again brought relief across the region.

During the 31 December, the area around Melbourne and Geelong experienced the hottest temperatures for the state of Victoria which is unusual as this is usually reserved for places such as Mildura and Swan Hill.

While a maximum temperature of 38.1C occurred at Mildura, it reached 40.1C at Geelong Racecourse and 40.5C at Avalon. In Melbourne it reached 39.5C before a late cool change. The latest hot spell was not as significant as the previous one but it contributed to the spread of the fire and making it difficult for fire fighters to contain the blaze.

On the 30 and 31 December, further hot conditions swept across South Australia including 38.5C and 38.7C respectively at Roseworthy and 37C and 38.9C at Renmark. It reached 40.6C at Keith on the 31/12/15 and the heat affected Adelaide again with 38C being recorded on the 30/12/15.

A fire also burnt a large area on the Fleurieu Peninsular during Thursday north of Victor Harbour scorching more than 300 hectares. There is some property loss from this event but the blaze is now classified as being contained. There is also a fire burning at Mc LarenVale south of Adelaide but north of Willunga, a blaze south of Morgan near the Murray River and another blaze at Coopers Beach Road Nalyappa.

Smaller fires have been noted around Adelaide but all appear to be contained.

The heat reached into south west New South Wales on the 31 December with 38C to 39C recorded at a few centres including Hay and Deniliquin . The latest dome of heat appears to break up as a cloud mass and even light rain passes over the region over over coming days and hence no significant hot days will occur across eastern New South Wales for the immediate future.


1 - Bureau of Meteorology 1/1/2016 for maximum temperatures for South Australia and Victoria.
2 - NASA (MODIS Worldview with Overlays) 31/12/2015.
3 - South Australia Country Fire Service 1/1/2016.

Tropical Cyclone Ula – 1 January 2016

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During the New Year period, a tropical storm within the south Pacific Ocean south, south east of Western Samoa has transitioned into the first tropical Cyclone of the season. The transition has occurred at latitude 16.1 degrees south and 169.9 degrees east.

The storm is expected to track south west towards north east Australia over the next 48 hours then slowly weaken. The storm is expected to remain well out to sea, at least for the short term.

Synoptic charts throughout the next 7 days will show the tropical storm encroaching towards Australian waters or making an approach towards north east Queensland but it is far too early at this stage to verify what occurs in the longer run as the storm continues to track south west.

It is identified that:-

1 - The storm is formally named Ula.
2 - The storm is forecast to reach a Category 3 Tropical Cyclone within 24 hours with projected wind speeds of 110 knots (204 km/h) with stronger wind gusts to 135 knots or 250 km/h. This makes it an intense storm.
3 - The storm is not threatening any population centre.

Should the storm approach north east Queensland, it would intensify the south easterly winds onto the coastline especially during the latter part of the forecast period.

The models from CIMSS and dated 1 January 2016 shows the storm in its early stages. The core is relatively small and compact but a small eye is visible in the imagery. The storm will be watched over coming days to determine what it does.