Category Archives: General Weather

General weather covering all aspects of weather from snow frost to severe weather and discussions on weather related terminilogy

Rain and storms continues into new year 1-3 January 2021

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Rain and storms continues into new year 1-3 January 2021

The system that brought rain and storms to much of eastern New South Wales at the end of December 2020 has continued into the first 3 days of January 2021. One positive is that large areas of the inland has now received some rainfall from the system as expected.

Some notable storm events have occurred over recent days which has caused disruption, localized flash flooding and or wind damage. Some affected towns and cities include:-

1 - Warrnambool (SW Victoria) - Rare storm events have resulted in heavy rainfall totals of 53 mm for the 24 hours to 9 am 3/1/2021.

2 - Broken Hill (Western New South Wales). Reported in the media 2/1/2021 that a number of thunderstorms occurred some of which brought hail of between 2 cm and 4 cm including flash flooding of low lying areas.

3 - Parkes (Central West of NSW) - 2/1/2021. A thunderstorm impacted the town between 4.41 pm and 4.58 pm that brought wind gusts to 158 km/h. The local weather station recorded the peak wind gusts between 4.43 pm and 4.48 pm as well as rainfall being - 4.41 pm (0.0 mm), 4.43 pm (4.4 mm) - (That is 4.4 mm of rain in 2 minutes), 4.48 pm (21.6 mm). This is 17.2 mm in approximately 5 minutes or 21.6 mm in 7 minutes. By 4.58 pm, 31 mm had fallen from the same storm.

Other notable rainfall events within the Central West slopes and plains include 38 mm at Dubbo 115 km to the north.

Isolated rainfall totals of 65 mm fell at Portable in the Riverina of New South Wales, 62 mm at Okeh in north west New South Wales, 53 mm at Glenorchy (North west of Glenn Innes) as well as falls of 29 to 61 mm around Wollongong and Kiama on the Illawarra coast.

Last week, it was stated that there was elevated fire risk at Albury and a fire was observed on a hillside in the distance. Overnight falls of 20 mm here as well as 28 mm at Hume Dam would have been beneficial to suppress the fire danger for the short term.

The rain events and recent storms has contributed to much of New South Wales receiving average to better than average rainfall totals for the year 2020 as shown in the plots below produced on the Bureau of MeteorologyWater and The Land” site although when reviewing the Rainfall anomalies for 2020, it becomes clear that much of western and southern New South Wales is only receiving average to slightly below average rainfall. While no part of New South Wales is currently in drought, there is a risk of these areas falling back into drought for the longer term if further rainfall is not received.

Rain and storms continues into new year 1-3 January 2021

Given that the plots are for the period 1 January 2020 to the 31 December 2020, the rain and storms that impacted Broken Hill and surrounds on the 2/1/2021 will benefit the region further and the local water supply.

Rain and storms continues into new year 1-3 January 2021

Rain, storms, heat and wind – NSW – A state of contrasts – 22 to 28 December 2020

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Rain, storms, heat and wind - NSW - A state of contrasts - 22 to 28 December 2020

The Christmas period across New South Wales has seen significant variations of weather ranging from flooding rains to storms to hot dry and windy conditions.

During the period 22 to the 28 December, New South Wales has been a state of two halves with the north and eastern half being saturated with rain, some of which has been significant while the west and south west has been bathed in sunny and often hot conditions.

In particular and just prior to Christmas (22/12/2020), the region surrounding Tamworth and Gunnedah and other nearby towns were saturated with heavy rain with falls of up to 98 mm occurring. Much of the North West slopes and plains of New South Wales received between 50 and 98 mm of rain during this event and localised flooding of rivers and streams occurred.

During the 26/12/2020, there were thunderstorms on the ranges and the Hunter Valley of New South Wales although no such chase could be undertaken as my wife and I were in Albury on the New South Wales Victorian State border.

It is interesting to see that west of Conroys Gap (West of Yass New South Wales), the impacts of the La Nina weather pattern is significantly less. The region further west is typically dry with the grass having dried out. Near Albury, it is significantly dry and the fire risk is heightened. Where we are staying, it has been quite hot and it reached 35.6C on the 27/12/2020. Further west, it has been hotter.

Near Robinvale in North West Victoria, a bushfire was burning out of control by evening on the 27/12/2020 due to high winds and high temperatures. It reached 40C at Mildura and the high 30s across south west New South Wales on the 27/12/2020 being the areas not impacted by the recent rain events.

During the evening of the 27/12/2020, a strong cool change passed through southern New New South that brought little if any rain but brief wind gusts of 52 km/h at Albury Airport. The cool change brought little rain across northern Victoria but its impact in eastern New South Wales will be different to that of northern Victoria due to more moisture being available.

The attached rainfall plot produced on the Bureau of Meteorology "Water and the Land" website prepared on the 24/12/2020 is showing the weekly accumulative rainfall for the Murray Darling Basin. As shown, the heaviest falls have occurred across the north east of New South Wales. There is a narrow corridor focused on northern Victoria and south west New South Wales that has missed most of the recent rainfall events. This is the region that has been experiencing the high summer temperatures and where the bushfire threat is most high.

Rain, storms, heat and wind - NSW - A state of contrasts - 22 to 28 December 2020

The second plot is showing the location of the rain event to 9 am 22/12/2020 across the north west New South Wales.

Rain, storms, heat and wind - NSW - A state of contrasts - 22 to 28 December 2020

Timelapse of Blue Mountains Bushfires 2nd February 2020

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Timelapse of Blue Mountains Bushfires 2nd February 2020

I took video this afternoon of pyrocumulus clouds that formed just west of Penrith.

Timelapse of Blue Mountains Bushfires 2nd February 2020

Timelapse of Blue Mountains Bushfires 2nd February 2020

The Blue Mountains bush fires were very impressive so I time-lapsed them! So how do they form? As the plumes rise beyond the freezing layer consequently forming cloud. These clouds are known as pyrocumulus.

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