Heavy rain and storms lash Sydney and NSW 21 and 22 January 2016

Published by:








Following two to three hot days across New South Wales including Western Sydney in which temperatures have soared to 38C or higher, Thursday afternoon, a band of rain and storms swept across areas of eastern New South Wales.

Storms developed around Canberra, Yass and Young earlier before sweeping into Sydney late afternoon.

Some of the storms were significant in nature producing significant wind gusts and occasionally heavy bursts of rain. Some of the more significant events for the day include:-


Following a maximum temperature of 33.5C at 12.30 pm, a thunderstorm passing over Canberra produced 3 wind gusts of 104 km / hour at 3.40 pm, 3.48 pm and 3.49 pm. This was accompanied by heavy rain fall in which 15.6 mm fell in 8 minutes between 3.40 pm and 3.48 pm. Eventually the storm produced 21 mm to 4 pm and an eventual total of 26 mm.


At Young (Central West New South Wales), 46.6 mm of rain fell from another storm cell including 14.6 mm between 3.44 pm and 4 pm. By 4.22 pm, this had risen to 38 mm. It is likely that some form of local flash flooding would have occurred in this area from such heavy rain. The storm was over by 4.30 pm. The amount is 45 mm in 46 minutes or just under 1 mm per minute.


After reaching 39.9C at 3.30 pm, a thunderstorm produced a peak wind gust to 65 km/h with storms moving through between 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm. Up to 33.8 mm of rain fell.

Sydney Olympic Park

A peak wind gust of 76 km/h occurred from a storm between 6.12 pm and 6.22 pm with 31.4 mm of rain falling.

Sydney storms

A small localised storm formed over Seven Hills and I was able to watch it develop overhead where I was at Rotary Park (Rowley Street). While there was no hail, rain drops were sizeable. Rainfall made it difficult to take photos of the base as it passed further east. The storm was short lived but another storm developed further west which became the main event for much of Sydney.

I managed to take photos of the base just before it passed over (Images attached). The event produced some sizeable rainfall totals from 34 mm to 48 mm around Blacktown, Toongabbie and Wentworthville. Some lightning was observed but the amount was not significant.

Separate storm cells also impacted much of the Illawarra where totals reached 50 mm including 56 mm at Dapto and Port Kembla. Another cell impacted the Central Coast around Gosford where as much as 45 mm fell and Woy Woy where 62 mm fell being the heaviest total.

Friday 22 January, more storms were forecast for Sydney although only a rain band was observed through Auburn where I work and Blacktown where I live.

Further north some storm and rain activity is occurring. There has been widespread rainfall across much of New South Wales for Friday including 30 mm around Oberon to 7 pm 22/1/16, 33 mm at Broke and 56 mm at Craven (Hunter Valley / Lower North Coast) during the same period.

Adelaide (Addendum)

There are reports of a storm impacting parts of Adelaide during Friday afternoon and producing rainfall of 35 mm including reports of hail. A review of the weather stations of Adelaide shows 35 mm falling at 1 location being Scotch College and 29 mm at nearby Hawthorne. A weather station at Kent Town has recorded a wind gust to 61 km/h at 2.33 pm and again at 2.38 pm consistent with a passing storm including rainfall.

A weather station at Adelaide Airport has recorded three wind gusts to 89 km/h between 2.25 pm and 2.30 pm from the same event.

It is noted that just prior to the event dew points were hovering at around 19C with temperatures of 28C which is unusual for Adelaide (Kent Town).

Further rain and storms for New South Wales 21 to 23 January 2016

Published by:




For many areas across eastern and coastal New South Wales, January 2016 will go down in the records as being unusually wet because there are areas especially around the lower Hunter Valley where monthly rainfall figures have exceeded 300 mm.

During the period 21 to 23 January 2016, another weather system is set to unfold across the state which will add to the rainfall already occurred.

However this time, much of the eastern inland region should receive some of the higher totals rather than coastal locations.

During this period, an outbreak of showers, rain and storms look set to deliver totals in excess of 60 mm across a wide region stretching from north west New South Wales, south east to the ranges then southwards into north east Victoria. Should thunderstorms develop, then falls could be supplemented.

The area most favourable for the heaviest falls could be the Snowy Mountains including Tumut and the area around Corryong in north east Victoria.

A forecast rainfall plot for Australia “Water and the Land” for the period 19 to 26 January 2016 is showing a rather interesting situation in which a vast area of the continent is forecast to receive reasonable rainfall with the only regions to miss the heavier falls being much of South Australia, Western Victoria and Central Queensland. For New South Wales, a vast region of the state is forecast to receive 25 to 50 mm during the period with heavier totals near Canberra and the Southern and Central Tablelands.

The model also suggests a more active monsoonal outbreak for northern Australia during the same period.

This will be an interesting period given that widespread rain, storms is suggested and even local flash flooding events could could not be ruled out.

It is known that this event will follow another burst of hot weather in which maximum temperatures have reached 38C to 40C or thereabouts in such places as Albury, Deniliquin, Echuca, Mildura Yarrawonga during the 19/1/2016.

The next few days will be of interest should the event unfold.

Tropical Cyclone Victor South Pacific Ocean 15 to 19 January 2016

Published by:






A tropical cyclone has formed deep within the South Pacific Ocean at latitude 14.6 degrees south and 166.3 degrees west which places it south east of Western Samoa. This is the second tropical cyclone for the season for the South Pacific.

According to the CIMSS model this storm is forecast to travel south. Initial models suggested that the storm could reach an intense Category 4 on the Saffir Simpson Scale however this has since been downgraded. Latest models only show a storm of Category 2 strength on the Saffir Simpson Scale with peak wind gusts to 90 knots or approximately 167 km/h.

The storm has formed over waters of 29C but its forecast movement south would take it over cooler waters of 26C which would assist in weakening the storm.

Based on models, the storm is unlikely to impact any land with its entire life span remaining over open ocean.

The forecast model is attached from CIMSS showing its initial movement. The storm has a well developed eye and is relatively large in area. A recent satellite picture shows a classic spiral storm system with well developed rain and storm bands. Should the storm maintain its track, then it is unlikely to impact any land area.


CIMSS (Forecast models for 15 and 17 January 2016.
NASA (MODIS WORLDVIEW) Acquired 15 and 17 January 2016.