Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

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Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

Friday 20 November 2020 turned out to be a day of two halves. The morning period was dominated by heat and sunshine and the day concluded with an outbreak of showers and storms for much of Western Sydney.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020
Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

Prior to the storm events, the maximum temperature reached 39.9C in Penrith and 37.2C in Blacktown. Throughout the late afternoon period clouds developed and by 4 pm, the first storms were occurring.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

One isolated cell developed to the east of Blacktown and had an interesting base. A second cell developed to the west of Blacktown and had similiar characteristics of the first cell. The two cells eventually merged into one another.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

The core of the storm passed overhead where we live and produced a significant downburst / downdrafts of cool winds and intense rain but it did not last long. No hail was observed but it appears from reading news storeys that hail to 1 cm was observed at nearby Plumpton to the west.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

Further storms continued to develop throughout the evening including two cells to the south east of Sydney and new cells forming to the west over Penrith at sunset.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

During the evening, my wife and I watched sporadic lightning from a storm passing overhead but it was in a weakening phase and this soon petered out to nothing. A cooler southerly wind change during the evening concluded the event.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

Storms were hit and miss and featured short sharp bursts of rain and occasional strong wind and occasional small hail. They were short lived and as such, rainfall totals for the most part were not significant. The highest rainfall total was 20 mm at West Pennant Hills and lower total of 7 mm at Kings Langley and 6.6 mm at Penrith.

Afternoon storms Western Sydney 20 November 2020

The photos supporting this post were taken at Blacktown given that much of the activity occurred around Blacktown and nearby environs.

Images January 2020 Bushfires west of Sydney

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Images January 2020 Bushfires west of Sydney

The photos attached to this post are taken just south of Penrith NSW and around Warragamba Dam.

During December 2019 and January 2020 vast areas of the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and areas around Silverdale and Warragamba Dam were scorched by bushfires and between October 2019 and February 2020 plumes of smoke covered large areas of Sydney for days at a time.

Images January 2020 Bushfires west of Sydney

The images attached to this post were taken during January 2020 showing one of the out of control bushfires burning close to the township of Warragamba and the evening sunset image was taken just south of Penrith NSW.

Images January 2020 Bushfires west of Sydney

According to Australian Geographic (March / April 2020 edition, Page 45) the fires across eastern Australia burnt approximately 16 million hectares, with 5,900 buildings destroyed, some 250,000 people required to evacuate (including my parents and my wife and I at Batemans Bay on December 31 2019), some 140 aircraft used during the crises, over 3,000 homes lost, large numbers of animals killed (Exact toll will never be known) and 33 fatalities. The full economic losses are still being worked out.

Images January 2020 Bushfires west of Sydney

West of Sydney, more than 80% of the World Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains area was impacted. The bushfire crises came to an end during the early part of February 2020 as a result of a major rain event and a reversal of the weather systems in play.

Images January 2020 Bushfires west of Sydney

At the time the images were taken in January 2020, my my wife and I were watching this fire burn from a safe distance and occasionally watching aircraft make low level water bombing.

Heavy rain event and floods NW Sydney 9 and 10 February 2020

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Heavy rain event and floods NW Sydney 9 and 10 February 2020

Following a four month period between October 2019 and February 2020 in which heatwaves drought and bushfires gripped much of Eastern Australia, a change in the weather pattern saw just how variable our weather can be.

The last of the extreme heat for the summer 2019/2020 occurred on February 1 2020 in which the maximum temperature soared to 46.1C in Blacktown (Western Sydney) and other nearby locales. Following this, a cool change swept through south eastern Australia and a few days later, a significant rain event took hold culminating in flooding rains of the 9 and 10 February 2020.

Heavy rain event and floods NW Sydney 9 and 10 February 2020

This was an important event because much of the fire activity that was still occurring to the west and south west of Sydney ended.

Heavy rain event and floods NW Sydney 9 and 10 February 2020

On the 9 and 10 February 2020 Sydney received a significant soaking of rain that culminated in flooding of low lying areas which was a stark contrast of what was occurring during the previous weeks. The weather had swung suddenly from drought and heatwave to flooding rains.

Heavy rain event and floods NW Sydney 9 and 10 February 2020

During the afternoon of the 10/2/2020, my wife and I undertook a drive into outer north west Sydney to take a look at what was occurring. The images provided in this post taken by my wife Katya and I are showing some of the flooding impacts across low lying areas especially near Windsor and Pittown.

During this 2 day period, Western Sydney experienced some of the heaviest rain that I had personally seen in the 22 years of living here and it was the most rain that I had personally experienced in one day. In particular, some of the rainfall totals for 24 hours to 9 am 9/2/2020 include:

Prospect Reservoir - 104 mm.

Auburn / Lidcombe / Berala - 73 to 79 mm.

Bankstown - 79 mm followed by Blacktown on 78 mm.

On the 10/2/2020, the rainfall totals peaked and for the 24 hours to 9 am 10/2/2020, some of the following totals were observed across Sydney.

Campbelltown (Northern areas - up to 245 mm).

Chatswood area - Up to 240 mm.

Sydney airport and nearby suburbs - 163 mm to 194 mm.

Hornsby - 188 mm.

Sydney City (Observatory Hill) - 176 mm.

Blacktown - 144 mm (Total for the 2 days where we lived reached 222 mm).

Heavy rain event and floods NW Sydney 9 and 10 February 2020
Heavy rain event and floods NW Sydney 9 and 10 February 2020
Heavy rain event and floods NW Sydney 9 and 10 February 2020

One benefit of this is that all fire activity ceased and it marked the beginning where recovery could commence. While this event created new issues such as flooding and flood related evacuations, it was certainly a rain event that was much needed. Following this event, February 2020 turned out much cooler when compared to the previous 4 months.

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