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Heatwave Conditions SE Australia – 22-26 January 2021

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Heatwave Conditions SE Australia - 22-26 January 2021

A significant heatwave has gripped south east Australia over the past 4 to 5 days and is presently ending due to a cool change that is slowly crossing the southern part of the continent.

This event has been most noteworthy across the inland regions of Victoria and New South Wales although it has been strong enough to spill over into parts of Western Sydney although generally west of Parramatta.

As shown in the plots produced on the “Water and the Land”, for temperature, the worst affected regions haves been the south west part of New South Wales, Northern Victoria and South Australia.

Heatwave Conditions SE Australia - 22-26 January 2021
Heatwave Conditions SE Australia - 22-26 January 2021

There has also been a major bushfire emergency in the Adelaide Hills although a cooler change and at least 20 mm of rain has helped fire fighters to contain the blaze.

Maximum temperatures within the worst affected regions have included:-

Albury

Friday - 37.6C, Saturday - 37.6C, Sunday - 39.8C, Monday - 39.8C.

Griffith

Thursday - 37C, Friday - 39.2C, Saturday - 40.8C, Sunday - 41.7C, Monday - 40.4C.

Hay

Thursday - 38.2C, Friday - 39.9C, Saturday - 40.8C, Sunday - 43.6C, Monday - 41.7C.

Menindee

Thursday - 37.5C, Friday - 39.6C, Saturday - 41.5C, Sunday - 42.3C,

Other significant temperatures during the event include

Yarrawonga - 40.8C on Saturday.

Ivanhoe - 40.7C on Saturday,

Wilcannia and Yanco - 42C on Monday.

Walpeup (NW Victoria) - 43.9C on Sunday.

Mildura (NW Victoria) - 40.4C on Saturday and 43.3C on Sunday.

Swan Hill (NW Victoria) - 41.8C on Sunday.

The most affected regions are those that have not received the benefit of the recent rainfall.

Sydney has generally missed the worst of the heat although some has spilled into the Sydney basin affecting mainly areas away from the coast being the inland suburbs of Blacktown, Penrith, Camden, Richmond and Campbelltown. Anywhere further east has been cooler due to the sea breezes.

Even with maximum temperatures forecast to reach between 36C and 41C across Sydney, it is coming ahead of a cooler change Tuesday night / Wednesday morning.

Maximum temperatures during this event have included (Penrith east to Sydney as an east to west cross section):

Penrith - Friday - 37.1C, Saturday - 38.1C, Sunday - 39.9C, Monday 39.3C.

Blacktown - Friday - 36C, Saturday - 34.24, Sunday - 39C, Monday 37C.

Parramatta - Friday - 35.8C, Saturday - 33.3C, Sunday - 33.8C.

Sydney (Observatory Hill) - Friday - 32.9C, Saturday - 31.9C, Sunday - 33.9C, Monday 32.1C.

This gives some indication that the level of heat being experienced across the inland suburbs is not progressing east beyond Parramatta. However, it is noted that it has reached 30C at Sydney Observatory Hill on 4 days in a row and if the 36C is reached for the 26/1/2021, this would result in 5 consecutive days where it has reached 30C which is not common in summer.

A feature of this event for the Sydney basin were the development of an isolated thunderstorm on Friday afternoon (Over NE Sydney), Saturday afternoon that produced flooding at Marsden Park (Covered in a separate article) and another isolated storm cell on Sunday afternoon across the Blue Mountains as shown in the attached photo looking west. This storm did not make it into the Sydney basin but the anvil cloud cover and later additional cloud provided some relief Sunday afternoon from the heat although it made for a warm uncomfortable night.

Heatwave Conditions SE Australia - 22-26 January 2021

The cool change across the south has brought welcome rain including 16.8 mm at Deniliquin and 12 mm at Mildura and useful totals of up to 29 mm over the Dandenong Ranges (East of Melbourne). The cool change will progress towards Sydney Tuesday and conclude this current weather event late Tuesday / early Wednesday for Sydney and much of New South Wales.

Addendum 26/1/2021 - On Tuesday maximum temperatures reached 37.1C in Sydney City (Observatory Hill) making it 5 days in a row where maximum temperatures have reached 30C. Other maximum temperatures include 41.6C at Sydney Airport, 41C at Sydney Olympic Park, 40.7C at Penrith, 39.8C at Richmond and 39.1C at Horsley Park.

Most areas of Sydney has topped 38C to 41C with minor variations and it is noted that maximum temperatures were reached between 2 pm and 3pm. Increasing cloud cover from the approaching cool change after 3 pm is resulting in a slow drop in maximum temperatures and as such the worst of the heat has now passed.

It also reached 39C at Coonamble and over 36C at Dubbo but the cool change is having a significant effect across New South Wales, lowering temperatures, producing some light rain / showers especially to the south and concluding this weather event.

Spectacular Moree Sunset Supercell 19th December 2020

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Absolutely stunning supercell developed just prior to sunset as I was on the way back to my hotel! It rotated and split into a right mover and left moving supercell with this being the right mover and illuminated by the setting sun.

It produced hailstones to at lest 2 to 3 cm in diameter as the storm passed over head on dusk! It also produced beautiful lightning!

Heat continues for NSW Sunday 29 November 2020

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Heat continues for NSW Sunday 29 November 2020

Sunday the 29/11/2020 has followed on from Saturday in which the dome of heat continues to impact much of New South Wales, especially for areas in a line stretching from Moruya on the New South Wales south coast to Broken Hill in far Western New South Wales and all areas towards the north.

Following on from Saturday which saw maximum daytime temperatures peak at over 40C for much of Sydney (Such as 40.5C at Blacktown), Sunday the 29/11/2020 has become a carbon copy of Saturday. This is an exceptionally rare event for Sydney especially in November.

Overnight minimum temperatures dropped to 25.9C at 1 am at Penrith which increased to 29.9C by 3 am and 31.8C by 6 am and 33.7C by 9 am. At the time of writing this post, the temperature has already reached 40C at Penrith.

At Blacktown, the minimum temperature of 27.9C was observed at 3.30 am which had increased to 30.5C at 6.30 am and 33C at 9 am. Again, the temperature depending on location is currently around 39C to 40C.

Interestingly, it was difficult to sleep at night and my wife and I went outside at around 3 am only to discover that it was cloudy with a very light shower of rain falling although not enough to cause much dampness to the ground.

At Observatory Hill, it is suggested that the minimum overnight temperature of 25.3C is the hottest November night since 1967. Although records are being checked, I have found a record of a warm 24.8C on the night of the 14/11/1967 which maybe the record that is being referred to.

At the time of writing at 2 pm, Penrith has reached 40C, Observatory Hill has reached 40.5C, Sydney Airport 42.6C and Sydney Olympic Park has reached 41.6C. This is reinforced with low due points of 8C to 12C varying across Sydney and wind gusts reaching 82 km/h at Sydney Airport with strong winds from the north west.

As shown in the attached photo, clear skies predominate with thin high cirrus cloud.

Heat continues for NSW Sunday 29 November 2020

The plots from the Bureau of Meteorology "Water and the Land" for the 29/11/2020 is showing the impact of the heat dome across New South Wales for Saturday including the maximum temperature anomaly. These are showing how significant this event is with large areas showing a maximum temperature anomaly of at least 12C above the long term average.

Heat continues for NSW Sunday 29 November 2020
Heat continues for NSW Sunday 29 November 2020
Heat continues for NSW Sunday 29 November 2020

For Sydney, the heat will end once the cooler change passes through late on Sunday.

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