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Weather News - Autumn extremes in Queensland

Rob Sharpe, 28 May 2015

The vast majority of Queensland has endured one of its warmest and driest autumns on record, but the southeast was soaked.

From Cairns to Gladstone and Roma to Kowanyama rainfall has been below average, with some areas seeing less than 10mm across autumn. Temperatures were also generally a degree above the long term average, with some locations, including Townsville, having their warmest autumn on record.

The standout region was from Bowen to Townsville, with total rainfall ranging from 10-25mm for the season, less than 10% of the long term average.

However just a few kilometres away the grass looks a bit greener as Prosperpine and Ingham gained 136mm and 350mm respectively. Yet even this rainfall was less than half of the seasonal average.

Elsewhere in the state, Mt Isa saw a paltry 5mm and Emerald a mere 20mm. In more coastal areas Cairns made 346mm and Gladstone 148mm, both well below average.

The primary reason for the dry weather was stronger than usual fronts, which brought drier air into the state earlier than usual, limiting thunderstorm potential.

In southeast QLD there was a different story.

Generally speaking conditions were fairly dry, with fewer than usual rain days across the season. However, when it rained, it often poured. Southeast QLD saw three major periods of rainfall, with the last being the powerful east coast low at the start of May that brought flooding rain.

Brisbane is about to finish the season with its wettest autumn since 1996, with 556mm, 247mm of that was amassed by the east coast low.

Archerfield saw 430mm and Toowoomba gained 212mm, which were 154% of their respective autumn averages. The wetter than usual weather stretched across most of the Southeast Coast, Darling Downs/Granite Belt and southern parts of the Wide Bay/Burnett.

Looking ahead to winter and spring and conditions should continue to be warmer and drier than usual across most of the state due to the El Nino. However, just like in the southeast in autumn, some parts should see some significant rainfall events. We will just have to hope those rains fall where they are needed most.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2015

Weather News - Cold winter mornings for the southeast

Tristan Meyers, 29 May 2015

Winter will have a dramatic start as a cold front leaves a pool of cold air over the southeast on Monday 1st of June. As the front carrying this air passes, a high pressure ridge will develop in its wake, causing winds to be light and skies to clear.

A run of cold nights and mornings will then impact cities across South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales, with a few noticeably cooler mornings reaching up to southern Queensland.

Adelaide and Melbourne are forecast to experience these chilly mornings from Tuesday 2nd to about the end of the working week. For both of these southern cities, the average minimum temperature in this time should be just 6 degrees, 3 degrees below the average for even this time of year.

Gusty winds along the east coast will prevent the mercury in Sydney plunging too far, but Sydney's western suburbs are still on track to get a few nippy mornings on Tuesday and Wednesday. Here, overnight temperatures could fall as low as 4 degrees. This could be one of the coldest mornings experienced so far this year for Bankstown and Penrith.

Even Brisbane won't entirely escape this arctic blast. As the airmass dries out over southeast Queensland, dew points will plunge and cause humidity levels to fall. The impact will be most noticeable overnight. Tuesday's minimum temperature is expected to be a full 6 degrees less than Monday's. The mercury will then struggle to reach 10 degrees overnight until Friday.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2015

Weather News - Dry season rains begin for the Top End

Anthony Duke, 29 May 2015

Unseasonal rain and storms are beginning to affect the Northern Territory's Top End a month into the dry season.

Residents of Darwin and the Top End will have a shock over the coming days as a tropical disturbance brings rain and the chance of thunderstorms.

Nearly a month into the 'dry season', Darwin has unsurprisingly only recorded just 0.2mm. All that's about to change however with the city forecast to easily pass the average monthly rainfall of 21mm. Some coastal parts of the NT, where rain will be heaviest, may see up to 100-150mm by the end of the weekend. The rain event may even last into June which would be the first time in eight years the month has seen rainfall.

The reason for this rain is a trough which has developed to the north of the NT. Normally at this time of year, low pressure troughs move north, away from the continent. In this case an atmospheric disturbance has caused a trough to develop further south than usual generating this thundery rain.

Temperatures and humidity are also unseasonably high as the trough brings warmer and more humid air from the north. In the last two weeks, only four nights have dropped below 20 degrees. For the last 12 days, maximum temperatures in Darwin have been above average, with the city reaching 35 degrees on Tuesday, the hottest this late in the month since 1958. Coincidentally, that May day was also the 26th.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2015