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Weather News - Wind and rain walloping Tasmania with more to come

Brett Dutschke, 29 July 2014

Very strong winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms have been buffeting Tasmania, causing damage and flooding, and there is much more on the way.

Wind has been blowing as strong as 140km/h and rain and thunderstorms have has dumped as much as 100 millimetres since Monday afternoon.

So far the windiest place has been Maatsuyker Island, in the south where northwesterly gusts reached 141km/h at about sunrise on Tuesday morning. Other notable recorded wind gusts have been 133km/h at Scotts Peak Dam, 120km/h at Cape Grim and 118km/h at Low Rocky Point.

This has been Low Rocky Point's windiest day in a year and it may get windier later today and also later in the week.

Elsewhere in the state it has been the windiest day for the year in Strahan, Mt Read, Swan Island and King Island, all recorded gusts in excess of 90km/h.

One front crossed the state this morning and another stronger front is due later today. The latter will generate stronger winds than this morning's front, so many locations may experience even more damage.

Regarding rainfall, the heaviest has been in the north, where widespread 20-to-50mm has fallen since Monday afternoon. One of the wettest places has been Mt Victoria, east of Launceston, which has gained 110mm in less than 30 hours, its biggest rain since last October.

Also having their biggest rain since last year is Launceston with 40mm, Wynyard (45mm), Smithton (29mm) and Eddystone Point (23mm). A few centres have had their heaviest in more than a year, including Devonport, whose 51mm in the past 28 hours is a three-year high, and Burnie, whose 41mm is a two-year high.

Just like with the wind, there is another big burst to come later today which will lead to further flooding, particularly in the north and west.

During tonight and tomorrow both wind and rain will ease and it will even dry out across much of the north and east of the state, but Wednesday night and Thursday is looking like another wild period.

Another front, like the others before it, will be connected to an intense low south of the state to bring another burst of damaging wind, rain and thunderstorms. For some areas it may be just as wet and/or windy as today.

By Friday some of the north and west will have received more than 200mm of rain and been hit by two or three bursts of 100km/h winds, making this week go down as one of the wettest, windiest and most damaging in a few years.

Residents are urged to listen and watch for severe wind and flood warnings and try to keep clear of flooded rivers and roads and large trees.

As far as cleaning up goes, Friday and Saturday are the next best days to get into it. Late on the weekend and early next week it should become a bit breezy and damp again, at least in the north and west.


- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014


Weather News - One third of Australia braces for an Antarctic blast

Max Gonzalez, 30 July 2014

While much of the country has been enjoying balmy winter days under a broad high pressure system, the far southeastern corner has been experiencing strong, brisk winds and showers throughout most of the week.

The blustery conditions have been the result of a series of fronts traversing the far south of Australia this week. The front to rule them all, however, is yet to come and is due to affect Adelaide and Melbourne first tomorrow.

In Adelaide, northwesterly winds will be strengthening tomorrow ahead of the vigorous cold front, which is expected to reach the city at around midday. The timing of the front passing over the city means the mercury is likely to reach the mid-teens late in the morning before cloud and rain pushes in later in the day, dropping the temperatures for the remainder of the afternoon. Wind gusts, which are likely to reach 70-90km/h ahead of the change, will make it feel a few degrees colder.

The front will then reach Melbourne mid-to-late afternoon on Thursday with northwesterly winds nudging the 100km/h mark along the hills and bay ahead of the front. These are then likely to ease to about 70-80km/h as winds turn more westerly in the wake of the front during the evening. Although the mercury is likely to reach the mid-teens in the early afternoon, people will feel the wind factor once the change arrives, making it feel more like the single digits.

A bitterly cold air mass will then spread through southeastern Australia in the wake of this cold front, bringing a taste of what winter is all about. The cold winds will reach Sydney early Friday and Brisbane later in the day.

This air mass is looking to be so cold, that snowfalls are likely down to about 600 metres in Victoria on Thursday and to about 500 metres on Friday. Southern NSW will see snow down to about 700m and even elevated areas of NSW's Central Tablelands could see some of the white powder Friday night and Saturday morning. To the west, SA's Flinder ranges and Mt Lofty Ranges are likely to see a few flurry mixed in with the rain, down to about 600 metres.

Across the Bass Strait, snow flurries are likely down to about 300m in Tasmania. This means that Hobart residents should see a white dusting atop Mount Wellington as they wake on Saturday morning.


- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014


Weather News - A sneaky hitchiker brings a warm night to Sydneysiders

Max Gonzalez, 29 July 2014

Sydneysiders have slept through a relatively warm night in sharp contrast to the cold nights earlier this month and ahead of the bitter cold nights this weekend and early next week.

The Harbour City managed to only dip to 12.6 degrees (5 degrees above the July average) this night, 6 degrees warmer than that of July the 12th when the mercury dipped to 6.4 degrees. In fact, this was Sydney's warmest night since the 6th of June and 4th warmest so far for the winter.

Further west, other centres were also warmer than average, with Sydney Olympic Park dipping to 9.6 degrees, and 9.2 degrees at Bankstown.

Relative strong winds averaging 20-40km/h overnight and patchy high cloud were the main factors leading to this unusual warm night. The thin cloudband, has been travelling across the country from the distant Indian Ocean over the past few days, having hitchhiked a ride with the upper atmosphere jet stream. Hence we can see this type of cloud even under high pressure systems.

Jet streams are a fast flowing, narrow air currents found in the upper atmosphere in the transition layer between the troposphere and stratosphere. These jet streams are highly valuable within the aviation industry as they are use as the highways of the skies. Travelling in one of these can cut the trip time by about one-third.

A warm night and plenty of sunshine today will allow for temperatures to reach the low twenties early this afternoon with mostly sunny conditions persisting throughout the whole week. Wind however, will freshen up later today and persist over the next few days as several cold fronts sweep across Tasmania and southern Victoria.

A strong front will then sweep through southeastern Australia on Friday bringing an Antarctic blast with colder days (especially mornings) from Saturday until at least mid-next week.


- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014