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Weather News - October '14: a month of extremes for the eastern states

Max Gonzalez, 30 October 2014

Despite a near normal start to October 2014, exceptional warmth took over from mid-month bumping the national monthly average temperature close to the October 1988 record.

October 25th saw a national October maximum temperature of 36.39 degrees for the whole of Australia, making it the hottest October day nationwide on record. The previous hottest October day was 36.31 degrees on the 31st October 1988.

Across the eastern capitals, the Harbour City is likely to end up the month at about two degrees above the norm (nudging 20 degrees when combining both daytime and night-time temperatures). This makes it the seventh warmest October on record and the fourth in a decade. On the bright side, Sydney will be the only capital city meeting month's end with above average rainfall having gained 87mm, about 113% of its monthly average rain. 71mm of which fell to 9am on Wednesday 15th as severe storms ravaged the city whilst snow fell on the Blue Mountains.

Further north, Brisbane temperatures have been close to average for the month yet only 5.8mm of rainfall fell from the skies. This is only 8% of the city's average October rainfall making it the driest October since 1992 and the driest in 15 months.

The city on the Yarra is likely to finish with an average October temperature of 16.8 degrees, its fourth warmest October on record and warmest since 2008 with an average temperature of 16.8 degrees (2 above the norm). Although only 52mm fell during the month in Melbourne (78%), the 25.6mm that fell to 9am on the 27th made it the wettest day since the 26th of September 2013. Severe storms on this day ended a remarkably long spell between decent rainfall.

Extreme events are an integral part of these cities and isolated extreme events can easily tip the balance bringing snow just a week before extreme heat or the wettest day in over a year during a relatively dry month.

With El Nino-like conditions remaining in the Pacific, warmer than average temperatures and below average rainfall seem to be here to stay for the coming months, but extremes can never be ruled out in this ... Great Southern Land.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014

Weather News - Thunderstorms flare up over QLD for the third day

Kim Westcott, 29 October 2014

Like the night before, a broad line of storms stretched out across the state from Bundaberg to Camooweal on Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening the skies opened up over Emerald, bringing 10mm within ten minutes. By the time the storm had passed, over 30mm was left in the rain gauge. For Emerald, this is the heaviest October rainfall in seven years. Along with the most intense part of the storm, winds gusted to 74km/h.

Falls were also heavier in parts of the Bundaberg area, with 19mm collected at Woongarra Pump Station and 10mm at Moore Park. Further south, Childers South picked up 21mm, with the reports of pea size hail. Larger hail was reported near the coast, around three-to-four-centimeters in diameter.

Thunderstorms have flared up again this afternoon, with the Central Highlands and Coalfields and the Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders districts seeing the first bolts. Storms have since stretched into parts of the Central West as well as up into the Gulf country. Slower moving storms may bring heavier falls like they did at Emerald yesterday, but generally moisture level are not high enough to bring decent rain. Typically falls have been less than a few millimeters at best.

These storms are due to a stubborn low pressure trough which has been near-stationary over the past three days. This trough is likely to linger around until at least the end of the week and into the start of next week, with mother nature providing a stunning light show every night in at least some part of Queensland.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014

Weather News - Are Australians ready for Kate's arrival?

Max Gonzalez, 29 October 2014

The 2014-2015 Tropical Cyclone (TC) season is upon us with its official start day this Saturday 1st of November a season that will last until the 30th of April 2015.

Due to prevalent El Nino-like conditions across the Pacific Ocean, the forecast is for below-average cyclone numbers this year, where the average number is 11. Usually, not all 11 do cross the coasts with only about four doing so on your average season.

The Australian region is further divided into four regions, mainly:

- The Western region: covering the area west of Perth to 90 degrees East (middle of the Indian Ocean),
- The Northern region: encompassing the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Arafura Sea and the Timor Sea,
- The Eastern region: encompassing the QLD coasts and the Coral Sea.
- The Northwestern region: covering WA's North West Shelf, roughly between the Pilbara and Indonesia.

By far, the Western and North Western regions are the most active seeing five to seven tropical cyclones on average. With four on average per season however, the Eastern region tends to be the most destructive due to the high density population and infrastructure in the eastern seaboard.

An active North Australian Monsoon (NAM) and a Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) across northern Australia do tend to enhance the risk of cyclogenesis in our region.

The first tropical cyclone of the season will be named Kate followed by Lam.

Regardless of the outlook and the current forecast, no one should become complacent. Tropical Cyclones do have a mind of their own and if you live in a TC prone area have your survival plan and emergency.

Remember to always be ready because it's not 'if' a cyclone hits, but 'when' a cyclone.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014