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Weather News - Australia's far east set for deluge

Max Gonzalez, 20 August 2014

After months of very dry conditions over eastern Australia, the weather gods took notice and opened the gates of heaven bringing some relief to areas stricken hard by drought.

Over the past seven days, widespread rain in the order of 25 to 50mm fell from about Charters Towers in Queensland, down to about Wagga Wagga and Hay in New South Wales. Some centres were lucky enough picking up in excess of 50mm in NSW's Upper Western and QLD's Maranoa and Warrego.

While this amount of rain is significant for August across inland areas of NSW and QLD, they are not particularly significant when compared to the amount of rainfall received during the summer months. The 3-day accumulation was highest east of the Divide with areas over NSW's Illawarra picking up in excess of 300mm. Across the northern border, the highest 3-day totals occurred over the Southeast Coast with areas picking up in excess of 100mm.

Over the next seven days, more rain will continue to fall east of the Divide over far northeastern NSW and southeastern QLD, with expectation of some areas receiving between 150 to 300mm.

The reason for this unseasonable amount of rain is a slow moving high pressure system over the Tasman directing southerly onshore winds across the eastern seaboard. These winds pick up moisture as they move over the ocean reaching the land areas moisture-laden. As they are forced onto the Great Dividing Range, the moisture condenses and precipitates bringing rainfall to the windward side of the mountains, hence these onshore winds are an incredible source of rainfall for this part of the country.

This week however, a trough over eastern Australia will help to 'lift' these onshore winds to the cooler upper atmosphere drawing all the moisture out of the atmosphere as it precipitates over NSW's Northern Rivers and QLD's Southeast Coast.


- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014


Weather News - Top Enders dig out the long johns

Brett Dutschke, 19 August 2014

August is known as a month of warming for those in the Northern Territory Top End but this year the region has been hit by a late cold snap, causing residents to dig out the long johns.

For the past two nights Darwin has cooled to 15.3 degrees and 15.0 degrees, more than five degrees colder than the August average. This is not only the city's coldest pair of nights in two years but also its coldest pair of nights this late in the season in 10 years. On the 21st and 22nd of August in 2004 Darwin cooled to 14.7 and 14.7 degrees respectively.

And it has been much colder inland.

Less than 50km inland of Darwin, Middle Point chilled to 7.9 degrees last night and 7.6 degrees the night before, seven degrees below average. This is its coldest pair of nights in two years and coldest pair of nights this late in the season in at least 14 years.

Elsewhere during the last few nights, Delamere, Dum In Mirrie and Cape Fourcroy have all recorded their lowest August temperatures in at least 15 years.

The long johns will be kept handy under pillows until early next week given that each night between now and then looks like being only a degree-or-two warmer than the last few.

Looking further ahead, it is unlikely to become as cold again this year due to winds turning from dry southeasterly to more humid northeasterly.

The southeasterlies were generated between a high south of Western Australia and a low over New South Wales. The southeasterlies are now easing, allowing sea breezes to develop each afternoon, which bring in a bit more humidity each time. This humidity is allowing almost every night to become a bit warmer than the last.

From late next week Darwin's nights should stay above 20 degrees, within about a degree of average.


- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014


Weather News - Alice Springs shivers through unusual late-winter cold

Bob Neil, 20 August 2014

Alice Springs is currently experiencing its coldest August to date in 25 years, and the fourth coldest on record.

Both maximum and minimum temperatures have been running well below normal so far this month, almost four degrees below the long-term average.

The minimum temperature in the red centre town between August 1st and August 19th has only averaged 2.3 degrees, 3.7 degrees below the long term average of 6 degrees.

Days have also been significantly cooler, only averaging 19 degrees for the month so far. This is also 3.7 degrees below the long-term August average and the coldest run of August days since 1962.

The cause of the cold conditions over Alice Springs has been a persistent ridge of high pressure and a lingering cold air mass.

The cold air mass has allowed daytime temperatures to not get very warm, while the high has encouraged clear skies and light winds, allowing heat to rapidly dissipate at night.

These kind of temperatures have not just been confined to central Australia, with inland areas of NSW also experiencing unusual cold. Overnight minimum temperatures in Broken Hill have averaged around four degrees for the month so far, three degrees below the August average. Condobolin has only averaged 0.3 degrees, 2.9 degree below the monthly average.

However as the month nears it end, temperatures will gradually rise and they should become warmer as it gets closer to spring.


- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014