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Weather News - Nature helps fight fires in Esperance

Rob Sharpe, 24 November 2015

Bushfires continue to threaten Esperance, although rain and cooler weather are assisting firefighters.

It has been a week since fires first broke out in Western Australia's town of Esperance and claimed the lives of four people. The fires initially eased in intensity for a couple of days before flaring up again on Sunday and Monday.

Thankfully, last night winds dropped off significantly and light rain has spread across the region with most parts of the Great Southern collecting 1-5mm, including 3mm in Esperance by 4am.

Today, winds will turn south-southwesterly, bringing in cooler and more humid air for a few days. Across today and tomorrow winds will have a southerly component, meaning that fires will be moving further inland and away from Esperance.

There is also good news for the forecast into next week, with temperatures likely to stay in the low-to-mid 20's, rather than reaching into the 30's as it has done on the worst fire days. Hopefully, with nature's help, the firefighters can put these fires out and alleviate fears.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2015

Weather News - Dangerous storms tear through SE QLD

Tristan Meyers, 24 November 2015

Several thunderstorm supercells tore through southeastern parts of Queensland yesterday afternoon.

Tennis ball sized hail clamored across the rooftops of Stanthorpe around 4:30 pm yesterday as a supercell lumbered overhead. Another thunderstorm cell hurled golf-ball sized hail throughout Ipswich, Amberly and Laidley.

These storms brought frequent lightning - over 26,000 strikes were detected within a 100 km radius of the Brisbane CBD. Many people observed anvil crawlers - large tendrils of lightning that shoot out horizontally across the sky.

Even though rain wasn't the main feature of these storms, several locations picked up generous totals. Amberley airport collected up 30mm, while over 50mm plopped in the bucket at Grandchester and Millbrook.

A broad low pressure trough was the cause of these thunderstorms. Although these features often trigger thunderstorms, what produced these hail-bearing supercells was the strong wind sheer, cold air aloft and a dry slot of air in the mid-atmosphere. Daytime temperatures, ranging from two-to-three degrees above the November average, also gave the storms some extra energy.

Severe thunderstorms continue to be a risk today for the Southeast Coast and Wide Bay and Burnett districts. From tomorrow, a high pressure ridge will maintain stable conditions until the end of the working week.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2015

Weather News - Another round of heat to finish up Spring

Tristan Meyers, 25 November 2015

Extreme heat has been affecting New South Wales again this week just ahead of a cooler change.

The change will bring cooling relief to the Upper and Lower Western and Riverina today and overnight, and will do the same to the rest of the State tomorrow, reaching the far northeast during the evening. Moree is likely to hit about 42 degrees this Thursday, even hotter than the sweltering heat of last Friday.

With this latest bout of heat, Albury and Tumbarumba is on track to smash their previous hottest spring on record, set just last year, by nearly a whole degree. Wagga Wagga, Cobar and Mt Ginini are all looking to finish up their third hottest spring on record. For Wagga Wagga, records go back over 70 years.

For most other locations, including Orange, this spring will sit in the top five hottest on record.

Overall, it has been a dry spring, but rainfall was varied across the State. Some of the central-west, such as Mudgee only accrued 30% of their seasonal average, while Lismore tallied over one-and-a-half times their average. Around one out of every five locations reported below-average rainfall, with nearly 25% of stations reporting less than half of their seasonal norm.

The Indian Ocean Dipole has broken down, and the summer will be influenced by warmer than average temperatures in the Indian Ocean and an intense El Nino. With this in mind, summer has an increased risk of being hotter than average for south and northeast of the state, while the best chance to receive above average rainfall are in the northeast.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2015