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Weather News - The highs and lows of a summer southeasterly in NSWCraig McIntosh, 5 February 2016
Many people living along the coast of NSW must be wondering what happened to summer as strong winds and showers take a firm grip.
The dominant weather system affecting coastal NSW has been a fairly strong low pressure system out over the Tasman Sea, more reminiscent of Autumn than Summer. Combining with the low is a building high pressure ridge from a system moving very slowly over the Great Australian Bight. These two systems combined have produced the southeasterly winds that have been tracking up the coast since Thursday. Strong wind warnings are in place from the Illawarra Coast all the way up to the Byron Coast today. Moisture brought in from offshore with these winds are also producing scattered showers.
Nowra's maximum temperature for Thursday and Friday, 24 degrees, is two below average. 10mm of rain has fallen to add to the lacklustre couple of days. Southerly wind gusts of over 40 km/h were felt throughout Nowra this morning.
Sydney has been sitting on about average temperatures yesterday and today, however the wind makes it feel a couple of degrees cooler. Gusts of up to 61 km/h have been recorded at the Airport and 15mm of rain has been collected for the city over the two days.
The North Coast has not escaped the blustery conditions. Temperatures in Ballina have been around the February average of 28 degrees yesterday and today, however the wind is factoring into how it feels. Gusts of 50 km/h have hit Ballina today, Evans Head felt 59 km/h gusts and Cape Byron has broken the sixty mark, recording a 61 km/h gust just after lunch.
Never fear, the low in the Tasman will move away over the coming days and allow the ridge to strengthen, helping the sun to show its face a bit more. Temperatures should gradually rise, a few showers may persist along the North Coast, but generally returning to more summer-like conditions from Sunday and into next week.
© Weatherzone 2016
Weather News - Heatwave to devour PerthCraig McIntosh, 4 February 2016
A deepening trough along the WA coast is dragging hot air south, causing a heatwave to develop from Geraldton to Corrigin to Donnybrook, including the Perth area.
The definition of a heatwave has long been debated by those in the weather know. One of the accepted definitions is 'three or more days of unusually high maximum and minimum temperatures'. Perth's February average maximum temperature is about 31 degrees and the minimum average about 18. Temperatures are on the rise, and this coming Sunday, Monday and Tuesday should all reach about 40 degrees. Nights will be uncomfortable, only cooling to about 23-to-25 degrees in the early mornings. Wednesday should also be a balmy 39 degrees, so it appears Perth falls well and truly into the heatwave definition this coming week, and has been defined as a 'severe heatwave'.
Perth can expect its hottest week in three years, averaging a maximum of about 38 degrees from Saturday to next Friday. The last time the city averaged 37 degrees over a week was in December 2012 when it averaged 39.3 degrees (The city's hottest week on record is 41.0 degrees, set in February 1933).
The offshore movement of the trough drawing in the heat will deliver dry, gusty northeasterly winds and prevent seabreezes from bringing significant relief to the city.
Heatwaves are a silent killer and have taken more lives in Australia over the past 200 years than any other natural hazard. As this heatwave is expected to fit into the severe category, take care, keep hydrated and shelter from the heat as much as possible.
© Weatherzone 2016
Weather News - Wet washing in WalgettGuy Dixon, 5 February 2016
While most of the action has been confined to QLD, pockets of heavy rain have fallen over parts of the NSW Upper Western district.
A deep and moisture laden trough has been generating very active thunderstorms and heavy rainfall over parts of southern and eastern QLD over the past few days. However, yesterday afternoon the southern extent of this trough stimulated heavy showers.
Walgett managed to position itself right underneath an intense downpour, collecting almost 13mm in 10 minutes. In total, the town collected 23.4mm, which goes down as the heaviest February fall since 2012.
The figures suggest that this is healthy follow-up rain just days after a colossal 99mm total with the passage of a thunderstorm, however yesterday's showers were so isolated that their effects would have been negligible.
Nevertheless, any rain is welcome over this part of the world and it looks as though we may see another light dousing before the weekend is out, although generally less than 5mm.
© Weatherzone 2016