Windy weekend wrap-up

Jacobus Cronje, 11 August 2019

The southern and southeastern parts of the country have been lashed by persistent, at times damaging and even destructive winds in places during the last four days. 

Starting earlier this week; Thursday saw South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria experience the first in series low pressure systems, low pressure troughs and cold fronts.

Although much has been made of the welcome rain and snow, the sustained strong winds and their stronger wind gusts will likely have had a greater impact.

But just how windy has it been over mainland Australia, really?

In terms of both spatial distribution and magnitude of wind strength, Friday appears to have been the windiest day for the southeastern states.

Sustained winds of 70-90km/h were observed over the Mount Lofty Ranges, islands, peninsulas and southeastern coastal parts of South Australia during Friday, with similar sustained wind speeds seen in Adelaide. Wind gusts of 117km/h were recorded at Mount Crawford, while gusts of 100-110km/h were experienced across the southeastern parts of the state.

In Victoria, sustained winds of 90-110km/h were experienced during the afternoon and evening over parts of West and South Gippsland and coastal South West, with gusts of 122km/h recorded at Wilson Promontory, 111km/h over South Channel Island and 115km/h at Cape Otway during Friday.

Over New South Wales, widespread sustained wind speeds of 70-90km/h were seen across the South Coast, slopes, tablelands, Illawarra and Hunter, with wind gusts of 91km/h recorded at Kurnell, 95-115km/h gusts along the South Coast and 90-100km/h gusts for parts of the Illawarra, South West Slopes and Hunter. Nobby’s Head even recorded a wind gust of 105km/h, while Albion Park in the Illawarra had a 100km/h gust.

Winds over theses states remained elevated during Saturday, although the area damaging wind gusts contracted significantly, mainly over the more elevated parts and exposed southern coasts.

Conditions have begun to improve across the southeastern parts of the country on Sunday, as a high pressure system finally moves in behind these cold-air systems.

It will remain cold and windy on Sunday and Monday, with lingering sustained westerly to southwesterly winds of reaching 40-50km/h over most parts, while gusts could still reach 70-80km/h about coastal and elevated Victoria, and the Great Dividing Range and exposed coasts of New South Wales.