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Eastern Australians left under a cloud as Europeans celebrate

Max Gonzalez, Monday July 14, 2014 - 14:53 EST

As Germans and French alike enter into a day of celebration, eastern Australians have been left under a cloud.

In France, July 14th is the National Day commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution which started with the storming of the Bastille (a prison) on July 14th, 1789. Across the Rhine, this will be a day of celebrations as the German soccer team obtained its 4th world cup, becoming the first European team to win it on American soil.

The cloud, on the other hand, in not a state of gloom, suspicion, trouble or worry regarding the Socceroos but an actual cloud. A weather phenomena that affects the Australian continent. The so called Northwest cloudband often forms in the cooler months from the moisture of the equatorial Indian Ocean.

The tropical air mass off Northwest Australia then moves south along the western flank of a high pressure system driven toward the southeast by the upper atmosphere winds (or jetstream).

Because of its nature, Northwest cloudbands occur even when a high pressure system is dominating the continental weather pattern, just as today.

To 9am this morning, Yuendumu, northwest of Alice Springs picked up 31mm of rain making it its wettest day since January. Alice Springs airport managed to pick up 25.6mm, it wettest day since April. This is hardly enough to make the Todd River flow in time for the annual Henley-On-Todd Regatta, but will definitely bring some relief to the fauna and flora.

The extensive cloud is also bringing chilly days to the Red Centre. Yesterday Alice Springs only reached 7.5 degrees with much of the day only six degrees in the rain.

In far northwestern SA, Ernabella (Pukatja), 700 metres above sea level was only five degrees while raining. Nearby Mt Woodroffe, at 1,435 metres altitude on the Musgrave Ranges, would have been several degrees colder still, potentially cold enough for rain to fall as sleet or even snow on the peaks - a rare event.

This type of extensive cloud, can bring good soaking rains to Australia's heartland as well as inland areas of southeastern Australia. Especially if it combines with fronts sweeping across southeastern Australia.

Late on Tuesday and early Wednesday this tropical air mass is likely to combine with a trough and front in the southeast, bringing 2-5mm to western parts of NSW and Victoria. The highest falls will occur just to the west of the ranges where about 10-15mm is a good chance.

For the average joey, the extensive cloud will mean a couple of cooler days but warmer nights ahead of a vigorous cold front later in the week.

Enough rain, snow and wind will make the second half of the week the perfect winter wonderland across southeastern Australia, before the sun shines once again over the weekend.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014

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