Troughs and a cold front crossing WA and western SA are bringing strong winds, rain, showers, and the odd storm. A weak trough and cool winds are bringing some showers to coastal NSW. A broad high over the southeast is keeping elsewhere mostly dry and settled.
Weather in Business
08 Aug 2022, 2:33AM UTC
WA snow potential as wintry weather arrives from today
One of this season’s coldest air masses to cross southwestern Australia could produce hail near Perth and deliver a dusting of snow in the Stirling Ranges during the next 48 hours. The satellite image below shows a long band of cloud arriving in southwestern Australia on Monday morning, revealing the location of a cold front. In the wake of this front, a large area of speckled clouds sitting off the west coast of Australia has formed in a pool of cold air that has drifted north from the Southern Ocean. Image: Composite visible satellite and radar captured at 8:30am AWST on Monday morning. The front and proceeding cold air will both move towards the east on Monday and Tuesday, passing over a broad area of southwestern WA. Fortunately, this cold front is not as strong as the system that hit WA last week and caused the strongest wind gusts in years at some places. However, this week’s front will still pack a punch and cause a wintry mix of rain, hail, thunderstorms, blustery winds and possible snow. The cold front will arrive in Perth around lunch time on Monday, causing a burst of blustery winds, squally showers and a noticeable drop in temperature. The front will then continue to sweep towards the east, reaching Esperance by around 9pm. Cold air behind the front will allow showers to persist over the southwest of WA through Monday night and on Tuesday, with some areas likely to see small hail and thunderstorms. Models even suggest that temperatures will be low enough for a dusting of snow on the Stirling Range, most likely on Bluff Knoll. Maximum temperatures will struggle to reach the low teens over southwestern WA on Tuesday, making this one of the coldest days of the year. Image: Forecast maximum temperature on Tuesday, according to the ECMWF-HRES model. Calmer weather and milder temperatures will return from Wednesday as a high pressure ridge starts to build over the region.
07 Aug 2022, 2:37AM UTC
Thick fog blankets the southeast
Parts of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales woke up to dense fog on Sunday morning, with further morning fog likely in the coming days. Visibility plunged to 100m or below in parts of the three states. In New South Wales, the fog dropped visibility down to 500mm at Wagga Wagga and 300m at Dubbo. Some of the thickest fog was in the far south of the state, right on the border with Victoria, where there was only 100m of visibility at Corowa Airport. This thick fog lingered until 9am before beginning to burn off as the day began to warm up. Across the border to Victoria, the fog was even thicker, with visibility down to 50m at Kilmore Gap and Shepparton. Other notable fog around the state included 300mm at Swan Hill and 200m at Wangaratta. In South Australia, visibility dropped to 500m at Parafield, 400m at Mt Gambier and 100m at Edinburgh. Some of the thickest fog though impacted Adelaide Airport, with just 100m of visibility. Although not as dense, the fog at Adelaide Airport stuck around long after sunrise, with visibility of 600m at 9am. The fog developed thanks, in part, to a high-pressure system bringing the ideal conditions – light winds and clear skies. These conditions allowed the temperature at the surface to drop low enough for condensation to occur, forming fog. Rain from recent fronts and troughs provided ample surface at the surface, fuelling the fog formation. Image: A high resides over southeast Australia on Monday morning, bringing the risk of fog. Source: ECMWF model The high responsible will bring similar conditions on Monday morning, with fog a good chance over large parts of the southeast, including Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra.
06 Aug 2022, 4:54AM UTC
Clearer skies making an appearance in South Australia
After the wild weather that most of South Australia endured last week, it’s about time that the sun comes back out, even if only for a few days. Blue skies will be a welcome sight for South Australians, as the final, weak trough begins to move east. In its wake, will be a high-pressure ridge, slowly moving across the southern states over the next few days. This high will not only bring clear skies, but also relatively calm winds, particularly on Sunday and Monday. Of course, there is the notable downside (except for all the cold lovers out there), of freezing nights. Sunday and Monday mornings are likely to be frigid, as all the heat escapes into the atmosphere. Fig 1: Forecast minimum temperatures 12 hours to 9:30am ACST Temperatures across SA are forecast to be 3-5°C below average across the next 2 nights, with Monday likely to be the coldest of the pair for anyone living in the SE. Adelaide itself is forecast to drop to 5°C on Monday morning, 3°C below its long-term August average. As welcome as the calm weather is, unfortunately it won’t be sticking around for long, with a trough arriving in the state on Tuesday, ahead of another low-pressure system, which will slowly make its way across the bight. This low will likely bring a return to cold, cloudy days, and gusty wet weather until at least next weekend. Fig 2: MSLP overly with total precipitation in 24 hrs to Friday 9:30pm ACST
Weather in Business
11 Jul 2022, 3:11AM UTC
Record month for wind power in Australia's National Electricity Market
New data shows June was one of the best ever months for renewable energy in Australia’s National Electricity Market and a record-breaking month for wind power. June 2022 was a relatively dry and cool month for much of eastern and southeastern Australia, with frequent periods of strong winds and clear skies. NSW registered its driest June since 1986, while Sydney and Brisbane had their sunniest June since 2004. This abundance of sunshine and wind created an ideal month for renewable energy generation in the National Electricity Market (NEM). The combined generation of solar (rooftop and utility), wind and hydropower across the NEM in June 2022 was 5,969 Gigawatt hours (GWh). This is the third highest monthly volume of renewable energy generation in the NEM in records dating back to 1998. Wind power Wind power had a record-breaking month in the NEM, with 2,527 GWh of generation in June 2022 beating the previous monthly record of 2472 GWh from July 2021. Victoria also set a new record for wind power in June this year, with 1,073 GWh easily surpassing the state’s previous record of 922 GWh from July 2021. Solar Power Solar power also had a strong month, with rooftop generation in June outperforming May 2022, despite May usually being the sunnier month. This was the first year on record where June rooftop solar generated more power than May. Utility solar also continued to see strong growth, producing 589 GWh in the NEM during June 2022, which was a big step up from 445 GWh in June 2021. Hydropower While June was a very dry month for large areas of eastern and southeastern Australia, an abundance of rain earlier in the year ensured that there was plenty of water available for hydropower. The NEM received 1,885 GWh of electricity from hydropower in June 2022, which was the 8th highest monthly value in 283 months of records dating back to 1998. The combination of favourable weather and continued growth in the sector caused June 2022 to be an exceptional, and in some cases record-breaking month for renewable energy in the NEM.
21 Jun 2022, 3:53AM UTC
La Nina floods make NSW ports too fresh for ships
La Niña has had a surprising impact on shipping operations in NSW this year, with increased freshwater outflows from flooded rivers affecting the behavior of ships entering some ports. Ships entering tidal ports in NSW are affected by local weather conditions, tides and waves, which can all affect a vessel’s ability to enter and operate safely within a port. One of the important things to consider when allowing larger vessels to enter NSW ports is the tide, which needs to be high enough to allow deep drafted vessels to enter, navigate and exit a port safely. This year, the window of time where water levels are high enough for ships to enter some NSW ports has been reduced by enhanced freshwater inflows from heavy rain and flooding. Image: Rainfall between January and May 2022 was in the top 10 percent of historical records for most of eastern NSW, with some areas receiving their highest rainfall on record for this period. Source: Bureau of Meteorology Freshwater is less dense than salt water, which allows ships to sit lower in the water. The prolific flooding seen in parts of eastern NSW earlier this year caused huge injections of freshwater into the coastal zone, which decreased salinity and affected shipping operations. According to Philip Perkins, Meteorologist and Sales Executive of Ports, Offshore and Safety at Weatherzone, "port users and operators at river-based terminals have been impacted by summer and autumn rainfall. “During high river flows water salinity is reduced. This means vessels can behave differently, resulting in elevated risk to vessels even at berth. Even when secured properly, berthed vessels can be impacted by passing traffic in the terminal.’’ In addition to the safety of ships, decreased salinity at river-based terminals can also reduce the window of time where larger vessels can enter these ports. In some cases, this may force ships to wait for the next high tide before entering or departing the port. Fortunately, river levels and discharge rates have now returned to more normal levels in eastern NSW. However, the ongoing influence of La Niña and a developing negative Indian Ocean Dipole increases the risk of more flooding in the months ahead. With the ground still holding a lot of water, any periods of heavy rain this winter and spring are likely to cause flooding, which may have immediate impacts on shipping operations.