A moisture-laden trough is generating rain and storms in SA. Troughs are also bringing showers to the NT, QLD's north, NSW's south and VIC, and hot winds to western parts of NSW and QLD. Tropical Cyclone Jasper approaches Far North QLD, causing winds and showers to intensify.
Weather in Business
Today, 1:21AM UTC
Tropical Cyclone Jasper to make landfall on Wednesday
Queensland’s North Tropical Coast is preparing for severe weather later this week, with Tropical Cyclone Jasper expected to make landfall near or north of Cairns on Wednesday. Jasper got a lot of attention late last week when it became the earliest category 4 tropical cyclone in Australian waters since 2005. However, the system has weakened substantially over the last 48 hours thanks to moderate wind shear and too much dry air feeding into its core. At 10am AEST on Monday, December 11, Tropical Cyclone Jasper was a category one cyclone located about 500 km to the east of Cairns. This weakening trend has been good news for communities along Queensland’s North Tropical Coast and Tablelands, who are being warned to prepare for a coastal crossing later this week. Unfortunately, the danger hasn’t completely passed, with Jasper expected to intensify on Tuesday and Wednesday as it approaches the coast. Jasper should keep tracking towards the west over the next two days and make landfall somewhere between Cooktown and Cardwell on Wednesday, most likely near or north of Cairns. At this stage, Jasper will most likely be a category 2 system when it reaches the coast. When tropical cyclones make landfall on Australia’s east coast, the most severe weather usually occurs near and to the south of the cyclone’s core. This means a coastal crossing to the north of Cairns would put the city of around 160,000 at risk of dangerous cyclonic weather. Landfalling category 2 tropical cyclones can cause: Mean wind speeds of 89 to 117?km/h, with gusts reaching 125–164?km/h. Minor house damage and significant damage to signs, trees, caravans, and some crops. Risk of power failure. As of 11am AEST on Monday, a Cyclone Warning was in place for the coast and adjacent inland from Cooktown to Townsville, including Cairns, Innisfail, and Palm Island, but not Townsville. A Cyclone Watch was also in place from Cape Melville to Cooktown, extending inland to include Palmerville and Chillagoe. Cyclone warnings alert for the risk of gale force winds within the next 24 hours, while cyclone watches alert for gales developing in 24-48 hours. A separate severe weather warning is also in place for damaging wind gusts along the coastal fringe between Mackay and the area just south of Ayr today. These winds are not being directly caused by Jasper. In addition to wind, heavy rainfall and a dangerous storm tide could affect northeast Qld as Jasper crosses the coast. This includes falls from the outer rain and storm bands on Monday and Tuesday, and rain closer to the centre of Jasper on Wednesday. Image: Forecast accumulated rain during the 96 hours ending at 10pm AEST on Thursday, December 11, 2023, according to the ECMWF-HRES model. A flood watch has been issued for the North Tropical Coast and parts of the Cape York Peninsula and Gulf Country. There is also a risk of flash flooding on Wednesday between Cape Flattery and Cardwell, where six-hourly rainfall totals could reach 100 to 150 mm and 250 mm in some spots. There is still some uncertainty regarding the strength and location of Tropical Cyclone Jasper as it approaches and crosses the coast, so be sure to check the latest warnings and track maps for the most up-to-date information.
Today, 12:43AM UTC
Massive Aussie dust storm stretches almost 2000 km
Just look at that almost unbelievably long plume of thick dust stretching all the way from Central Australia out into the Indian Ocean hundreds of kilometres off northwest WA – a distance of around 1800 kilometres. The remarkable dust storm occurred on Sunday afternoon, December 10, with airborne particles still clearly visible over the ocean this Monday morning. The video below shows the event unfolding, with the heaviest concentration of dust centred over Western Australia’s Kimberley region, with lesser amounts over the Pilbara, a little further south and east. What caused the dust storm? The huge uplift of desert dust was caused by a trough which pushed well into northern WA over the weekend, strengthened by the low pressure system near SA and a high pressure ridge to the south. This fairly unusual summer pattern brought strong and gusty southerly winds all the way through the desert and off the Kimberley coast, kicking up dust as it rolled through. An interesting side-effect of those southerly winds and airborne dust was that some of Australia’s most consistently hot places had a relatively cool day by their standards on Sunday. For example: Marble Bar in the Pilbara reached "only" 36.9°C on Sunday, more than five degrees cooler than the average December max of 42.1°C, and the first day below 40°C in December 2023 to date. Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley reached "only" 35.1°C which was also by far its coolest day in December 2023 to date, and more than four degrees below its December average max of 39.3°C. Serious summer heat will return to the area by the weekend, with Marble Bar looking at 45°C on Saturday.
10 Dec 2023, 5:58AM UTC
Heaviest December rain in 75 years soaks parts of SA
A slow-moving rainband has delivered the heaviest December rainfall in decades to parts of South Australia, with strong winds starting to take hold. It was the wettest December day in 75 years in Cleve, with 55mm falling in the gauge to 9am Sunday. Kimba saw 47mm, its heaviest December rain in 61 years. Several locations set new site December records such as: Mount Ive 51.2mm (53-year history) Edithburgh 36.8mm (27-year history) Noarlunga 40.0mm (23-year history) Minlaton 47.8mm (22-year history) For Wudinna in the state’s west, its 48.6mm equalled its site's daily rainfall record set on November 19, 2022, with records since 2000. Image: Observed rainfall in the 24hrs to 4:30pm CDT Sunday On Sunday, rainfall is continuing over western and central parts of SA, with the edge of the rainband affecting Adelaide. While the rain might be easing around Adelaide and eastern parts of SA, the southeasterly winds are starting to pick up. Later this evening, southeasterly winds are expected to gust up to 100km/h, with 85km/h already recorded at Selicks Hill at 4pm this afternoon. Image: Wind gusts expected in the early hours of Monday morning. Winds in red and purple indicate strong winds that may bring down trees and branches. Southeasterly winds can be notoriously damaging for parts of the Mount Lofty Ranges and Adelaide Hills due to the local effects of the hills. When a low-level inversion forms (such as during a cold day and night like Sunday), southeasterly winds get squeezed between the ground and the inversion like a wind-tunnel, amplifying the winds over the region. These damaging winds are known as 'gully winds'. The recent rain further increases the chances of trees and their branches falling overnight, with the softer soils weakening tree roots and making them easier to fall. These trees and limbs can fall on power lines, creating local hazards and large-scale power outages. Please remember to never approach live wires and call the SES on 132 500 to report them. The rainband and low pressure system responsible will linger around for several days yet, but will return to more ‘normal’ warm with showers and thunderstorms type of weather. Plenty of warnings - including flood watches and severe weather warnings - are current, so please visit Weatherzone for the latest information.
Weather in Business
22 Nov 2023, 12:22AM UTC
Is Australia a great place for offshore wind farms?
Australia has some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, which are set to be captured by facilities scattered across our vast coastline in several years time. The offshore wind industry is booming internationally, as countries around the globe use it as part of their renewable energy transition. Wind farms are typically placed in windy locations, such as hilltops, but now Australia is looking offshore. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, Australia has the potential to generate 5,000 gigawatts of electricity from offshore wind, which is 100 times the installed capacity of Australia's two largest electricity networks. However, it's likely to be several years before an offshore wind farm becomes operational in Australia. The map below shows that the offshore wind resources in Australia are mostly around southern Australia near cities and industrial hubs and mining. Image: The mean wind speed along our coastline in m/s and the offshore wind resources in Australia, October 2021, Source: NOPSEMA Why go offshore? There are several reasons why offshore wind farms are beneficial sources of energy in Australia, such as strong winds over the ocean, reduction in costs and the size of turbines and farms over water. Strong winds over the ocean Wind speeds across the ocean are consistently stronger than those over land, meaning more wind power can be produced by these offshore facilities. The strongest winds in Australia are typically around coastal regions including western Tas and Vic, the Eyre Peninsula in SA, the southwestern coastline of WA, and the Great Australian Bight. The winds are strongest in these regions due to the passage of cold fronts or low pressure systems and the Roaring Forties. The Roaring Forties are gale force westerly winds that typically blow between the latitudes of 40° and 50° south shown in the image below. These winds gain their power from the planetary–scale circulation as the atmosphere moves hot air from the equator to the poles. Since the planet rotates, these winds are deflected to blow from west to east by the Coriolis Effect. Unlike in the Northern Hemisphere, these winds encounter very little land to slow them down in the Southern Hemisphere, allowing them to blow consistently strongly. Once used regularly by sailors, the power of the roaring forties will be harnessed by offshore wind turbines. Size of turbines and farms While building offshore wind farms is challenging and costly, the size of the wind turbines and farms at sea can be much larger than over land. The size of wind farms and individual turbines over land are restricted in size due to transport and other constraints like land use. The larger the wind turbine, the greater the amount of electricity that can be produced. Cost and technology The technology of offshore wind farms has improved over recent decades which has helped drive the cost of installing the wind farms down. The reduced costs and increased energy output make offshore wind farms a great renewable source of energy. How can Weatherzone help the offshore wind industry? Weatherzone Business offers a comprehensive suite of services, refined through years of collaboration with the marine, ports and offshore industries, to optimise the safety and efficiency of your operations. Click here to learn more.
16 Oct 2023, 1:47AM UTC
Southerly buster and large swell hitting NSW
A strong southerly change will move up the NSW coast on Monday, whipping up a large southerly swell in its wake. The fierce winds are associated with a low-pressure system sitting in the Tasman Sea which is extending a cold front along the NSW coast. The southerly buster has already hit far eastern VIC and the NSW coast with Gabo Island recording a 107km/h wind gust and a mean wind speed of 70km/h on Monday morning. READ MORE: What is a southerly buster? Ahead of the change, gusty westerly winds are expected to impact parts of the state, with mean wind speeds reaching 20 knots and gusting up to 30 knots at Port Botany and Sydney Airport. The gusty southwesterly is expected to reach Sydney and Port Botany at around 4pm AEDT on Monday afternoon, October 16. The map below shows the gusty southerly change near the Hunter region later Monday afternoon. Image: ECMWF forecast wind gusts at 5pm on Monday, October 16. A large southerly swell will also move up the NSW coastline on Monday afternoon and evening. The map below shows significant wave heights could reach five metres offshore the NSW central coast early on Tuesday morning. Image: Wave Watch III significant wave heigh at 5am Tuesday, October 16. The remainder of the NSW seaboard could see swells reaching 3-4 metres from late Monday into Tuesday, as the hefty swell moves up the coastline. The beaches along the NSW coast that face the south could see some erosion with this swell. The strong southerly winds and large swell will continue to impact the NSW coast until Wednesday morning when the low moves further away from Australia. Weatherzone Business offers a comprehensive suite of services, refined through years of collaboration with the marine, ports, insurance and offshore industries, to optimise the safety and efficiency of your operations. We work with you to understand your intrinsic operational challenges and customise high-precision forecasting, met-ocean, insurance and aviation services to your exact location and operational scope. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.