Troughs are generating showers & storms over the northern NT, eastern WA, northwestern QLD, southern parts of SA, western VIC & southern NSW. Onshore winds over Tas & along the QLD coast are driving some showers. Dry & hot winds are keeping elsewhere dry.
Weather in Business
Today, 1:04AM UTC
Searing heat then cold flooding rain for SA
The early summer heatwave continues in South Australia, especially in the north of the state, with tops of 46°C expected this Wednesday at some locations in the North West Pastoral and North East Pastoral forecast districts. Adelaide and southern parts of the state will duck the worst of this heatwave, although temps in the state capital shold still rise to a toasty 33°C on Thursday and Friday. Then as the weekend arrives, the South Australian weather picture changes dramatically. During the coming weekend and into the new week, an upper-level cut-off low looks likely to stall over South Australia, causing a mix of dangerous weather – possibly including heavy rain, severe thunderstorms and damaging winds. The model below predicts the accumulated 7-day rainfall from this Wednesday to next Tuesday inclusive. It goes without saying that you don’t expect to see zones of purple or blue (representing 100 mm to 200 mm of rainfall) in South Australia during summer. The contrast between the midweek and weekend weather will be particularly dramatic around the apex of Spencer gulf (the more westerly of SA’s two large gulfs) atop which sits the town of Port Augusta. Port Augusta should reach the low-to-mid 40s from today through to Friday, before weekend temperatures plummet under cooler southerly winds, with cloudy skies and heavy rain preventing the days warming beyond about 20 degrees – in a month where the average max is 32.2°C. Adelaide, too, will likely see heavy rain this weekend and top temps that struggle to exceed 20°C. As mentioned, this is an unusual summer weather pattern for SA, and for an understanding of the bigger picture behind the coming weekend's weather, please read our story from Tuesday about twin omega blocks in the Australian and South Pacifc regions. A reminder too to check our warnings page if you're in South Australia this weekend as flooding and other hazards are highly likely in some areas.
Today, 12:41AM UTC
Tropical Cyclone Jasper may strike Qld coast next week
There are growing concerns that eastern Qld could be hit by a tropical cyclone next week, although it is still too early to know whether Tropical Cyclone Jasper will reach Australian shores, or where it will strike if it does. Jasper became a tropical cyclone over the Solomon Sea late on Tuesday afternoon. As of 10am AEST on Wednesday, the system was a category two tropical cyclone located roughly 320 km west-southwest of Honiara and 1430 km east-northeast of Cairns. Jasper is likely to move towards the south-southwest over the next few days while gaining strength. The Bureau of Meteorology expects Jasper to become a category 3 severe tropical cyclone tonight and possibly reach category 4 strength on Friday. While tropical cyclones are notoriously difficult to predict beyond the next one or two days, Jasper will be guided by a strong upper-level ridge located to its south later this week. This ridge is likely to steer Jasper in a westerly direction towards the end of this week, allowing it to approach Australia. Unfortunately, forecast models are not agreeing on when this steering ridge will break down, which makes it difficult to know where Jasper will move as it tracks closer to Australia early next week. The Bureau of Meteorology’s latest technical bulletin for Jasper, issued at 5:05am AEST on Wednesday, outlines three possible scenarios for early next week: “Recent guidance is favouring the scenario where Jasper approaches the Queensland coast, between Cooktown and Mackay, on a westerly track as a tropical cyclone next week.” “Other potential outcomes are a more southerly track, consequently moving the system towards the Queensland coast south of Mackay,” “or a slow-moving system that remains over the Coral Sea beyond the next seven days.” The Bureau of Meteorology’s 7-day tropical cyclone forecast map highlights the uncertainty in Jasper’s location early next week. According to the Bureau, Tropical Cyclone Jasper could be located somewhere inside the red shaded area on the map below at 10pm AEST on Tuesday next week. Image: Forecast Confidence Area (FCA) for 10pm AEST on Tuesday, December 12 for Tropical Cyclone Jasper. The FCA represents where the centre of the tropical weather system is likely to be located. There is an 80% chance that the centre of the system will be located within this area at the specified time. Source: Bureau of Meteorology The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) also show a wide range of possibilities early next week, with tropical cyclone strike probabilities greater than 20 percent between about Cooktown and St Lawrence. Image: ECMWF strike probability for 10pm AEST on Tuesday, December 12. The strike probability is the probability that a tropical cyclone will pass within a 300 km radius from a given location and within a time window of 48 hours. Source: ECMWF The U.S. Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) model also shows a range of possible landfall location stretching from Yeppoon up to Cape York Peninsula, along with the possibility that Jasper will remain offshore next week. Image: GEFS ensemble member tracks for Tropical Cyclone Jasper. Source: TropicalTidbits.com It is too early to know if Jasper will reach the Australian mainland next week, and where and how strong it will be if it does. At this stage, anyone in Queensland, particularly communities between Gladstone and Cooktown, should keep a close eye on the latest cyclone advisories during the next 7 to 10 days.
05 Dec 2023, 7:21AM UTC
Tropical Cyclone Jasper forms in Australian region
Tropical Cyclone Jasper has formed near the Solomon Islands, becoming the first tropical cyclone to be named in Australia’s area of responsibility so far this season. A tropical low located over the Solomon Sea has been producing a swirling mass of clouds, rain and thunderstorms over the last few days. On Tuesday, this low pressure system strengthened into a tropical cyclone just inside the northeastern boundary of Australia's area of responsibility. As the cyclone formed inside the Australian region, the Bureau of Meteorology named it Tropical Cyclone Jasper. This is the first cyclone to be named by the Bureau in the 2023-24 season, which officially runs from November to April. At 4pm AEST on Tuesday, Jasper was located 1500 km northeast of Cairns and as moving slowly over the Solomon Sea. The system is expected to move towards the south and southwest over the next few days as it progressively gains strength over the warm Coral Sea. The Bureau’s latest track map for Jasper, issued just after 5pm AEST on Tuesday, predicts the system become a category 3 severe tropical cyclone at some stage on Wednesday and may reach category 4 strength by Friday. Some forecast models suggest that Jasper could track towards eastern Qld from this weekend or early next week, although this is still uncertain at this stage. You can find the latest forecast information on Tropical Cyclone Jasper on the Bureau’s tropical cyclone page here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.