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Daily Forecast

Showers, storms & humid winds are affecting northeastern NSW, southern QLD, the NT & WA's north, interior & south. A front is bringing strong winds, showers & large waves to the NSW coast. Highs are clearing VIC & TAS & are keeping SA, NSW's west & WA's far west largely dry.

Now

Min

Max

Mostly CloudySydneyNSW

20.8°C

19°C
24°C

Mostly SunnyMelbourneVIC

13.9°C

13°C
21°C

Possible ThunderstormBrisbaneQLD

24.7°C

24°C
30°C

Clearing ShowerPerthWA

22.3°C

20°C
28°C

Cloud IncreasingAdelaideSA

16.4°C

13°C
30°C

Mostly SunnyCanberraACT

10.5°C

11°C
24°C

Mostly SunnyHobartTAS

10.1°C

10°C
19°C

Possible ThunderstormDarwinNT

26.3°C

26°C
32°C

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Low Temperature

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Records data is supplied by the Bureau of Meteorology and has not been independently quality controlled.

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Today, 2:02AM UTC

Chunky surf on the way for New South Wales

Large groundswell will move into the New South Wales and southeast Queensland coasts on Monday and Tuesday.  A deep low pressure system in the Southern Ocean to the south of Tasmania is moving into the Tasman Sea swell window. Seas to the southeast of Tasmania will reach heights of 10-12m, with most of this energy heading north towards New South Wales and southeast Queensland, but also towards New Zealand and south Pacific islands like Fiji. Image loop: Satellite imagery looped capturing this impressive low spinning in the Southern Ocean on Saturday March 2nd (above) and Sunday March 3rd (below), generating storm force winds and large seas.  A front extending from this low will bring a strengthening southerly wind change to parts of the New South Wales coast on Sunday afternoon and evening, reaching northern New South Wales and southeast Queensland on Monday. Wave heights will increase rapidly behind this change, reaching 3 to 3.5m. The real energy behind this powerful low will, however, quickly build over New South Wales from late Monday morning, reaching southeast Queensland by early Tuesday morning.  Long period groundswell reaching 14-16 seconds is expected for much of New South Wales, possibly stretching to 15-18 seconds further north, at the peak of this swell. Coasts exposed directly to this energy will be treacherous, with huge amounts of water and energy flowing into the coastline. Sudden, very large waves and powerful surges of water will make for dangerous conditions across rock platforms and beaches. Longer period swells carry much more energy than equivalent-height, shorter period swells, leading to sudden large movements of water, either across sudden powerful rip currents, and/or into the beaches or rock shelves.  Image: A schematic showing how longer period swells carry more energy (at a greater depth) than shorter period swell.  The acute southerly direction of this large surf event will mean that north-facing coastlines and coastlines protected by points or headlands to the south will be smaller, but still sudden surges in energy are expected to move in and out of these more sheltered locations.  The large swell will gradually ease on Tuesday, but swell height should still be around 2m on Wednesday, with wave period slowly reducing to about 12-14 seconds into the middle of the week. Beach conditions will be deceiving until Wednesday or Thursday, as seemingly calm seas will be intermittently interrupted by large and powerful waves. A hazardous surf warning is currently out for all coasts of New South Wales, stretching between the Eden and Byron coasts. Please refer to the latest warning here: https://www.weatherzone.com.au/warnings 

02 Mar 2024, 5:06AM UTC

Intense thunderstorms in NSW heading north for the weekend

The area of most intense thunderstorms in New South Wales is travelling north with the movement of an active low-pressure trough. On Saturday afternoon, storms were responsible for flash flooding, strong winds and hail. Early in the afternoon, storms had focussed on the Hunter area, producing downpours of 45 millimetres in Maitland, 30mm in Elderslie and 23mm in Tocal, all in just 30 minutes. Maitland gained 49mm up until 4pm, its biggest daily rainfall in 12 months and a 3-year high for March. Image: Lightning strikes, radar, satellite and rainfall observations up until 2:10pm EDT Saturday.  Later in the afternoon, the area of the biggest storms had moved to the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers where Lowanna (inland of Coffs Harbour) copped 47mm of rain in about 45 minutes. By about 4:30pm, some of the more populated centres nearer the coast had also gained more than 20mm in quick time, leading to flash flooding. Rainfall had amounted to 28mm at Port Macquarie and 26mm at Kempsey. Image: Lightning strikes, radar, satellite and rainfall observations up until 4:20pm EDT Saturday.  The offending trough will continue to benefit from higher-than-normal humidity as it causes fresh storms further north, most intense about the slopes, ranges and coast. On Sunday, storms in NSW are expected to be focussed on Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers, Northern Tablelands and the nearby western slopes. Keep an eye on related warnings at https://www.weatherzone.com.au/warnings Meanwhile, central and southern NSW are drying out as cooler southerly winds flow through the region in the wake of the trough.

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02 Mar 2024, 2:04AM UTC

Balmy seas set to peak in New South Wales

A tongue of very warm waters off the New South Wales coast is pushing towards the mainland, leading to the warmest sea surface temperatures in over 2 years.  Sea surface temperatures will generally lag behind the atmospheric temperatures by about a month or two due to the extra amount of energy required to heat water, compared to air. The summertime peak in water temperatures off the New South Wales coast will usually occur in February or March, and it’s occurring now.  The famous East Australian Current (EAC) feeds balmy waters from the tropical latitudes south, reaching as far as Tasmania in the Southern Ocean. Eddies and branches of this current will shift east and west, bringing these warm waters away and closer to the New South Wales coastline. A tongue of this warm water is reaching out towards the coast this weekend, mainly from Sydney and northwards, leading to the likely hottest sea surface temperatures of the current season.  Image: Forecast Sea Surface Temperatures on Saturday March 2nd off the New South Wales coast reaching the high-20s. Source: BOM  The Sydney WaveRider buoy that sits about 5km off the Northern Beaches of Sydney recorded sea surface temperatures of 26.5°C on Friday afternoon. This is the warmest reading the buoy has recorded this season, falling just shy of the record value of 26.6°C recorded in February 2022. Elsewhere in New South Wales, the Byron Bay buoy’s latest reading of 28.4°C suggests waters off the Northern Rivers are warm enough to support a tropical cyclone.  While these readings are taken around 5 to 10km offshore, local winds will cause this water to push away or towards the near coastal areas (including the beach and surf zone). A surge of southerly winds in the coming days will however help move this warm surface water towards the coast, through a process called Ekman Transport. This process, through the friction of wind along the surface and the Coriolis Force, results in the top layer of water moving to the left of the wind direction (in the southern hemisphere).  Image: A schematic of Ekman transport moving warm surface water towards the coast in a southerly wind (in the southern Hemisphere).  A brisk and cool southerly wind might not signify the best beach weather, but this warm water could linger near the coast well into the coming week, bringing the potential for more humidity pushing into eastern New South Wales.

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31 Jan 2024, 5:54AM UTC

Powerful waves to impact port operations

Deceptively powerful surf is forecast for this weekend, as heavy waves originating from the Southern Ocean hit the NSW coastline. The heavy surf will be whipped up by a low-pressure system sweeping across the south of the continent later this week.  The map below shows wave heights of 3-4m are expected across the central and southern NSW coast on Friday and Saturday.  Image: Significant wave height forecast at 5pm Saturday, February 3 according to Wave Watch III  In Sydney waters, wave heights are forecast to peak at 4 to 4.5 metres on the weekend. These wave heights will create very rough seas off the Sydney and Illawarra coasts on the weekend.   While the waves will be large, it's the wave period that will generate the deceptively powerful surf.  Wave period is the average time between crests (or troughs) of waves. The larger the time difference, the greater the amount of energy associated with the waves or swells.  The wave period should reach 10-12 seconds along the Sydney coast and south on Saturday.  The map below shows the high period waves impacting the central and southern coastline on Saturday.    Image: Wind wave period at 4pm on Saturday, February 3, according to Wave Watch III  Looking ahead, the long period swell should move offshore by Monday easing conditions along the NSW coastline. 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. For more information, please contact us at business@weatherzone.com.au.

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04 Jan 2024, 4:03AM UTC

Why did electricity demand hit a record low?

On the closing day of 2023, rooftop solar boomed in SA and Vic while record low energy demand was recorded in the two states.   On Sunday, December 31, mild temperatures and sunny skies were behind the new record low energy demand in SA and Vic.  The satellite image below shows the clear skies on Sunday across Australia's southeast mainland, which allowed rooftop solar output to become the leading energy source in SA and Vic.  Image: Himawari-9 satellite image at 1pm AEDT on Sunday, December 31, 2023. Source: RAMMB/CIRA  According to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Victoria’s minimal operational demand was 1,564 MW on Sunday, December 31, which beat the previous record that was set Sunday, November 12, 2023. SA’s demand dropped into the negatives on the same day, reaching as low as -26MW on New Year's Eve, which trumped the previous record low set back in October 2023.  These new records superseded the ones set only several months ago, showing the National Energy Market (NEM) has had a period of abnormally low demand in the past couple of months. This has been driven by cooler temperatures under the influence of a positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the waning impact of El Nino in December.  The image below shows that on the same day, rooftop solar (yellow) contributed most of SA and Vic energy needs.   Image: Vic and SA electricity generation on Sunday, December 31, Source Wattclarity  The Image above also shows that wind and solar farms contributed near zero energy demand during the middle of the same day. It also shows that brown coal and rooftop solar were the two main sources of energy for the grid in the middle of the day in the states.   On Sunday, winds were relatively light under the influence of a high-pressure ridge extending from Bight to the southern Tasman Sea.  According to AEMO, rooftop solar contributed two-thirds of VIC's & all of SA's total energy needs on December 31.  New operational demand records set in VIC (1,564 MW) & SA (-26 MW) on 31 December 2023, with #rooftopsolar contributing two-thirds of VIC's & all of SA's total energy needs. On the day, wholesale electricity prices averaged -$66.54 & -$73.02 ($/MWh) in SA & VIC, respectively. pic.twitter.com/0JUorY4wG4 — AEMO (@AEMO_Energy) January 2, 2024 Rooftop solar has been increasing year-on-year since 2018, driven by a boom in solar installations across Australia.   Looking ahead, January looks to be wetter and cloudier than average across much of the NEM. February is expected to see near-to-below average rainfall and cloud, which could increase solar output in the closing month of summer. 

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