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Moist, unstable winds are scattering rain & storms across northern NSW, QLD & the Top End, some heavy. A low is causing gusty wind, rain & storms in WA's far NW & scattering rain & storms across WA's west. A few showers in southern VIC & NSW's southeast in cool southerly winds.

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Min

Max

Rain ClearingSydneyNSW

19.3°C

19°C
24°C

Clearing ShowerMelbourneVIC

17.1°C

15°C
22°C

RainBrisbaneQLD

25.6°C

24°C
30°C

RainPerthWA

24.3°C

22°C
26°C

SunnyAdelaideSA

19.9°C

12°C
29°C

Clearing ShowerCanberraACT

15.7°C

14°C
25°C

Mostly SunnyHobartTAS

14.7°C

12°C
24°C

Possible ThunderstormDarwinNT

28.3°C

27°C
32°C

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Today, 4:34AM UTC

Rain spinning up near northeast NSW

The trough that stormed over central NSW on Friday has stalled over the state's northeast and is starting to spin a low. It's hard to make out on the satellite animation, but you can get a clue from the low-level cloud in the south streaming northward in southerly winds, while higher-level cloud further north is streaming southeastward in northwesterly winds. Such a pattern is indicative of an upper trough which, in plain language, means instability. Cool southerly winds behind the trough at the surface are pushing into an area of warmer air further north, forcing the warmer air upwards where it starts to spin. The stalled trough with the aid of this small-scale and short-lived low is expected to deliver heavy rain to the Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers, Northern Tablelands  and possibly the adjacent Northwest Slopes tonight.     Image: Latest 3-hr satellite loop showing cloud streaming from the northwest over northeast NSW and from the south over southern NSW.     Rain should be heaviest north of about Coffs Harbour. Falls of 100-150mm are possible about some parts of the ranges, far northeast coast and western slopes, with falls of 40-80mm likely. So far, the top fall in the area since 9am has been 40mm at Haystack and Ridgelands west of Glenn Innes. This system will then collide with another trough bowing down from central Queensland, delivering heavy rain to the Sunshine Coast and areas to the north Saturday night and Sunday morning.    Image: Latest water vapour imagery overlaid with observed dewpoints showing huge amounts of moisture over northeast NSW and southeast Qld.

23 Feb 2024, 5:18AM UTC

Tropical Cyclone Lincoln making a comeback tonight

Ex- Tropical Cyclone Lincoln should re-develop into cyclone off the Kimberley coast in WA on Friday night, before setting its sights on the Pilbara and northern Gascoyne in the next 48 hours.   Lincoln will be the first Tropical Cyclone to impact WA this season, but it is the second Tropical Cyclone to move into the Western region. Anggrek was the first to move into the Western Region this season in January, but she remained well offshore from the WA coast.   The satellite image below shows ex-Tropical Cyclone Lincoln 370 kilometres northwest of Karratha at 11am WST on Friday morning.  Image: Himawari satellite image showing the three hours leading up to 11:40am WST on Friday, February 23.  Ex- tropical Cyclone Lincoln has travelled 2600km to the west, originally forming in the Gulf of Carpentaria and crossing the NT coast near Borroloola last Friday, February 16.   Lincoln has now moved off the Kimberley coast in WA and strengthened on Thursday and Friday over favourable waters and environmental conditions.   These conditions should cause Lincoln to re-develop into a Tropical Cyclone on Friday night. When the tropical cyclone re-forms, it will keep its original name, Lincoln, the third cyclone named in the Australian region this season.    While Ex-Lincoln is currently well off the Pilbara coast, he is expected to turn to the southwest towards the Pilbara coast on Friday evening.   The map below shows the Bureau of Meteorology’s track map issued at 11:53am on Friday, February 23.    Image: Forecast track map issued by the Bureau of Meteorology at 11:53 am AWST on Friday, February 23. A more recent track map may be available. Source: Bureau of Meteorology     The map above indicated that Lincoln could strengthen further into a category two Tropical Cyclone Saturday morning, as it moves towards the WA coastline.   Tropical Cyclone Lincoln will most likely cross the northern Gascoyne coast later on Saturday, February 24, with destructive winds possible near the cyclone.  On Saturday, Lincoln should just miss the Exmouth and Mardie area, however gales and damaging wind gusts could develop overnight Friday into Saturday in the region. The gales could extend further south to Carnarvon by Saturday evening and then Wooramel on Saturday night.   Destructive winds are possible near Cyclone on Saturday. Abnormally high tides could also cause some flooding of low-lying areas between Mardie and Wooramel Roadhouse.  The map below shows one computer model's wind gust forecast for 2pm AWST on Saturday, February 24.  Image: Access G wind gust forecast at 2pm AWST on Saturday, February 24.  There is still some uncertainty with the timing of the onset of these winds on Saturday, so please keep an eye out for the latest warnings and advisories.  Heavy rain should be confined to the path of the cyclone but could develop later Friday in the western Pilbara and spread to the Gascoyne as it continues south on Saturday.  The cyclone should weaken quickly over land on Sunday, however the risk of heavy rain and flooding will continue in its path. Please keep an eye out for the latest warnings and track maps here.    

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22 Feb 2024, 11:43PM UTC

Fires linger in Victoria, Tasmania as heat shifts to NSW

A hot air mass that helped create large fires in Victoria and Tasmania on Thursday will shift its focus to NSW on Friday, causing temperatures to spike in Sydney. Thursday was a dangerous day of heat and fire danger in southeastern Australia as a mass of hot air combined with strong and dry winds ahead of an approaching cold front. This combination of hot, dry and windy weather allowed large fires to develop in central Vic and central Tas on Thursday. These fires were so large their smoke plumes stretched for hundreds of kilometres and could be seen clearly in satellite images captured from about 36,000 km above Earth’s surface. Image: Satellite images showing large smoke plumes in Vic on Thursday. The fire located near Beaufort to the west of Ballarat has continued to burn through Thursday night and into Friday morning, despite much cooler air in the wake of a cool change that arrived on Thursday. According to reports, this fire has claimed some homes and as of 10am AEDT, emergency warnings were still in place. VISIT THE VIC EMERGENCY WEBSITE FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON FIRES IN VICTORIA. In Tasmania, several fires were still burning on Friday morning, with three watch and act advisories in place as of 10 am AEDT. VISIT THE TAS ALERT WEBSITE FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON FIRES IN TASMANIA. Images: Smoke seen over Ballarat, Vic on Thursday, February 23, 2024. Source: @peterlawrencecarr (top) and @jacquijallen (bottom) / Instagram The heat that saw temperatures reach 35.9ºC in Melbourne and 35.5ºC in Hobart on Thursday has now moved further north and is focusing on NSW. Shortly after 10am AEDT on Friday, temperatures were already up to 32ºC in Maitland and Gosford over 30ºC in parts of Western Sydney. Temperatures are predicted to reach the mid to high thirties across most of the Sydney Basin on Friday, while some western parts of the state will nudge 40ºC in the afternoon. Image: Forecast maximum temperature in NSW on Friday, according to the ECMWF-HRES model Fortunately, without the strong winds that accompanied the heat in Vic on Thursday, Friday’s fire danger ratings in NSW are not expected to reach Extreme levels. However, parts of NSW, Vic, Tas and SA could see high fire danger on Friday. Another effect of today’s heat in NSW will be an increased risk of thunderstorms as the warm air rises into an unstable atmosphere. Thunderstorms are possible over all but the far west of NSW on Friday, with the greatest risk over the eastern half of the state, including the ACT. Some of Friday’s thunderstorms will become severe and a few supercells could develop in the state’s east during the afternoon or early evening. Anyone in Sydney or other areas of eastern NSW on Friday should keep a close eye on the latest severe thunderstorm warnings. A cool southerly change will move through southern and central districts of NSW on Friday, reaching Sydney in the evening.

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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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