Troughs are triggering showers and storms in far northern WA, the NT Top End, Qld and southeastern NSW, whilst drawing heat into Qld, the central interior and inland WA. A high is keeping SA, Tas & inland parts of eastern states mostly dry, whilst bringing onshore showers to NSW.
Weather in Business
Today, 7:00AM UTC
Storms electrify Sydney, bringing Campbelltown Carols to a grinding halt
An active trough brought severe thunderstorms to Sydney and surrounds last night, with some areas in the region’s southwest and into the Wollondilly area receiving some significant rainfall. 37.2mm of rain fell in just 20 minutes at Campbelltown, causing the Campbelltown Christmas Carols 2023 event to end prematurely as carolers were evacuated from Campbelltown Sports Stadium. The storm also brought 22.2mm in 30 minutes at Holsworthy, while Picton and Kentlyn also reported 24-hr rainfall totals of 27.5mm and 27mm respectively, largely as a result of these storms. The particular thunderstorm which caused so much havoc in Sydney’s southwest began near Bargo shortly before 7:30pm, circled below in orange, as part of a larger storm band stretching down into the south coast. Image: The storm band marching up the NSW south coast last night, with the developing cell near Bargo circled in Orange As the whole storm band tracked northeast, it marched through the Wollondilly region, into Sydney’s southwest and then up into Sydney’s northern suburbs by late evening, generating approximately 80,500 lightning strikes within a 75km radius of Campbelltown and dumping some very localised heavy rainfall in Minto (south of Ingleburn) and near Leppington (south of Austral), as seen in the image below. This meteorologist also witnessed hailstones ranging between 1cm and 4cm in size in Glen Alpine, approximately 4km southwest of Campbelltown. Image: Radar, lightning and rainfall data in Sydney’s southwest last night Image: Lightning strike near Glen Alpine, NSW, taken by Weatherzone meteorologist Corine Brown. Thunderstorms have been springing up again this afternoon along the NSW east coast and ranges and will continue into this evening. Although more isolated than the storm activity we saw yesterday, some storm cells do have the potential for large hail and heavy rainfall, which could produce some localised damaging winds. Keep an eye on all the latest warnings at weatherzone.com.au
02 Dec 2023, 3:44AM UTC
Hottest spring on record for Sydney and Perth
Image: Maximum temperature deciles for Australia over Spring 2023, showing large parts of the country in the warmest 10% of records. All Australian capital cities except Adelaide and Canberra were warmer than long-term averages in spring. Sydney maxima averaged 24.7°C for the season, making it the warmest spring in terms of daytime maximum temperatures on record (records go back to the 1850s). September showed the warmest anomaly. Four days above 30°C were recorded in this month which is more than the entirety of last summer, bringing the September 2023 average maxima to nearly four degrees above the long-term average. On the other side of the country, Perth also recorded the warmest spring on record in terms of maxima, averaging 26.2°C. Perth's current station only dates back to 1993 but using nearby stations the record can be extended back to the 1920s. November was the hottest month for the western capital, coming in at 30.3°C, nearly four degrees above the long-term average and also the hottest November in terms of minima and maxima on record. Image: Animation of observed rainfall deciles over Australia during September, October and November, 2023, showing a dry beginning to spring, followed by a wet end in many areas over the east. The season was a two-sided tale in terms of rainfall over the east of the country, with the first two months being dry, typical of an El Niño spring. Moving into November, though key El Niño signatures, such as sea surface temperatures in the central tropical Pacific, remained above El Niño thresholds, the climatic influence of El Niño—like so much in life—is relative. With sea surface temperatures also above average over the western Pacific near Australia, the mechanisms by which El Niño often reduces rainfall over eastern Australia were dampened, aided by other effects such as that documented here. Though rainfall totals for November were above average for Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, at least one of previous very wet years (2021 or 2022) were wetter. Perth was dry over the entire spring season with frequent outbursts of hot and very dry easterly winds.
02 Dec 2023, 3:38AM UTC
Renewed flooding on the way to NSW South Coast
Sodden ground is beginning to soak, and rivers are about to swell and flow faster in South Coast New South Wales, only a few days after flooding hit the area. There's barely been enough time to clean up the mess the last flooding rain left behind. Some of the region had their biggest rainfall in about eight years only a few days ago with widespread 100-to-300mm falling in about three days. It was the heaviest rain in seven-to-eight years at Mount Darragh, in the Merimbula hinterland, with 357mm, and in Moruya (259mm), Point Perpendicular (249mm), Shoalhaven River (221mm) and Bega (207mm). There is the potential for 100-to-150mm of rainfall between lunchtime Saturday and sunset on Sunday east of the ranges, most likely south from about Moruya. Properties are under threat, particularly those with water still sitting on the ground. Some roads are also likely to go underwater in low-lying areas. Image: Possible accumulating rainfall for Saturday 2nd December and Sunday 3rd December as interpreted by the BoM Access-C model. A low-pressure trough is likely to deepen and draw in ample moisture from the warmer-than-normal waters offshore. Thankfully, this coming rain-and-thunderstorm outbreak should only be brief, lasting little more than a day. The offending trough is expected to weaken late on Sunday and be replaced by a drying high-pressure ridge, allowing flooding to ease.
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.