Troughs are triggering showers & storms in the NT, QLD, NSW & eastern & central VIC, some intense. Troughs are also dragging heat into QLD, northern Australia, the central interior & WA's inland. A high is clearing most showers from SA & TAS & is keeping elsewhere generally dry.
Weather in Business
Today, 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.
01 Dec 2023, 4:04AM UTC
2023 set to be Earth’s warmest year on record
Global climate records have been shattered in 2023, with temperatures in the atmosphere and ocean at the warmest levels ever observed, according to a new report. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a provisional State of the Global Climate report on November 30 to coincide with the start of the COP28 United Nations Climate Change conference in Dubai. While the WMO’s final State of the Global Climate 2023 report will come out in 2024, this week’s report provides an interim update on the state of the global climate to inform discussions at COP28. Below are some of the key points from the report: Greenhouse gases The global average temperature has been gradually increasing in recent decades, primarily in response to increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases from human activities. These global greenhouse gases continue to increase, with the concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide observed reaching record high levels in 2022. These greenhouse gas concentrations have continued to rise this year, contributing to the record-breaking warmth across the globe. Atmospheric temperature This year is on track to be the world’s warmest year on record, with new data from the WMO showing that the mean near-surface temperature so far in 2023 (January to October) was 1.4°C warmer than the pre-industrial average (between 1850-1900). The size of this anomaly up to October means 2023 is virtually certain to be the planet’s warmest year in 174 years of records. The map below shows that the ten years leading up to 2023 (as of October) have been the warmest 10-year period on record. Image: World Daily surface air temperature since 1979 showing 2023 (black) and 2022 (orange) and previous years (grey), Source: climatereanalyzer.org ,Climate change institute, University of Maine This year's global mean temperature should comfortably beat the joint warmest years on record, which were 2016 and 2020. Ocean Temperature The ocean heat in 2022 reached its highest level since records began 65 years ago. The black line below shows the 2023 Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) have been tracking above the previous record for most of the year. Image: World Daily Sea Surface temperature since 1981, showing 2023 (black) and 2022 (orange) and previous years (grey), Source: climatereanalyzer.org ,Climate change institute, University of Maine The ocean covers around 70% of the Earth’s surface and absorbs heat and greenhouse gases. While the absorption of heat in the ocean can slow the warming of the atmosphere, the warming oceans have increased the sea level and ice melt significantly. Sea Ice Antartica has seen record low sea ice extent since satellites began observing the ice in 1979. The images below shows that on Wednesday, November 29, the Antarctic and Artic Sea Ice extent is much lower than the median ice edge from the 1981 to 2010 period. Images: Antarctic (top) and Artic (bottom) daily sea ice extent, showing ice (white shade) and the 1981 to 2010 average extent (orange) Source: National Snow and Ice Data Centre It was also reported that the glaciers in western North America, the European Alps and Switzerland have all experienced extreme melt. Sea level rise The melting of glaciers and ice sheets has meant that the global mean sea level in 2023 reached a record high for the satellite era, which because in 1979. The rate of sea level rise has doubled in the past decade compared to the decade between 1993 and 2003. Extreme weather The WMO’s report also mentioned the extreme weather that has impacted many areas of the world in 2023: Extreme heat has affected many parts of the world, including record-breaking heatwaves in Europe in July and August Wildfires in Hawaii, Canada and Europe Flooding in Greece, Bulgaria, Türkiye, and Libya The WMO’s full report will come out in the first half of next year.
01 Dec 2023, 12:34AM UTC
40 million lightning strikes over Australian region in November
November 2023 was a prolific month for thunderstorms in Australia, with 40.5 million lightning strikes detected over the Australian region in the last 30 days. Late-spring is typically a stormy time of year in Australia due to an abundance of warm air, moisture and atmospheric instability. But even by these typically stormy standards, November 2023 was a BIG month for lightning in Australia. Weatherzone’s Total Lightning Network detected 40,465,119 individual lightning pulses over the Australian region during November. This count included all lightning detected inside a box bounded by 180ºE to 160ºE and 5ºS to 49ºS. The map below shows how November’s thunderstorms played out, with storms persisting through every day and night and large amounts of lightning hitting every state and territory. Video: Lightning pulses (cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud) lightning strikes detected by Weatherzone’s Total Lightning Network in November 2023. November’s thunderstorms also brought some welcome rain to parched and fire-weary parts of Australia. While September and October were collectively Australia’s driest two-month period on record, November rainfall was above average over large areas of the Australian mainland. Broad areas of eastern Australia and pockets of most other states and territories even saw monthly rainfall totals falling in the top 10 percent of historical records. Image: Observed rainfall deciles during November 2023. Blue areas show where rainfall was above average. Source: Bureau of Meteorology. There were several reasons November produced so many thunderstorms over Australia: Abnormally warm sea surface temperatures surrounding Australia provided abundant moisture for storm development A positive Southern Annular Mode (SAM) during the first half of the month helped to further increase moisture levels over the country’s east and southeast A wavy jet stream over Australian longitudes caused weather systems to slow down and produce lengthy spells of storms over the region
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.