Troughs & fronts moving across southern AUS are driving rain, showers & gusty winds over SA, VIC, TAS, & southern NSW. A weak trough crossing southwest WA is bringing a few showers. High pressure is keeping elsewhere generally dry and settled.
Weather in Business
17 Aug 2022, 7:56AM UTC
Conveyor belt of cold fronts closing in
Here they come. One cold front after another for at least the next week for southeast Australia. This is good news for snow lovers, but not such wonderful news for those of us who don't enjoy wet, cold, windy weather. Image: The synoptic chart for next Tuesday, showing potentially the strongest and coldest front of the period approaching SE Australia. Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra (and everywhere in between) can expect a persistent spell of blustery, cool to cold, showery weather – with the first burst on Thursday into Friday morning, a second colder burst on Saturday, and the coldest outbreak of the period looking increasingly likely to arrive early next week. Sydney will duck the worst of it, with top temps staying in the high teens and even peaking in the low twenties on a couple of days in the warmer northwesterly wind flow between fronts, while Brisbane will completely avoid the wintry weather, with a prolonged spell of delightful fine days and top temps in the low-to-mid twenties. But the real story is down south. This is a classic Australian late winter pattern for the southeast and Adelaide will feel the first rumbles of it on Thursday – perhaps literally, as a thunderstorm in the morning or afternoon is possible. Melbourne could also see storms later on Thursday. As for the mountains, snow is coming as mentioned. How much? Image: Expect scenes like this over the weekend in Thredbo. Source: Author's pic. Well, it's probable that totals in the vicinity of 50 cm could accumulate at higher elevations by this time next week, and perhaps a little more. Be sure to keep checking the Weatherzone snow page for the latest. A little rain could fall on all but the highest peaks on Thursday in the warmish air ahead of the first front, but from then on, it all looks like the good stuff. At this stage, snow also looks likely to penetrate a fair way north next Monday or Tuesday, with the potential for good snowfalls on the Central Tablelands and Blue Mountains of the type which we haven't seen this winter since the first few days of June. We'll keep you posted.
16 Aug 2022, 11:40PM UTC
Record rainfall, wild winds in the west
Parts of Western Australia have seen their heaviest day of August rainfall in over 100 years, as a deep stream of tropical moisture interacted with a cold front from Monday night into Tuesday. This was the scene in a beachside car park at Geraldton, the large town with a population of 32,000 about 420 km up the coast from Perth. Image: Don't wory Gero, beach weather will be back in a couple of days. Source: @Poynts. The local who supplied us this image told us that he received 54 mm in his gauge while his dad, in the eastern suburb of Strathalbyn, received 72 mm. Those were of course not official readings, but we can tell you that the 24-hour total of 61.6 mm at Geraldton Airport was officially a record for August. Daily August rainfall records were also set at numerous locations in the Central West and Central Wheat Belt forecast districts, including: Jurien Bay (66.2 mm) Morawa Airport (46 mm) Kellerberrin 43.6 mm Wongan Hills 38.6 mm Northam 36.3 mm Some other noteworthy falls included: Northampton had 64.6 mm, the heaviest August daily fall in 113 years Mullewa had 49.8 mm, which was also the heaviest August daily fall in 113 years. It's worth taking another look at the rainfall prediction chart we published in our story on Monday about this rain event, as it shows that the heaviest rain was expected in the Geraldton area and so it proved. As things stand on Wednesday morning as we write this story, a trough linked to a cooler and more unstable airmass behind Tuesday's cold front is currently affecting the region. Wild winds were also recorded early on Wednesday morning, strongest in the Perth area, with gusts including: A 96km/h gust at Swanbourne at 5.30am A 98km/h gust at Garden Island at 5.34am A 103km/h gust at Rottnest Island airport at 5.20am Meanwhile frequent heavy showers are still whipping across southwest WA from Geraldton all the way south to Albany, extending a fair way inland as you can see on this morning's radar image. Record-breaking totals of the sort we saw a day or two ago are unlikely, and showers should start to clear across most districts by Thursday, including Perth. However showers will stubbornly stick around Albany and the South Coastal forecast district for most of the week, which is not unusual.
16 Aug 2022, 5:59AM UTC
La Nina Alert issued
The Bureau of Meteorology has today issued a La Niña Alert, increasing the likelihood that they will officially declare a third consecutive La Niña event later this year. After two back-to-back La Niña events between September 2020 and June 2022, the Pacific Ocean has been a neutral state, albeit close to La Niña thresholds, for the last two months. However, all oceanic and atmospheric indicators used to monitor the Pacific Ocean have been trending towards La Niña levels in the past few weeks, indicating that La Niña may be re-emerging for a third consecutive year. Today’s La Niña Alert from the Bureau means that there is a 70 percent chance that they will declare a La Niña event in the coming months. The increasing likelihood of La Niña is also being closely monitored by other international climate agencies, including the U.S. climate Prediction Centre (CPC) and the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA). However, it is worth noting that both the CPC and JMA use different thresholds than the BoM to define La Niña. So, while the BoM declared the end of La Niña in June 2022, the JMA and CPC both classified an ongoing La Niña through the middle of this year, which is now gaining more strength. Regardless of the definition used to classify La Niña, all signs are now pointing towards a re-emerging La Niña pattern in the Pacific Ocean. This trend if likely to continue in the months ahead, with the BoM, NOAA and JMA all giving a 60 to 80 percent chance of La Niña occurring during Southern Hemisphere’s spring. Image: El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forecast for the next 9 months, according to the U.S. CPC/IRI. The blue bars show the probability of La Niña occurring during each three-month period, with grey and red bars representing the probability of neutral and El Niño, respectively. Source: CPC/IRI Image: ENSO forecast for November 2022 from seven different international models, based on the Nino-3.4 temperature anomaly, with five of seven modles predicting La Niña. Source: Bureau of Meteorology, issued on August 16. Image: the JMA’s ENSO forecast for the rest of 2022, with a 60 percent chance of La Niña over the coming months. Source: JMA, issued on August 10. La Niña increases the likelihood of above average rain and below-average daytime temperatures over large areas of northern and eastern Australia during spring. With the landscape still holding a lot of water from the first half of 2022, flooding will be an elevated risk over eastern and southeastern Australia in the next few months.
Weather in Business
11 Jul 2022, 3:11AM UTC
Record month for wind power in Australia's National Electricity Market
New data shows June was one of the best ever months for renewable energy in Australia’s National Electricity Market and a record-breaking month for wind power. June 2022 was a relatively dry and cool month for much of eastern and southeastern Australia, with frequent periods of strong winds and clear skies. NSW registered its driest June since 1986, while Sydney and Brisbane had their sunniest June since 2004. This abundance of sunshine and wind created an ideal month for renewable energy generation in the National Electricity Market (NEM). The combined generation of solar (rooftop and utility), wind and hydropower across the NEM in June 2022 was 5,969 Gigawatt hours (GWh). This is the third highest monthly volume of renewable energy generation in the NEM in records dating back to 1998. Wind power Wind power had a record-breaking month in the NEM, with 2,527 GWh of generation in June 2022 beating the previous monthly record of 2472 GWh from July 2021. Victoria also set a new record for wind power in June this year, with 1,073 GWh easily surpassing the state’s previous record of 922 GWh from July 2021. Solar Power Solar power also had a strong month, with rooftop generation in June outperforming May 2022, despite May usually being the sunnier month. This was the first year on record where June rooftop solar generated more power than May. Utility solar also continued to see strong growth, producing 589 GWh in the NEM during June 2022, which was a big step up from 445 GWh in June 2021. Hydropower While June was a very dry month for large areas of eastern and southeastern Australia, an abundance of rain earlier in the year ensured that there was plenty of water available for hydropower. The NEM received 1,885 GWh of electricity from hydropower in June 2022, which was the 8th highest monthly value in 283 months of records dating back to 1998. The combination of favourable weather and continued growth in the sector caused June 2022 to be an exceptional, and in some cases record-breaking month for renewable energy in the NEM.
21 Jun 2022, 3:53AM UTC
La Nina floods make NSW ports too fresh for ships
La Niña has had a surprising impact on shipping operations in NSW this year, with increased freshwater outflows from flooded rivers affecting the behavior of ships entering some ports. Ships entering tidal ports in NSW are affected by local weather conditions, tides and waves, which can all affect a vessel’s ability to enter and operate safely within a port. One of the important things to consider when allowing larger vessels to enter NSW ports is the tide, which needs to be high enough to allow deep drafted vessels to enter, navigate and exit a port safely. This year, the window of time where water levels are high enough for ships to enter some NSW ports has been reduced by enhanced freshwater inflows from heavy rain and flooding. Image: Rainfall between January and May 2022 was in the top 10 percent of historical records for most of eastern NSW, with some areas receiving their highest rainfall on record for this period. Source: Bureau of Meteorology Freshwater is less dense than salt water, which allows ships to sit lower in the water. The prolific flooding seen in parts of eastern NSW earlier this year caused huge injections of freshwater into the coastal zone, which decreased salinity and affected shipping operations. According to Philip Perkins, Meteorologist and Sales Executive of Ports, Offshore and Safety at Weatherzone, "port users and operators at river-based terminals have been impacted by summer and autumn rainfall. “During high river flows water salinity is reduced. This means vessels can behave differently, resulting in elevated risk to vessels even at berth. Even when secured properly, berthed vessels can be impacted by passing traffic in the terminal.’’ In addition to the safety of ships, decreased salinity at river-based terminals can also reduce the window of time where larger vessels can enter these ports. In some cases, this may force ships to wait for the next high tide before entering or departing the port. Fortunately, river levels and discharge rates have now returned to more normal levels in eastern NSW. However, the ongoing influence of La Niña and a developing negative Indian Ocean Dipole increases the risk of more flooding in the months ahead. With the ground still holding a lot of water, any periods of heavy rain this winter and spring are likely to cause flooding, which may have immediate impacts on shipping operations.