Troughs are triggering showers & storms in the NT, QLD & far northern NSW. A low and troughs are generating rain in eastern VIC & southeastern NSW. Drier winds driven by highs are keeping elsewhere generally dry & settled.
Weather in Business
Today, 1:55AM 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 The shifting climate is bringing increasingly severe weather events, so it’s time to safeguard your business against the potential damage lightning can cause. Our Total Lightning Network is the intelligent solution that goes above and beyond to increase your lead time before the storm hits. We ultilise a vast global sensor network, created with our partner Earth Networks. Over 1200 sensors in 40+ countries provide a worldwide view of both intra-cloud (IC) and cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning strikes, enabling businesses to plan and respond with the most precise insight available. Offering unsurpassed accuracy, with real-time detection to <200m, we integrate with your existing systems to keep your enterprise operating within your defined severe weather thresholds. Leave nothing to chance. Be confident working outdoors with the most sophisticated lightning alerting system, delivering intelligence to any device across your business network. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.
Today, 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
30 Nov 2023, 9:14PM UTC
Summer 2023-24 outlook for Australia
Australia has entered summer 2023-24 under the influence of a moderate El Niño and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole. So how will these climate drivers influence Australia’s weather throughout the season and what can you expect to see in your part of the country during the next three months? Climate drivers this season The main climate drivers that affect Australia’s weather on a seasonal scale are the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). El Niño lingering The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is currently in an El Niño phase, which has been occurring for several months and is likely to persist throughout summer. El Niño has a strong influence on Australia’s weather during winter and spring, typically causing below average rain and above average temperatures. However, the maps below show that El Niño’s influence on Australian rainfall declines in summer. Images: Observed rainfall deciles in winter-spring (top) and summer (bottom) during 14 El Niño events between 1905 and 2015. Source: Bureau of Meteorology. While El Niño has less influence on rainfall in summer, it does still promote above average temperatures across most of the country, particularly during the night. Images: Observed mean maximum (top) and minimum (bottom) temperature deciles during 13 El Niño events between 1905 and 2015. Source: Bureau of Meteorology. Positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is in a positive phase as the start of Australia’s 2023-24 summer. This event is expected to persist into December but should break down quickly when the monsoon arrives in norther Australia. Most forecast models suggest the positive IOD will come to an end in January. The positive IOD will increase the likelihood of above average temperatures and below average rain in some parts of Australia during December, before losing its influence from January. Southern Annual Mode (SAM) The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is expected to be in a neutral phase during the opening fortnight of summer. However, El Niño events can increase the likelihood of negative SAM phases, so neutral to negative SAM episodes are the most favoured phases this summer. A neutral SAM has little influence on Australia's weather, while negative phases are typically associated with abnormally warm and dry weather for most of southeastern Australia, with the exception of western Tasmania. Image: Typical impacts of a negative SAM in summer, with stronger westerly winds causing below average rain over much of southeastern and eastern Australia, and wetter-than-average weather in western Tas. Climate Change In addition to the climate drivers mentioned above, Australia’s weather will be influenced by the background effects of climate change this summer. Australia’s mean national temperature in summer has warmed by 1.47ºC since 1910. The strongest warming trend in summer over the last 50 years has been over Australia’s central and eastern inland. There have also been some notable trends in summer rainfall over the last five decades. Since 1970, summer rainfall has declined over large areas of Qld, NSW and parts of Vic, Tas, SA and the NT, and increased over parts of northern, western and southern Australia. Image: Observed trend in summer rainfall between 1970 and 2022. Source: Bureau of Meteorology. Temperature Temperatures are expected to be generally higher than average for most of Australia this summer. El Niño also brings an increased risk of higher temperature extremes, but a lower risk of prolonged heatwaves in southern parts of the country. If negative phases of the SAM develop this summer, which is to be expected under El Niño, parts of Tasmania and Victoria may see temperatures remaining closer to the long-term-average. With the combined influence of El Niño, negative phases of the SAM and climate change, this summer has an increased chance of producing seasonal average temperatures that rank in the top 10 percent of historical records for some parts of Australia. Rainfall Rainfall may be slow to get going in some parts of Australia this summer in response to a delayed monsoon in northern Australia and the tail end of the positive IOD. However, once the wet season ramps up in the tropics, some parts of the country could see near to above average rain through the middle and latter part of the of the season. Northern Australia is the most likely area to see below average rain this summer, due to its ongoing link to El Niño at this time of year. Elsewhere, rainfall will be more strongly influenced by local sea surface temperatures and the Southern Annular Mode. With the potential for warmer-than-average water temperatures around most of Australia and negative phases of the SAM, rainfall could be near or above average in southern and southeastern Australia this summer. Abnormally warm sea surface temperatures in the Tasman Sea should bring an increased risk of flash flooding over eastern Vic and eastern NSW this summer, especially with storms. Thunderstorms Summer is the peak season for thunderstorms in northern Australia, eastern areas of Qld and NSW and the western inland of WA. Image: Average lightning density in Australia during summer, displayed as lightning pulses per square kilometre per season, based on observed lightning between 2015 and 2021. This season is likely to see reduced thunderstorm activity over northern Australia due to El Nino’s suppression of wet season. By contrast, thunderstorms are likely to be more active than usual over eastern Australia, including Qld, NSW and Vic, partially in response to warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures off the country’s east coast providing more fuel for storms. Thunderstorm activity should be near average over the rest of the country, including central, southern and western Australia. Any severe thunderstorms that develop outside the tropics this season will bring an increased risk of damaging wind gusts and dry lightning this summer. Fire There has been prolific vegetation growth in some regions on the back of three consecutive years of La Niña and wetter than average conditions. This vegetation has been drying out this year after a record-breaking dry spell in the first two months of spring and unusually warm temperatures in recent months. Fortunately, increased rain and thunderstorm activity in November has helped increase root zone soil moisture in parts of eastern Australia, which will help mitigate the fire risk in some areas heading into summer. Despite this recent rain, the warm and dry conditions forecast in summer brings an increased fire risk to large areas of NSW, Qld and the NT, and parts of SA, TAS, VIC, especially in areas that missed out on heavy rain in November. Normal fire risk is forecast for the ACT after a wet November and normal summer rainfall forecast. Tropical Cyclones This season will be influenced by a moderate El Niño event that is predicted to persist until at least the end of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer. This increases the likelihood that Australia will see a below-average number of tropical cyclones over the next few months. In an average season there are usually 9 to 11 tropical cyclones in the Australian region. During El Niño, this average drops to 7 to 8 tropical cyclones. It’s important to point out that a quiet season in terms of overall numbers does not mean it won’t be a dangerous season. It only takes one landfalling tropical cyclone to cause damage to communities and infrastructure in northern Australia. At least one tropical cyclone has made landfall in Australia every year since reliable records began. Summary This summer will be influenced by El Niño, a decaying positive IOD, predominantly neutral to negative phases of the SAM and the background effects of climate change. Temperatures will generally be warmer than average for most of Australia this summer, with an increased risk of heat extremes. Rainfall and thunderstorm activity will most likely be below average in the country’s north but may be close to or even above average in parts of southern and southeastern Australia. Drying vegetation will increase the risk of bushfires over large areas of eastern and central Australia this summer, along with pockets of the south and west. Tropical cyclone activity will most likely be lower than average due to El Niño, although tropical cyclones will still pose a risk to life and property in northern Australia this season.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.