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Troughs in the east and moist winds are generating showers across eastern QLD and eastern NSW. A trough in the west is producing showers and the odd storm for the Pilbara. A cold front is beginning to cross the west coast of WA, generating damaging winds and severe storms.




ShowersSydney NSW



Increasing SunshineMelbourne VIC



ShowersBrisbane QLD



Late ThunderPerth WA



Mostly SunnyAdelaide SA



Mostly SunnyCanberra ACT



Mostly CloudyHobart TAS



SunnyDarwin NT



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Latest News


Today, 3:40AM UTC

Blocking high over the southeast

Weather systems in the mid-latitudes tend to move around the earth from west to east. A system that passes across Western Australia often moves across eastern Australia several days later. However, sometimes a weather system, such as a high, becomes stationary and stays in place for several days. Such a feature is called an atmospheric block because it blocks the usual west-to-east flow of the atmosphere. That is what we are currently seeing with a high centered near Tasmania, which became established around Thursday 19. This pattern is called a blocking high and can be seen in today’s MSLP chart.  Image: Analysis chart for 4 am EST 22 May 2022 courtesy BOM Different atmospheric blocking events can cause a variety of impacts ranging from cold spells to heat waves, and from floods to short droughts. The current blocking high has been causing cold mornings in the southeast, favorable for fog and frost, with the BOM issuing frost warnings for Victoria and Tasmania over the past two mornings. At the same time, it has caused mild-to-warm conditions for the north and west of Australia. This can be seen in the following chart which shows the minimum temperature anomaly for Friday May 20. Image: Minimum temperature anomaly for 20th May courtesy BOM The high is also blocking cold fronts in the southeast, forcing them to move further south, keeping the southeast dry. At the same time, it is directing moist easterly winds from the Tasman and Coral Seas onto the east coast, fuelling showers, storms and rain. This can be seen in the rainfall totals of Saturday May 21 shown below. Image: Rainfall for 21st May courtesy BOM This high is expected to remain in place until a powerful cold front forces the high eastward over the Tasman Sea during Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th, allowing subsequent troughs and cold fronts to cross the southeast again and bring rain. You can read more about blocking highs and other climate influences at the BOM:  

21 May 2022, 3:35AM UTC

Cold front to smash Perth

Waves, wind and rain are all set to severely increase over the coming days as a cold front looms over Western Australia's southwest. An intense cold front arriving to the region on Sunday afternoon is expected to bring intense winds, waves, showers and storms to Perth and surrounding areas. But it's not a 'one-and-done' situation. These powerful weather conditions will persist until at least Tuesday, as a low-pressure system connected with this front intensifies as it sits off the coast.  While the exact movement of the low is difficult to pinpoint, gale-force winds are likely for the southwest. We could see wind gusts exceed 90km/h in some coastal areas, particularly on Tuesday, when the low-pressure system is at its strongest and nearest to the coast.   Image 1: Wind gusts on Tuesday morning (04:00 AEST) using ECMWF  With these damaging winds, comes large waves. Significant wave heights of 4-7 metres are also expected during this event, bringing hazardous surf conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology have already issued a gale warning for Sunday. Image 2: Significant wave heights on Monday evening (22:00 AEST)  Now, this cold front sounds pretty terrible already, but it gets even worse. There is also a reasonable amount of moisture associated with this system. As such, heavy showers and even gusty storms are possible as the bands of cloud push through. Models are in a bit of a disagreement as to how much rain will fall, but as it stands, rainfall totals between 20-80mm are expected, with some isolated falls possibly exceeding 80mm for coastal areas.  Image 3: Accumulated precipitation to Tuesday 22:00 AEST, using ECMWF  Conditions should start to ease late Tuesday and moving into Wednesday, as the low-pressure system and trough push further east. Showers could persist later in the week, as yet another cold front makes its way to the region, albeit much less intense.           


21 May 2022, 3:24AM UTC

A closer look at fog

As we head into the cooler months fog will become a more common sight, but what exactly is it?  In its simplest definition, fog is simply a cloud at ground level. More specifically it is microscopic water droplets suspended in the air near to the surface of the earth, reducing visibility to less than 1000m.  There are several different types of fog, with different mechanisms of formation, with radiation fog being one of the most common. Radiation fog is caused by radiational cooling overnight at and near the surface of the earth and requires a few key elements for its formation. Before we take a look at these key elements, we should first take a closer look at radiational cooling. Simply put, it is the cooling of the earth's surface, and near surface air, due to the loss of longwave radiation. At night more longwave radiation escapes to space than incoming shortwave radiation to the surface, resulting in a net cooling effect. The first of the key elements mentioned above is high relative humidity, providing the moisture needed to form fog droplets. The second and third elements are calm-to-light winds and rapid cooling. Look out for surface high pressure systems as these generally bring light winds, in addition to enhancing radiational cooling at the surface – ticking two of the key elements.   Clear skies are also a key factor in the formation of radiation fog. Cloud acts like a blanket, preventing long wave radiation from escaping to space and leading to a warmer surface. Warmer air can hold more moisture than cooler air and as such condensation is more unlikely to take place.  So how exactly does radiation fog form?  As daytime heating ceases, the earth's surface and the layer of air just above it begin to cool via a process called conduction. If there is enough water vapour in the air, and sufficient cooling at the surface, this low-level air will reach saturation.   It should be noted here that air is an extremely poor conductor of heat and as such only a very shallow layer near the ground is cooled. This is where light winds come into play. A slight breeze will help mix the air a little, with cooler air then being distributed through a deeper layer.  As cooling continues, near-surface air will condense onto objects as water droplets (known as dew). If the winds are too light, this is where the process ends, with only a few centimetres of the near-surface air cooled sufficiently. Conversely, if winds are too strong, warmer and drier air is mixed down, effectively stopping any condensation taking place.  If cooling continues however, with just the right amount of wind, excess water vapour in the saturated layer just above the surface condenses, forming fog droplets. As radiational cooling continues, the fog layer deepens and can reach a couple of metres deep.  Radiation fog is usually relatively short lived once the sun rises. As the sun slowly warms the ground throughout the morning, it warms the surface just above it, causing the water vapour (fog) to evaporate from the ground up. Whilst it is common to hear the phrase ‘burning off’ when referring to fog disappearing, in actual fact, it is more dissipating.  


Weather in Business


08 Mar 2022, 11:43PM UTC

How has this heavy rainfall impacted the aviation industry?

It has been a challenging week across NSW airports with heavy rain, thunderstorms, strong winds and low cloud all impacting the aviation industry. This week’s heavy rainfall has been caused by another East Coast Low which developed in the early hours of Tuesday morning. This system caused heavy rainfall and flooding across Sydney’s Northern Beaches, with Allambie recording 120mm in 7 hours to 4pm Tuesday, March 8. Sydney’s southwest has also seen heavy rainfall over the Georges River, prompting an evacuation of thousands of residents. Sydney airport's largest daily rainfall total this week was 80.2 mm to 9am on Tuesday, March 8, followed by an additional 44.8 mm up to 9am on Wednesday. Does this rainfall affect aircraft? Weather can significantly affect aircraft operations. Thunderstorms, heavy rain, low cloud and fog can all reduce visibility at or around airports, often causing delays and disruptions to flight schedules. While heavy rain doesn’t usually affect aircraft directly when it’s in the air, the winds that can be associated with heavy rainfall or thunderstorms can cause turbulence and pose challenges to pilots during the flight. Heavy rainfall itself does not cause too many disruptions on the ground either, however associated low cloud, wind and poor visibility can. On Tuesday afternoon, Sydney Airport's visibility dropped down to 1000 metres, with much of the sky covered by cloud bases sitting at around 900 feet, as heavy rain moved over the area. While each aircraft and airport have different criteria in which they can take off and land in, the visibility and cloud height observed on Tuesday afternoon is likely to have caused significant disruptions. Bad weather not only affects the number of planes that can land but can also reduce the number of aircraft that can take off during any given hour, disrupting flight schedules and causing delays. During periods of adverse weather, aircraft also must carry additional fuel, increasing the cost of each flight. Heavy rain or thunderstorms can produce strong wind gusts, as cool dense air moves towards the surface with the rainfall or hail. These gusts create turbulence and may cause issues as the aircraft takes off or lands. The historic rainfall and flooding event in the last fortnight caused some runways in NSW to be submerged in flood water. The image below shows parts of the runway underwater at Gold Coast Airport on Monday, February 28 2022. Image: Flooding affecting Gold Coast Airport QLD, February 28 2022 Source: @phil_mobbs How can Weatherzone help the aviation industry? Weather has a significant and wide-ranging impact on the aviation industry, and poor management of meteorological elements can have devastating effects on safety, operating costs and reputation. Weatherzone understands the aviation industry and the complex and stringent requirements in place, as well as the need to ensure operational efficiency is maximised. We provide a wide range of products and services that suit airports (ground operations), small regional carriers and some of the world’s biggest airlines alike. Whether the focus is on ground safety, optimising schedules, reducing diversions or managing logistics, Weatherzone’s Aviation services can help. For more information, please contact us at


14 Feb 2022, 3:00AM UTC

Ideal wind power week for the NEM

A series of low-pressure troughs and cold fronts will sweep across southern Australia this week, increasing wind power output in multiple states for several days. The map below shows a low-pressure trough stretching between SA, VIC and TAS on Monday morning, which was directing hot and gusty winds across southeastern Australia.   Image: Mean Sea Level Pressure (MSLP) at 11am on Monday, February 14, showing a trough sitting through SA and VIC. The highest wind gust recorded in VIC on Monday morning was at Kilmore gap, which gusted 67km/h at 11:51am, while across the border in SA, Cape Borda gusted 46km/h at 9:26am. These gusty northwesterly winds will continue over parts of SA, VIC and TAS on Monday, elevating wind power across wind farms in the National Electricity Market (NEM). Average wind speeds of 35-35km/h are forecast on Monday, with wind gusts peaking at 70-85km/h, particularly in elevated areas. The gusty winds are expected to ease from Monday evening, with wind power output expected to briefly drop. While wind will ease on Tuesday and Wednesday, the trough may generate severe storms across parts of VIC on Wednesday. These storms have the potential to produce locally damaging or destructive winds as well as heavy rain and large hail. A stronger cold front will then move across the region during Thursday and Friday, increasing wind power across the NEM once again as it moves through. The wind with this frontal system is set to be stronger than earlier in the week, with gusts peaking at around 75-90km/h. These strong and blustery winds will ease on the weekend as the cold front moves into the Tasman Sea and away from Australia. Are all wind speeds good for wind farms? Strong winds are usually great news for wind farms, because they allow more power generation. However, sometimes the winds can be too strong for wind farms to operate. There is a sweet spot when it comes to wind power. Wind gusts above 90km/h (25m/s) can damage the wind turbines and the propellers if they are spinning. Wind farms may have to turn the turbines off if the winds reach the ‘cut off’ wind speeds (25m/s) to ensure the strong winds do not damage the turbines. If the winds are too strong, wind power capacities may be reduced for lengthy periods of time when the turbines are turned off. On the other hand, if the wind is too light, it won’t turn the wind turbines enough to generate power. Fortunately for the wind farms across the NEM, this week’s winds are unlikely to reach the cut-out criteria, unless a severe thunderstorm passes over. This is good news for wind farms, with the turbines likely able to remain on all week, producing power. Where are the wind farms located in Australia? Australia is rich in renewable energy resources, with generation spread across all states and territories. The map below shows where wind, solar and hydro facilities are located across Australia, excluding the NT.   Image:Locations of most of Australia's wind, solar and hydro facilities. Wind power resources are abundant across most states and territories, with more being built each year. Weatherzone provides detailed wind power forecasts to our energy clients across Australia, for more information, please contact us at