Showing posts with label weather. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weather. Show all posts

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Yes, it's been a bit wet recently...

On Thursday 7 January 2021 the Yamba Pilot Station recorded a total of 34.4mm of rain and this was followed the next day by rainfall of 22.8mm.

Up to 11 January 2021 the pilot station recorded a total of 81.9mm of rain. 

The Daily Telegraph, 11 January 2021:

Last year was a hot and wet one for the Clarence Valley, with some rainfall records broken and above average temperatures recorded.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Wooli Beach set a new record in total rainfall, with 2201.6mm recorded in 2020, eclipsing the previous record of 2004.8mm in 2011.

Grafton Research Station also had its wettest year since 1959, with 1600.2mm recorded.

Yamba’s Pilot Station had 1746.6mm of rainfall in 2020, which was about 20 per cent higher than the average annual rainfall total for the station.

Grafton Airport AWS had a total of 1527.8mm last year, a 33 per cent increase on the station’s rainfall average.

Meanwhile, Grafton experienced its third driest November since 1917 with just 7mm of rain recorded, immediately followed by its wettest December in 164 years of data, recording 513mm.

BOM senior climatologist Dr Lynette Bettio said for NSW, rainfall was above average for most of the state.

That was a real contrast to what we saw in 2019 with those extreme drought conditions across the state,” she said.

Starting to relieve some of those drought conditions we saw good rainfall at the start of the year which helped out with those winter crops but we do still need to see more rainfall in the coming months to really relieve that long-term drought that we did see in 2019 but it was a good start…..

Monday, 14 December 2020

Comes December 2020, comes a La Niña rain dump


This was the outlook on the NSW North Coast last Saturday evening…..

The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 December 2020:

Tens of thousands of residents in northern NSW were on high alert on Saturday evening ahead of wild weather expected to arrive late on Sunday and into Monday.

Sandbagging was under way and some residents were relocating to higher ground as the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers regions braces for torrential rainfall and potential major flooding over the next 48 hours.

A deepening trough over the state was also expected to be accompanied by damaging winds gusting up to 90km/h and a damaging surf as waves were set to exceed five metres.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned abnormally high tides could lead to coastal inundation and significant beach erosion north from Ballina.

It said rainfall was likely to be heavier in localities affected by severe thunderstorms. "This may lead to dangerous flash flooding,” it said.

The community of Ocean Shores, near Byron Bay, was caught without warning by flash flooding on Saturday afternoon.

An hour of pelting rain saw the streets inundated with whitewater in the coastal town.

The greatest concern in NSW looking ahead is for low lying properties that flank the Bellinger River, south of Coffs Harbour…..

The NSW SES urged people in flood-prone parts of the Bellingen region to relocate to the homes of family or friends outside the impact area….

A string of other areas across the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers were also on flood watch on Saturday.

Catchments likely to be affected include:

Tweed and Rouse Rivers minor to moderate flooding

Brunswick River and Marshalls Creek minor flooding

Wilsons River minor to moderate flooding

Richmond River minor flooding

Orara River moderate flooding

Coffs Coast minor flooding

Nambucca River minor to moderate flooding

Hastings River minor flooding

Authorities warned high water levels due to spring tides added to the risk of flooding in low lying areas…...

From Friday 11 to Saturday 12 December, although at least 108mm of rain had fallen on the Clarence Coast and at least 125mm inland in the Grafton area, the rain had not been accompanied by destructive storms and the Clarence River system was in no danger of heavy flooding.

Evans Head on the coast which received 158.6mm of rain in the same period appeared to be weathering the rain dump reasonably well.

Early Monday morning after a day and night of continuing rain, strong winds, high seas and king tides the northern coastline of New South Wales was bruised and battered.

Gale warnings continue for waters from the Coffs Coast up to the Tweed Coast and into south-east Queensland.

The rain dump continues to sit on top of north-east NSW and the Bureau of Meteorology states that more heavy rainfall is expected, along with:

DAMAGING WINDS, with winds averaging 60-70 km/h and gusts exceeding 90 km/h are possible along the coastal fringe north from about Yamba, possibly extending south to about Crescent Head on the Mid North Coast during the day. 

DAMAGING SURF, with waves exceeding 5 metres in the surf zone can be expected, extending south to Port Macquarie during the day, possibly leading to significant beach erosion. 

ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES are expected along the coast north from about Ballina during this morning's high tide, which may lead to localised coastal inundation. The combination of Damaging Surf and Abnormally High Tides may enhance the risk of significant beach erosion north from about Ballina. 

A Flood Watch is current for the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers and Flood Warnings have been issued for the Tweed, Wilsons, Bellinger and Brunswick Rivers, 

See for the latest Flood Watch/Warnings. 

Locations which may be affected include Tweed Heads, Byron Bay, Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Sawtell and Dorrigo.

Overnight, there were over 700 SES call-outs along the Mid North and Far North Coast regions. 

As yet the NSW Road Traffic Authority is not reporting any road closures for main roads and highways.

It is being reported that by Tuesday 15 December 2020, three day totals of 300-600 ml are predicted to fall across the North Coast.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Water Security State of Play: NSW Northern Rivers December 2020


As of 26 November 2020 an estimated 80.5 per cent of the NSW Northern Rivers region was not in drought. However, 1 per cent of the region was in full-blown drought, another 10 per cent drought affected and 8.2 per cent recovering, according to the NSW Dept. of Primary Industries.

By 2 December urban water supply in the region was coping but beginning to fall markedly. 

Clarence Valley Council sources its urban water from the Shannon Creek Dam and the Nymboida River Weir. Currently Shannon Creek Dam is at 84 per cent capacity and water flow at Nymboida Weir is well below safe extraction level. Level One water restrictions are in place across the valley.

Ballina Shire Council, Byron Shire Council, Lismore City Council and Richmond Valley Council all principally source their urban water through Rous County Council. The two dams in this cluster are currently at 90 per cent (Rocky Creek) and 89 per cent (Emigrant Creek). With Mullumbimby in Byron Shire sourcing its water from council’s own Laverty’s Weir. Everyday water restrictions apply in all four local government area ie., recommended water use of 160 litres per person per day.

Kyogle Shire Council draws its urban water from a weir on the Richmond River, a natural weir pool on Tooloom Creek and the small Petrochilos Dam with under gravel pump extraction from nearby Peacock Creek. Level One water restrictions are in place across the shire.

Toonumbar embankment dam on Iron Pot Creek about 30 kilometres west of Kyogle was at 55.7 percent of capacity on 30 November 2020.

Tweed Shire Council draws its urban water from the freshwater section of the Tweed River at Bray Park Weir, Clarrie Hall Dam and the weir pool on Tyalgum Creek (Oxley River). Due to low rainfall the Tyalgum district is now on Level Two water restrictions.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology rainfall and temperature predictions for January to March 2021 show that though the rest of summer may be hot across much of the Northern Rivers region there is reason to hope that rainfall will be adequate to meet our needs.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

In Australia this summer "heatwaves may not reach the extreme temperatures of recent years, but may be longer duration and more humid, which can still have a significant impact on human health"

Heatwave Situation for Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday (3 days starting 30/11/2020)

Areas of low-intensity heatwave experienced through northern WA, central NT, most of QLD, northeastern SA and northern NSW. Areas of severe heatwave experienced in southern and western QLD and inland northern NSW. An area of extreme heatwave experienced in south central QLD and over the NSW border.

Clarence Valley Independent, 1 December 2020: 

Australia can expect a wetter than normal summer, but bush and grass fires cannot be ruled out completely, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Summer Climate Outlook released today. 

The outlook for summer has been issued as Australia continues to experience an active La Niña event which is expected to remain until at least the start of autumn. 

The Bureau’s Head of Operational Climate Services Dr Andrew Watkins said this means large parts of eastern Australia have an increased risk of flooding. “While the last three weeks have been dry in many parts of the country – due in part to unfavourable tropical weather patterns – it does not signal a weakening of La Niña. 

“Our climate outlook is the opposite of what we experienced last year in Australia. This summer, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland are expected to see above average rainfall, meaning we face an increased risk of widespread floods. 

Dr Watkins said that while the risk of bushfires isn’t as high as last summer, fires will occur. 

“There’s a great chance of grass fires in some areas as recent rain and warm weather have led to vigorous vegetation growth. South eastern Australia is one of the most fire-prone regions in the world. 

Even short periods of hot and dry weather increase the risk of fire in summer.” Dr Watkins said the outlook was also a reminder for communities to be prepared for heatwaves over the coming months. 

“Every summer we see heatwaves across southern Australia. This summer heatwaves may not reach the extreme temperatures of recent years, but may be longer duration and more humid, which can still have a significant impact on human health. 

“Daytime temperatures in summer are likely to be near average, but there will be periods of high heat combined with milder periods. 

“It’s important to keep up to date with the Bureau’s heatwave service.”.....

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Tropical Cyclone Uesi predicted to cause damaging seas along Australia's east coast as it weakens

Tropical Cyclone Uesi at Category Two level, Monday 10 February 2020

The Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre Port Vila, Vanuatu, has this particular cyclone tracking south west towards south-east Qld and the NSW North Coast as it weakens.

Weatherzone reported on 10 February 2020 that:

At this stage, there is a fair bit of uncertainty around the movement of this system from Thursday onwards, with a range of plausible scenarios. 
Some forecast models suggest that Uesi will move towards the southwest on Thursday and Friday, which would allow it to move closer to Australia's east coast towards the end of the week. If this happens, the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Uesi, most likely in the form of an extra-tropical cyclone, could cause direct impacts in eastern NSW or southeast Queensland. These impacts could include large and dangerous surf, strong winds and heavy rain. It's worth pointing out that dangerous wind and rain would only occur if the system gets close enough to the coast, while powerful surf can reach Australia even if the system stays well offshore.

The Weekly Times, 11 February 2020

According to the Fiji Meteorological Service, which is tracking Uesi, its current route should take it in a south-westerly direction towards the coasts of both New South Wales and Queensland. It could enter Australian waters as early as Thursday.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology also says there is a moderate chance the cyclone could turn southwest towards Australia on Thursday — giving odds of between 20%-50% the storm will enter the Coral Sea’s eastern region.

Issued at 2:37 am AEDT Thursday 13 February 2020. 
Refer to Tropical Cyclone Advice Number 7.

ABC News, 12 February 2020:

Tropical Cyclone Uesi could cause more havoc across the NSW coastline later this week, bringing swells of up to 5 metres. 

The news comes as the clean-up continues after the weekend's wild weather. 

The category three cyclone, which is passing north-east of New Caledonia, will track south-west towards the Tasman Sea and could cause increased swells, wind and rainfall as early as Thursday. 

ABC News weather journalist Graham Creed said the cyclone was expected to come closest to the coast on Friday and Saturday. 

"This may produce large swells, which combined with king tides may cause issues for beach erosion, as well as prolong the potential for locally heavy rainfall in showers and thunderstorms," he said....

The forecast at this stage is for swells of about 2 to 3 metres starting on the north NSW coast on Thursday and increasing to 3 to 5 metres on Friday....

By 8pm this evening, Thursday 13 February Cyclone Uesi will have dropped to a tropical low (while possibly maintaining an intensity equivilant to a Category 2 tropical cyclone) and is expected to sit less than 600km to the east of Tweed Heads as the crow flies.

At 2am Friday 14 February 2020 the tropical low is expected to be sitting further south less than 600km to the east of Moonee Beach.

Late Friday night the low will continue to track south before veering further away from the NSW coastline on Saturday.


*Image from Weatherzone, tracking map from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology & animated satellite image from NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

The utltra-absurd among the many politically absurd One Nation members is at it again.......

The Canberra Times, 21 October 2019:

The Bureau of Meteorology has again been accused by a One Nation senator of changing its data so it fits in with the narrative of climate change extremists.

The head of Australia's weather agency has fended off questions from One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts suggesting the bureau has changed data to fit a climate change narrative.
Senator Roberts has taken issue with a graph which he says can no longer be accessed on the Bureau of Meteorology's website, which had outlined the number of "very hot days" from 1920 to 2015.
"Firstly, I reject the premise of your overarching question," he said.

"The Bureau of Meteorology simply reports on the data which it observes.

"Integrity of our data is of the highest order and I stand absolutely, 100 per cent behind it."
It is possible Mr. Roberts has seen a graph based on BOM data but created by another agency or individual. A number of these graphs do exist on the Internet.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

The real reasons behind the push to dam and divert water from the Clarence River catchment

Whenever local government areas within the Murray-Darling Basin decide to renew their almost perpetual lobbying of federal and state governments for consent to dam and divert one or more rivers within the Clarence River catchment they usually have a hidden agenda accompanying their public call for fresh water for inland towns during times of water scarcity.
It has never been about needing water for towns which might run out of water by late 2020. Any new dam couldn’t even be ‘shovel ready’ in less than two to three years, while rushing construction would take a similar time period to complete and filling a dam would take more than three years on top of that – if it could be achieved at all in an Australian climate which has been drying for the last sixty years.
What these councils are really seeking is the means to grow their own local businesses and expand their own regional economies at the expense of Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour City current and future businesses and regional economies.
One of the mayors openly states that “water is the new currency” - echoing that other sentiment doing the rounds, ‘water is the new gold’.
Take these latest water raiding schemes……….
According to Daily News in Warwick Qld, Southern Downs Council has a wish list for growth; Councillor Marika McNichol said the council had a wish list of significant infrastructure projects that would shape, steer and secure the region’s future.“This is an ambitious list of projects, but also a list of essential infrastructure projects that will benefit our region and build a sustainable future for the Southern Downs,” Cr McNichol said.“Council has a strong long-term vision for the region which involves major infrastructure projects.”
On its own website this council stated; “Southern Downs Regional Mayor, Tracy Dobie said a number of exciting projects in the Southern Downs were due to commence or be completed, creating employment opportunities, encouraging population growth and stimulating strong economic activity,”
One of those proposed major infrastructure projects to allow economic expansion in this particular local government areas is a “Pipeline diversion of water from the Clarence River in NSW to Tenterfield, Southern Downs, Western Downs and Toowoomba”. This proposal is being submitted to Infrastruture Australia seeking funding to progress the interbasin-interstate water transfer scheme.

Access to water is seen as a key economic driver by Western Downs Regional Council. This includes being a driver of industry and business development as well as optimising tourism growth in the local government area.

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio told a journalist that; water is the limiting factor in population growth and food production in this area”. His letter of support for the application to Infrastructure Australia for a dam in the Clarence River catchment reads in part; As chair of Darling Downs South West Queensland Council of Mayors … I write to give the strongest of support to your council’s submission to the Australian Infrastructure Audit regarding long-term water security on the Darling Downs and NSW Border Ranges.”

Tenterfield Shire Council’s mayor told The Daily Examiner in Grafton NSW; “I have no problem supporting populations to support industry, but you cannot do it without infrastructure to secure water. These towns need to be supported, and especially where they are looking to expand. (Towns like) Warwick and Toowoomba should have had adequate water supply years ago and now we are playing catch up.” [my yellow highlighting]

Tenterfield Shire Council as part of the Northern New England High Country Regional Economic Development Strategy 2018-2022 supports the position that; “There is potential to dam both the Mole River in the western part of the Region and possibly one or more of the headwater tributaries of the Clarence River for irrigation water and the generation of hydroelectricity.”

Tenterfield’s Mole River proposal was tentatively costed sometime in the 1990s on the basis that private capital would build this dam and lease it back to either local or state government. The current proposal for a Mole River dam (20-40 per cent smaller than the original proposed water storage) is an initial 50/50 split between state and federal government.


The NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government’s State Infrastructure Strategy 2018-2038 points to a need to Identify investment options in the priority catchments of Gwydir and Macquarie”.

Gwydir Shire Council in its Gwydir Shire Economic Development Strategy 2017-2020 states an aim to; Manage water resources for a growing economy and environmental sustainability” as well as to improve/expand the Shire’s product base which includes the tourism potential of the Gwydir River and Copeton Dam.

The river and dam are seen as part of providing a Strong basis for growing the tourism sector and building visitation to the Shire’s towns and villages” - as well as being seen as “lifestyle advantages of the Shire.”

The development strategy also sees “access to plentiful water” as a prerequisite to growing local businesses and establishing new ones.

Seeing water as a mere commodity these Murray-Darling Basin councils and the federal government are pressuring the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government to such a degree that it is now considering altering planning and water legislation to allow NSW Water to have planning control over dam building and also allowing environmental safeguards to be overridden – in particular removing environmental/biodiversity assessments of proposed dam sites and potentially commencing construction before a cost-benefit analysis has been completed.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Grafton experienced more hot days in past 30 years

Grafton's average monthly rainfall 1959 to 2018:

Grafton's average water balance after the evaporation rate is accounted for:

Graphs from

It should be noted that longterm averages are a crude measurement tool and do not always reflect conditions experienced in specific years.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Food crises will affect tens of millions of people across the world this year, researchers warn

Reuters, 2 April 2019:

ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Food crises will affect tens of millions of people across the world this year, researchers warned on Tuesday, after war, extreme weather and economic woes in 2018 left more than 113 million in dire need of help.

Conflict and insecurity were responsible for the desperate situation faced by 74 million people, or two-thirds of those affected, in 2018, said the Global Network against Food Crises in its annual report.

The Network’s members include the United Nations’ Food aand Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme, and the European Union.

Analyzing 53 countries, it uses a five-phase scale with the third level classified as crisis, fourth as emergency and fifth as famine/catastrophe.

Luca Russo, FAO’s senior food crises analyst, warned that millions more are now at risk of reaching level three and above.

“The 113 million is what we call the tip of the iceberg. If you look at the numbers further down, you have people who are not food insecure but they are on the verge,” Russo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

These people, a further 143 million, are “so fragile that it just takes a bit of a drought” for them to fall into food crisis, he said.

“Unless we work substantially on these people and remove some of the drivers that can bring them to a worse situation, the overall numbers are likely to increase,” Russo added.

Of countries that suffered food crises in 2018, the worst affected was Yemen, where nearly 16 million people needed urgent food aid after four years of war, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo at 13 million and Afghanistan at 10.6 million.....

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Hottest March on record in Australia and hottest start to the year

ABC News, 1 April 2019:

Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), said March was a continuation of what we saw over summer in a lot of ways.

Not only was it the hottest March, but it has also been the hottest start to the year on record. By a lot.

"It's come in about 2.2 degrees above the long term for the first quarter of the year," Dr Trewin said.

"That's nearly a degree hotter than the previous hottest first quarter of the year.

"We've had the hottest January, we've had the hottest March and February was also in the top five."

Nearly a degree is a very large margin to break a record by.

"Even for an individual month that would be a very significant margin, but to be breaking a three-month-period record by nearly a degree is something which we would see very rarely, if ever in a continent the size of Australia," Dr Trewin said....

It may feel like the "hottest on record" headline is a constant these days but Dr Trewin said it was still not exactly normal.

"We're still getting the occasional cool months but the frequency of record warm months and seasons has gone up quite substantially in the last decade or so with the background long-term warming," he said.

"Whilst we've seen a particularly extreme few months, the background warming trend we see in Australia, as we do globally, is in the order of 0.1 to 0.2 of a degree per decade.

"Projections are that that's expected to continue at least at that rate," he said.
Key points:
o   March 2019 was the warmest on record for mean, minimum and maximum temperatures in Australia
o   Rainfall was below average through the centre of the country but well above average where cyclones hit
o   Outlook for the next three months suggests continued above-average temperatures