Climate, Weather and Emergencies

We did end up getting some thunderstorms this afternoon. Nice lighting display.


So much for only 20mm being forecast

Screenshot 2023-03-12 at 17.35.48

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Its only a forecast… will never always be right.

Enjoy it Tamworth, it might be the last substantial drop for some time there.

The next drought has probably already begun in southern and central NSW. It’s not just the bushfires but the overall feel of things. The cool changes are dry and almost cloudless here now, whereas in 2022 every change brought severe storms and/or rain. The temp in Bungendore the other day went from just above freezing to a max of 26C which is desert like. I feel we’re in for a long couple of years (at least) down here.

It’s alarming (but not surprising) how quickly things have changed. The rain in northern NSW and QLD right now is probably the last gasp of the wet phase; unfortunately it’s not spreading much south of Tamworth (which isn’t all that far from Hill End which had the worst bushfire).

Another heatwave looks like descending on NSW at the end of the week too…Thursday is looking very concerning with temps in the low 30s here and mid-high 30s at lower elevations, combined with deathly dry westerlies. We will play the bushfire roulette once again.

This article from Tom Saunders is pretty good and I agree with him. If the climate ducks don’t align for wetter conditions (as in 2020-2022), record heat and dry are near certain regardless of El Nino:

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No one is expecting the forecast to be perfect, but we’ve seen quite a number of forecasts (especially for rain) that have been significantly different from what is observed, which has significant consequences for preparing for these events to occur.

Yep, absolutely.
Interestingly, I went back and had a look at archived forecasts for Mackay, QLD for all times 20mm of rain or more has been recorded over the last 6 months and what was forecast.

Turns out the BOM only predicted the forecast amount correctly 29% of the time.

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Joint Typhoon Warning centre has just put another number on a likely cyclone forming out in the pacific islands again.

Still too early at this stage to see direction. Models have it going in all directions so hard to say anything at the moment re direction.

SE QLD looks like it will get a bit of rain next week regardless looking at some forecasts.

Isn’t that being a bit selective?

Including days of no rain (and what was forecast) would give a truer and fairer picture.


The tropics including CQ are having a much better wet season than last year.

Our driest months have still been 20mm below the median .

Cyclone Freddy first formed on February 4 off the northern coast of WA and travelled west across the Indian Ocean over the next month. It could be the longest-lasting tropical cyclone in the southern hemisphere, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Are our summers starting and finishing later?

Here in eastern NSW, the hot weather doesn’t seem to start until after Christmas these days and now it seems to be going into late March and even April… The temps have been higher lately than in recent months, though thankfully less humid.

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Not necessarily, it’s just that hot weather can rear its ugly head for a greater proportion of the year than in years past. The incessant rain and cloud over the continent caused by the negative Indian Ocean Dipole and La Nina combo in late 2022 effectively switched off Australia’s ‘heat engine’ to the NW. Now it’s nothing but sunshine and unfortunately the monsoon hasn’t dipped far enough south over WA, so heat has built unchecked.

The proximate cause of the hot March is a negative Southern Annular Mode (SAM) which encourages more westerly winds over SE Australia, bringing dry and hot conditions to NSW as the westerlies have to cross too much land. The only place a negative SAM benefits in summer is western Tasmania and indeed, conditions have been fairly wet there recently.

Details on the current negative SAM event:

The strongest since winter and possibly the strongest summertime negative SAM since Black Summer. A strongly negative SAM was also the proximate driver of Black Summer, in turn caused by a stratospheric warming over Antarctica. Thankfully the SAM is predicted to be more neutral in the coming weeks so easterlies could make a comeback.

Western Tasmania is less affected by the bad moods of IOD/El Nino/SAM than the mainland, so it might be a good climate refuge in future. You have to like rain but I’d rather it be too wet than too dry I think. Hobart and the SE are still quite prone to long dry spells and heat spikes.

Another bad bushfire yesterday, this time a little closer to home:

The BOM Climate Driver Update does not make for good reading; it’s likely that El Nino will work in concert with a positive Indian Ocean Dipole to produce hot and dry conditions for the remainder of 2023. A late starting summer next time round seems very unlikely; I’d say Sydney and Newcastle will possibly reach 30C in August this year.

Oh god. No no no no…

Tomorrow will be very, very hot in Victoria. It will be 36C in Bendigo and 37C in Melbourne. There is also a total fire-ban in western and central areas, with the Wimmera, South-West, Central and North Central areas on extreme fire risk, and the rest of the state on high. The weather will feel more like a game at the cricket than the AFL.

Joshua Dawe described it on a story about the AFL on Nine Afternoon News Melbourne that “the players will be stepping into a furnace” for the North Melbourne vs. West Coast game. Speaking of that game, the roof will also be closed at Marvel Stadium.

On the BOM site, it describes Melbourne’s weather as “Becoming windy, partly cloudy” with a wind image. Wind + heat = bushfires which makes it even worse. Stay safe everyone.

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Welcome to NSW. We’ve had a day like that every week for the past 6 weeks or so.

Would not like to be playing footy in it. Serves them right for starting before the March equinox!

The outlook is looking better after a horrid Sunday here- which has a fair chance of breaking Canberra’s all time record maximum temperature for March (currently 37.5).

I am from the Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand and as you would have heard, we have been hit by a swarm of light to weak earthquakes during the wee small hours of this morning (18 March).

The first was a magnitude 3.4 tremor at 3.29am NZ daylight time (NZDT). It was three kilometres deep and 25 kilometres southwest of Whakatane, near Kawerau.

Since then, GeoNet had recorded more than 40 earthquakes as of 5.25am NZDT.

The strongest was a magnitude 4.8 at 4.46am NZDT. Another quake was magnitude 4.6.


I’d like to hope this weather in Qld is not still here in a month.

The min temp was 27 deg in Yeppoon . Brisbane had a humid 36 deg yesterday

We are getting cooler SE winds from today but I hope we see temps closer to average in April.

May here averages 24 deg days and 15.7 deg nights … last year nights were 4 deg above normal due to La Nina so hopefully May will be more normal this year.

Usually after the equinox it gets cooler … fingers crossed.

Just this damn humidity can go away … no storms or rain to get rid of it … but the winds are picking up this week along the Qld coast so that should help move the air about.

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Move south, you can do it!

Just to make you jelly, a 3C morning here. Nice to have in the middle of a heatwave. Expecting record or near record temps tomorrow, though.


We have SE winds and normally they feel cooler but I guess because sea temps are warm all along the Qld coast they don’t . Higher dew points too.

Wonder when we will see it cool down … given the equinox is tomorrow.

Or will it be a short winter and start heating up in late August type set up ?