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Amazing Australian Weather
Australian weather can vary from torrential downpours to sand storms...
These figures have forced the Federal Government
to defend its action on climate change and global warming.
This is the current weather around Australia.....
Some national Australian weather facts
Coldest place: Charlotte's Pass in the Snowy Mountains
in New South Wales has recorded temperatures as low as minus 22
Australia has its own version of the mad twister chasers in the U.S. ; the Severe Weather Association.
A chilly day in the Northern Territory
During March 2004 another phenomenal amount of rain came down causing widespread landslides all along the coast, the highway between Cairns and Port Douglas was cut off and north of the Daintree river there were landslides too numerous to count, the photo below shows one of them on the infamous Bloomfield Track ;
And in March 2010 the infamous Cooper Creek crossing
claimed another victim as you can see on the video below.
The last car to get lost at Cooper Creek was in January 2011, which was vry ironic as a day later the new bridge opened up so this hazard is a thing of the past now, Cape Tribulation finally has year round all-weather access.
Cyclones are a seasonal hazard in northern Australia. They form over the ocean during the summer time/wet season and can build up to phenomenal strength, weather bureaus watch them carefully and a system of warnings is in place to keep residents up to date and give them as much warning as possible. Most towns and cities have offical cyclone shelters for residents who think their house may not be up to strength, even though tough building regulations exist in these areas. Once cyclones hit land they quickly lose strength so are mainly a problem for coastal communities.
Cyclone Ingrid formed in the Coral Sea in February
2005 and slowly headed for the north Queensland coast. Wind gusts
of up to 290 km/h were reported near the centre and at first it
was headed for the Cape Tribulation area but later hit the coast
much further north and passed over the sparsely populated top part
of the Cape York peninsula without doing too much damage.
But once it had crossed and hit water again on the west side it intensified again and started heading for Darwin. On the way there it ripped through a pearling fleet of six vessels causing more than $1 million damage at Gove, in north east Arnhem Land but instead of hitting Darwin, which had already been wiped out once by cyclone Tracy ( see below), it hit the Tiwi islands north of Darwin with winds of up to 235km/h and torrential rain where it ripped off roofs, knocked out electricity and communications, flung huge trees around, damaged and sunk boats, but remarkably nobody was killed or injured.
On Christmas Day 1974 the city of Darwin was hit by cyclone Tracy. Normally people are given warnings a long time before a cyclone hits and people get prepared for it but most of the Darwin residents were too busy celebrating Christmas ( with the usual alcohol that Darwin was infamous for) so when the full force of Tracy hit most people were taken by surprise. Countless houses were totally destroyed, numerous ships sunk in the harbour and all communications were cut so the rest of the country didn't even know until a radio-amateur dug some gear out of his cellar and contacted someone in Sydney after which the rescue operation swung into action. As many people as possible were immediately evacuated on some record breaking flights to Adelaide,( planes do not usually have passengers sitting in the aisles). The death toll was not as high as one would expect considering the devastation though there are people that claim lots of bodies were dumped in massgraves and not counted. In the Darwin Museum in the suburb of Fannie Bay there is a big display on Tracy where you can get some idea of the impact of this event, there are photographs of the damage like steel powerpoles twisted like cork screws and someone found his fridge a mile down the road embedded in a watertank several metres off the ground. There is also a sound room where you can get to experience what a cyclone sounds like, a strong warning is posted on the door for people that have actually been through the cyclone to think twice about going in there.
Click here for some chilling eye-witness accounts of cyclone Tracy.
In the wet season Darwin receives some incredible lightning storms and photographers have traveled a long way specially to photograph this spectacular phenomena. It is also great for office workers as often after a lightning strike electricity will drop out giving a great excuse to have a coffee and a cigarette and wait for the computers to start working again.
In March 2010 this freak phenomena occurred in Lajamanu, about 550km southwest of Katherine in The Northern Territory.
A local resident who took photos of the fish said that hundreds of small white fish, probably spangles perch, had fallen from the sky and they were still alive when they hit the ground. Lajamanu sits on the edge of the Tanami Desert and is many miles away from the nearest bodies of water, but still it is not the first time this remote community has been bombarded with fish, it has happened before in 2004. The weather bureau said that in a tornado fish and watercan get sucked up very high - up to 60,000 or 70,000 feet.
Most people only picture golden beaches and sunshine when they think of the Gold Coast but in October 2005 a massive hail storm struck the Gold Coast. The area was pounded by a furious storm that dumped hailstones the size of tennis balls which caused a $50 million damage bill.
If you want to learn more about weather, forecasts and meteorology visit this education page at www.bom.gov.au
The tiny Queensland outback town of Burketown is home to a phenomenon only found in one other place in the world ( the Gulf of Mexico); the Morning Glory. Towards the end of the dry season this strange cloud formation will form and like a giant tube will roll over the town.
In the outback there are sometimes sandstorms so huge that the entire east coast of Australia disappears in to a mist, in 2009 places such as Sydney turned red and even New Zealand got a dusting!
On 14 April 1999 the eastern suburbs of Sydney were struck by an unprecedented severe hailstorm causing extensive damage estimated of the order of $1Billion, making it possibly Australia's costliest ever natural disaster. The storm was also highly unusual in meteorological terms, it produced some of the largest hail ever recorded in Sydney and occurred at a time of year when severe thunderstorms are normally rare. Hail stones of 9cm in diameter hammered down on the eastern suburbs for five and a half hours. Chaos reigned, roofs of houses had been smashed and there were not enough tarpaulins in Sydney to cover them all up. Some home owners had to wait up to a year to get their roof fixed as there were just not that many roof tiles in Australia to replace all the smashed roofs, tradesmen had to be flown in from all over the country. Car owners faced a long wait for new windscreens as they had to be manufactured or imported as demand far exceeded the stocks held in Australia. If the car was worth fixing that was, many cars were just written off alltogether.
If you do some traveling through the outback you are
bound to see at least one of those; a dust-gathering, spiralling
wind that occurs from time to time in Australian deserts and the
outback, basically a mini-tornado but small enough to be harmless.
Have you experienced some amazing Australian weather? Then contact us and send us your pics!!