Local Weather News - 2007 Entries

Just in case you want to look back on 2007, here it is.

28-12-07, Friday 9:15am: Hope everyone had a good Christmas. It looks like this very cool December will continue with average maximum temps currently around 3C below the long term average. With the onshore pattern set to continue, we are in for more mild to warm days this week and not much real heat. Still, we have been 'spoilt' for years with some very warm and dry summers up here so whilst it is cool and damp at present, the waterfalls and fernery etc are looking amazing. There will be sunny days of course but the general trend will be for more stormy days followed by misty ones!

22-12-07, Saturday 4:07pm: A pretty impressive frontal system indeed with excellent rainfall across numerous parts of western NSW. My gauge recorded 13.3mm to 9am this morning with some brief and moderately intense showers since then. You can see the cool air, convective field now moving into NSW which will guarantee a chilly morning tomorrow, with a minimum temp quite likely to be in single figures. There is a chance of some showers tomorrow but it shouldn't be too much.

21-12-07, Friday 1:30pm: A particularly strong frontal system is heading across the SE of Australia over the next twenty four hours. Strong winds, hail and intense shower activity could all be features of this system. For the upper mountains the weather will start to close in later today with possible heavy rain, strong winds and maybe hail. Keep an eye on the latest warnings on the main page.

14-12-07, Friday 9am: Well after a damp week and indeed a damp month or so, we are now in for some brief respite. A day or two of relatively fine weather is in store before the unsettled weather returns by about Sunday.

9-12-07, Sunday 8pm: A powerful looking storm passed over Blackheath some time after 2pm but only produced small hail and light rain as it was still developing. This storm may well have been related to the severe storm that formed across western Sydney - I haven't checked radar archives as yet - it brought large hail to my relatives house in Seven Hills. Head to the photos link above to view hail up to 7cm in diameter!

7-12-07, Friday 9:15am: Another day where the atmosphere is primed for some explosive development across the central ranges and indeed in other places too. Directional shear is reasonable throughout the layers and speed shear in the steering levels is also okay so even Sydney should see storms later. Add to this the healthy CAPE figures combined with lifted indexes well into the negatives and we have an environment ready for action. As usual, storms are scattered so not every town or area will see them but be warned, it could get a bit nasty later on. The weekend is also shaping up as a stormy time.

3-12-07, Monday 9:05am: Well, the atmosphere is primed for instability today across the central tablelands. Probably the only ingredient that isn't really strong is mid level wind shear, so storms will be more focussed on the ranges rather than in Sydney. Still, the city is a reasonable chance of seeing storms later today. Across the Blue Mountains we could see flash flooding, strong winds and possibly hail later this afternoon. As always, storms are isolated pockets of instability so not every area will see something. Regardless, its definitely a day to unplug your electrical equipment if you are away from the home or office for extended periods. And don't park your car under a gum tree!

3-12-07, Monday 9am: 305.3mm from my home office site was the November rainfall total in Blackheath. 290.8mm was the total from Mt Boyce AWS but this station missed at least one day due to a possible lightning strike and sadly this missed data can never be retrieved. In comparison, more records from Wombat Street in Blackheath show a total of 345mm for November. Even without considering the missing data from Mount Boyce, its still common to have varying rainfall figures over relatively small areas, especially in spring and summer. As we know, storms can be hit and miss and bring heavier showers to one spot and much less to another. Maximum November temps for my area at 19.5C were 0.2C below the average and our average minimum was 11C which was 1.5C above the average. This November also recorded the highest monthly rainfall ever for November at Mt Boyce (290.8mm) although its important to remember this is a short terms obs site that only dates back to the late 1980s.

1-12-07, Saturday 8am: Some extraordinary falls this month have left us with more than 300mm from my gauge for November. That is pretty rare up this way. The town is so green and the waterfalls are heavy. As time permits I will provide more details of the accumulations.

23-11-07, Friday 10:10am: The showers continued steadily last night until around 10pm but not with the intensity of earlier in the night. To 9am this morning, 41.4mm has fallen in my gauge with some light drizzle and mist since then.

22-11-07, Thursday 7:15pm: From about 6pm to 6:25pm tonight my gauge has recorded approximately 25mm of quite intense rainfall. Over 30mm has now been recorded this afternoon and its still raining moderately at present. Some of the cloud to ground lightning strikes have been ground shaking and very impressive.

22-11-07, Thursday 8:30am: 17.3mm overnight and that should be our total to 9am today. Some ground shaking thunder in town yesterday and last night but no hail of note. We did have two prolonged blackouts; one in the afternoon when thousands of homes were blacked out in the mountains and another blackout just after dinner. A storm in Katoomba brought quite intense hail at around 3pm but the hail wasn't large, from what I have heard. This was probably related to the lack of strong directional and speed wind shear in the storms yesterday. Today may be different. We have a significant upper cold pool that should interact with the surface trough to provide good instability across eastern NSW.

There is a very moist atmosphere through the layers, so large hail is not as likely as heavy rain. Still, its always good to be prepared for hail, just in case. Flash flooding could certainly be a feature as we move into today across the central tablelands. Lightning could also be signficant so be careful if you are out and about. Sydney also has a chance of hail storms (more likely smaller hail) and/or flash flooding as we move into the afternoon and evening. Lightning could also be a dangerous feature down there. As usual, storms are isolated or scattered in nature so not all areas will receive good falls. Still, I would certainly unplug electrical equipment today if you leave your home or office unattended.

21-11-07, Wednesday 11:48am: Today could get nasty over certain parts of NSW, especially across the NSW tablelands, including the Blue Mountains. Instability is particularly good across the ranges and directional and speed wind shear is better although not great. The instability factor and moisture levels seem to be the focus later today and could produce severe storms (flash flooding, possibly large hail and strong winds) across the tablelands and maybe even western Sydney although the chances there are not as good. The two limiting factors are mid level cloud cover which could inhibit convection and therefore reduce storm potency and also speed, wind shear which isn't strong. Weaker speed, wind shear can cause the storms to die before they reach western Sydney. Apart from storms, shower activity or indeed rain could get quite heavy this afternoon and into tomorrow in certain spots. Keep an eye on the storm warnings throughout the day.

20-11-07, Tuesday 7:30am: Storms have continued in the upper mountains with some superb lightning strikes, if you like that kind of thing. We have had some damaging lightning in Blackheath in recent days with strikes hitting the local tennis club, power poles and trees in town etc. Storm bases are quite close to us here thanks to our altitude so all storms are dangerous really, whether they are defined as such or not. About 23mm has fallen in my gauge since Friday. There is the chance of more storms today although upper temps are not that cold so general showery activity and perhaps some thunder are the likely result if storms do occur.

16-11-07, Friday 5:10pm Well, we've just been spoilt rotten again today. Some of the best flangs (simultaneuous lightning and thunder) I've seen in some time right here at the home office. We had around a dozen flangs within a few hundred metres of the office as the storm just sat over town for ages.

Flang number five was by far the best though. A fraction of a second before the thunder we had a large (about backyard pool size) flash and glow about 50 metres or so from the office at ground level that just exploded - I mean really exploded. Plenty of sirens in and around town at the moment and a helicopter too.

Subsequent thunder rocked the house. Only 4mm or so in the gauge and a bit of small hail (5mm size) but the lightning (moderately regular) was just detonating. Super CGs (cloud to ground lightning) and flangs. Just amazing.

15-11-07, Thursday, updated 5:50pm: Well, Blackheath got lucky this afternoon. A small storm formed just to our south at around 1:30pm and moved over town delivering over 6mm of rain and hail that was 5mm to 10mm in size. Lightning was irregular but a few decent cloud to cloud flashes occured. For a time the ground was quite well covered with hail but half an hour later most of it had melted. Those cold upper temps assisted in producing the hail but as the stearing winds (and updrafts) were fairly weak it was never going to be large hail. A similar setup may occur tomorrow so lets wait and see what eventuates.

15-11-07, Thursday , updated 9:50am: There is a chance of 'follow the sun' storms popping up later today. When stearing winds in the mid levels are weak, storms tend to head back to the west in the evening, deriving what energy they can from the sun. There might be a few rumbles and some showers around up here but I wouldn't expect too much as the more intense stuff might stay west of the Blue Mountains. Still, if it gets warm enough we could see some hail as upper temps are quite cold but probably not large hail.

9-11-07, Friday 3:15pm: 38.1mm for this current event since last Sunday afternoon. This takes us to around 120mm for the month so far. A nice contrast to October. Showers may continue into tomorrow but will slowly ease over the weekend before clearing up and getting warmer next week.

4-11-07, Sunday 9pm: Today was windy and dry as the low directed SW winds across the tablelands but there was good shower activity overnight to 9am this morning. 38.6mm fell to 9am today which takes our total for November to over 80mm. Looks like onshore patterns over coming days will bring cool to mild conditions with some mist or shower activity but nothing like the accumulations of the weekend. Later in the week looks promising again but lets see how it pans out.

3-11-07, Saturday 10:20pm: We've had a good accumulation from the storm just gone. Some very good cloud to cloud lightning firing away, shaking the house now and then. Most of our rain fell between 9pm and 9:15pm when we had around 15mm. Quite intense. That's around 17.5mm now since 9am today and 37.8mm for the 24 hours prior to that. Very welcome indeed. Looks like some more on the way tonight and tomorrow could be good as well. Our pond and water tank are now full and overflowing. And the frogs are loving it!

1-11-07, Thursday 9am: There is a chance of showers later today but this chance will improve into tomorrow with showers and storms being more likely. They could possibly be severe as moisture and instability increases in our area. The weekend also shows good promise of more showers and storms. You can already see moisture building up as it sweeps in from the NW of the country.

NB: There has been some debate of late about the occurence of tornadoes in this country and how to describe them. They do occur and more often than some folk may realise. There are a good number of tornadoes each year in Australia. Typically they are of the EF0 and EF1 variety in their strength and damage capacities. Contrary to media reports of late, there is no such thing as a 'mini tornado'. All tornadoes are dangerous. Dust Devils/Willy Willys are not tornadoes and form under a different dynamic although the stronger forms of these can cause some damage. Head to the Cold Climate Information link and view the links near the top of the page for more information on tornadoes.

29-10-07, Monday 10am: Strong winds overnight in Blackheath gusting locally to 90kph in my opinion although just up the road Mt Boyce AWS recorded slightly less than that. Another 1.4mm in some windy showers overnight in my gauge which takes the monthly tally to 25.9mm. By around Thursday we could get another trough/storm setup approaching the tablelands, more info on that as the week rolls on.

27-10-07, Saturday 4pm: For this event in Blackheath since Thursday afternoon there was a total of 18.5mm to 9am today and then a surprise little shower (intense for a few minutes) brought about another 2mm at 1pm today, so 20.5mm for this event in total from my gauge. That makes 24.5mm for the month so far.

27-10-07, Saturday 10:30am: Click on this link to view Jimmy Deguara's capture of a tornado at Dunoon near Lismore yesterday. You can view Jimmy's website at, Australia Severe Weather More storms are a chance for tomorrow across the central tablelands but at this stage moisture levels are not high so it might be more thunder and light rain than anything else. Still, there is a chance of moderate rain and plenty of lightning if a storm is nearby.

26-10-07, Friday 1:45pm: We've just had a ripper storm here in Blackheath. Some great cloud to cloud lightning and a super cloud to ground strike that appeared to hit a tree about half a kilometre away. Small hail but nothing impressive there. From around 12:50pm we had about 14 to 15mm of intense shower activity in fifteen minutes. It also looks like the Mount Boyce AWS was hit by lightning as it went down just as the storm started. Possibly more storms to come today. Take care all if you are out on the roads.

26-10-07, Friday 7:30am: Blackheath only received 3.8mm in the 10 hours to 7am this morning. Most of the storms yesterday were coming in roughly from the north and Whitton Ridge just south east of Lithgow tends to act as a bit of a block, directing the storms to the west and east of the upper mountains. Its also known as Browns Gap and Hassans Walls, the high ridge that you drive over in Hartley Vale on your way to Lithgow from Blackheath. For good storms to make it to the upper mountains from the north you need quite strong middle level winds. Today has the potential for some severe storms in the Blue Mountains and Sydney but again it will be a little dependent on the direction of the mid level winds for our area. Still, the upper low is very close now to our area (look at the sat loop) so storms could pop up quite quickly as a bit more warmth from the sun injects itself into the equation. I wouldn't be parking under trees today, that's for sure. Keep an eye on the latest warnings.

25-10-07, Thursday 2:05pm: Keep an eye on the satellite loop and radar this afternoon and evening. There is some chunky looking convection there that is delivering some good storms to various places. Hopefully we will see some of this in the upper mountains. Severe thunderstorm warnings could be issued here as the day rolls on.

25-10-07, Thursday 9:30am: To 9am this morning I've picked up 7.8mm for this event so far which is okay but not as much as I expected. Some areas out west picked up roughly double that. Not much thunder here yesterday but I could hear it out Lake Lyell way where some nice cloud to ground lightning was reported. Its just great hearing the parrots, currawongs and frogs here this morning. They are very happy indeed.

This mornings weather balloon sounding looks pretty benign over Sydney with the cool surface temps not helping and moisture profiles are not super either. Still, as the upper low moves closer it might improve down there. For the central tablelands, I'm liking that convection on the NW edge of the main cloud band as it heads roughly our way. It seems to suggest that optimal instability might move a little further south than the GFS forecasting model suggests. Keep an eye on the sat loop and any bright blobs of cloud as we move along today - they are the convective components of this system that are responding to the upper low. Radar should tell a story later today as well. I'd say there is a chance of some spots picking up 10 to 20mm but other places may only get drizzle or a few mm.

24-10-07, Wednesday 6:54pm: Well, a bit disappointing in Blackheath this afternoon. I recorded just under 2mm in my gauge. It has been misty and drizzly for most of the day though, which will help some of this dampness in the ground stay around. I was privately hoping for at least 5 to 10mm today but not to be. Some places did score that and more but Blackheath didn't do so well. Tonight and more notably tomorrow does look better as the upper cold pool moves closer to the coast. This should see it and the associated surface trough tap into coastal moisture and produce moderate falls across the ranges, in the 10 to 20mm range. Not every town or area will do well but it should be an improvement on this afternoon. Weatherzone meteorologist Tom Saunders via their news link is suggesting there could well be heavy rain on the ranges tomorrow. In my opinion moderate falls are the more likely outcome. Lets wait and see what tonight and indeed tomorrow brings. I hope Tom is right!

24-10-07, Wednesday 2:05pm: As I type there is a nice line of storms moving into the central tablelands. As usual, there is a hit and miss element to storm activity but I'd expect at least some Blue Mountains towns to see handy falls this afternoon and later on this evening. Hopefully these intial storms out west don't swing too far south before they reach us. Tomorrow has some good potential as well. Potential means little if it doesn't fall in the rain gauges but all we can do is watch and wait.

23-10-07, Tuesday 6pm: Okay, now for the boring technical stuff. Animated water vapour imaging suggests a nice NW moisture infeed for the upper low that is now moving towards western NSW as I type. South Australia has already seen flash flooding this afternoon and this is a good sign for NSW as far as good precipitation potential is concerned. The MLAPS forecasting model (it has a horizontal grid resolution of 12.5 kilometres so it can be better with the details) suggests optimal moisture will be most present by tomorrow afternoon. The upper feature should then be close enough to the central tablelands to trigger some nice showers and storms. Of course, convective precipitation is generally scattered or isolated in nature so not every town or indeed every farm will see handy accumulations. Still the signs on the sat pic are suggesting that quite a few spots across central and eastern NSW will see reasonably good rainfall tomorrow, perhaps even good rainfall. Lets cross our fingers and toes and eyes and hope that it comes off!

22-10-07, Monday 5:15pm update: The approaching system can now be seen on the sat pic and it should start to impact on the central tablelands by around Wednesday. Storms or shower activity could commence as early as Tuesday for more western parts of NSW but the central tablelands are more likely to see showers and/or storms on Wednesday and Thursday. Some areas could see quite good falls but showers will be scattered so not every area will do well. The trough looks set to linger for a couple of days and steering winds are not that strong so some good accumulations are certainly a possibility. Just as a guide, Weatherzone's Tom Saunders suggests 10-20mm is possible from the event over the eastern part of the state.

There will also be a chance of severe storms for some areas so keep an eye on the latest warnings as this event approaches. My water tank (around 4000L) is down to about half full and our ponds (collectively about 3000L) are also a little low. Who knows, we could get less than expected up here in the mountains but I certainly think its worth making sure everything (buckets, tanks, bins) are in readiness just in case we get a real good dump.

20-10-07, Saturday 12:30pm: Well, it looks as if finally some much needed rain will arrive for the Blue Mountains and indeed a number of places in NSW by the middle of next week. A trough looks set to trigger showers and storms by around Wednesday/Thursday but as always, lets not count our chickens before they hatch or our raindrops before they fall. Hopefully the charts stay true and this system does arrive. At this stage, I would rate it about a 50% to 60% chance of happening.

16-10-07, Tuesday 2:45pm: Dangerously windy in the mountains today and indeed Sydney as well. Gusts at Mt Boyce AWS have been over 90km/r at lunchtime. I'd suggest some of the gusts we had after 1pm were even stronger in Blackheath. There will be some trees down in the mountains during this event so take care, gum trees are particularly dangerous during these windy events. The cool change is on its way and tomorrow will be much cooler here and in Sydney. In the meantime its warm and very windy. You can see the change moving up the east coast now and by bed-time it should be a lot cooler for Sydney folk and for mountains folk too. There's even a slight chance of some mist overnight or even drizzle but this will probably be more confined to the coast.

13-10-07, Saturday 9pm: With a minimum near zero (0.3C) this morning in Blackheath it sure felt like a brief return to winter. Still, being October the day soon warmed up to a max of over 13C. Tomorrow morning will again be chilly but not quite as cold as today by my reckoning.

12-10-07, Friday 8:15am: Instability indicators suggest there is a moderate chance of a storm in the upper mountains today, most likely in the afternoon. Going off forecast model guidance, it seems that the best area for storms is a little to our north but as usual, real-time weather watching via satellite and radar will give us a better idea today. As I type this, the cold air mass and associated frontal band is moving into SW NSW. Its that band of cloud and the dappled/spotted air behind it that marks out the air mass change. It would be nice to get another few mm in the mountains today. There's about a 30% to 40% chance of shower activity as we move into the afternoon and evening followed by a cold morning tomorrow and Sunday with about a 30% to 40% chance of frosts.

11-10-07, Thursday 8:20pm: Some excellent cloud to ground and cloud to cloud lightning strikes up here with the storms that have just passed. The horizon north to Lithgow was putting out some great CC that stretched across much of the sky although it was not overly frequent. Some very nice CG strikes in the vicinity of the Grose Valley - thick, vein like stuff that really lit up the eastern side of the ranges there. 4mm in the gauge from these storms which is not much but its certainly appreciated. You can see the approaching cold front now as it moves into NSW. Keep an eye on the Satellite Loop as we move into tomorrow. Hopefully some more showers to come. It probably wont be cold enough for much sleet or even snow across the Oberon Plateau tomorrow but there is still a slight chance out there of something icy.

11-10-07, Thursday Updated 8:15am: Well, it does look likely now that a fairly significant cold front will approach the Central Tablelands by later on Friday although it has weakened slightly from earlier model forecasts. Preceeding this event is a moderate chance of storms on Thursday. There probably wont be a lot of rain with these storms across the Central Tablelands and they will be isolated so not every area will see them. If you look at the Satellite Loop you can now see the trough in NSW and also the cold front that is moving into the Bight as of 8:15am today.

I'd say Blackheath has about a 20% chance of seeing a storm later today as convective processes maximise and places just west of here are about a 30% chance. For later on Friday there is still a chance of snow on the Oberon Plateau above about 1200 metres but there wouldnt be much. Often in spring the cold air convective cells tend to move quickly out to sea, just to our south, so the likely outcome up this way is cold and cloudy with maybe a few showers as we move into Friday. Still, keep an eye on the charts, just in case its a bit stronger than forecast. However it pans out in real time, there's little doubt it will be chilly on Saturday and Sunday mornings and there is about a 40% chance of frosts in the upper mountains.

8-10-07, Monday 8pm: For all the high country gardeners out there, don't plant any sensitive seedlings just yet. A quite strong cold front could arrive into Friday and in its wake frosts could again be a feature. The approaching cold front could also call for a graziers alert if it maintains its predicted strength. Its important to note that its not a certain outcome as forecast models can change but at the moment most charts are suggesting this front will arrive at some time on Friday with perhaps a follow up system around Sunday/Monday. It may all fall away to nothing but better to be prepared, just in case. Stay tuned.

4-10-07, Thursday 7:30pm: Well for those of us that are waiting for rain (just about everyone) the signs are looking better. Its always hard to suggest exactly when but it does seem to me that a good rain event later in October is possible if surface patterns cooperate. Failing that, November/December looks like giving us good potential as well. Have a look at this Sea Surface Temperature anomaly link and you will see what I mean. The coast of eastern Australia is gradually getting warmer and there is also a warm body of water moving in from NE of New Zealand. The Bight region is also warming up. Fingers crossed these conditions persist and indeed become more prominent as it bodes well for late spring and summer rainfall.

3-10-07, Wednesday 8am: Some real spring warmth today with temperatures expected to hit the mid twenties in the upper mountains. That's pretty impressive for us in early October although its not as uncommon as some might think. Still, compared to Sydney today, we have got it easy as it should get to the mid 30s down there. Even coastal regions will see hot temps as the sea breeze should be kept at bay by the strong westerlies mixing down. Whilst it wont be as hot as Sydney up here, the intense sunlight at our altitude will burn readily and the winds could be gale force and stronger as the day moves on. Slip, slop and slap and don't sit under gum trees or indeed park your car under them! They have a tendency to fall over on days like today. A severe weather warning has been issued for damaging winds in NSW today. Lets also hope and pray that the fire situation doesn't get too bad.

1-10-07, Monday 3pm: Crikey, it has been windy up here today! We had a wild gust here just before 1:30pm that I estimated to be at least 100km/r if not more and Mt Boyce AWS has just confirmed a wind gust around that time of 107km/r. I've been working outside today and have almost been knocked over at times, such is the strength of the wind. Its very slowly abating now although its still very gusty.

1-10-07, Monday 8:30am: The first day of October greets us with a continuation of the fresh to strong westerlies. These should ease a little before getting stronger again by around Wednesday. No notable rain prospects at the moment but it does look like things will gradually improve as we move into October. September came in around average for both minimum and maximum temps up this way with both readings (5.1C/14.2C) being just 0.4C below the thirty year average. Rainfall total for Blackheath (Mt Boyce AWS) in September was 37.8mm, which contrasts to the average of 54.7mm.

27-9-07, Thursday 4pm: There is a slight chance of some sleet or light snow over the Oberon Plateau, above 1100 to 1200 metres, by early Saturday morning. The coldest air looks to be staying just a touch south of the central tablelands but if it edges just a little further north there could well be some sleet/snow out west. Probably wont get cold enough in Blackheath but keep an eye on the sat pic as the cold air moves NE tomorrow and early Saturday. You never know your luck.

26-9-07, Wednesday 5pm: Some of you may have read in a number of newspapers recently about the severe storms that are coming our way in spring and summer this year with up to a hundred storms of varying intensity impacting on NSW. Well, of course! It happens every year and I would suggest 100 hundred storms across NSW in spring and summer is a very conservative estimate. Many storms (including severe ones) go unreported in NSW because of the shear size of our state and also the lack of population away from major centres. Sure, some seasons are stormier than others but I would expect at least 100 storms across the state in spring and summer, if not many more than that.

On a very unstable day in late spring/summer you could have up to twenty storms at least across the state. Personally, I felt the media hyped up this story but that is only my opinion. We are hoping for better rain and storms moving into spring and summer as most indicators suggest this. With the amount of warming of sea surface temperatures off the east coast of Australia, the signs are good if we get some co-operating surface patterns. Storms should also come in from the west with improving moisture infeeds as we move further into spring. Lets hope mother nature comes to the party.

NB: Just another reminder for upper mountains folk, try and hold off planting any sensitive plants until about late October as we could have more cold mornings by around this Saturday or Sunday. There will probably be some more in the next few weeks as well.

25-9-07, Tuesday 6:30pm: Keep an eye on the satellite loop over the next day or two. You will notice that a NW cloud band of sorts is developing across the continent and this just might give us more than the usual 1 or 2mm we have been getting from fronts of late. I'm not suggesting great rainfall but its possible we might get 5 to 10mm by late tomorrow and into Thursday. Still, we could also only get a sprinkling or less if the NW cloudband breaks down.

23-9-07, Sunday 8am: Well, the winds did calm down last night and we were greeted with an excellent frost for late September in Blackheath. It would have been below zero degrees at ground/garden level as it hovered around zero degrees in my screen at 1.4 metres above the ground. Sadly, frosts along with lack of rain are the last things our farmers need. Sea surface temps are at least warming in the Tasman and further north so this does auger well for east coast weather events moving into October and November, at least on paper. Sadly, such events have less impact on farming communities inland but they could be good dam boosters for coastal areas.

The SST in the Bight and in NW Australia are still anomously cold, which makes it hard for good moisture infeeds to occur for any fronts that cross the SE. This is what many farmers really need, good frontal systems with moisture link ups and/or troughs bringing storms. It looks like we could see some sort of front crossing Vic. and NSW later in the week for the farmers. Fingers crossed it brings more than a few drops, at the moment it doesn't look overly strong though with weakish moisture infeeds the likely outcome.

21-9-07, Friday 3pm: Just a word of caution for all the upper mountains gardeners out there. Some newer residents may not be aware that its always best to wait until around late October before planting out sensitive seedlings etc, unless you have a good 'glass house' or plenty of protection. Frosts can still occur here (we had a light one last night) even into November. Actually, Sunday and Monday mornings next week are both frost risks in lower lying areas up this way, if the wind dies off on Saturday and Sunday nights. Remember that on relatively calm nights the ground/garden temperature can be a few degrees colder than the forecast minimum which is recorded at about 1.4 metres above the ground. So if we had a forecast minimum of 2 degrees on Sunday for example, it could well be 0C or colder at ground/garden level.

20-9-07, Thursday 9:15am: With the cold front season ending we are now looking towards frontal systems that have the more distinctive, embedded trough that brings showers and storms. Of course, cold fronts can still occur at this time of year but progressively they become weaker and more summer like patterns gradually take over. Storms can be hit and miss when it comes to good rainfall as they are relatively small areas of localised instability. Still, the signs are improving for at least average storm activity over coming months or perhaps even better than average. Fingers crossed for the farmers out there that are struggling. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Hopefully spring will revive your spirits after the less than encouraging rains (in certain spots) in late winter. I really think city/residential folk need to spend more time thinking about the plight of our farmers. A good number of them have been doing it very tough for years now.

6-9-07, Thursday 5pm: Well, if you've been one of the many people that have been sniffling or sneezing of late, its not just the cold and flu season, its also the hay fever season. Pollen from pine trees and wattles for example are not potent allergens in a pure sense but the shear volume of these pollens in recent times has certainly been causing problems. For a number of weeks we had mild and dry conditions with westerly winds which tends to spread the pollen everywhere and you will see examples of this as yellow 'dust' all over cars etc. Symptoms include a tickly cough and/or a runny nose or the need to clear your throat a lot and sometimes even a sore throat. Thankfully the rain of late has cleared the pollen out for a little while.

1-9-07, Saturday 7:30am: I've never been one to jump on the media version of the global warming 'end of the world' band wagon but there is nothing to convince me at this stage that we will ever return to the more typical winters and springs of decades gone by. A warming trend is here to stay in my mind, at least in the next few decades and probably beyond. The climate up this way is likely to get warmer and more unpredictable as the years go on but I'm always hopeful that nature will throw in another curve ball and bring back the winters of the old days.

31-8-07, Friday 6:30pm: According to Weatherzone, Sydney has experienced its equal warmest August on record, see full story here. Blackheath was also milder than average for minimums and maximums although not quite as extreme as Sydney. Based on the short term records from Mt Boyce AWS (less than 20 years), 11.7C was our average maximum for August 2007. This is around half a degree warmer than average although its more like 1C, if you take longer term records into account. Our August average minimum at 5C was 2C above the short term average which is very significant as this translates to 2.5C or more above the longer term average.

29-8-07, Wednesday 8:05am: Well, cold fronts might have been absent for August but at least the lunar eclipse brought us some joy. Andrew Miskelly from NSW Central Ranges Weather produced some of the best shots in my opinion and you can find his images here.

22-8-07, Wednesday 8am: Since this rain started on Sunday I've recorded close to 80mm, including a few more mm overnight. I will give a final rainfall total later in the week. The rain is certainly not as intense as Sunday/Monday but the wind is very fresh. Whilst its less than half as strong as the westerly winds we had on the 11th and 12th, it still feels strong as certain parts of Blackheath and indeed the Blue Mountains are more exposed to easterlies. This weather should persist for most of the week although the winds should gradually weaken. The weekend looks pretty good at this stage with Saturday set to be a little cloudy perhaps but not too inclement and Sunday should be pleasant indeed.

20-8-07, Monday 8am: From 7am yesterday to 7am this morning my gauge in Blackheath has recorded 60.3mm with Mt Boyce AWS officially showing a touch more. This system was expected to develop but its main focus was considered to be further north. Thankfully for us, it has moved further south and brought good rain. Whilst this week will be cloudy, cool and perhaps showery at times we should see a weakening of this current system into today and tomorrow.

19-8-07, Sunday 9:30pm: How quickly things can change with the current trough off the east coast delivering some welcome rain. More on the details soon but my gauge has produced over 17mm since this morning. Not amazing but in the context of the last month or so, its very welcome. If anything the rain is getting heavier as I type.

13-8-07, Monday 9:45am: The issue on the minds of many at the moment is when will the next good rain event occur? In the last ten years or more the classical cold fronts with nice frontal bands laden with moisture appear to be less common. There's one due in around Thursday/Friday but again the cold upper temperatures that are needed to form good instability for shower activity look to be missing. Without these cold upper temps, we usually only get light showers or just general cloudiness and a wind change. I can only point to climate change when considering the demise of the rain bringing frontal bands in spring but climatologists (a specialist field) would know more about this. We can only hope that good rains will return into spring.

11-8-07, Saturday 12:15pm: Some big trees down in town overnight, the biggest I've seen is in Evans Lookout Road. The base of that tree looked about 50cm wide and I'd guess about fifteen metres high. The rail line was also closed this morning after a tree came down near Medlow Bath. Another tree near 'Explorers Tree' at Katoomba is looking dangerous and has been 'taped off' by service crews. I've spotted about fifteen trees down so far today but most of them in the small to medium size range. Really big trees need it to be over 120kph before they come down although diseased or old trees can come down when gusts hit 90kph. Still, plenty of branches could break off today so be careful. Winds should gradually ease into tomorrow (thank goodness!) before the cooler and cloudier weather arrives by Monday.

10-8-07, Friday 6pm: Some impressive wind gusts at Mt Boyce AWS today. At around 1pm it peaked at 109kph, which is very strong. Its not only the peak gusts that are strong but it has basically been blowing madly up here for more than 48 hours. Tomorrow could be wild and gusty again but there should be an easing by Sunday and into Monday with cooler weather by then.

8-8-07, Wednesday 11:30am: Well, it sure has been dry of late. Apart from two days in July (8th and 9th) where I recorded 16.8mm, we really haven't had much rain at all since June. Thank goodness June was so wet as the dams and indeed farming country sure needed it. There aren't any real signs of more good rain just yet and the ground and indeed the bush are in real need of moisture before the next fire season. Of course, things can change quickly with some good rainfall but August and September are not usually known for being wet and in the last decade they have been even drier than usual, if you take out August 1998. Lets hope nature comes to the party soon. After a promising start to winter rains (and snow) it has certainly fallen away in recent weeks.

2-8-07, Thursday 9:00am: Well, July followed the trend of June by having its average maximums and minimums below average. July had an average maximum temperature of 8.2C at Mount Boyce AWS which was 1.2C below average. Average minimum temp for July was 1.4C which was 1C below average. Rainfall for the month from Mt Boyce was 20.2mm which is well below the average of 49.4mm. Of course, its important to also compare longer term obs sites to get an idea of just how cold this July really was as the Mt Boyce site is very young. The Katoomba obs are much older (go back many more decades) and they show that July was just a touch below average for minimums (2C for this July, 2.5C is the long term average) but a touch above for maximums for July (9.8C this July, 9.2C is the long term average). So whilst its been a chilly couple of months its only just been a touch below the long term average in real terms. This just shows how mild winters have been on average for the last ten to fifteen years now rather than how cold this winter has been so far. NB: It is important to note that the new site for the Katoomba obs seems to be a rather 'warm' site as you can see by their maximums for this July being much milder than Mt Boyce. A number of other towns across the CT show both June and July being a little below average.

26-7-07, Thursday 9am: With the best snow cover in around seventeen years for the ski fields and one of the coldest winters in the last twenty years everyone is talking cold and snow. There's no doubt it has been cold this winter so the brief respite at the moment with relatively balmy weather is most welcome. One thing to remember is that for about twenty years now the climate has been warming noticeably. Our current winter in the Blue Mountains has been chilly but go back thirty to forty years and you would find that this year would have been pretty much a 'normal' winter back then.

19-7-07, Thursday 5:33pm: The cold mornings have continued in Blackheath with the last three days at my station recording temps of around -4C. Mt Boyce AWS doesn't usually get as cold as some spots as it sits right on the edge of the escarpment so the temps there have been a touch milder but only just. Various frost hollows in town would have been at least -5C in my estimation including the local duck pond that was frozen over again this morning. See the photos in the usual section. Its been an impressive winter for cold and even snow. No doubt more snow will occur at some point this winter only time will tell when.

16-7-07, Monday 9am: Another very cold morning in Blackheath with Mt Boyce again approaching -3C. Numerous spots in town, further away from the escarpment edge, would have recorded -4C and colder. Ice everywhere this morning and our pond is again frozen over. For the second day running the condensation on the inside of our windows has frozen over. One can only imagine just how frozen the ground is on the Oberon Plateau at the moment and with snow on the way soon, you couldn't ask for better pre-frontal conditions. Very cold ground and very cold, crunchy snow on the way out there will make for a great snow scene come Wednesday at this stage.

15-7-07, Sunday 4:10pm: Well, it was a very cold morning this morning in Blackheath. -3C was the official minimum at Mt Boyce AWS but a number of colder spots in town would have seen -4C or colder. My house had frost on the inside of the windows this morning so it would have been around -4C at my old Stevenson Screen site. My new site for my Stevenson Screen leaves it less prone to frosts so it only recorded -2.5C as a min. Sadly, it needs to remain in its current spot for now. I must also say that the tennis net at our local club this morning had ice hanging from it and the net cord had ice falling off every time someone served a fault!

4-7-07, Wednesday midday: June certainly delivered when it came to rain, snow and below average temperatures. Rainfall was 305.4mm from my gauge. Maximum temps were around 2C below average and minimums were about 1C below average. More notably though are the long term averages at the Katoomba site which go back more than 100 years so they give us a better idea of how cold this June has been. June 2007 at the Katoomba site gave us 3C for the average minimum and 9.4C for the average maximum. This came in at 0.5C colder than the long term average for maximums and 0.6C below average for minimums. That's pretty impressive in the context of a global warming environment.

28-6-07, Thursday 1pm: Well, so far this June we have have had over 300mm from my gauge in Blackheath and maximum and minimum temps have also been notably below the longer term average. What makes this even more significant is the fact that May was so warm. The contrast in these two months has really caught some folk by surprise. Its been a very chilly June. More details in a few days time when the summaries will be made.

22-6-07, Friday 8:30am: Well, winter has really come to the party this year. So far our maximum temperatures are around 2C colder than the long term average for June and our minimums are around 1C colder than average. And of course with 298.2mm of rain so far this month we are way ahead of average in that regard. View the Winter Outbreak link above for more cold outbreak news and also the Snow and Chase Reports link for snow reports etc.

9-6-07, Saturday 1:21pm: Another 25mm has fallen since my last post but rain will gradually ease or at least this is the most likely scenario as the low is now slowly moving east and away from the coast.

9-6-07, Saturday 9:03am: I've recorded 90.1mm to 8am today, since 8am yesterday. The shower activity has mostly been moderate overnight but is persistent and winds are fresh to strong. This event has so far produced 140.4mm in my gauge which is very impressive. The cold pool that has given snow on the Northern Tablelands is now moving gradually out to sea. Apparently the New England Highway is closed in higher spots due to snow. We can't really begrudge them a good snowfall as its been pretty scarce up that way in general for some years. Keep an eye on the winter cold outbreak link above for more info.

8-6-07, Friday 11:06pm: I've now had 107.3mm since this event began in Blackheath. 57mm has fallen so far today, since around 8:30am. Currently the rain has eased off a little.

8-6-07, Friday 3:30pm: I've had just over 72mm at the home office since this latest event (the current east coast low pressure system) started yesterday morning at around 6am. View the cold outbreak link above for more info on this event as it unfolds today.

1-6-07, Friday 8:30am: Winter has finally arrived, at least on the calender anyway. The front on Tuesday ushered in colder temps and 6mm of rain at my place. Winds were strong at times. Yesterday I recorded 0.2C for a minimum and a nice frost. Cooler days to persist now, so finally we get a little taste of winter. View the winter cold outbreak link above for the latest developments.

22-5-07, Tuesday 9:10am: Only 1.3mm to 9am this morning to show for the frontal band that came through last night at around 11pm. See the Winter Cold Outbreaks and Snow and Chase Reports links at the top of the page for more info.

19-5-07, Saturday 10:30am: Well, what a very welcome rain event that has just passed. In Blackheath at my home office, I recorded 37.9mm to 9am this morning for this system. Areas west of us recorded similar or better rainfall. See the Winter Cold Outbreaks link above for next weeks cold air potential.

17-5-07, Thursday 9am: The alarmingly mild weather continues for May with most sites across SE Australia showing temperatures to be 3 to 5C above the long term average for minimums and maximums. Things should cool down a little by tomorrow and into the weekend as a trough and associated moisture infeed bring some welcome rain. Nothing really cold due in just yet but keep an eye on the Winter Cold Outbreak link above.

12-5-07, Saturday 10am: Apart from a brief cooler spell that was cool indeed (bringing 8.3mm to my gauge) the milder conditions are set to continue in the short term. There is still good potential for cold changes moving into late May and early winter and the first one of sorts is due in some time later next week. See the Winter Cold Outbreak link above for more details as events unfold.

7-5-07, Monday 11am: Some extraordinary warmth for the start of May has been occuring. Mt Boyce AWS is running more than 4C above the average for maximum temps and around 3C above average for minimum temps. Whilst its not unusual for temperatures to be above the long term average early in the month, this is still very significant. It looks like coming to an end by around Wednesday when cooler onshore conditions should prevail with showers at times.

30-4-07, Monday 9am: This latest event wasn't quite as good as hoped for in the Blue Mountains and central ranges although some places did quite well. The main feature over the last week has been the overcast skies, fresh winds and notably cooler temperatures. To 9am this morning, 11.7mm has been recorded in my gauge in Blackheath since Friday night.

26-4-07, Thursday 9am: 24.5mm to 9am today has been recorded in my home office gauge since this onshore pattern started late Sunday. Today should see generally finer weather with sun appearing at times and temps should approach the mid teens. Tomorrow will see increasing cloud from the west and then rain which should remain into Saturday and possibly Sunday although the activity should be decreased by then. Moderately heavy falls are possible from tomorrow and into Saturday in the Blue Mountains.

25-4-07, Wednesday 9:30am: Most model guidance is now pointing to a significant frontal system that should produce a cut-off low pressure system and welcome rain for NSW by this Friday. Some moderately heavy falls could occur across the state and even in the Blue Mountains. A few days after that there is also indications of a moderately cold outbreak that could bring light snow to the Central Ranges of NSW although this is still a long way off and forecasts could change. View the link near the top of this page for more info on this potential cold change next week.

23-4-07, Monday 4:10pm: At the home office rain gauge I recorded 7.5mm to 9am this morning. There is a moderately good chance of similar type showers occuring for two or three days before the next system moves in. The system due across NSW by around Thursday/Friday does look quite good on the charts at the moment with the prospect of moderately heavy falls scattered across the state. The next 24 to 36 hours should confirm its potency.

20-4-07, Friday 9am: Well, early indications are that something quite decent is brewing in about a weeks time. Two of the main computer models (ECMWF and GFS) are showing a front and associated trough that could bring good rain to our region. Of course, its early days and model predictions may change so don't take this forecast as gospel just yet. Prior to that an onshore flow should start happening by about this Sunday which will bring cooler, cloudier conditions with some shower activity. So if you haven't taken any photos of our lovely autumn colours up here, now is the time, whilst the sun is still out.

17-4-07, Tuesday 9am: Well, its been a fairly benign weather pattern since my last post with only a few showers here and there and some drizzle. Still an extra 13.5mm has fallen in this period into my gauge. There is the chance of some showers or even storms by about Friday as a trough approaches this area so hopefully that will bring some more rain. In spite of the lack of really good rain of late, a number of indicators are reasonably encouraging for better rainfall moving into late autumn and early winter. Lets hope they prove right.

7-4-07, Saturday 3pm: A nice fall of rain on Wednesday the 4th with 9.7mm from my gauge although Mt Boyce AWS received a lot more at 18.8mm, such is the nature of storms. Some very intense cloud to ground lightning strikes occured across the upper Blue Mountains on this day (4th of April). Today, some nice light shower activity is occuring as well although no lightning is present at this stage and probably wont be a feature this far west from these onshore showers.

29-3-07, Thursday 11am: An interesting piece on the weather page of the Daily Telegraph (page 61) today by Don White speaks of good potential for more cold outbreaks into autumn and winter this year. Some of Don's points are: 1/ Elnino appears to be over and snowfalls usually improve in such years. 2/ Weather patterns that are developing favour more variability this year and the chances of early season outbreaks are better than average. 3/ Its also rare to have two bad ski season in a row. I certainly don't have Don's credentials but for what its worth, I would agree with his points but of course these are only statistics or observations and nature will do as it pleases. Still, the signs into late autumn and early winter this year are certainly hopeful. Read more about it in the paper as mentioned above and for reference, here is Don's site

21-3-07, Wednesday 4pm: Adding the totals from Monday and Tuesday afternoons, we've had another 13.7mm from storms including one huge cloud to ground lightning strike yesterday, that caused a blackout in town for over an hour from 5:35pm. Total rainfall from my gauge so far in March is 116.7mm.

19-3-07, Monday 7pm: A total of 14.6mm from my gauge to 9am this morning for the weekend which was most welcome. Another few mm or more has fallen this afternoon in shower activity, which will be totalled at 9am tomorrow.

15-3-07, Thursday 9:30am: After a stable period of weather (ie: no storms, just drizzle) of late it looks as if storms may again be a feature from about tomorrow afternoon onwards. Friday and Saturday look to have the best potential at this stage but Sunday and Monday could also have storms although onshore drizzle or general cloudiness is a bit more likely by then for the Blue Mountains.

11-3-07, Sunday 8pm: The overall water storage supply in the Sydney Catchment is at 38.1% as of the 8th of March. This may still seem low after all the rain we've had but its heading in the right direction.

9-3-07, Friday: Another 18.3mm to 9am on Friday following on from the 6.3mm of a couple of days earlier. This takes my Blackheath total to 78.8mm for the month thus far.

6-3-07, Tuesday 8am: More storms for Blackheath last night but not as intense as the previous night. Lightning was much less active and there was no hail. 20.1mm was recorded to 8am this morning.

5-3-07, Monday 8:15am: Storms were quite intense over Blackheath and indeed the Blue Mountains overnight. Cloud to cloud lightning was almost non stop between 9pm and 10pm in Blackheath. I recorded 14mm in my gauge to 8am this morning from these storms. No hail was observed.

3-3-07, Saturday 10pm: The Blue Mountains has about a 40% chance of seeing storm activity tomorrow and some of these storms could even be severe, so take care out there. Monday is looking similar at this stage as well.

1-3-07, Thursday 9am: Blackheath recorded another 19.6mm to 9am this morning from some nice storms overnight. No hail was observed from my site and lightning was intense at times but not overly regular. Storms could again be a factor today and some of them could be severe.

1-3-07, Thursday 8:40am: Blackheath from my gauge has recorded 202.4mm for February which is over double the average rainfall for the month. After January recorded 103.7mm at my site, we have had a heck of a lot of rain of late. Katoomba has had 322.1mm for February alone which is almost twice its long term average.

28-2-07, Wednesday 9am: Blackheath had a short, intense storm last night that produced 10.8mm in my gauge. Some furious cloud to ground lightning occured at this time but twenty minutes later it was all over. Severe storms are a significant chance this afternoon and evening in the Blue Mountains as a trough moves closer. Flash flooding, strong winds and even hail are possible but even without these, lightning is still dangerous. Be careful if you are out and about and keep your car away from gum trees!

26-2-07, Monday 8pm: There is a significant weather development tonight with a low forming off the NSW coast. This will drive moderate to heavy rainfall onto the coast of NSW (southern coast especially) and possible moderate falls for the Blue Mountains overnight and into tomorrow morning. Keep an eye on the radar and animated sat pic links to watch this system take off. It will be fascinating to watch.

25-2-07, Sunday 3:10pm: Below is a link to a graphic by Andrew Miskelly that shows the distribution of strikes recorded yesterday during the storms. GPATS Lightning Image (C) A.Miskelly. And you can visit Andrew's Taralga site here.

25-2-07, Sunday midday: Some powerful storms occured over the Blue Mountains and areas nearby yesterday. Hail to around 2.5cm was observed in some places and we experienced intense hail (up to 1.5cm or so in size), rain, wind (estimated over 70km/h) and lightning in a strong storm near Bilpin. It was one of the most lightning active storms I have encountered with numerous cloud to ground strikes. My wife and I spent about twenty minutes on the side of the highway as it was too dangerous to drive on. Here in Blackheath we had 7.2mm of rain to 9am this morning as most storms skirted around town during this event.

24-2-07, Saturday 9am: Storms are again about a 40% to 50% chance in the Blue Mountains by this afternoon and indeed for most areas across the central tablelands. Some of these storms could be severe with large hail or flash flooding so be careful if you are out and about. Remember that storms are usually scattered or isolated so some areas will see intense storms whilst other areas may see little or nothing.

23-2-07, Friday 6pm: Blackheath had a fantastic hail storm at around 3pm today. Most of the intense action was in the south east of town where hail to 2.2cm in size fell and 30.4mm of rain was recorded as the storm moved towards the Grose Valley. Some great cloud to ground lightning strikes too.

23-2-07 Friday 8:15am: About a 40% chance of moderate to heavy rain again this afternoon in the upper mountains. Slow upper level winds will probably stop most of the storms moving down into Sydney but we'll see. As a footnote, it appears El Nino is officially over according the the BoM. That simply means that our chances of getting at least average rain into autumn and winter are looking better but it will take many months (or even years) for some major dams to recover so we will have to see how it all pans out in the next six months or so. The drought is certainly not over at all but its looking better going into autumn and winter for once.

22-2-07 Thursday 2:30pm: I've just recorded around 20mm in the last hour here in Blackheath. It was quite heavy rain at times with fairly regular thunder but no hail.

21-2-07, Wednesday: A trough moving closer to the east of NSW could bring moderate to heavy rain tomorrow. Most of NSW could be affected although it looks like central and eastern parts are the focus. The Blue Mountains potentially could do well although steering winds from these storms are not strong so they may stall over the western side of the ranges at places like Oberon and Bathurst etc.

19-2-07, Monday 9am: Some nice storms moved slowly over Blackheath from about 9pm last night. Some excellent cloud to cloud lightning occured. At my gauge I measured 4.2mm to 9am this morning. Most of that fell in the slightly stronger cell at around 10pm. Storms are a decent chance again today and later in the afternoon should be the main period. Isolated falls could be in the range of 20mm or more if a storm is nearby but remember that storms are usually isolated or scattered so one area may get good rain and another little or none at all. There is also a slight chance some of these storms could be severe with hail or strong winds but this is more likely further to our south.

17-2-07, Saturday 3pm:This is a great You Tube clip of flash flooding of Kellick Creek near Merriwa NSW on 10-2-07. The debris being washed down is very impressive. Kellick Creek, Flash Flooding

17-2-07, Saturday 9am: Storms were in the Blue Mountains by yesterday afternoon and into the evening. It was quite fascinating to watch very large anvils spreading from Lithgow to Blackheath like there was no tomorrow. Not the most defined things you had ever seen but very long. It seems that there was sufficient upper level winds and moisture to spread these anvils right out. Also last night in Blackheath we were treated to an interesting storm that moved westards! By around 8:30pm lightning was regular to my east and before long the storm that was situated somewhere in the Grose Valley then moved westward towards Blackheath, albeit very slowly. Mid level shear was quite weak and upper level winds were almost south, so this combined with sun across the top of the storm may have allowed it to drift west. Whatever the case, it was very interesting to watch. Very little rain fell in my area from this storm although there might have been a bit more recorded to the north.

14-2-07, Wednesday 2:30pm: Total rainfall for this event since Saturday night is 102mm from my rain gauge. The creeks and small to medium sized dams down in Hartley Vale are overflowing, with ducks and ibis everywhere. This morning, I drove down to the bottom of my street and observed a large gum tree that had fallen yesterday morning. It grazed the side of one house where another tree prevented major damage occuring but then it slid and fell heavily onto the house next door. Significant damage occured here with the tree penetrating the roof completely. The owner of the lesser damaged house said he was sitting inside when he heard what sounded like a train crashing into the yard. I imagine prolonged drought had weakened the tree roots then heavy rainfall combined with fresh winds brought the tree down in vulnerable soil. Still, with gums, the unexpected can often happen regardless of the weather event. Head to my General Weather Photos link for the images.

13-2-07, Tuesday 7:45am: I've recorded 67.9mm from 9am yesterday to 7:30am today at the home office in Blackheath. My totals for this event so far are 100.9mm since Saturday night. Lighter showers will occur today with possible moderate falls but nothing like yesterday at this stage.

12-2-07, Monday 6:15pm: Excellent rain has continued to fall in Blackheath and throughout the Blue Mountains as well as coastal areas. Another 50.3mm has fallen since 9am this morning, recorded in my gauge at the home office in Blackheath. Some areas of Sydney have had around double that amount. Rain should still fall overnight but it will gradually ease somewhat tomorrow. Warragamba has also had excellent falls in the range of 100mm.

12-2-07, Monday 9:15am: Some strong shower activity in the Blue Mountains overnight. Wentworth Falls has apparently had around 100mm or more to 9am today although this is yet to be confirmed. Here at my station in Blackheath I've recorded 32mm to 9am today. It looks like more heavy showers will occur today and persist at times tomorrow although by then they will be a little lighter.

11-2-07, Sunday 10am: Some intense storm activity yesterday with Rylstone reporting hail up to 5cm in size. Here in Blackheath it was mostly just light rain spreading out from weakening anvils that were some distance from town. Still, some lovely mammatus was again in view into the afternoon and some decent cloud to cloud lightning. Today should see some moderately heavy showers in Blackheath and the Blue Mountains/Central Tablelands in general, as easterly winds feed into a broad trough.

8-2-07, Thursday 9am: Well, what an afternoon yesterday! A severe storm was observed near Lithgow that produced a wall cloud and large hail to 5cm or more as well as beautiful mammatus cloud in the anvil. It also produced around 40mm of rain. In Blackheath we received 9.4mm in my gauge and a similar amount from Mt Boyce AWS with fantastic cloud to cloud and cloud to ground lightning at times that shook the house. No doubt some isolated areas received much more rain but some reporting stations (AWS) have also been affected by lightning. Go to the usual photos link on the main page to see the severe storm shots from yesterday.

7-2-07, Wednesday 9am: There is the potential for severe storms this afternoon with possible flash flooding and large hail across the Blue Mountains. Upper level winds suggest the strongest storms will be a little further west than here but they could potentially drift across the mountains later today. Severe storms by definition mean hail larger than 2cm, winds over 90kph and flash flooding. Even if the storms that arrive are not severe they are still dangerous with active lightning a likely feature so don't park your car under trees and if caught out in a storm whilst walking, crouch down and don't seek shelter under trees. Ironically, trees are the last place you want to be in a storm as lightning can be attracted to them.

29-1-07, Monday 10:15am: By about Wednesday the upper mountains could see some light drizzle or cloudiness and then Thursday has about a 40% chance of showers or storms as a trough moves further east. Details about this trough (amount of moisture available, instability etc) will become clearer by about Tuesday night.

25-1-07, Thursday 7pm: A total of 61.3mm from this event in Blackheath from my rain gauge. Of course other gauges in Blackheath will vary somewhat as storms concentrated in different areas of town at various times. Where possible, try to have your gauge twice the distance away of the height of any nearby trees for accuracy and its also better to have your gauge around 40cm above the ground on a post rather than on the fence. The Nylex 1000 is a good rain gauge that can be bought from some hardware stores.

24-1-07, Wednesday 6:15pm: Well that trough brought some lovely falls to Blackheath overnight and into today and totals were more than expected for a change. Storm activity finally arrived at around 8:30pm last night and seemed to be more concentrated in southern and south eastern areas of Blackheath according to the radar. I recorded around 20mm last night in two seperate storms and then another one this morning at around 6:30am delivered 25mm. So all up I recorded 45mm to 9am this morning. Add to that, another 7mm has fallen to 6pm tonight, mostly the result of lightish showers throughout the day. Mount Boyce AWS totals were notably lower as storm activity was less intensive there. Its probably a good reminder that storms are small pockets of instability (often only a kilometre or two across) so whilst one area might get a good fall if its underneath the storm, another area just up the road may get little or nothing. The surface trough is moving NE now so our falls should start to clear up and the days should gradually become finer into the weekend although light shower activity is slightly possible with a cool change at this time.

23-1-07, Tuesday 8:45am: A lingering trough brings the chance of showers and storms to the upper mountains today and tomorrow. It will be a hit and miss affair so one town might get a storm whilst another may miss out. Any time after lunch and into the evening could bring activity so hopefully we get something. Mid level moisture is patchy so if a storm approaches its mostly likely that the best amounts we could hope for would be a few mm although if your directly underneath a storm 10mm or more is possible. Stearing winds in the mid levels are okay today but not great so the storms may die over the western areas like Oberon and Bathurst before they get here or there may just be enough energy for them to drift over the Blue Mountains.

20-1-07, Saturday 8pm: Some very good rain has fallen in the southern NT and SA in recent days thanks to tropical moisture being dragged southwards. This tropical moisture is linking up with a front and associated trough that will move into NSW tomorrow. Best falls for NSW should be in western parts where Broken Hill Airport has already had over 30mm but the Central Tablelands might see some storms or shower activity by late tomorrow. Milder weather should persist throughout the week in our area, starting on Monday.

18-1-07, Thursday 11am: Blackheath had a lovely storm yesterday that produced a very welcome 12mm at my site to 9am this morning. The storms started at around 3pm and produced some ground shaking thunder and lightning. Very small hail was observed and most of the shower activity was between 3pm and 4pm. Larger hail in the 1cm to 2cm range was observed around Lithgow. Out west near Meadow Flat one farm recorded 26mm at their house and 50mm in another paddock with notable flash flooding in local creeks. Sadly some other places nearby recieved very little or nothing at all. Glanmire Kennels, just outside of Bathurst, seems to have missed out altogether. Such is the nature of isolated storm activity. Today brings another chance of storms (about a 40% chance) into this afternoon and evening and they should be a little more widespread but will probably be strongest where sunshine persists as cloudiness tends to weaken convection/storm potential within the trough. Fingers crossed that areas that missed out yesterday will get something today.

17-1-07, Wednesday: There is about a 30% chance of some showers or a storm later today and into tomorrow in our region. If showers do arrive they are mostly likely to be light in the range of a few mm or maybe a bit more. Storms will be isolated over this side of the ranges so we need a bit of luck but fingers crossed for something.