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Yellow Warning for the ACT

February 10th, 2007 at 02:51pm

The ACT Emergency Services Authority has issued a Yellow Warning (likely impact) for the ACT following the release of a severe storm warning by the Bureau of Meteorology. I can’t find the ESA announcement online (which is odd for them lately), so here is the Bureau’s announcement.

NSW/ACT SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
for LARGE HAILSTONES, DAMAGING WIND, VERY HEAVY RAINFALL and FLASH FLOODING
For people in the
Central West Slopes,
Central Tablelands,
South West Slopes,
Southern Tablelands,
the ACT and parts of the
Northwest Slopes,
South Coast,
Northern Tablelands,
Mid North Coast and
Hunter Forecast Districts.

Issued at 2:35 PM Saturday, 10 February 2007.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, very heavy rainfall and flash flooding and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours.

Major locations within the warning area include Orange, Mudgee, Bathurst, Katoomba, Canberra, Goulburn, Cooma, Yass, Young, Tumbarumba, Armidale and Glen Innes.
Large hailstones are most likely in the southern part of the warning area.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep clear of fallen power lines.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* Don’t walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
* Unplug computers and appliances.
* Avoid using the phone during the storm.
* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 13 2500.
* In the ACT, ring the ACT Emergency Service on 6207 8455

The next warning is due to be issued by 5:35 PM.

This warning is also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau’s website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 218. The Bureau and State Emergency Service would appreciate this warning being broadcast regularly.

Update 3:10pm: And here’s the press release from the Emergency Services Authority

A YELLOW LEVEL warning for a possible storm threat to the ACT has been issued as part of the ACT All Hazards Warning System following the issuing of a severe thunderstorm warning by the Bureau of Meteorology.

The Bureau advises the storm may produce large hailstones, damaging winds, very heavy rainfall and flash flooding over the next several hours.

The YELLOW LEVEL warning covers the period from 1400 Saturday 10th February 2007 to 1800 Saturday 10th February 2007.

”The ACT SES has placed units on standby as a precaution at this stage and are ready to respond if required by the community,” ACT State Emergency Service Deputy Chief Officer Bren Burkevics said.

“Residents should refer to Emergencies and the National Capital – A residents guide available on www.esa.act.gov.au ,”he said.

“The ACT State Emergency Service advises that as storms approach, residents should:
Put vehicles under cover or cover them with blankets
Secure or put away loose items around your home, yard and balcony
Move indoors and away from windows
Shelter and secure pets and animals
Put outdoor items: garden furniture, toys etc. inside, and
Keep children and animals away from storm water drains

“During and after the storm, residents should:
Take extreme care when driving
Unplug computers and appliances
Beware of fallen trees and power lines
Listen to a portable radio for updates
Avoid using the telephone during the storm

FOR ACT SES EMERGENCY HELP IN FLOODS AND STORMS CALL 132 500
FOR LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCIES CALL 000

End Update

Also, I would just like to congratulate 2CC who broadcast the warning before the Bureau publicly released it, and broadcast it immediately, rather than waiting until the weather update.. The Bureau obviously told the ESA first, and they got the fax out first. Well done 2CC, this is a vast improvement over the New Years Eve fiasco, and even over previous regular practice.

Update 6:04pm: I was just about to give up all hope of rain, but out of the blue another storm cell is developing rapidly to the west of Canberra and is on its way in…hopefully this doesn’t dissipate like the last two did! This one appears to be part of a growing storm front so the chances of it dissipating are negligible.

Here’s the weather radar picture from 5:20pm, which pretty much sums up the afternoon’s rain pattern.
Canberra Weather Radar 5:20pm, February 10 2007

And here’s the one from 6pm showing the growing storm front to the west and north-west of Canberra. (I’m in a bit of a hurry, I’ll resize the images shortly).
Canberra Weather Radar 6:00pm, February 10 2007

I better take Nattie for her walk now before the rain hits! End Update

Update 6:44pm: The Yellow Warning has expired, but the storm is about to hit! Here’s the latest from the Bureau

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
for LARGE HAILSTONES, DAMAGING WIND, VERY HEAVY RAINFALL and FLASH FLOODING
For people in the
Northwest Slopes,
Illawarra,
Northern Tablelands,
Hunter,
Central Tablelands,
Southern Tablelands,
the ACT and parts of the
Northwest Plains,
Central West Slopes,
South Coast,
Northern Rivers,
Mid North Coast,
Metropolitan and
South West Slopes Forecast Districts.

Issued at 5:45 PM Saturday, 10 February 2007.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones, damaging winds, very heavy rainfall and flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.

Major locations within the warning area include Armidale, Orange, Bathurst, Katoomba, Canberra, Goulburn, Cooma, Yass, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Moree and Narrabri.
5cm hailstones observed at Rylstone at 15:30p.m

The next warning is due to be issued by 8:25 PM.

An expanded warning area, and plenty of activity on the weather radar. More updates to follow. End Update

Update 7:15pm: Looks like people south of Lake Burley Griffin are copping a battering. We’ve had fairly tame rain in Reid, but there was a lightning strike within a couple hundred metres of my house not long ago (Nattie was not impressed).
Canberra Weather Radar 6:50pm, February 10 2007
Canberra Weather Radar 7:10pm, February 10 2007

In related news, ABC TV News has reported that western New South Wales from Dubbo, up to Cobar and out to Bourke, is without power after the storm caused a fault on a main transmission line. Power has been restored to Dubbo Hospital, but the lines are only able to support a very small amount of power at the moment. Electricity transmission authority TransGrid have three crews out trying to find the fault on the 180km long cable, but are having trouble due to the storm, and have no idea when power will be restored.

End Update

Samuel

Entry Filed under: Canberra Stories,TV/Radio/Media

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7 Comments

  • 1. John B1_B5  |  February 10th, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    I hear a thunderstorm approaching. Three cheers for the rain ! (I hope).

  • 2. Samuel  |  February 10th, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Three cheers for rain by all means, but not for hail or damaging winds!

  • 3. John B1_B5  |  February 10th, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Might as well forget it. Not one drop of rain was received at my place, and the sound of thunder has totally disappeared !

  • 4. Samuel  |  February 10th, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Just starting to rain here…the wind has picked up and the thunder is loud.

  • 5. John B1_B5  |  February 10th, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    “I was just about to give up all hope of rain” …….. me too.
    I got 30mm over a period of 40 mins from 5.50pm to 7.30 pm !
    3 cheers for the rain !
    Too bad we have to get our rain in the form of thunderstorms.

  • 6. Samuel  |  February 10th, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Good to hear John. I think you probably got a bit more than I got here (not that I know how much I got here) due to the heavy rain visiting your area and not mine.

    It would be nice to have a few days of light-medium intensity rain without the thunderstorms.

  • 7. Jey  |  February 14th, 2007 at 8:34 am

    We’ve got rain predicted til half way through next week. It rained for about 24 hours from Monday to yesterday. At the moment it’s fine and sunny though.

    I think I nearly ran over a frog driving home in the wet, Monday night. It may have been a cane toad.

    Squashed amphibian on my tyres would have been most unpleasant.


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