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National weather event summary

JULY

4: A strong cold front brought down trees and caused property damage across Adelaide and the southeast districts of South Australia.

17–19: Strong cold fronts crossed southeastern Australia and brought strong and gusty winds to South Australia, western Victoria, and southwest Tasmania. Raised dust was reported in South Australia, Victoria and across New South Wales.

AUGUST

1: A strong cold front brought damaging winds and squally rain to the South West Land Division in Western Australia. Snow was reported on Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges.

8–10: A vigorous cold front crossed Victoria and Tasmania, with strong winds causing building damage and downed trees. A fatality was reported after a large tree fell across a highway at Lilydale, northeast of Melbourne.

15: At least two houses were destroyed by fires in the Bega Valley at Bemboka in New South Wales and fires burned more than 2000 ha of land in the Salt Ash region. Sadly, a helicopter pilot died while water bombing a large bushfire in Mount Kingiman.

15: A deep low pressure brought strong and gusty winds to Tasmania. Widespread damage to roofs, trees and powerlines was reported in the State's north.

20: More than 100 were fires burning across Queensland. A fire in bushland narrowly missed homes at Eudlo on the Sunshine Coast.

27–29: Several sites in Victoria and Tasmania recorded their coldest morning so late in winter for several decades. These cold temperatures contributed to the death of an elderly man through exposure in Bright, northeast of Melbourne.

SEPTEMBER

7: A line of slow-moving severe thunderstorms brought heavy rain and hail to inner southwest Sydney, resulting in numerous flood rescues.

15: Warm, dry and windy conditions strengthened already existing bushfires on the South Coast of New South Wales. Five homes were lost at Yankees Gap in Bemboka.

25–30: Thunderstorms impacted southeast Queensland and eastern New South Wales, producing large hailstones, strong winds and heavy rainfall.

OCTOBER

3: Thunderstorms in western New South Wales produced locally heavy falls around Broken Hill, Pooncarie, Menindee and Ivanhoe. The rain received at many towns was more than the total received in the previous nine months.

10: Severe thunderstorms caused a fatality after tragically, a tree fell on a man's home in Federal, west of Byron Bay in New South Wales.

11: An extensive trough moved across central Queensland producing strong thunderstorms over the southeast. Tornadoes were observed at Coolabunia and Tansey, and 7 cm hail was reported in the Wide Bay and Burnett district.

14–15: A complex low pressure system in the Great Australian Bight resulted in severe thunderstorms across South Australia.

20: Severe thunderstorms caused one fatality after a man was struck by lightning at Geurie in New South Wales. Power outages were reported in Canberra and Queanbeyan.

25: Thunderstorms moved through southeast Queensland producing large hail and resulting in extensive crop damage in Harrisville.

27: Record temperatures were experienced in Queensland's central west, with Longreach recording its highest daily October temperature on record.

30–31: Heatwave conditions through central Queensland and across New South Wales continued into early November.

NOVEMBER

2–3: A bushfire at Pierces Creek in the Australian Capital Territory burnt through 202ha.

6–7: A cold front combined with a broad trough and northwest cloud band, brought intense rain to Melbourne. Flash flooding affected multiple localities and 14 people were rescued from vehicles trapped in floodwater. The event also brought destructive storms to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, with 9 cm giant hail reported across Kundabung.

14: Hail up to 5 cm was reported north of Alice Springs following severe thunderstorms.

16: Fires sparked by lightning destroyed grain crops in the Dalwallinu Shire in Western Australia.

20–23: A pair of cold fronts crossed the far southeast of Australia, with gusty strong winds causing blackouts in South Australia and flash flooding in Melbourne. Northern and western Tasmania also experienced intense rainfall, with daily rainfall records for November set at Strahan, Queenstown and Cape Sorell.

24–30: An extreme heatwave encompassed the tropical Queensland coast, extending west to inland districts. Numerous sites recorded their highest daily maximum temperature for November. The hottest was Mt Stuart with 45.2 °C recorded on the26th.

27–29: Severe thunderstorms across Sydney and the Illawarra resulted in localised flash flooding, with several stations recording over 100 mm of rainfall in 24 hours. The storms caused three fatalities in separate incidents, with over 2000 calls for assistance to the SES.

26–30: High temperatures and strong westerly winds resulted in numerous fires across eastern Queensland. Around 8000 people were forced to evacuate their homes at Gracemere. A man died from a fallen tree while protecting property from fire in Rolleston.

DECEMBER

2–15: Tropical cyclone Owen formed over the Coral Sea but was downgraded while still well off the north Queensland coast. The low crossed the coast near Port Douglas causing heavy rainfall but regained its cyclone status in the warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria. As a category 3 cyclone, Owen headed back towards Cape York and made landfall near Kowanyama, producing heavy rainfall and localised flash flooding. A daily rainfall total of 678 mm was recorded at Halifax—a new December daily rainfall record for Australia.

Tropical cyclone OwenMeteorologist Sarah Fitton provides a weather update with tropical cyclone Owen off the north Queensland coast. ​Meteorologist Sarah Fitton provides a weather update with Tropical cyclone Owen off the north Queensland coast.

3: Widespread thunderstorms were observed in the Wheatbelt, Goldfields and inland north of Western Australia. Hailstones were reported in the Central Wheatbelt causing damage to over 1000 ha of wheat, canola and lupin crops.

9–10: Severe thunderstorms again struck the Goldfields and inland Gascoyne, with destructive wind gusts up to 141 km/h recorded at Leonora Airport. The storms uprooted trees and downed powerlines.

13–16: Severe thunderstorms affected the Central Coast of New South Wales, resulting in damage to properties, road closures, flight cancellations and power outages. The SES received more than 5000 calls for help.

14–16: Severe thunderstorms in Victoria's northwest produced a month's worth of rain in 48 hours. Flash flooding stranded hundreds of motorists on the Hume Highway between Wangaratta and Wodonga, with 17 people rescued from their vehicles by helicopter. In Melbourne, 25 people were rescued from flooded cars, and the SES received over 1400 calls for help.

20: A thunderstorm across eastern New South Wales produced giant hail, damaging winds and intense bursts of rain in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and Central Coast regions. Extensive property damage was reported and several local government areas were declared natural disasters.

27–31: Very large areas of Australia experienced exceptionally high temperatures. A top temperature of 49.3 °C was recorded at Marble Bar in Western Australia.

27: Lightning strikes started bushfires in the Gell River area of southwest Tasmania burning over 31 000 ha by the middle of February.

JANUARY

1–9: Tropical cyclone Penny formed over the Gulf of Carpentaria making landfall south of Weipa as a category 1 cyclone.

4: Strong, hot northerly winds ahead of a cool change saw around 200 fires across Victoria, including a large fire near Rosedale in Gippsland.

5: A severe thunderstorm produced strong winds and brought down power lines in Punchbowl in Sydney. Sadly, a man died after stepping on a fallen power line.

15: Lightning strikes onto dry vegetation led to over 60 bushfires that threatened communities in several parts of Tasmania.

16: A lightning strike is believed to have started a bushfire north of Timbarra, in east Gippsland in Victoria. The fire burnt over 13 000 ha of land.

22–25: Extreme temperatures in the southeast saw many all-time maximum temperature records broken in South Australia. About 200 000 homes across Victoria were left without power on 25 January at the request of the Australian Energy Market Operator to cope with the demand on the grid.

24: Tropical cyclone Riley formed to the northwest of Broome and remained offshore having minimal impact on the Western Australia coast.

26: The overnight temperature recorded at Wanaaring in New South Wales' northwest of 36.6 °C set a new highest minimum temperature ever recorded in Australia.

26: A severe thunderstorm produced 87.8 mm of rain in one hour at Wandie Creek, near Katherine in Western Australia.

26–31: Heavy rainfall associated with an intense and slow-moving monsoon low over northern Queensland caused major flooding in coastal communities.

FEBRUARY

2: Major flooding occurred on the Flinders River in the Gulf Country of Queensland, with floodwaters spilling into neighbouring catchments and spreading across more than 15 000 km2. Major flooding also occurred in the Cloncurry, Leichardt and Norman rivers.

12: A major dust band stretched around 1500 km from southwestern Queensland into southeastern Australia, reducing visibility and decreasing air quality in northern Victoria, Canberra and New South Wales.

12–20: Two significant fires occurred in northern New South Wales near Tabulam and Inverell, causing the destruction of 33 homes, and burning over 30 000 ha.

12–23: Tropical cyclone Oma formed near Vanuatu and tracked southwest towards the southern Coral Sea causing gale-force winds, king tides, coastal erosion and inundation of low-lying areas in southeast Queensland.

27: A cold front directed very strong northwesterly winds across Tasmania, which saw bushfires flare near Tea Tree, Cygnet, Judbury, Ouse and Campania. The strong winds also caused property damage and downed trees and power lines.

MARCH

1–3: Extensive lightning activity started numerous fires in Victoria, in addition to those already burning. Numerous evacuation and emergency warnings were issued.

14–18: Tropical cyclone Savannah formed about 110 kilometres west of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands on 14 March causing strong to gale-force winds on the islands.

17–24: Tropical cyclone Trevor formed off the east coast of Australia and made two coastal crossings—across the Cape York Peninsula as a category 3 cyclone, and across the Northern Territory coast as a category 4 (see p. 28).

Tropical cyclone TrevorMeteorologist Dr Adam Morgan provides an update on Tropical cyclone Trevor over Cape York.Meteorologist Dr Adam Morgan provides an update on Tropical cyclone Trevor.20–26: At its peak, Tropical cyclone Veronica was a category 4 cyclone that moved slowly over several days, threatening the Pilbara coast. Although never making landfall as a cyclone, the system caused major flooding along the Pilbara coast with both Port Hedland and Karratha cut off by flood waters.

APRIL

3: Severe thunderstorms developed east of Perth with reports of power outages affecting around 27 000 homes.

5: Strong to gale-force and gusty northerly winds downed trees and raised areas of dust across southern South Australia. The Augusta Highway was closed due to low visibility.

6–10: Tropical cyclone Wallace formed to the north northwest of Kalumburu in Western Australia. The system intensified slowly, remaining offshore for its duration.

9: Heavy thunderstorms associated with a tropical low produced significant rainfall over the Northern Territory, with 137 mm observed in a three-hour period at Fish River.

MAY

1-2: Thunderstorms over western Victoria brought heavy rainfall, with some locations more than doubling their year-to-date rainfall in minutes. A suspected tornado destroyed cabins at a caravan park at Lake Purrumbete.

2: Severe thunderstorms over northwest Tasmania brought localised very heavy rainfall with flash flooding in Smithton.

9–10: Tropical cyclone Lili formed on 9 May, well north of Darwin in Indonesia's area of responsibility, before tracking southwest without making landfall.

12–14: Tropical cyclone Ann formed over the Coral Sea and peaked at category 2 intensity before crossing the coast around Lockhart River in north Queensland as an ex-tropical low.

31: Stanthorpe, Applethorpe, Oakey, Warwick and Dalby in Queensland all reported their coldest May temperature on record. Stanthorpe dropped to –6.9 °C, the lowest May temperature recorded at any location in Queensland.

JUNE

4: Heavy snow blanketed areas of the Blue Mountains with numerous roads closed.

29: A strong cold front moved across Victoria bringing widespread rainfall and damaging to destructive winds. There were several reports of tornadoes causing localised damage in Geelong, Kyabram and Shepparton, and across the border at Tocumwal in New South Wales. A tornado destroyed a solid brick home in Axe Creek, southeast of Bendigo, with the home-owner lucky to survive.

Axe Creek tornadoA tornado destroyed a solid brick home in Axe Creek, southeast of Bendigo.A tornado destroyed a solid brick home in Axe Creek, southeast of Bendigo.