A new world record wind gust: 253 mph in Australia's Tropical Cyclone Olivia

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:34 PM GMT on January 27, 2010

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The 6,288-foot peak of New Hampshire's Mount Washington is a forbidding landscape of wind-swept barren rock, home to some of planet Earth's fiercest winds. As a 5-year old boy, I remember being blown over by a terrific gust of wind on the summit, and rolling out of control towards a dangerous drop-off before a fortuitously-placed rock saved me. Perusing the Guinness Book of World Records as a kid, three iconic world weather records always held a particular mystique and fascination for me: the incredible 136°F (57.8°C) at El Azizia, Libya in 1922, the -128.5°F (-89.2°C) at the "Pole of Cold" in Vostok, Antarctica in 1983, and the amazing 231 mph wind gust (103.3 m/s) recorded in 1934 on the summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire. Well, the legendary winds of Mount Washington have to take second place now, next to the tropical waters of northwest Australia. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has announced that the new world wind speed record at the surface is a 253 mph (113.2 m/s) wind gust measured on Barrow Island, Australia. The gust occurred on April 10, 1996, during passage of the eyewall of Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Olivia.


Figure 1. Instruments coated with rime ice on the summit of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. Image credit: Mike Theiss.

Tropical Cyclone Olivia
Tropical Cyclone Olivia was a Category 4 storm on the U.S. Saffir-Simpson scale, and generated sustained winds of 145 mph (1-minute average) as it crossed over Barrow Island off the northwest coast of Australia on April 10, 1996. Olivia had a central pressure of 927 mb and an eye 45 miles in diameter at the time, and generated waves 21 meters (69 feet) high offshore. According to Black et al. (1999), the eyewall likely had a tornado-scale mesovortex embedded in it that caused the extreme wind gust of 253 mph. The gust was measured at the standard measuring height of 10 meters above ground, on ground at an elevation of 64 meters (210 feet). A similar mesovortex was encountered by a Hurricane Hunter aircraft in Hurricane Hugo of 1989, and a mesovortex was also believed to be responsible for the 239 mph wind gust measured at 1400 meters by a dropsonde in Hurricane Isabel in 2003. For reference, 200 mph is the threshold for the strongest category of tornado, the EF-5, and any gusts of this strength are capable of causing catastrophic damage.


Figure 2. Visible satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Olivia a few hours before it crossed Barrow Island, Australia, setting a new world-record wind gust of 253 mph. Image credit: Japan Meteorological Agency.


Figure 3. Wind trace taken at Barrow Island, Australia during Tropical Cyclone Olivia. Image credit: Buchan, S.J., P.G. Black, and R.L. Cohen, 1999, "The Impact of Tropical Cyclone Olivia on Australia's Northwest Shelf", paper presented at the 1999 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, 3-6 May, 1999.

Why did it take so long for the new record to be announced?
The instrument used to take the world record wind gust was funded by a private company, Chevron, and Chevron's data was not made available to forecasters at Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) during the storm. After the storm, the tropical cyclone experts at BOM were made aware of the data, but it was viewed as suspect, since the gusts were so extreme and the data was taken with equipment of unknown accuracy. Hence, the observations were not included in the post-storm report. Steve Buchan from RPS MetOcean believed in the accuracy of the observations, and coauthored a paper on the record gust, presented at the 1999 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston (Buchan et al., 1999). The data lay dormant until 2009, when Joe Courtney of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology was made aware of it. Courtney wrote up a report, coauthored with Steve Buchan, and presented this to the WMO extremes committee for ratification. The report has not been made public yet, and is awaiting approval by Chevron. The verified data will be released next month at a World Meteorological Organization meeting in Turkey, when the new world wind record will become official.

New Hampshire residents are not happy
Residents of New Hampshire are understandably not too happy about losing their cherished claim to fame. The current home page of the Mount Washington Observatory reads, "For once, the big news on Mount Washington isn't our extreme weather. Sadly, it's about how our extreme weather--our world record wind speed, to be exact--was outdone by that of a warm, tropical island".

Comparison with other wind records
Top wind in an Atlantic hurricane: 239 mph (107 m/s) at an altitude of 1400 meters, measured by dropsonde in Hurricane Isabel (2003).
Top surface wind in an Atlantic hurricane: 211 mph (94.4 m/s), Hurricane Gustav, Paso Real de San Diego meteorological station in the western Cuban province of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, on the afternoon of August 30, 2008.
Top wind in a tornado: 302 mph (135 m/s), measured via Doppler radar at an altitude of 100 meters (330 feet), in the Bridge Creek, Oklahoma tornado of May 3, 1999.
Top surface wind not associated with a tropical cyclone or tornado: 231 mph (103.3 m/s), April 12, 1934 on the summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire.
Top wind in a typhoon: 191 mph (85.4 m/s) on Taiwanese Island of Lanyu, Super Typhoon Ryan, Sep 22, 1995; also on island of Miyakojima, Super Typhoon Cora, Sep 5, 1966.
Top surface wind not measured on a mountain or in a tropical cyclone: 207 mph (92.5 m/s) measured in Greenland at Thule Air Force Base on March 6, 1972.
Top wind measured in a U.S. hurricane: 186 mph (83.1 m/s) measured at Blue Hill Observatory, Massachusetts, during the 1938 New England Hurricane.

References
Buchan, S.J., P.G. Black, and R.L. Cohen, 1999, "The Impact of Tropical Cyclone Olivia on Australia's Northwest Shelf", paper presented at the 1999 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, 3-6 May, 1999.

Black, P.G., Buchan, S.J., and R.L. Cohen, 1999, "The Tropical Cyclone Eyewall Mesovortex: A Physical Mechanism Explaining Extreme Peak Gust Occurrence in TC Olivia, 4 April 1996 on Barrow Island, Australia", paper presented at the 1999 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, 3-6 May, 1999.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting CaneWarning:
I do wish that wish that when one is put in jail, that the admin would reference the specific post that caused it. I still really have no clue what I did! :)
Kinda sad, doin the time without knowin the crime
I do wish that wish that when one is put in jail, that the admin would reference the specific post that caused it. I still really have no clue what I did! :)
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Tropical Cyclone NISHA will soon be confined to the data books.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


They will laugh HARD like I did, imo. A lot of us are prob. still drinking our morning coffee after staying up too late blogging and trying to clear the cobwebs, too.

Canes, the only person I know who got out of jail early was P451, as he was trying to help me with an electrical problem ON the blog. I didn't even know what WU-mail was back then...seems like a long time ago.

Isn't funny to sit and groan at your computer screen and you can't do a darn thing about what's posted? Except WU-mail friends...I sent out many one and two word messages, like "ARRRGGGHHHH"!


Yeah, I sent out a few emails warning people not to get thrown in the slammer with me. :)
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting IKE:


I stayed away yesterday. GW arguing is a turn off.

I was here but not here, if you get what i mean.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting JFLORIDA:
So I wonder if collectively UHIs have other reaching effects on weather and warming.

Are they creating more convection for instance, and would it be significant.

Certainly. Probably not detectable for, say, some place like Baton Rouge, but our biggest cities do leave a measurable increase in lightning downwind of the city center. Houston is one where this has been studied. (An increase in lightning is an excellent indication of increased convection).

Reference and abstract: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2001/2001GL012990.shtml

PDF here: http://ocean-alt.tamu.edu/ciams/heat/related/Orville_et_al_2001.pdf

And, yes, believe it or not, my friend Dr. N-G is a coauthor on this one, too, as is our current NHC director, Bill Read (but this is when he was at the HGX WFO).
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
366. I'm flabbergasted, and touched. Many thanks to you both.
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NAM

GFS 3 DAYS from now.
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2315
Quoting atmoaggie:

My first comment on that is that it will be nothing close to the one in Dec, 2007. That one was 3 days of rain at 28 F...you know the famous storm that came very close to knocking out power for the whole state...

And, hi, my mom recently moved, but lived off of 71st St. in Tulsa, west side, near the Oaks. Nice to meet you.
Mornin' Atmo. and yes I remember 07 well. I feel like I know a lot of you from lurking and following Husband's posts etc. Also been helping alot from the background for the "Portlight" cause
Quoting okieyogi:
Sure hope Ike's wife and my husband don't mis-read it....Geez 1st day ever on here and I'm probably causing grief


They will laugh HARD like I did, imo. A lot of us are prob. still drinking our morning coffee after staying up too late blogging and trying to clear the cobwebs, too.

Canes, the only person I know who got out of jail early was P451, as he was trying to help me with an electrical problem ON the blog. I didn't even know what WU-mail was back then...seems like a long time ago.

Isn't funny to sit and groan at your computer screen and you can't do a darn thing about what's posted? Except WU-mail friends...I sent out many one and two word messages, like "ARRRGGGHHHH"!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
373. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:


Just 24 hours...seemed like a long 24 hours as I sat here at work yesterday and couldn't see the blog. Did I miss anything?


I stayed away yesterday. GW arguing is a turn off.
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372. IKE
Quoting okieyogi:
Oh good.....I was worried I had started something. Thank You IKE


LOL....it's all good.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:


How long were you in "time-out"?


Just 24 hours...seemed like a long 24 hours as I sat here at work yesterday and couldn't see the blog. Did I miss anything?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting IKE:


I understand. Welcome aboard.
Oh good.....I was worried I had started something. Thank You IKE
369. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:
361. I want a get out of jail free card for next time. :)


How long were you in "time-out"?
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Quoting okieyogi:
HI, Nice to meet you. I am here in NE Oklahoma USA getting ready for nasty ice storm

My first comment on that is that it will be nothing close to the one in Dec, 2007. That one was 3 days of rain at 28 F...you know the famous storm that came very close to knocking out power for the whole state...

And, hi, my mom recently moved, but lived off of 71st St. in Tulsa, west side, near the Oaks. Nice to meet you.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
367. IKE
Quoting okieyogi:
NO, I am NOT IKE's wife, my husband informed me that IKE is a good source of info on here and was attempting to introduce myself to him.


I understand. Welcome aboard.
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


Good morning, and welcome to your very first round of blog confusion, lol (I just re-read the stream). It happens all the time -- and can make for some humorous moments (exception being the aforementioned bad words -- cc/gw, shhhhh)!

Welcome back, CaneWarning. I've been in WU purgatory, but I'm trying to stay out now. I got a chuckle out of the 'toons you posted. (I think that was you?)

Cloudy & cool here just a hair north of DC. I still have to check today's weather to know if we will really get snow or not this weekend.
Good Morning AIM, Yesterday when I was getting this set up, my husband was introducing me to your blog. COOL
post 274 shows it well. That line is right on top of us.
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Winter storm watch posted just west and north of here. Looks like they expect the coast to stay rain.
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361. I want a get out of jail free card for next time. :)
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting aquak9:
I mis-read that too, canewarning.
Sure hope Ike's wife and my husband don't mis-read it....Geez 1st day ever on here and I'm probably causing grief
Quoting okieyogi:
NO, I am NOT IKE's wife, my husband informed me that IKE is a good source of info on here and was attempting to introduce myself to him.


Good morning, and welcome to your very first round of blog confusion, lol (I just re-read the stream). It happens all the time -- and can make for some humorous moments (exception being the aforementioned bad words -- cc/gw, shhhhh)!

Welcome back, CaneWarning. I've been in WU purgatory, but I'm trying to stay out now. I got a chuckle out of the 'toons you posted. (I think that was you?)

Cloudy & cool here just a hair north of DC. I still have to check today's weather to know if we will really get snow or not this weekend.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING

TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 37
Issued by the BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY, DARWIN
at 11:00 pm CST [11:30 pm EST] Thursday 28 January 2010

A Cyclone WARNING continues for coastal and island communities from Cape Shield
in the NT to Burketown in Queensland, including Groote Eylandt and Mornington
Island.

A Cyclone WATCH continues for coastal and island communities from Burketown to
Pormpuraaw in Queensland.

At 9:30 pm CST [10:00 pm EST] Ex-Tropical Cyclone Olga was estimated to be 55
kilometres west of Borroloola and 255 kilometres south southwest of Alyangula,
moving northeast at 6 kilometres per hour.

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Olga is forecast to move slowly offshore during Friday where
it is expected to redevelop into a tropical cyclone.

GALES with gusts to 110 kilometres per hour are expected to develop between Port
Roper and Burketown during Friday morning. GALES with gusts to 110 kilometres
per hour may develop between Cape Shield and Port Roper on Friday if the low
takes a more northerly track.

GALES are not expected between Burketown and Pormpuraaw within the next 24
hours. However, GALES may develop early on Saturday morning.

HEAVY RAIN may lead to significant stream rises and flooding of low-lying areas
in the Roper-McArthur and Arnhem Districts.

ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES could cause SERIOUS FLOODING at the Northern Territory
coast and adjacent islands between Port McArthur and the Queensland Border
tonight.

ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES are occurring along the Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria
coast and adjacent islands and are expected to exceed the high water mark at
high tide over the next few days.

People between Burketown in Queensland and Cape Shield in the Northern
Territory, including Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island, should take
precautions and listen to the next advice at 2 am CST [2:30 am EST]. If you are
unsure about precautions to be taken, information is available from your local
government or local State Emergency Service.

Details of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Olga at 9:30 pm CST [10:00 pm EST]:
.Centre located near...... 16.1 degrees South 135.8 degrees East
.Location accuracy........ within 95 kilometres
.Recent movement.......... towards the northeast at 6 kilometres per hour
.Wind gusts near centre... 85 kilometres per hour
.Severity category........ below cyclone intensity
.Central pressure......... 993 hectoPascals

The next advice will be issued by 2:00 am CST Friday 29 January [2:30 am EST
Friday 29 January].
______________________________________________________________________________________________

IDD20020
TROPICAL CYCLONE TECHNICAL BULLETIN: AUSTRALIA - NORTHERN REGION
Issued by DARWIN TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING CENTRE
at: 1304 UTC 28/01/2010
Name: Ex-Tropical Cyclone Olga
Identifier: 07U
Data At: 1200 UTC
Latitude: 16.1S
Longitude: 135.8E
Location Accuracy: within 50 nm [95 km]
Movement Towards: northeast [044 deg]
Speed of Movement: 3 knots [6 km/h]
Maximum 10-Minute Wind: 30 knots [55 km/h]
Maximum 3-Second Wind Gust: 45 knots [85 km/h]
Central Pressure: 993 hPa
Radius of 34-knot winds NE quadrant:
Radius of 34-knot winds SE quadrant:
Radius of 34-knot winds SW quadrant:
Radius of 34-knot winds NW quadrant:
Radius of 48-knot winds NE quadrant:
Radius of 48-knot winds SE quadrant:
Radius of 48-knot winds SW quadrant:
Radius of 48-knot winds NW quadrant:
Radius of 64-knot winds:
Radius of Maximum Winds:
Dvorak Intensity Code: T2.5/2.5/S0.0/24HRS
Pressure of outermost isobar: 999 hPa
Radius of outermost closed isobar: 120 nm [220 km]
Storm Depth: Medium
FORECAST DATA
Date/Time : Location : Loc. Accuracy: Max Wind : Central Pressure
[UTC] : degrees : nm [km]: knots[km/h]: hPa
+12: 29/0000: 15.9S 136.7E: 080 [150]: 030 [055]: 994
+24: 29/1200: 16.3S 138.7E: 110 [205]: 045 [085]: 987
+36: 30/0000: 17.7S 140.5E: 140 [265]: 050 [095]: 983
+48: 30/1200: 19.5S 141.6E: 175 [325]: 030 [055]: 995
+60: 31/0000: 21.1S 142.1E: 220 [410]: 030 [055]: 994
+72: 31/1200: 22.2S 142.7E: 270 [500]: 025 [045]: 996
REMARKS:
Ex-TC Olga was located by surface and satellite data to be close to Borroloola.
Surface observations from Borroloola suggest the system has been slow-moving
over the last few hours. Overall convective structure has inproved slightly
during the past 24 hours with increased central convection. FT=2.5 based on
adjusted PAT.

Longer term, the system is expected to accelerate towards the E during Friday as
a middle-level trough amplifies over central Australia. Straightening of the
cirrus boundary in the SW quadrant suggests that this interaction has commenced.
The broad-scale environment remains favourable for intensification when system
moves over southern Gulf of Carpentaria waters, with divergent outflow, low
shear aloft, and strong monsoonal westerlies to the north. The official forecast
track has 24 hours over water allowing Olga to reach category 2 by landfall on
the Queensland coast.

Copyright Commonwealth of Australia
==
The next bulletin for this system will be issued by: 28/1930 UTC by Darwin TCWC.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting Orcasystems:


Even at work..I try to ignore work.. it makes the day much more pleasant :)

hahahaha
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting Orcasystems:


Even at work..I try to ignore work.. it makes the day much more pleasant :)


Yeah, same here.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
And the media brain washing continues !!

Link

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Quoting CaneWarning:


I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I guess that is what I get for trying to work and blog at the same time!


Even at work..I try to ignore work.. it makes the day much more pleasant :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I guess that is what I get for trying to work and blog at the same time!

I must of read it correctly.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting aquak9:
I mis-read that too, canewarning.


I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I guess that is what I get for trying to work and blog at the same time!
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
I mis-read that too, canewarning.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

we had a nasty hail storm on the mountains west of Sydney today. that's as close to an ice storm i wanna get.
Hail, Yuk...We have to duck and run from that a lot around here
Quoting okieyogi:
NO, I am NOT IKE's wife, my husband informed me that IKE is a good source of info on here and was attempting to introduce myself to him.


Ah, sorry, totally misread that! :)
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting SQUAWK:


Where in OK? I have kids in Tulsa and Claremore. And welcome to the blogs.
Cookson, next to Lake Tenkiller
349. GBlet
Good morning Okie, I'm from Great Bend, Ks. GOOD MORNING BLOGGERS AND BLOGETTES!
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Quoting okieyogi:
HI, Nice to meet you. I am here in NE Oklahoma USA getting ready for nasty ice storm

we had a nasty hail storm on the mountains west of Sydney today. that's as close to an ice storm i wanna get.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting CaneWarning:


Oh, you are IKE's wife!!! IKE is famous around these parts.
NO, I am NOT IKE's wife, my husband informed me that IKE is a good source of info on here and was attempting to introduce myself to him.
Quoting okieyogi:
HI, Nice to meet you. I am here in NE Oklahoma USA getting ready for nasty ice storm


Where in OK? I have kids in Tulsa and Claremore. And welcome to the blogs.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

Hey, how are ya, where you from, I myself are in Sydney Australia.
HI, Nice to meet you. I am here in NE Oklahoma USA getting ready for nasty ice storm
Quoting okieyogi:
Just want to give a shout to IKE, my husband who is a member here told me you posted good info here and that during Cane season you were quite wise at tracking etc. So Hello IKE!


Oh, you are IKE's wife!!! IKE is famous around these parts.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Just want to give a shout to IKE, my husband who is a member here told me you posted good info here and that during Cane season you were quite wise at tracking etc. So Hello IKE!
Quoting okieyogi:
Being new here I guess this would not be the best time to ask what issues are not to be mentioned?

Hey, how are ya, where you from, I myself are in Sydney Australia.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting CaneWarning:
Oh yeah - welcome to the blog. :)
Understand, seems even the pres of US sidestepped the issue last night.
Oh yeah - welcome to the blog. :)
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting okieyogi:
Being new here I guess this would not be the best time to ask what issues are not to be mentioned?


Global warming - the issue gets out of hand each time it's discussed in the blogs.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting CaneWarning:


I will do my best to ignore the trolls, even when people quote them. I will also try really hard to ignore the issue that shall not be mentioned. :)
Being new here I guess this would not be the best time to ask what issues are not to be mentioned?
Quoting AussieStorm:

Welcome back to the real world.


I will do my best to ignore the trolls, even when people quote them. I will also try really hard to ignore the issue that shall not be mentioned. :)
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Australia blows away world record
Josh Fisher, Thursday January 28, 2010

It has recently been announced that Australia now holds the world record for the strongest wind gust ever recorded on the Earth's surface.

To be considered for this record, the gust must be recorded on the surface of the Earth by means of an anemometer. This record also excludes any gusts related to tornadoes.

The previous record wind gust was recorded on Mount Washington in the United States back in April of 1934 when a wind gust of 372km/h tore over the summit.

It was not until recently when the World Meteorological Organization conducted a review of global weather and climate extremes, that Australia was rightly named the world record holder.

The new claim to fame for the country occurred on April 10, 1996 when Tropical Cyclone Olivia delivered a gust of 408km/h to Barrow Island, smashing the previous world record.

Many may be wondering why it has taken 14 years to announce this record. It took a panel of experts and an extensive review of the instrumental and statistical data to come to the conclusion that the gust was indeed the new true record.

For now, Australia has taken the title after the 62 year hold that the United States had on the record.

- Weatherzone
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting CaneWarning:
I am finally out of WU prison!

Welcome back to the real world.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Man struck by lightning, two in hospital

* From: AAP
* January 28, 2010 9:35PM

A MAN has been struck by lightning in Sydney's outer west and two people have been hospitalised as thunderstorms sweep across NSW.

The Ambulance Service of NSW said a 37-year-old man was hit by lightning while doing the washing up near a window at a YMCA camp in Yarramundi at about 7.30pm (AEDT) tonight.

Paramedics were treating the man, who was suffering neck and shoulder pain, and planned to take him to hospital.

Emergency services were also called to a house in Springwood, in the NSW Blue Mountains, after it was struck by lightning at about 5pm.

"It's come through the window, it hit the curtains and ignited them,'' a firefighter at the scene told media at the scene.

Two people, including a man suffering smoke inhalation, were taken to Blue Mountains Hospital.

A house on East View Avenue in nearby Leura also caught fire after it was hit by lightning, but no one was injured.

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued a severe thunderstorm warning at 7.30pm, predicting large hailstones, heavy rainfall, flash flooding and damaging winds.
Areas which may be affected late on Thursday include Grafton, Taree, Armidale, Tamworth, Narrabri and Walgett.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) said people in those areas should move their cars under cover and away from trees, secure loose items and stay indoors away from windows and keep children and pets indoors.

The BoM said thunderstorms had moved through Sydney, Illawarra, Central West Slopes and Lower Western Districts by early Thursday night and the warning was no longer in force for those areas.

An SES spokesman said there had been 33 requests for assistance across the state, including 12 in the Blue Mountains.

''(The storm) looked pretty spectacular on the radar ... but as luck had it, it pretty well passed over mostly unpopulated areas,'' the spokesman told AAP.

"There hasn't been a lot of hail or anything in them, but there's been some pretty heavy rain.''
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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