What’s Coming Up – Links, Fire Weather and Storms

As before I’ll start with a reminder that the BoM and RFS are the places to go for the latest warnings and fire weather information. This is a local blog and not an official forecast.

Some useful links:

Bureau of Meteorology – for the latest official weather forecasts and warning
Fires Near Me – for the latest bushfire information. Also available as an App
North Bellingen Rural Fire Brigade Facebook page – local fire news from our town RFS brigade, updated as often as possible but not to be relied upon in an emergency. Other local brigades have their own pages
Bellingen Fire and Rescue Facebook page – as above but for Bellingen Fire and Rescue
ABC News – the official news source for emergency information
Live Traffic – for major road information
My Road Info – for local road information

With fires burning all around us it’s good to know what is coming up locally. We’ve got a warming trend through Friday and Saturday. Here’s the forecast max temp for Friday – and Saturday looks similar:

While the temperatures are high, it looks like what we’ll see at times is a sea breeze kicking in close to the coast – and that will keep the westerly winds out and humidity levels higher down in the valleys, while up on the mountains and tablelands the westerlies will likely win out, with much drier air. You can see this in the dew point forecast for Friday 5pm:

Once we hit Sunday we see a change moving through, with the threat of storms. Here’s the forecast lightning animation through the day:

The animation is only a forecast – storms are hard to forecast accurately so we could end up with something that looks fairly different to the above…but what we can take from it is that storms will be kicking off on the hills through the afternoon, with the risk of another round close to our region through the evening. We could see some fairly intense storms at times. Storms means lightning which means the threat of new fires – many of our current fires started from lightning strikes…however those same storms will also bring some rain. Here’s the forecast rain through until the end of Sunday:

Again the actual totals will probably end up looking fairly different to the chart above…but what we can take from it is that some areas could see enough rain to help knock back the fires a little, while other areas could see very little rain but still get the lightning…so the day will likely help some while hindering others.

The authorities will be very aware of the potential for new fires on Sunday, and will be looking out for them – however if you have a storm move through then please keep an eye out in the following hours for any smoke columns developing in the bush – and if you see that happen please call 000 immediately. The sooner we can get onto any new fires the better….but please don’t panic… Storms are a part of the weather we see each year through Spring and we have a lot of resources in our region right now to help knock back the fires.

Once we get through the weekend we’re into a mostly dry week with temperatures climbing day after day. Down near the coast we’re looking at westerly winds at night and (at times fairly strong) coastal and valley sea breeezes through the afternoon. Up on the mountains there will be less of a sea breeze but more of a chance of catching an afternoon storm. It’s a long way off but looking beyond that there are some indications that we could see some rain….but that is too far away to have any certainty about at this time.

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