To Sydney as the wet approaches–pinhole shots

Yes, looks like the Queensland wet is spilling our way.

Weather forecasters have warned heavy rain and flash flooding could hit the Illawarra this evening as severe weather from an ex-tropical cyclone in Queensland moves south.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued storm and wind warnings for the Hunter, Sydney metropolitan and Illawarra areas today, predicting rainfall of up to 300 millimetres in isolated areas, damaging winds and potential flash flooding throughout much of eastern NSW.

The warning prompted State Emergency Service (SES) Illawarra region controller Greg Murphy to cut short his trip to Taree to assist northern NSW crews and return home. He said Illawarra crews were on standby.

“At this stage the bureau’s best prediction is that the severe weather may arrive in the Illawarra late [today],” he said.

“We’ve been advised of rainfall up to 300 millimetres in isolated areas and up to 150 millimetres across large parts of the Illawarra, as well as the possibility of flash flooding and storm damage due to strong winds.

“We also know the North Coast is experiencing high seas with significant swell, which could also extend down the coast to the Illawarra.”

Yesterday I ventured up to Sydney. I decided that pinhole was the way to go for these shots from the train between Scarborough and Stanwell Park.

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5.40 pm and 6.15 pm yesterday on day of record heat in Wollongong

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Views of Mount Kembla from my window (top) and from my street (bottom) taken 35 minutes apart.

Read the Mercury’s report.

The temperatures were about five degrees higher than forecast.

There were multiple triple-0 calls for cases of heat exposure, including for a 70-year-old man at Windang, a 45-year-old woman at Austinmer Beach and a 26-year-old man at Cordeaux Heights, who was working on machinery when he succumbed to the effects of heat exhaustion.

Statewide, the Ambulance Service of NSW had responded to 44 cases of heat exposure – one third of whom were for people over 60 – by 3pm.

Over the same period there were 89 reports of people falling unconscious or fainting and 37 instances of vomiting.

“Many of those cases are attributable to the heat,” an ambulance spokeswoman said.

It was also the hottest day in recorded history in Sydney, which experienced more heat-related illness, transport chaos and even melting roads and ice rinks.

The mercury hit 45.8 at Sydney’s Observatory Hill at 2.55pm, exceeding the previous record of 45.3 set on January 14, 1939.

The record temperature was similar to that recorded in places in the NSW far west, such as White Cliffs, which sweated the day out in around 44-degree heat.

That was topped by temperatures in Penrith, in western Sydney, which reached 46.5 degrees.

Sparks from Sydney’s monorail briefly set fire to trees and grass near the entertainment centre while at the Big Day Out music festival in Homebush, a St John Ambulance spokesman said the organisation treated 200 people, mostly for dehydration.

For the Fahrenheit-familiar, Wollongong yesterday scored around 115.

Apocalyptic at The Bates Motel and Yum Yum Cafe!

See also my post Bushfire warning on my other blog last night.  We have today conditions the Rural Fire Service calls CATASTROPHIC.

The classification was introduced after Victoria’s Black Saturday fires in 2009 and is the highest risk rating the RFS issues.

According to the RFS it means that any bushfire that starts has the potential to cause significant loss of life and destroy many homes.

The RFS advises residents to:

– Check your bush fire survival plan – now.

– Monitor the fire and weather situation in any way you can: through www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au, or the media.

– Call triple zero if you see a fire.

The RFS also advises that if you are in an area of catastrophic fire danger

– Leaving is the safest option for your survival – finalise your options for relocation

– The NSW Rural Fire Service recommends that you leave the night before.

– Prepare to leave – check your bush fire emergency kit.

I received three warning SMSes from the RFS between 10 and 11 last night, and a friend in Figtree had 5 plus a phone call. Jim Belshaw questions the level of hysteria involved, and I do think he has a point. That is not to minimise the danger, but it could be the word CATASTROPHIC is overkill – especially before the event.

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From my window last night

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This morning – checking out the suitably apocalyptic sky on my way to the Yum Yum Cafe.