24.9°C 03:00 pm

Stormy end to a wet and mild summer

Tuesday, 1st March, 2011

STORM DAMAGE: A large tree uprooted by last night’s storm fell on the roof of this car that was parked in South Street. STORM DAMAGE: A large tree uprooted by last night’s storm fell on the roof of this car that was parked in South Street.

By John Casey and Kurtis Eichler

A spectacular electrical storm, booming thunder and sheeting rain last night put a memorable exclamation point on the end of summer.

In the process, Broken Hill smashed its February rainfall record bringing to a close one of the wettest summers in history.

South Broken Hill was the worst hit during last night's raucous storm with huge trees ripped out of the ground, some of them severly damaging nearby cars.

Country Energy reported that 4000 of its customers were without power, including the BDT which was shut down for some 90 minutes from just before 7pm.

Today marks the start of autumn and the city leaves the month of February behind with a record fall of 140.4 millimetres, surpassing the previous February high of 112.4mm set in 2000.

Broken Hill's long-term February rainfall average is just 23.9mm on three days. In the month just completed the city had 13 rainy days, including more than 62mm on Sunday February 6.

Since the start of summer on December 1 the city has had just five days over 40 degrees and received an amazing 315mm of rain.

Local weatherman, Phil Mew, said in comparison to last year, summer "wasn't too crash hot."

"We had really good rain right through the season," he said.

Temperatures throughout the summer were also relatively low compared with last year, with an average low of 18.8 and an average maximum of 31.4 degrees.

The month of December recorded rainfall of 47.4mm, January had 127.4mm and February 140.4mm.

But there will be no relief soon from the humidity, Mr Mew said.

He also forecast heavy showers for the season ahead.

"We're in for a hell of a lot of rain," he said.

For autumn Mr Mew said people can expect temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s, and that more supercells will cross over the city.

Yesterday's maximum was 38.2 and the minimum was 24 degrees but things are set to cool down today.

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