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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20 (Weather)

by dulan drift, Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 18:49 (68 days ago)

Season kicked off a few days ago with an outbreak of uncontrolled fires across northern nsw and qld. Same scenario as last year only earlier.

Again, judging from the map below, the main cause of the fires appears to be the government's rural fire brigade in conjunction with farmers. The fire brigade has been busily lighting fuel reduction burns, whilst farmers have been granted official permits to burn-off.

Despite drought conditions, it having happening last year, and forecasts of hot dry windy weather - scores of fires were lit.

When the wind and temps got up these already substantial fires exploded out of control. It's insane.

The media is going crazy over a 'possible investigation into an arson attack' on one of the fires - meanwhile zero questions are asked about how the hell all the others got started. The map below shows all the fires that have been granted permits just prior and right up to the current outbreak

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This is today's map of the 'wildfires' - notice any resemblance?

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dan @, Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 18:55 (68 days ago) @ dulan drift

Wow. We get very limited burns around here but nothing like that at all, not even close.

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Thursday, September 19, 2019, 05:58 (60 days ago) @ dan

The fires are mostly contained but are not out - one of them near here is over 10 000 hectares - the only thing that puts that out is sustained rain. luckily there are no extreme conditions in the next week's forecast - but no rain either

Previously bushfires were mainly a southern state thing starting in Dec-Jan, while the more humid north with greater rain during summer was spared the worst.

Now a few years of dry spring/summer has suddenly changed that. Driving around here i see things that would never be allowed in the south - houses built in the thick of vegetation - 'luan-chi-ba-zao' burning off practices ...

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Tuesday, October 08, 2019, 11:49 (41 days ago) @ dulan drift

Bad fire day - hot with wind up to 50kph in northern nsw and southeast qld

A few fires out of control at this stage - possibly flare ups from the fires a few weeks back - seem to be in similar areas

nsw: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me

qld: https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map/Pages/default.aspx

(Annoyingly, you have to go to two different sites to track fires near the state border - which is where they mainly are - you'd think that could be worked out somehow)

There's also some 'dry lightning' around
First time i've seen a lightning icon coupled with 0% chance of rain!

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Good news is that cool change is due by tomorrow - maybe even some rain in the next few days

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Tuesday, October 08, 2019, 18:16 (41 days ago) @ dulan drift

Several fires raging - most seem to be flare-ups from the fires a few weeks back - worst ones are around the nsw/qld border region

"20 homes and structures" destroyed in Rappville

Forecast was for 'light winds' tonight but it's still gusting up

Some frontline footage on this video:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-08/bushfires-damage-houses-in-northern-nsw/11583912

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Wednesday, November 06, 2019, 18:31 (12 days ago) @ dulan drift

Friday is shaping up as a bad fire day: a drought + 37C + 35kph winds + existing fires.

From limited observation, the winds often end up bigger than predicted.

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Thursday, November 07, 2019, 10:13 (11 days ago) @ dulan drift

Although the winds are not that high here at the moment, there is a dust storm moving in and the air looks like Taipei on a bad day, which indicates that the winds must be strong out in the west where dust is getting whipped up.

Tomorrow is still looking like the day when the fires could explode. Got a front-row seat here in northern nsw. Ironically i chose this area coz it seemed less drought/fire prone but for the last couple of years it's been one of the hardest hit places in the country

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Thursday, November 07, 2019, 12:01 (11 days ago) @ dulan drift

The ave high for Nov for Lismore is 28. In the 7-day forecast period that will be exceeded by an accumulated 24C.

Interestingly, the ave low is 16C. In the same time-frame the accumulated differential is -29C! (down to 9C this morning)

So it all depends on how you look at the numbers. If you said that over a week the average temp differential is -5C then you'd say 'what global warming?', but it doesn't account for the extremes we're seeing here. Hotter days and colder nights - presumably due to drier air - which is a key ingredient in bushfires and something that is not normally experienced here.


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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Thursday, November 07, 2019, 19:15 (10 days ago) @ dulan drift

This was today - conditions worse tomorrow

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Friday, November 08, 2019, 12:54 (10 days ago) @ dulan drift

I can now see a fire from my house - it's in the Nightcap National Park. Appears to have just started. The report says it's just one hectare but it will expand rapidly. Classified as 'out of control'. Zero chance of controlling it today.

Temps nudging 40 C with wind ranging from 30-50kph across NSW. Winds are currently from north west - which is good for me - bad for others

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Friday, November 08, 2019, 14:25 (10 days ago) @ dulan drift

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dan @, Friday, November 08, 2019, 15:01 (10 days ago) @ dulan drift

This sounds exactly like accounts I read out of California. I'm just getting caught up on this thread after a busy week. I'm looking forward to a long holiday weekend of beer and movies. It looks like you'll have a less relaxing time.

Do you have your evacuation bag packed?

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Saturday, November 09, 2019, 05:40 (9 days ago) @ dan

Although i can see one of the fires from here, the one pictured below, there's no immediate danger. It's about 10-15 km from where i live. (The photo was from a coastal city a few 100 k's south of here)

It's in the heart of a National Park, which means it won't be a priority for firefighters who will be concentrating on fires threatening private property. The winds (20-30kph) have changed to the south-west and are swinging around to the south-east which would project the fire towards the north west - away from me. It's much cooler than yesterday.

Nightcap NP is a rainforest, which rarely catch on fire, but we're in rare times. Hasn't rained properly for several months and temps are way above ave.

The concern would be for Tuesday when temps are forecast to heat up again plus big north-westerlies up to 45kph. The only thing that will put it out is sustained rain - but nothing is forecast.

There are a lot worse fires going in the state but will monitor this one as a kind of case study.
Judging by the map, it appears to have spotted in at least 2 places. Went from 1 hectare when first reported to 170 hectares by nightfall. Hard to know how it started - possibly an old lightning strike that has smouldered away

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dan @, Friday, November 08, 2019, 14:59 (10 days ago) @ dulan drift

Did you take this? I hope not!

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dan @, Friday, November 08, 2019, 14:59 (10 days ago) @ dulan drift

Averages mean little to me. I look at the highs and lows, with an eye on highs in the summer and lows in the winter.

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Saturday, November 09, 2019, 12:33 (9 days ago) @ dan

Fire has been upgraded to 'emergency warning'.

Just received an evacuation message for residents of Terania Creek and Tuntable Falls - i'm not in those places but nearby in Nimbin.

Winds are mainly light from the south east but building and some big gusts are coming through. The fire would be creating its own wind as well. I'm confident that the wind direction means i'm not in any danger at this stage.
Temp is 29C, which is well down from 40C yesterday.

Looking at the fire map, the different sections of the fire have joined up and it's now at 2232 hectares - which is 2000% bigger than it was this time yesterday.

Can't see how they will be able to fight it as it's in inaccessible mountain country - they might try to light backburns but that could backfire. Firebombing is probably a waste of time at this stage as it's already too big - they'll probably hold off until it gets closer to private property. In addition, resources are stretched to the maximum so there may not even be any fire fighting helicopters or planes available

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Saturday, November 09, 2019, 18:08 (9 days ago) @ dulan drift

Two people have been reported dead from a fire on the north coast - one from the village of Diehard and another from Kangawalla. The Diehard victim, a 69 year-old woman, was found unconscious but alive on the side of the road but died in hospital. The other perished in his car. A third victim was found in her burnt out home from a different fire on the mid-north coast near Taree.

Another seven people are missing. More than 30 injured. At least 150 homes lost.

Milder conditions tomorrow in terms of wind but its cranking up again on Tuesday. No way they will put these fires out before then.

Around 100 fires burning in NSW alone (mostly north of Sydney) with more in SE Qld

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/09/nsw-and-queensland-bushfires-fea...

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Saturday, November 09, 2019, 22:01 (8 days ago) @ dulan drift

Just experimenting with a rough forecast of where the fire might go in the next three days according to temp and wind direction.

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Sunday, November 10, 2019, 06:03 (8 days ago) @ dulan drift

Weather outlook is not good with a run of days over 30C and no rain. Even hotter in Grafton, which is just south of here. Winds are forecast at 30-40kph - that's not off the charts but strong enough - and coming from the north which means low humidity. Despite a lull today, we're no where near through this disaster - not sure if we've even seen the worst of it yet.


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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Monday, November 11, 2019, 08:21 (7 days ago) @ dulan drift

Conditions relatively moderate this morning - light winds which are expected to change to north-east later in the day at 20-25kph.

NE winds are what i don't want as that will push the fire towards me. Tomorrow's forecast (Tuesday) is worse: 35C with NE winds up to 30kph. Then 37C with 30kph northerlies on Saturday.

Looks like New Delhi out there with the smoke haze. It has been smokey but then yesterday it really came in within a period of about 30 minutes. You could smell the smoke like you're sitting around a campfire - visibility dropped to the level of a heavy fog.

In fact, i don't think the smoke is from the fire closest to me, as it doesn't make sense in terms of the wind direction - more likely from the big fire at Rappville which is about 40 km to my south west

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View from my house

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Monday, November 11, 2019, 08:41 (7 days ago) @ dulan drift

Updated potential fire-zone map for today and tomorrow

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Monday, November 11, 2019, 14:49 (7 days ago) @ dulan drift

Australia's deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, dismissed concerns that the current fire situation was related to climate change as the “ravings of … inner-city lunatics”.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/11/australia-fires-nation-braces-fo...

God help us. At least it's no surprise how we got into this situation in the first place.

He is the leader of the farmers party called the National Party. The same farmers that cut down all the trees and replaced them with methane gas. The same farmers that deliberately lit most of these fires back in September when they do their traditional burn-offs because they refused to believe that nonsense about how climate change had made this practice incredibly dangerous. The same farmers who will have their hands out bleating for huge public welfare after the fires go through. The same farmers who will be doing it all again next year.

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 06:47 (6 days ago) @ dulan drift

The media (with help from politicians and fire brigade chiefs) is in full hysteria mode predicting the "worst fires in the history of Australia". It's going to be bad but not that bad.

Black Saturday was 46C with 80kph northerlies and tinder dry conditions. We're not at those levels. Here (and most of mid to northern NSW where the worst fires are) it's forecast to reach 35C with 30kph winds in the afternoon. It's pretty much dead calm at the moment.

The conditions around Sydney are the worst in the state with 37C forecast and 40kph north to north-westerlies, which are the dry dangerous one. There will then be a cool change which will bring winds of 65 kph from the south.

The media likes to mix those bits of info up to "temperatures near 40C with winds averaging 60- 70kph". Yes it's kind of true but the southerly change, although still dangerous, is not in the same league as a northerly: it's colder, carries more moisture, is usually short-lived, and will largely blow the fire back on itself.

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 06:49 (6 days ago) @ dulan drift

Updated forecast map for Nov 12


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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 09:17 (6 days ago) @ dulan drift

Winds have picked up - appear to be coming pretty much due north.

About 10.30 am the fire sprang to life and is now billowing smoke - clearly visible from my place though there's no smoke haze - which means the fire is not heading in this direction.

However, Terania Creek looks to be in serious trouble. No emergency warning has been issued for residents there but there should be one. I would get the fuck out if i was there.

Nimbin doesn't appear to be in the firing line at this stage.

View from my land:


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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 18:18 (6 days ago) @ dulan drift

The NSW's government's adoption of the 'Catastrophic' fire level warning was arguably an overuse. Was impressed how they didn't go to 'Catastrophic' a couple of times in Victoria last summer in similar conditions.

RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons estimated that "up to a dozen homes have been damaged or destroyed today" at the evening briefing. That's 140 less than last Friday which was rated as 'severe'. But there are a lot of uncontrolled large fires burning - some for more than two months.

“They’re consuming an area of more than a million hectares. A fire of 100,000 hectares typically has a perimeter of around 1,000km. The enormity of the task to bring these fires properly under control, to consolidate them, to get around them and mop them up is enormous.” https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/nov/12/nsw-fires-qld-bushfires-que...

Absolutely it is. The question is, how did we get to this point where a million acres are on fire under your watch thereby converting forests into giant CO2 factories? How many of the big un-extinguishable (without rain) fires were farmers (with permits) and/or rural fire brigade doing burn-offs the same way they've done for generations? And fuck any greenie who tries to tell me different!

The question won't be asked coz it's 'not the right time'. I wonder if it was a muslim lighting the fires , would the media think it's not be the right time to be talking about that?

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 18:31 (6 days ago) @ dulan drift

Would be interesting to analyse bushfires from the same perspective as typhoons. They're both rotating weather systems - just a bushfire is a high pressure

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 05:59 (5 days ago) @ dulan drift

Relatively moderate conditions for the next two days.

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Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dan @, Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 19:44 (4 days ago) @ dulan drift

Yeah, I'd be nervous. One always hears about how quickly the fire arrived.

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dan @, Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 19:40 (4 days ago) @ dulan drift

That photo looks grim...

Australia Bushfire Season 2019-20

by dulan drift, Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 21:06 (4 days ago) @ dan

The forecast is interesting - nothing too dramatic but not exactly benign either. After tomorrow, a run of days above 30C with predominately north to north east winds up to 30 kph - which will take the fire steadily in my direction. If there was a 40-50kph NE day in the mix then i'd say we were fucked - so just below that threshold at the moment

Fire projection map for Nov 14

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