A photo of the storm cell as it came over Ulmarra. Photo: Susan Fletcher.
A photo of the storm cell as it came over Ulmarra. Photo: Susan Fletcher.

LOOK: Spectacular shots of storm that lashed Lower Clarence

A WILD storm enthralled Clarence Valley residents as it blanketed the valley for hours last night.

Meanwhile for many people like Susan Fletcher at Ulmarra, who captured the amazing image of the storm approaching above, it didn't bring any rain or wind.

Storm hits Townsend: Joy White captured this video of a storm lashing her house at Townsend
Storm hits Townsend: Joy White captured this video of a storm lashing her house at Townsend

However, on the Lower Clarence, the full force of what is believed to be a supercell rained down, with destructive winds, and torrential rain reported through Maclean, Townsend, Ashby and Yamba.

The rainstorm brought as much as 60mm of rain in a concentrated five-minute period, with winds that destroyed sheds, and relocated backyard trampolines into the streets.

Officially, the Yamba rain gauge recorded 16.2mm of rain in the hour around 8pm.

Storm front over Maclean: Nicole Quinn captures the storm front lashing her house on Maclean hill on Wednesday night.
Storm front over Maclean: Nicole Quinn captures the storm front lashing her house on Maclean hill on Wednesday night.

Essential Energy crews were also kept busy with widespread blackouts reported throughout the area, with much of the power restored within half an hour.

There is still reported to be power outages at Harwood this morning.

Waz Powter captured this image of the storm front coming over Lawrence. Photo: Waz Powter.
Waz Powter captured this image of the storm front coming over Lawrence. Photo: Waz Powter.

The downpour for the Lower Clarence adds to the already wet February the area has experienced, but the Bureau of Meteorology has said in its newly released summer that while we were above our average for rain in February, overall the country was still drier and hotter than it has ever been over the season.

Bureau climatologist Dr Andrew Watkins said summer was the tale of two halves, and two main climate drivers.

"At the start of summer, we saw both a very strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole and a near-record negative Southern Annular Mode, and that resulted in both the warmest and driest December on record, with significant fire weather throughout many parts of the country," Dr Watkins said.

"In January we saw those two drivers return to neutral levels, plus a very late arrival of the northern monsoon which finally brought tropical moisture to the continent.

"As we often see once the monsoon arrives in the north, some of that tropical moisture was dragged south leading to some of the good recent rainfall over the country's east.

"The rainfall helped contain many of the long-lived bushfires in the east and helped ease drought conditions in some locations. But many inland regions experienced only patchy rainfall and we still need to see sustained rainfall to relieve drought in many areas.

"Although the extra moisture and cloud moderated temperatures compared to the record warm December, January and February will still rank among the ten warmest on record for the country as a whole."

The outlook for autumn shows both daytime and overnight temperatures are likely to be above average for most of the country, but there is no clear temperature signal further south.

 

NSW/ACT

Autumn outlook

• Daytime and overnight time temperatures are likely to be above average for most areas.

• Most areas are showing no strong push towards wetter or drier than average conditions over the autumn period, except for parts of western NSW, which have slightly increased odds of wetter than average conditions.

• Many areas of central, southern and western NSW have an increased chance of above average rainfall during March.

Preliminary summer summary

• Rainfall very much below average in much of the far west of NSW, but above average in coastal regions.

• Temperatures very much above average over most of New South Wales and ACT.

• December 2019 mean maximum temperature warmest on record for NSW/ACT as a whole; 4.31 °C above the long-term average.