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    Recent Events

    Bushfires and Heatwaves grip the Hunter
    Tuesday, 8 January 2002

    Bushfires flared up over eastern New South Wales over the Christmas - New Year period, causing havoc for over two weeks. Very warm and dry conditions set in on the 23rd and continued into the new year. Temperatures in the Hunter on many days were reaching over 35°C, relative humidity was as low as 5% while the winds on the worst days were WNW and blowing up to 30kts. This led to a Fire Danger Rating of nearly 90 out of a possible 100. Such conditions have not occurred in eastern New South Wales and the Hunter since January 1994.

    By the first week of January, conditions had deteriorated. Up to twenty major fires were burning on the 2nd in the Region. The worst of these fires were around Karuah and Broke, where property was under threat. A large area of the northern end of the Wollemi National Park and the Yengo National Park was scorched by the fires.

    The evaporation was very high due to the dry and hot conditions. The table below ws the 3pm temperature and relative humidity (RH) for Williamtown between the 30/12 to the 3/1. It can be noticed that the lowest RH was on the 1st followed by the 2nd. Ironically, these were the two worst days for fires.

    3pm Temperatures & Relative Humidity for Williamtown
    30 Dec 2001 31 Dec 2001 1 Jan 2002 2 Jan 2002 3 Jan 2002
    Temp (C) 37.1 29.7 38.3 35.2 25.2
    RH (%) 15 55 7 8 25

    Data source: Bureau of Meteorology

    The busfires eased a little by the morning of the 7th, with much welcomed rain. Falls were mostly between 10-40mm. Glen Alice was the wettest place with 48mm in the 24 hour period up to 9am.

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    Saturday, 23 September 2017
    © 2017 Tim Grugeon