An Australian weather question:

Wet Snow

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Hello Folks:
Well, during late Autumn/Winter, when powerful cold fronts are making their way through Texas, I like to see how great the (same-time, or so) temperature difference is between towns in N Texas and those in S Texas (or in N Alaska & in SE Alaska; I've seen temperature differences of 100F+ [from -50F to 50F+] in Alaska at times. Even though the (straight-line) distances can be large, the temperature differences can be also large (even differences between close-by towns--split by a powerful cold front--can be dramatic.

Anyways, my question is: What's the greatest (same-time) temperature difference across Australia? Any notable temperature differences between close-by towns in Australia? Thanks.

Kind Wishes--Take Care--Stay Safe--GOD Bless~~~Wet Snow
 
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POW Hungry

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Hey Wet Snow,
Good question. We get some huge variability in temps, but the key will be if it’s altitude equivalent and over what sort of comparable distance? (One of our states in Aus is 4 times the size of Texas).

Western Australia is THAT biggest state and spans both the tropics and Polar Jet territory where you see temp differences nearing 35°C (90-95°F).
NSW and Vic will come close to those temp variability (in the state) too as they share the Alpine region and can experience a polar change mid-summer.
 

Steve777

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Hello Wet Snow, saw your question yesterday.

We don’t get the extreme differences of North America. Typically the difference between the hottest and coldest ever recorded in one place will be less than 100°F, e.g. Alice Springs near the centre of the continent, elevation 1800 ft: 18° - 114°F; or Richmond, NSW (35 miles NW of Sydney and near sea level): 17° - 118°F. Below-freezing readings occur on clear Winter nights which are typically followed by sunny days with a max in the 60s.

Because the Southern Hemisphere is nearly all Ocean between 40°S and the Antarctic circle, extremely cold air masses don’t reach Australia. However, these Oceans remain quite chilly in Summer, about 9-10°C at 50°S (48-50 F). In Southern Australia, Summer weather is often a tussle between searing inland plains, warm tropical seas and cold Southern Oceans. Temperatures can swing wildly. Melbourne is notorious for having four seasons in one day but it happens throughout Southern Australia, especially near the coast. For example a Southerly change along the NSW coast can drop the temperature in Sydney from over 100° to about 70°F in under an hour, with that sort of temperature difference between a coastal headland and a site 20 miles inland.

Here are Melbourne’s maximum temperatures for January 8 to 16, 1939, admittedly an extreme heatwave:

110, 76, 111, 92, 78, 114, 86, 67, 69.
 

Greysrigging

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Any of the towns facing the Southern Ocean, from the far south west of Western Australia right around to far eastern Victoria have extreme variability.
Try Ceduna this month....32.1c, 37.7c, 37.6c, 20.1c, 19.3c, 20.3c, 25.8c, 31.3c, 39.2c, 42.9c, 23,2c, 21.7c, 22.6c, 40.5c, 26.3c, 21.0c, 30.7, 39.4c, 24.4c, 26.6c, 38.6c, 19.1c, 20.5c, 27.5c, 27.5c,38.6c, 34.7c, 39.3c ( note the forecast was 45c, but obviously the cool change came through early ).
Last 3 days of Nov forecast 26c, 23c and 33c.
In the State of Victoria, the Great Dividing Ranges run East-West then North Easterly.
Often the regions of the State north of the ranges are not affected by the cool and cold fronts that clip the southern coasts.
The current heatwave is a classic example, with temps in the North West and along the Murray Valley forecast to 45c today, while a few hours south on the coast some towns wont make 20c
From north to south in Western Victoria today
Mildura 45c
Hopetoun 41c
Horsham 34c
Casterton 24c
Port Fairy 21c.
 

skichanger

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Not sure of what your definition of close by towns is but if you compare the alps with the coast to the east of them you would get a significant temperature difference quite often.

Also inland areas can have a huge diurnal range. So hot days with cold nights (due to no cloud cover)

And there would be big changes when cold fronts come through. These can result in snow all the way to Qld and snow in elevated areas in the middle of summer. I have memories of snow on christmas day at least twice. In early 1990s and late 1960s.

1st December 2019 Thredbo maximum was -1C but the month set record highs. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/aus/archive/201912.summary.shtml
 
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Wet Snow

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Thanks Much, Everyone for your answers. Very interesting, indeed. Yes, it's amazing the difference in temperatures between coastal locations (marine layer/fog) and 20 or so miles inland.
I was really wondering the biggest difference in temperature in Australia at the same time on the same day.
 

POW Hungry

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Thanks Much, Everyone for your answers. Very interesting, indeed. Yes, it's amazing the difference in temperatures between coastal locations (marine layer/fog) and 20 or so miles inland.
I was really wondering the biggest difference in temperature in Australia at the same time on the same day.
On some occasions, probably in Spring/Autumn when we have extra-seasonal cold outbreaks you'll see temps of -4, -5ºC in the Aus Alps with inland Aus reaching +45ºC in places like Tom Price & Marble Bar, albeit thousands of miles apart.
So easily >50ºC thermal differences.
 

Trail Blazer

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Thanks Much, Everyone for your answers. Very interesting, indeed. Yes, it's amazing the difference in temperatures between coastal locations (marine layer/fog) and 20 or so miles inland.
I was really wondering the biggest difference in temperature in Australia at the same time on the same day.

Aus couldn’t compare to the US on that. I imagine in winter somewhere like Miami might be 30C and somewhere north could easily be -20C. Australia just doesn’t get cold enough to end up with a similar range. Australia would get into the low-mid 30s in winter but we would rarely, if ever, see a matching -15C or colder in the alps.

In summer a 50C variation might be possible as Pow suggests but I reckon it’d be pretty uncommon, whereas I can see the US experiencing this on many occasions every year in winter. A 30C Florida and -20C (or colder) Alaska or Minnesota, etc, would be easy to imagine
 
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skifree

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I’d be monitoring the hot places noted above, Marble Bar being the number 1 choice with Mt Wellington Tas.
 
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Greysrigging

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On the 19th Jan 2019 an extreme heat event swept over Southern Australia with a 49.8c ( 121.6f ) at Eucla, followed by only 26.5c ( 79.7f ) on the 20th.
Meanwhile the south western Victorian site of Port Fairy had 20.5c ( 69f ) on the 19th, 43.4c ( 110f ) on the 20th, then only 15.8c ( 60f ) on the 21st !
Imagine having to dress for this horrible climate....lol !
 
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skichanger

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Thanks Much, Everyone for your answers. Very interesting, indeed. Yes, it's amazing the difference in temperatures between coastal locations (marine layer/fog) and 20 or so miles inland.
I was really wondering the biggest difference in temperature in Australia at the same time on the same day.
Today the temperature in Berridale, which is near the ski resorts, was 16C overnight minimum and 33C this afternoon. May have even been a bigger variation as I was not watching the temp that closely. I now that was not what you were asking but it is interesting.
 
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Greysrigging

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1st December 2019 Thredbo maximum was -1C but the month set record highs.
44c that day at West Roebuck in the western Kimberleys ( was the 2nd Dec. ) Baw Baw and Thredbo -1.0c
1st December was 45c at West Roebuck and Yampi Sound and 0.5c at Hotham and 0.8c at Buller.
I'm thinking the 50c difference barrier in Australia on a given day/date ( max temps here, not max and mins ) might not have happened, but I'll have a dig around and see....
 

Steve777

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Hello Wet Snow. Yesterday provides examples of big local temperature differences as a Southerly change moved up the NSW coast during a the current heat wave, for example, two weather stations close to the coast North of Sydney:

6:30 PM Sunday Nov. 29 (59 km / 37 miles apart):
  • Williamtown: 38.3°C (100.9°F).
  • Norah Head: 23.1°C (73.6°F).
 

skichanger

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Today the temperature in Berridale, which is near the ski resorts, was 16C overnight minimum and 33C this afternoon. May have even been a bigger variation as I was not watching the temp that closely. I now that was not what you were asking but it is interesting.
Not sure what our max was yesterday but it was down to 7C when I went to bed last night. Probably got lowere in the wee hours.
 

LMB

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It's was 16 on the weekend in Perth (@LMB ) and 40 in Sydney!
It was 16 at the time we were speaking and you and @sara777 were telling me about your heatwave in Sydney. Was a few degrees higher at mid day, but not much.

And today:
A3315B9C-DA2F-428A-A4B8-4A56271DB3A8.jpeg


I was going to take the dog for a walk but it is windy and raining outside!! How is Sidoneeee today? Cooler?
 
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sara777

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It was 16 at the time we were speaking and you and @sara777 were telling me about your heatwave in Sydney. Was a few degrees higher at mid day, but not much.

And today:
A3315B9C-DA2F-428A-A4B8-4A56271DB3A8.jpeg


I was going to take the dog for a walk but it is windy and raining outside!! How is Sidoneeee today? Cooler?
So much cooler, 22 dgrs atm and cool winds. Loving it. All windows opened!
 

Wet Snow

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Hello Folks:
Many Thanks for your interesting & informative answers.
As per the US METAR maps, whenever a powerful Canadian cold front is plowing through Texas, I like to check the same-time temperatures in towns in far north Texas and the ones in far south Texas to see the differences. Sadly, I've not noted many of the same-time temperature differences between close-by towns. I'll try to keep up better with the large same-time differences in Alaska--which can sometimes be upwards of 100F difference (from around -50F/-45.5C in Barrow, AK to almost 50F/10C at locations along the Pacific coast in extreme SE Alaska).

Here are some of the larger same-time temperature differences that I've noted, (with the straight-line distance between the towns):
Dec. 18, 2016: At 12:55AM: -4F/-20.0C in Dalhart, TX & 77F/25.0C in McAllen, TX (727miles/1,170kilometers)
Feb. 21, 2018: At 2:55PM: 23F/-5.0C in Dalhart, TX & 88F/31.1C in Edinburg, TX (722miles/1,162kilometers)
Mar. 2, 2014: At 2:55PM: 8F/-13.3C in Dumas, TX & 90F/32.2C in Alice, TX (605miles/974kilometers)

A couple of the same-time temperature differences between close-by towns (with straight-line distance)
Feb. 28, 2017: At 11:05PM: 46F/7.7C in Ft. Scott, KS & 70F/21.1C in Pittsburg, KS (29.6miles/47.7kilometers)
Nov. 16, 2015: At 11:35PM: 51F/10.5C in Sweetwater, TX & 72F/22.2C at Dyess AFB in Abilene, TX (38miles/61kilometers)

There aren't too many US Airport METARS that are closer than 20-30 miles apart.
 
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Big T

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well today here in oz , highest max is at Birdsville in qld at 46.5c ( 115.7f ) and down in tassie Mt Read had a max of 5.8c ( 42f ) . I dont think we can compete on extremes with usa. we have the southern ocean to protect us from extreme cold systems similar to those that blast down from Canada.
 

Ozgirl

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On the news in Sydney the will say the highest and lowest temps for the say. I'm sure there has been a record day named.
 

Greysrigging

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There is a James A Michener book called 'Texas' where he devotes some time and writing on the phenomena of the Texas 'Blue Northaner'.. Suss it out, its a good reading..
 

Greysrigging

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@Wet Snow
Australia, land of contrasts: 48 degrees and snow on the same day
Bourke in northwest New South Wales, still reeling from extreme late spring heat, is today expected to reach a sizzling 48 degrees.
The town of 1800 residents on the Darling River has the hottest temperature forecast anywhere in Australia this Tuesday, and as you'd expect, fire bans are in force across a wide area of New South Wales.
Meanwhile in Australia's southernmost state, it’s a totally different story.
While the day will start with temperatures in the mid 20s in the eastern half of Tasmania under the influence of a warm northerly airstream, rain will develop in most areas, followed by snow above 900 metres overnight.
Mt Wellington in Hobart is 1271m above sea level, so there will likely be a few flakes around for those thinking of undertaking an early morning snow chase to the summit.
( weatherzone )
 
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Snow Blowey

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Right now Mt Buller is on 9 degrees (48.2F), while Bourke is at 47 (116.6F)!


Nicely spotted. About 800km apart.

As i posted in the other thread the daily range in some locations in the central west of NSW is nudging 30 degrees today. Forbes leading the way from what i can see. Min of 15 and so far up to 42 degrees. Thats 27 degrees already.
 

Wet Snow

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@Wet Snow
Australia, land of contrasts: 48 degrees and snow on the same day
Bourke in northwest New South Wales, still reeling from extreme late spring heat, is today expected to reach a sizzling 48 degrees.
The town of 1800 residents on the Darling River has the hottest temperature forecast anywhere in Australia this Tuesday, and as you'd expect, fire bans are in force across a wide area of New South Wales.
Meanwhile in Australia's southernmost state, it’s a totally different story.
While the day will start with temperatures in the mid 20s in the eastern half of Tasmania under the influence of a warm northerly airstream, rain will develop in most areas, followed by snow above 900 metres overnight.
Mt Wellington in Hobart is 1271m above sea level, so there will likely be a few flakes around for those thinking of undertaking an early morning snow chase to the summit.
( weatherzone )
WoW!!! That's some mindblowing stuff, for sure. Many Thanks for this! 48C=118.4F; 1,271M=4,168.8FT ASL. The straight-line distance between Bourke, QLD & Mt. Wellington (Hobart), TAS is 1,116.3 miles/1,796.51 kilometers. Will be interesting to see what the actual temperatures at Bourke & Mt. Wellington turn out to be.
Often, in the US in Winter, the difference between the Daily Highest & Lowest Temperatures in the Lower 48 US States can be in excess of 110F. I'll try to look up some of those readings.
 

Wet Snow

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^^^Here's one of the larger daily differences between highest & lowest temperature in a day in the US:
Feb. 4, 2020:
48 US State High Maximum: 90F/32.2C--Falfurrias, TX.
48 US State Low Minimum: -41F/-40.5C--Peter Sinks, UT. (1,266.37 miles/2,038.02 kilometers apart).
 

Ramshead

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ROFL^ That obviously shouldn't count. Tasmania is hardly part of "Australia"—not even on the same landmass. WZ publishing such nonsensical articles isn't shocking to me, however.
As the author of that article and a ski.commer who recently made a career switch from 20 years of sports journalism to weather and outdoors journalism and book writing, I'm going to have to argue this point. Also, I may ring Ricky Ponting and/or David Boon to source their opinions on this matter, both of whose numbers are in my phone. Good afternoon
 
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Wet Snow

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Sometimes, the Daily Highest & Lowest Temperatures in the Lower 48 US States are in the same state--California.
Death Valley, CA (elev. -280FT/-85.3M below sea level) & Bodie State Park, CA (elev. 8,369FT/2,551.5M ASL) are 194.7 miles/313.3 kilometers apart.

Some of the larger daily temperature differences:
June 22, 2018:
48 US State High Max.: 121F/49.4C at Death Valley, CA
48 US State Low Min.: 25F/-3.8C at Bodie State Park, CA

July 18, 2017:
48 US State High Max.: 123F/50.5C at Death Valley, CA
48 US State Low Min.: 27F/-2.7C at Bodie State Park, CA

June 29, 2014:
48 US State High Max.: 120F/48.8C at Death Valley, CA
48 US State Low Min.: 28F/-2.2C at Bodie State Park, CA

Would be interesting to see similar numbers for any particular state in Australia.
Thanks for the input & interest. Very Interesting!
 
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Snow Blowey

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Don't think we will compete with those ranges. You got a bigger land mass up there which is what drives range. We've got ocean all around us.
 

Greysrigging

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If we're talking max temps and min temps for the same date, well yesterday it was 47.1c ( 116.8f ) at Birdsville and an overnight min of -1.7c ( 29f ) at Liawenee in the Tassie Central Highlands
Ps, don't tell Boonie or Ricky ...
 
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Adaminaby Angler

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As the author of that article and a ski.commer who recently made a career switch from 20 years of sports journalism to weather and outdoors journalism and book writing, I'm going to have to argue this point. Also, I may ring Ricky Ponting and/or David Boon to source their opinions on this matter, both of whose numbers are in my phone. Good afternoon
Well I'll be farked…ain't that an eye-opener! :eek:

Never thought I'd run into a journalist on a weather forum.
 
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