Gungahlin and the surrounding region is not only a great place to live, it's a great place for taking weather photos! We'll add photos here as we take them so please visit often.
If you have a weather related photo you would like us to add here please email it (along with a few words explaining the photo) and we'll do the rest. The photo doesn't have to be from Gungahlin.
Note: Simply click on a photo to enlarge it.
Mother Nature springs late winter surprise - 25 and 26 August 2010.
With less than a week of winter 2010 remaining, heavy snow falls hit the snowy mountains and surrounding region. Up to 60cm of snow was dumped on the ski fields in 48hrs. By 3pm on 26 August, Perisher Valley was within 4cm of recording its deepest ever August fall, with over 2m of snow falling at the resort since 1 August.
Snow also fell extensively across the Monaro region, with most areas above 950m recording between 2cm and 5cm of snow. At Lake Eucumbene snow was recorded on both the 25th and 26th of August. The snow had all melted by 12pm on both days but with a maximum temp of 4.1°C on 25 August and 4.4°C on 26 August - only the keenest ventured out for a fish.
Views from the Lake Eucumbene web cam on 26 August 2010:
7.00am 8.00am 9.00am 10.00am 11.00am 12.00pm
Don't forget, if you have weather photos you would like to add to our 'Weather Photos' page just email them to us.
Winter morning - Lake Ginninderra, Belconnen (1 June 2010).
Thanks to website regular Lorraine Attard for sending in this great photo showing fog rising above Lake Ginninderra, Belconnen on the first morning of winter 2010. Gungahlin recorded a mild start to winter with the temperature range on 1 June 2.4°C to 14.3°C.
Don't forget, if you have weather photos you would like to add to our 'Weather Photos' page just email them to us.
Gungahlin's first frost of 2010 - 13 April 2010.
Gungahlin recorded its first frost of 2010 when the temperature dropped to 0.6°C at 6.38am on April 13.
I took this icy picture at 6.45am as I was leaving for work.
Sunset over Lake Eucumbene (NSW Snowy Mountains) - 25 January 2010.
Lake Eucumbene is one of Australia's premier high country fishing spots and is famous for housing some of the biggest brown and rainbow trout on the Australian Mainland.
I spent a couple of days fishing at the lake towards the end of January 2010 and while the fish weren't biting (probably due to the heat and calm conditions - my excuse anyway!) the lake put on a show on the evening of January 25, 2010. The sunset was absolutely stunning - while these photos attempt to capture the sunset, being there to witness it was special. As the sunset the conditions were calm and warm - about 25°C (this followed a top of 28°C during the day). I'll be back to catch that elusive 'trophy' trout soon.
Remember, if you have a photo or two you would like to add to this page simply email them to us.
Frosty morning in Goulburn (NSW) - 11 June 2009.
The winter chill that has been affecting Canberra recently also hit many towns and villages across the local area.
Our Goulburn weather correspondent Kate Naughton sent in a couple of photos showing winters icy grip on the town on Thursday, 11 June. After a top of just 6.1°C on Wednesday (10 June), clear overnight skies allowed plenty of cold air to settle in. The photos show the affects of Goulburn's Thursday minimum of -2.8°C - with heavy frost on the plants, and an icy outside fish pond. Those poor fish! Thanks for the photos Kate.
Remember, if you have a photo or two you would like to add to this page simply email them to us.
Snow across the Brindabella Range - 10 June 2009.
Widespread snow was expected to fall to 600m across southern NSW and the ACT overnight on June 9. The expected falls had Canberra in a spin and many locals (including me) stayed up late waiting to see white stuff fall. Gungahlin looked likely to receive at least 2cm of snow, enough for the local kids to practice their snowman making and snow ball throwing skills, but Mother Nature had other ideas, keeping the snowline to above 800m.
Harrison (ACT) resident Alan Kerlin was up nice and early to capture the beautiful Brindabella Range covered in a thick layer of snow. Thanks for your efforts Alan - it's a great shot.
Alan also sent us a couple of photos of a well formed rainbow over Harrison (ACT). The third shot in the series (below) is a ripper - and shows a Virgin Blue plane seemingly flying out of the rainbow! - A fantastic capture Alan, thanks for sharing with us.
Nimbostratus cloud over Parramatta (Sydney) - 16 May 2009
Thanks to Gail and Be Dejong for sending in this great picture of a well formed Nimbostratus cloud hovering above their house in Parramatta (NSW).
Could sharks roam the waters of Antarctica one day? - 18 March 2008.
Ok, I admit this isn't a Gungahlin Weather photo - it isn't even an Australian photo, but I liked it so much I thought I'd record it here for prosperity! The photo formed the frame for a recent University of Rhode Island (US) study that found if Global warming continued (yeah, many of you know my opinion on that but...) sharks (yes, sharks) could one day roam the waters of Antarctica. The report and photo appeared in the Canberra Times on Monday, 18 February 2008. If you're interested read more...
'Rare' winter thunderstorm dumps hail on Gungahlin - 27 July 2007.
After a couple of days of spring like temperatures, Gungahlin residents were treated to a fairly rare winter event - passing thunderstorms and hail!
The storms, which developed due to some very cold air in the upper atmosphere, crossed the local region around 2pm. Gungahlin recorded some brief, but very heavy rain and hail. The storms were concentrated between Gungahlin and Goulburn, with the rest of Canberra recoding only rain showers.
The storm cleared with 30mins and left behind about 5mm of rain at the Gungahlin Weather Centre. As can be seen in the photo's here (taken from my front door), the hills around Gungahlin resembled a 'winter wonderland', looking as though they had received a good dusting of snow - alas, it was just hail.
Lake Eucumbene drops to just 10.2% of capacity - 12 to 14 July 2007.
The waters of Lake Eucumbene, in Australia's high country, have fallen steadily for the past 2 years. The fall has mainly been attributed to the long term dry conditions across SE Australia, and the very poor snow season in 2006 which resulted in record low inflows into the lake.
On this fishing trip to the lake (on 12th to 14th of July, 2007) the water level was down to just 10.2% of capacity. Many of the foundations and ruins of what was once the thriving township of 'original' Adaminaby' can be seen lying across the landscape. Lake Eucumbene was formed in 1959 as part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, and this is the lowest the water level has been since then. The previous low was 18% of capacity, recorded during the drought of the early 1980's.
Before the fishing trip I had a theory - less water, same number of fish equals plenty of fish for dinner! ummm... nice theory! Dad and I caught only one rainbow trout over the two days! The Weather didn't help - it was sunny, but quite windy with maximums around 6°C both days, and nights -2°C.
Below are some photos of Lake Eucumbene (elevation 1,180m) at just 10.2% of capacity:
Widespread local snow falls - 26 & 27 June 2007.
A deep low pressure system off the NSW coast, and a pool of cold air in the upper atmosphere, combined to create widespread snow around parts of NSW and the ACT on June 26 and 27. Snow fell heavily in the Snowy Mountains (40cm) as well as Adaminaby, Jindabyne and Cooma. Snow also fell in Oberon, Blaney, Crookwell and across the Blue Mountains.
It didn't snow in Gungahlin, but with a temperature range of 3.3°C to 6.2°C on June 26 and 3.3°C to 5.9°C on June 27 it was hardly warm! The most pleasing aspect was the 43.7mm of rain that fell in Gungahlin over the two days.
Below are some photos sent into the Gungahlin Weather Centre by regular web site visitors - Mick Schorsch and Peter Vels - thanks guys.
Mick sent in the first 5 photos (and the one on the left) which show the roads in the Brindabella's (around Piccadilly Circus) on June 27. Mick reported "There was a 10-15cm cover of fresh light powder snow...which is unusual for Oz, and it was dumping down as I was heading back around 11am.
The remaining 4 photos show a pretty winter scene around Peters farm at Royalla (NSW). Elevation: 964m.
Snow blankets local towns - 14 June 2007.
A cold pool of air moved over the region early on June 14, causing heavy snow to fall around Bungendore/Captains Flat. The falls caused havoc on the roads, with the Kings Highway closed between Bungendore and Queanbeyan for much of the day. There were reports of up to 15cm of snow covering Bungendore Village, in what has been described as a once in 20 year event.
In Gungahlin, heavy sleet & light snow fell between 6.30am & 7.30am, but no snow settled.
More snow photos: Chaos on the roads / A winter wonderland / A snowy farm scene
Back from the deep - May 2007.
The falling waters of Lake Eucumbene in the Snowy Mountains recently revealed the wreck of a 1978 Holden panel van with - eerily - the keys still in the ignition and fishing tackle in the back. There was also a Commonwealth Motors, Canberra sticker on the back of the mud choked car.
A Canberra Times reader remembers some time in the late 1970's there was a flash flood at Lake Eucumbene which washed a car away from a camping site. Its owner and a mate were sleeping outside the car and were surprised by the floodwaters, saved only by being caught on a wire fence.
The Selkirk Settler battles through Cyclone George - 8 March, 2007.
Cyclone George killed two and left hundreds homeless as it thundered across Western Australia's Pilbara Region in March. The Category 4 cyclone also caused havoc across the regions shipping lanes. This photo shows The Selkirk Settler battling through huge seas.
Note: After posting this photo, I received the following email from GJKS doubting the authenticity of the words that went with it. GJKS wrote "Selkirk Settler in Cyclone George March 2007? I don’t think so!. Those photos were taken about 20 years ago when the bulk carrier was called the M.V. Selkirk Settler - now renamed as Spruceglen and operating on the Great Lakes in N. America for at least a decade. Rgds, GJKS.
What ever the true explanation, it sure makes for a very interesting weather photo.
Still a great place to visit - Lake Eucumbene - 28 December 2006.
This photo (taken on 28 December 2006) graphically shows the effect the drought is having on one of Australia's premier trout fishing lakes - lake Eucumbene.
On this day, the water level was down to 22.2% of capacity. Since then the lake has continued to fall and, at time of writing this, (24 March 2007) the lake was down to an all time low of 16.8%. This is the lowest the lake has been since it was filled in 1959. The previous low was 18% during the drought of 1983.
"The stairway to heaven" - drought takes its toll on Lake Eucumbene - 28 December 2006.
The big dry continues to take its toll across much of southern Australia, with 2006 being one of the warmest and driest years on record in many areas.
The effects of the drought (little rain and snow = reduced inflows into the local mountain lakes) is clearly evidenced by the falling waters of Lake Eucumbene. On the day this photo was taken the lake was down to 22.2% of capacity. This photo shows the steps to the old Catholic Church in Denison Street, (original) Adaminaby. These steps had been under water for more than 35 years.
Lake Eucumbene reveals more secrets - 9 July 2006.
The waters of Lake Eucumbene continue to fall (now just 24.4% of capacity). This photo shows an old farm vehicle which has finally reached 'dry land' after more than 30 years under water.
Despite the low lake level, the weather during our two day fishing trip at Australia's premier alpine lake was generally fine and cold. Nights were particularly challenging as the mercury dipped below -5 degrees on the bank. Days peaked at around 7 degrees. We caught 4 nice rainbow over the two days, but again fishing was tough with an occasional stiff SW wind.
Lake Eucumbene gives up some old secrets - 30 & 31 March, 2006.
During a recent 2 day trip to Lake Eucumbene (Australia's premier trout fishing lake in my opinion) the water level was so low (41%) that some of the foundations of the 'old town' (original Adaminaby) were clearly visible.
Although I don't know what this building would have been, it is located directly below the Rainbow Pines Tourist Park (Old Adaminaby Caravan Park). If anyone happens to know what it may have been, I would love to put a name to this piece of local history.
Despite the low lake level, strong and gusty SW winds and an unseasonably cold outbreak with sleet, we managed to land 8 nice rainbow trout from the bank near here on Power Bait, Bardi Grubs and Dad's and my 'secret bait'!
Storm front crosses Gungahlin - 2 December, 2005.
Gungahlin was lashed by strong winds, lightning and heavy rain at 4.30pm on 2 December 2005. The storm caused havoc on the roads and brought down trees - some falling on cars and house roofs.
The storm dumped 17mm of rain in Gungahlin in just 15 minutes.
Spectacular Sunset at Mindil Beach, Darwin - 20 October, 2005.
During October 2005 I was lucky enough to make my first trip to Australia's most Northerly Capital - Darwin, Northern Territory.
Although the trip was predominantly for work, I did manage to take time out to have a bit of a look around the city. One of the stops I made was to the famous "Mindil Beach Markets". The Markets, which operate each Thursday afternoon/evening from April to the end of October, are a great place to find that uniquely Australian gift (I even ate some crocodile and camel steaks). Mindil Beach is also arguably the best place in Australia to view the setting sun. This photo was taken at Mindil Beach at around 7.30pm.
By the way, the weather during my 4 day trip was not for the faint hearted - minimums were around 27°C/28°C and days up to 36°C. This is hot enough, but when you add the 85% humidity into the mix it was rather steamy!!!
Snow falls reach Gungahlin - August 10, 2005.
A blast of cold Antarctic air moved across Southern Australia on August 10, producing widespread snow falls across 3 states. In Tasmania and Victoria snow was reported to sea level in some areas, which others receiving their first snowfalls for 50 years!
In Canberra snow flurries hit about 12.30pm and continued lightly on and off throughout the afternoon. In Gungahlin brief, but heavy snow showers hit around 6.30pm and again at 7.30pm, with huge flakes falling and quickly covering the gardens. Kids could be seen outside throwing the snow that was settling.
This photo was taken from my front door on the morning after the falls (August 11) and clearly shows snow still covering the roofs, gardens and cars around the suburbs. The snow had all but gone by 10.30am, but with a temperature range of just -0.3°C to 4.8°C on August 11, Gungahlin shivered!
Not enough to ski on but welcome all the same! - Gungahlin snow - 10 August 2005.
Ok so it was hardly enough to ski on but this self confessed snow lover had a smile on his face when he awoke on August 11 to see snow still lying on the grass in his backyard!
Similar snow falls were reported from across the Canberra region.
"Snowy Trees" - Lake Eucumbene - 5 August 2005.
It was great to get back to Lake Eucumbene for another fish. The lake was hovering at around 47% full on this day, which is a drop of some 17% from our last trip here back in May 2005.
The afternoon before we arrived a blizzard whipped across the lake, dumping around 3cm of snow. Snow was still covering Old Adaminaby, and even by the lakes edge snow was clearly visible. This photo (taken at around 2.30pm on August 5) shows the effects of the wild afternoon the day before. Snow was stuck fast to the trees.
On this fishing trip the weather was fantastic (for winter). Despite the snow the days were sunny, but a stiff breeze at times did remind us that winter fishing at Lake Eucumbene is not for the faint hearted (not to mention the -1.3°C inside temperature when we returned to our caravan that night!).
Keeping the beers cold! - snow at Lake Eucumbene - 5 August 2005.
Who needs to take an esky when they go fishing? If you fish Lake Eucumbene in winter chances are you won't need ice!
Not only did the beer stay nice and cold during our trip to Australia's best lake, the fish were biting! We landed 4 nice trout and 4 others literally broke off as we got them close to shore. One of the fish was big enough to pull dads rod off the rest and towards the water! By the struggle dad had before this fish broke off it would have been a decent size!
Weather during our 2 day trip was good - clear, cold days (with a very nippy breeze at times) and freezing nights. Temps around 6°C during the day and -4°C at night. Just the type of weather this self confessed cold freak loves!
The Monaro blanketed in snow on 9 - 10 July 2005.
During the heavy snows of July 9-10, 2005 roads across the Monaro region were closed and power was cut in many areas, including Adaminaby and Jindabyne. At Rainbow Pines Caravan Park at Old Adaminaby, the power was off for more than 24hrs, as strong winds and up to 10cm of snow fell in the village.
When the snow stopped the region looked a pretty picture. This photo was taken on July 10 at around 2pm on the road between Adaminaby and Cooma (near the Adaminaby Trout Farm). Snow was on the ground almost all the way back to Cooma.
Heavy snow falls across SE NSW on 9 - 10 July 2005.
Up to 20cm of snow blanketed SE NSW on July 9 and 10, 2005. The falls were heaviest around Nimmitabel, Jindabyne and Adaminaby, with many roads across the region closed for a period on July 10. Snow fell and settled in most areas above 850m and snow was still covering a large area when I made the trip up to Lake Eucumbene at 1.30pm on July 10. Thredbo and Perisher recorded an incredible 90cm of snow.
This photo was taken at Old Adaminaby, and shows the snow laden mountains across Lake Eucumbene. In Old Adaminaby some 5cm of snow still covered the ground. It would have (almost) been to cold for me to have a fish, as winds buffeted the lake shore and the wind chill was around minus 4!
The water returns to Lake Eucumbene - 6 January 2005.
It was nice to return to Providence Portal (one of our favourite fishing spots) to see the water level back up to 64.7% of capacity. Lake Eucumbene had been below 50% full for 15 months, before rising rapidly in the September 2004 snow melt.
On this fishing trip the weather was surprisingly cold for summer, with blustery W winds making jumpers and coats a must from about 4pm as the temperatures dropped to below 15°C (it felt much colder with the wind chill). Unfortunately, despite the increased water level we only managed to catch one trout over the two days. Oh well, there's always next time.
Storm clouds gather over Gungahlin - 8 December 2004.
After a pleasant summers day with a top of 26.4°C, threatening storm clouds gathered over Gungahlin towards sunset. Shortly after this photo was taken the heavens opened, dumping 7.4mm of rain at the Weather Centre in just 20 minutes.
Cooma Showground covered in snow - 17 July 2004.
Heavy snows hit the region on 17 July 2004. The snow started around 11am, and quickly began to build up across the local area. Snow was recorded in Canberra, Goulburn and across the Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains.
This photo (taken in Cooma at 3pm) shows snow piling up on the Cooma Showground. The local Rugby League Team (Cooma Stallions) play here. For the record, I scored 3 tries playing for the Stallions at this ground way back in 1984!
Snow falling at Monaro High School (Cooma) - 17 July 2004.
Oh the memories! During the early 80's I attended Monaro high School in Cooma. So it was a great surprise to go back to Cooma on 17 July 2004 and see the school being 'snowed on'. This photo was taken at around 3.30pm.
Snow is not rare in Cooma, but this was one of the bigger falls for many years. Over 3cm of snow covered the town and roads across the region were treacherous. Snow was falling all the way back to Gungahlin on the way home.
Snow causes havoc on the regions roads - 17 July 2004.
Heavy snow on 17 July 2004 caused havoc on the regions roads. Some of the roads that were closed included the Snowy Mountains Highway between Cooma and Adaminaby, the Monaro Highway from Cooma to Nimmatabel. Many roads in the Bombala area were also closed.
This photo shows the Snowy Mountains Highway on the way to Adaminaby at 2.30pm, just before it was closed to all but 4WD vehicles.
Gungahlin Weather Centre in the Canberra Times - 22 June 2004.
One of the Canberra Times' most respected journalists - Ian Warden, visited me at home in Gungahlin on June 18, 2004. Ian and I discussed the weather (what else?) and how I got interested in it.
On the day of Ian's visit, Gungahlin was putting on a weather show well worth writing about - At 11am it was just 4.8°C, there was a rain/sleet mix falling, near gale force NW winds and a wind chill hovering around 0°C - It was freezing!
The result of Ian's visit was published in the Canberra Times on June 22, 2004.
Lake Eucumbene (Providence Portal) remains low - 22 May 2004.
Believe it or not this is one of my favourite fishing spots on Lake Eucumbene in Australia's high country. The trees in the left of this picture are usually surrounded by water, and we usually fish on the sandy bank above, and to the right, of the trees. We have lost our fair share of fishing tackle around these trees over the years! (see more photos from this area below).
On this day (22 May 2004) the lake was 46.7% full. Lake Eucumbene has been below 50% now for 12 months, but has been holding steady at its current level since the 1st week of January 2004.
Late spring snow at Mt Selwyn - 1 November 2003.
Winter may have officially ended some 2 months earlier, but someone forgot to tell Mother Nature! This photo was taken at the Mt Selwyn Ski Fields at 2.30pm on November 1. Snow can be seen across the resort to a depth of several cm's. Interestingly, the resort had officially closed for the year almost a month earlier.
Snow fell extensively across the southern ranges early on November 1, down to around the 1,200m level. At higher elevations (above 1,480m) the snow remained all day. Snow in November is not that rare in the Mountains, but to stay all day at such a low altitude is newsworthy.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! - 25 October 2003.
I'm only joking! No, it didn't snow. The picture shows part of my Gungahlin backyard covered in hail following a violent storm that hit the region around 1.30pm on October 25, 2003.
After a warm high of 22.2°C, cloud suddenly turned dark, winds picked up and the temperature plummeted. Heavy rain and hail hit Gungahlin and, combined with winds gusting to over 72km/h, it suddenly looked like winter. Temperatures dropped to 7.7°C and the hail began to build up outside. It looked like snow as the hail piled up to several cm's deep in places. Even on sunset (some 4 hours later) ice still lay in patches all over Gungahlin. The storm dumped 21.8mm of rain in just 45 minutes!
On top of Mt. Wellington, Tasmania - 16 October 2003.
My work took me to Tasmania (Australia's Apple Isle) in mid October 2003. I managed to take some time out of the busy schedule to take my first trek up to Hobart's famous Mt. Wellington. The Mt, just 21km from Hobart's city centre, rises to an impressive 1,260m above the nearby sea. On this day (Oct 16) weather conditions were pleasant. The temperature hovered at an impressive 13°C (21°C in Hobart).
'Average' Oct temperatures on the Mountain are 0.1°C to 6.9°C. Even in summer temperatures average at just 5.4°C to 13.5°C (it has dropped to as low as -5.0°C). The winter range is -1.7°C to 2.3°C. The extreme low has been -8.1°C and high just 28.3°C. Average rainfall is 864.1mm a year. Snow is common throughout the year. Snow patches were present on this day.
So where's the water? - 13 June 2003.
Providence Portal is one of my favourite fishing spots on beautiful Lake Eucumbene in Australia's Snowy Mountains. On this fishing trip to Eucumbene (one of Australia's highest lakes at 1,150m) it was a surprise to see the water level had dropped to such an extent that many of our fishing 'hot spots' were well above the waters edge!
Weather conditions over the 3 day trip (despite looking quite nice) were atrocious. Thur: clear and cool. Max: 8.6°C. Fri: cold, gale force winds and late rain. Min: -1.2°C Max: 2.9°C. Sat: gales, snow. Min: -1.0°C Max: 1.2°C.
What's happened to our favourite fishing spot? - 13 June 2003.
This little part of Lake Eucumbene is our secret fishing spot (well, it was a secret!!) This photo shows (when compared to the one below) just how the water has fallen in Lake Eucumbene. The photos were taken 11 months apart, and the drop in water level is obvious.
Lake Eucumbene has dropped from 72.8% of capacity in January 2003, to just 47.3% now (13 June, 2003).
Despite the lack of water, the -6°C wind chill, and not catching a trout (the first time we have failed to catch fish in many years), we'll be back!!
Now that's more like it - some water!! - 4 July 2002.
This photo shows the lake just 11 months before the two above. It was shot on a snowy day back in July 2002, when Lake Eucumbene was at around 67% of capacity.
Despite the icy conditions the fish were biting. Rainbow trout was the meal of the evening!
A rainbow without rain? - 14 April 2003.
This interesting sky developed over Gungahlin around 10am on April 14, 2003. Despite the relatively clear conditions shown in this photo, the rainbow must have known something! - cloud rolled in by mid-day, and light rain began to fall.
Some 1.8mm had fallen before skies again cleared later in the day.
Fires in the nearby Canberra Mountains - January 2003.
Bush fires raging in the mountains around Canberra can clearly be seen in this photo. The fires, which appear to have been started by lightning, raged for almost 10 days before taking a devastating and tragic turn towards Australia's Capital City (Canberra) on January 18, 2003.
The effect of the fires can clearly be seen in the following 4 photos. Copyright of this, and the following 4 photos, is unknown.
Fires rage in the Canberra suburbs - January 2003.
Canberra's 315,000 residents were thrown in to a state of panic as fires swept through many of the Capitals suburbs on the afternoon of January 18, 2003.
One saving grace may have been that the fires hit Canberra at around 2pm on the Saturday. This ensured that many people were at home when the fires were approaching, and gave some the opportunity to be able to defend their property. Things may have been even grimmer had they hit while the majority of residents were at work or school.
Day turns to night in the Canberra suburbs - 18 January 2003.
This photo was taken during the height of the Canberra firestorm on January 18, 2003. It was taken around 2pm on that dreadful Saturday afternoon, and shows just how dark the sky went during the fires. Thick, choking smoke turned day to night in many suburbs, hampering visibility and making it almost impossible for fire fighters.
Hundreds of Canberra residents were admitted to hospital suffering burns or smoke induced breathing difficulties.
Canberra's suburban hills burn - 18 January 2003.
This photo dramatically demonstrates the terror experienced throughout Canberra during the cities devastating bush fire.
Normally, one of the best parts of living in Canberra is its bush land and local hills, with many of Canberra's suburbs backing directly onto them. Unfortunately, during Canberra's fire storm on January 18, 2003 these houses were directly in the fires path. Many homes surrounding this hill were totally destroyed.
4 die, 530 homes burn to the ground on Canberra's blackest day - 18 January 2003.
This photo was typical of the events that unfolded in many Canberra suburbs on the afternoon of January 18, 2003.
Once the devastating fires had passed, Canberra was left with the grim reality that 4 people had lost their lives, and over 530 homes were burnt to the ground. The loss to Canberra's infrastructure, including power stations, water treatment plants and the space observatory, is put at over $400 million dollars. While these can be repaired in time, the human and emotional toll of these fires may never heal.
The sun (almost) disappears, as a thick smoke haze blankets Gungahlin - 14 January 2003.
Bush fires raging in the mountains to Canberra's NW caused a thick, almost choking smoke haze to drift across the city on January 14, 2003. In this photo (taken at 6pm in mid-summer), the sun can (just) be seen poking through the very think smoke haze at the Gungahlin Weather Centre.
The smoke dramatically reduced visibility, with many cars travelling with headlights blazing. It also caused flight delays at Canberra Airport. The fires, which are currently not contained, are threatening Canberra's water catchment area.
Australia's "Big Dry" - 29 December 2002.
Much of Australia suffered through one of the driest years in recorded history during 2002. In this photo (taken on a farm near Kyabram in Victoria's North) the effects of the prolonged drought are clearly evident. The grass is parched and brown, and the dam is completely dry. Rainfall in some areas of Victoria has been below normal for the last 6 years.
Over 98% of NSW has also been drought declared (as is the ACT - including Gungahlin) and forecasters see little chance of conditions improving until autumn at the earliest. In Gungahlin during 2002 just 450.6mm of rain was recorded, making it the driest year since records began at the Weather Centre back in 1998.
Summer sunset over Gungahlin - 10 December 2002.
This spectacular sunset over Gungahlin was photographed on December 10, 2002. Despite being in summer, temperatures during this day ranged from a low of 7.9°C to a high of just 14.3°C - well below the normal December range of 11°C to 26°C.
Mind you, given that 12mm of rain also fell on this day, there were few complaints. Almost as much rain has fallen in the first 10 days of December, than was recorded in October and November combined!
Storm clouds gather over Gungahlin - 29 November 2002.
The 'big dry' of 2002 was especially evident during October and November, with Gungahlin's rainfall almost non existent. October saw just 7.0mm of rainfall, and November had received just 0.3mm before this storm broke on the afternoon of November 29, 2002.
This photo was taken only minutes before the cloud burst. The storm dumped 9mm of rain at the Weather Centre in less than 15 minutes. This fall, coupled with the 3mm that fell on 30 November, brought the month's total rainfall to 12.4mm - well below the average of almost 63mm.
Rainbow over the Gungahlin Weather Centre - 28 September 2002.
The arrival of a vigorous cold front at the Weather Centre during the afternoon of September 28, 2002 created this great weather scene. This rainbow was quite striking, and lasted for over 5 minutes.
The cold front was responsible for fairly strong W/NW winds, brief hail and a temperature drop of over 4°C in 30 minutes (from 12.1°C at 1pm to 7.9°C at 1.30pm). The front also caused heavy afternoon snowfalls in the mountains.
Snow on the banks of Lake Eucumbene - 4 July 2002.
The fish weren't exactly biting during this trip to a 'snowy' Lake Eucumbene, in Australia's high country during July 2002.
Then again, weather conditions didn't help, with 3 days of heavy rain, sleet and snow, and a freezing, almost constant, NW gale. Despite the trying conditions, we managed to land a nice brown trout and can't wait to return.
Temperatures hovered around the 3°C mark during the day and 0°C at night.
View of my backyard and home of the Gungahlin Weather Centre, Canberra - 28 June 2002.
This photo was taken on the afternoon of June 28, 2002 - the same day snow was forecast to fall here! As can clearly be seen by the photo snow did not fall. Instead, weather conditions were surprisingly clear with a temperature range on this day of -0.5°c to 6.3°c.
Beautiful weather at Lake Eucumbene - 10 May 2002.
A cool start with early frost cleared to a fantastic day for a fish at one of Australia's highest lakes - Lake Eucumbene. The lake, located in the Snowy Mountains of NSW (at an altitude of over 1,100meters) is teeming with rainbow and brown trout. On this trip in May 2002 we landed 4 fish in the evening.
Weather conditions at the lake are extreme and very changable. It is not uncommon for a clear blue morning to give way to an afternoon blizzard. The lake is one of my favourite spots in the local region.
Thunderstorm approaches Gungahlin - March 2002.
The storm, on March 26, dumped 10mm of rain in Gungahlin in just 30 minutes. Winds gusted to over 48km/h during the storm.