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Much more than four season in one day.

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Greg Hunt MP, Federal Member for Flinders and Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology today said Phillip Island and the Bass Coast’s weather record will need a new chapter following unprecedented weather recently.

“Phillip Island and the Bass Coast has experienced extreme weather recently with all time rainfall records tumbling, very cold temperatures for this time of the year and very strong winds,” Mr Hunt said.

“The combination of the rain and the winds has caused widespread damage across the state with much of it being reported in Melbourne.

“As well as conditions being severe over the land, extreme conditions have been observed over coastal waters with 12.5 metre waves being recorded at Point Nepean, and the Port Phillip Heads impassable due to high seas on an outgoing tide.”

Mr Hunt said this very unusual weather was caused by a very deep low pressure system that was triggered by very cold air from the deep southern ocean interacting with warm relatively moist air over the continent.

“The low developed and deepened almost right over the top of Melbourne and was close to stationary for a 24 hour period. That is why the rainfall totals were so extreme,” Mr Hunt said.

“Wednesday was one of the coldest February days on record with the maximum temperature being 16 in Phillip Island, compared to the Melbourne record of 14.7 which was recorded on the 18th February 1951.

“The 24 hour rainfall total of 105.4 at 9am on February 4 is around triple the February average of 34.2mm. Between 1am and 2am on February 3 alone, there was 21.2mm of rain.

“In the first four days of February alone we have had 125mm of rainfall, which is 18% of the annual average.

“There were very strong winds in the area as well with wind gusts up to 94km per hour.

“It is not unusual to get severe thunderstorms which can bring extreme local

rain in February, but this time the rainfall was steady and continuous for a period of 31 hours until it finally stopped at 8am this morning, an exceptionally long period of continuous rain for any time of the year.”

Mr Hunt became the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage on 26th October 2004. he has responsibility for the Bureau of Meteorology, Indigenous Heritage and National Parks including: Kakadu National Park, Uluru, Cocos and Christmas Islands, Boodooree National Park and Norfolk Island.