Monty Moore (front) and Will Bates, both 6, cool off on the water slide at the Goonellabah Aquatic centre.
Monty Moore (front) and Will Bates, both 6, cool off on the water slide at the Goonellabah Aquatic centre.

Summer makes up for lost time

AS temperatures skyrocketed into the high 30s across the Northern Rivers yesterday, plenty of people were making the most of the hot conditions to take a dip.

But beachgoers were sent running for cover by mid-afternoon as an aggressive storm cell ripped through the region.

Jimmy Keough from Surf Lifesaving Far North Coast said yesterday that the beaches had been busy, with Byron Bay being the pick of the bunch.

"With this warm weather, we are seeing really good beach numbers," he said.

"The weekend was good - we only had a couple of minor incidents.

"Unfortunately we are still seeing a fair few people swimming outside patrolled areas.

"We have to reinforce that message for people to only swim at patrolled beaches and only between the red and yellow flags."

Mr Keough said onshore winds also increased the possibility of bluebottles at local beaches, so he urged swimmers to take care over the next couple of days.

Lismore peaked at 36.6{+o}C at 3pm yesterday before the sweltering heat was interrupted by a short storm.

Strong gusts, torrential rain, thunder and lightning swept over the Northern Rivers, although the storm did weaken as it reached the coast.

The areas surrounding Lismore bore most of nature's fury.

Northern Star photographer Doug Eaton came home to a huge fig tree on top of his carport in Tregeagle.

"It fell on our carport and totally destroyed that and fell on the front of (my partner's) car but that's all right," he said.

"We are very lucky the tree didn't come through the roof."

Mr Eaton's partner, Dianne Essery, was home when the tree fell on their property but couldn't hear a thing over the roar of the rain.

"I was shocked to think I had not heard anything," she said.

"I think it was the biggest storm I have ever seen and it was over and done with in 20 minutes.

"It was like cyclonic winds and everything was swirling around."

Nearby on Alphadale Rd, the storm brought down a large tree and power lines.

As the storm moved east, it also brought down a tree on Bangalow Rd north of Bexhill.

Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service volunteers, Country Energy and police helped with the storm clean-up in the area.

And if you're hoping yesterday and Sunday were a one-off, think again. The extreme summer heat looks set to continue for at least a few more days.

Temperatures will again hit the 30s in most of the regional centres today and tomorrow, with a slight easing into the mid 20s by the end of the week.

In Lismore, today's peak will be 31{+o}C, in Ballina it will be 29{+o}C, Casino will hit 30{+o}C. Byron Bay will be slightly cooler at 28{+o}C.

 

THREE-DAY FORECAST

LISMORE

Today: 31 C

Tomorrow: 33 C

Thursday: 27 C

BALLINA

Today: 29 C

Tomorrow: 31 C

Thursday: 26 C

CASINO

Today: 30 C

Tomorrow: 34 C

Thursday: 29 C

BYRON BAY

Today: 28 C

Tomorrow: 30 C

Thursday: 25 C



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