Brutal weather system hits Australia
Large parts of the country will be hit by severe weather, and major storms are expected to wreak havoc.
A severe thunderstorm left a trail of devastation as it swept across parts of south-east Queensland. The Somerset area bore the brunt of the weather system, leaving two women injured after lightning damaged their home. The same storm then caused a bushfire on Mount Kilcoy. Eight firefighting teams worked for several hours to contain the Mount Kilcoy fire. More than 4,000 lightning strikes were recorded in one hour, but the storm produced only about 5 mm of rain.
Storms are expected from Thursday in an area stretching from the Illawarra region in New South Wales to Wide Bay in Queensland.
A series of upper-level troughs are expected to bring wet weather to large parts of the country over the next seven to 10 days, with a deepening low pressure trough bringing rain and thunderstorms over eastern Australia.
Most forecast models indicate that this wet and stormy weather will continue into the first half of next week across a wide area of the east and north of the country, according to Weatherzone.
The dynamic nature of the weather pattern, which is set to include several upper-level and surface troughs, makes it difficult for meteorologists to predict where and how much rain will fall over the next week.
Early forecasts indicated rain and storms would affect part of each state and territory over the next seven days, with heavy rain likely for Queensland, New South Wales and central Australia. Some thunderstorms are expected to become severe, and heavy rains may lead to flooding in some states.
The wet conditions are attributed to the positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), which has resulted in increased moisture flow over Australia from the east in the past two weeks.
Early modeling had also indicated above-average rainfall across much of southern and south-eastern Australia in December.
However, the country’s northern tropical regions are expected to be drier than usual as the El Niño phenomenon delays the start of the rainy season.
The Met Office said on Thursday afternoon that storms were expected across the country, “with daily severe weather possible, including heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail.”
Queensland could receive its heaviest rainfall in months, the BOM said.
“Severe storms with large hail, damaging winds and heavy rain are likely for the eastern Darling Downs, Wide Bay, Burnett and south-eastern Queensland (excluding Gold Coast),” the office tweeted, adding that there was a “very serious risk.” Internal storms.”
In New South Wales, severe thunderstorms are expected on Thursday along the northern half of the New South Wales Range and adjacent coastal areas, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
Conditions are expected to stabilize over the weekend, with moderate temperatures and few clouds.
Storms are expected across much of Australia this week, with daily severe weather possible, including heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail. From Sunday parts of #QLD It may receive the heaviest rainfall in months. Latest: https://t.co/jlOoTZL1iFpic.twitter.com/9JAxPcSAI0
— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) November 16, 2023
Meanwhile, in northwest Queensland, heatwave warnings have been issued for “low to extreme intensity heatwave conditions”.
As conditions intensify northwards, it is expected to begin to retreat from the south-east and then central Queensland.
Longreach’s temperature rose to 44.4 degrees on Thursday, eight degrees above the November average.
Heatwave warnings are also in place for South Australia, while Western Australia remains clear and sunny.
The ACT can expect rain on Thursday before skies are mostly clear throughout the weekend.
Thursday was a partly wet day for Victoria, but the rain is expected to ease in time for the weekend while skies are expected to remain overcast throughout next week.
Cloud cover is also expected in Tasmania, where a maximum temperature of 21 degrees is expected over the weekend.
Intermittent rain is expected in Darwin, the Northern Territory capital, before the weekend before conditions improve and reach 35 degrees on Sunday.
(tags for translation)Western Australia