Powerful storm to smash four states

Powerful storm to smash four states

Renewed flooding fears, heavy downpours and winds of more than 100km/hour have been forecast for South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania.

A weather system that began on the south-coast of WA will stretch across Australia’s south, with the Bureau of Meteorology issuing a flurry of severe weather warnings and advising residents to monitor conditions.

NSW placed on watch

BOM Meteorologist Dean Narramore said that a cold front could “tap into some tropical moisture and really bring some moderate to heavy rainfall across parts of Victoria and NSW”.

The heaviest totals are set to occur in northeast Victoria and southeastern NSW.

Areas in the alpine regions and west-facing slopes could face falls in excess of 100mm, which could lead to minor flooding.

On Twitter BOM warned that parts of NSW could see “significant rainfall” over the next four days. Heavy rainfall that could result in flash flooding could develop across the Snowy Mountains and the South West Slopes from early Thursday morning with six-horly totals between 45mm to 60mms.

An initial flood watch issued at around 1pm on Tuesday is also in place in some South Western and Central Inland areas, with moderate to major flooding possible along the Tumut and Murrumbidgee Rivers from Thursday.

An initial minor flood warning has also been issued for parts of Tasmania for areas along the Meander River, North Esk River and Macquarie River. The Bureau warned that already wet catchments in the flood watch area means the “rivers will be responsive to rainfall”.

Previously, minor to moderate flooding was forecast as “likely” from Wednesday, with the heaviest totals expected for Wednesday.

Damaging winds hit Victoria

Overnight in Victoria, nearly 16,000 homes in Melbourne’s outer-east were left without power as damaging gusts impacted trees and powerlines.

In the 12 hours to 8.20am on Wednesday morning, the Victoria State Emergency Service responded to 254 requests for assistance, with 214 of those for trees down due to damaging winds overnight.

A current severe weather warning is in place for damaging winds in parts of East Gippsland, South West, North East, West and South Gippsland and Wimmera Forecast Districts.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, gusts of 128 km/hr peaked in Mt Hotham at 2.19am. The winds bought around 6cm of very wet snow to the major ski resort, which is located in the Victorian Alps.

Winds of up to 110 km/h, and averaging 65 km/h have been predicted from now till Wednesday afternoon.

The BOM says conditions will slightly improve from Wednesday evening, with average wind speeds dropping down to 50-60 km/h and peak gusts of 90 km/h.

A severe weather warning for damaging winds are also in place for parts of Adelaide Metropolitan, Mount Lofty Ranges, Lower Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Murraylands, Upper South East, Lower South East and parts of West Coast, Yorke Peninsula, Mid North, Riverland and the North West Pastoral districts.

Damaging peak winds in excess of 90 km/h can be expected, with gusts averaging 50 to 65 km/h. The roughest winds were observed at Neptune Island along the Spencer Gulf, where speeds reached 111 km/h.

The SES have advised residents to move vehicles away from trees and secure any loose outdoor items. People have also been told to stay indoors and away from windows while conditions are at their most severe.

This week’s weather mayhem comes as BOM confirmed a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) for a consecutive year, in the second time this has happened since the 1960s. The weather event normally results in cooler than average maximum temperatures over southeastern mainland Australia, while maximum and minimum temperatures in the far north of Australia are typically warmer than average.

Wetter-than-average conditions are also forecast for most of southern and eastern Australia.

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