Australians warned to prepare for ‘supercell’ storms and flash flooding | Australia weather

Date: 2021-09-29 06:43:04

Dangerous “supercell” thunderstorms have started to hit parts of eastern Australia, with residents being warned to prepare for wild weather that could cause flash flooding over the coming days.

Forecasters have warned the first significant storm of this season could bring the biggest rainfall in September in five years, with residents across parts of the east coast being told to prepare for heavy rain, giant hail and ferocious winds.

According to Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Jackson Browne, the severe weather was likely to start on Wednesday and continue until Friday.

“This is the first outbreak of thunderstorm this season and it is a sign of things to come,” Browne said.

“It’ll be an active season.”

People walk around Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra as rain falls
Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Jackson Browne says wet weather is “sign of things to come”. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

The wild weather is driven by a low-pressure system moving from the west of the country through South Australia on Tuesday and then into eastern Australia, he said.

“The system will shift towards the east gradually today, tomorrow and into Friday. By Friday we should expect it to be in the vicinity of Brisbane,” Browne said.

The low system is linking with a trough from the tropics which is bringing down the moist warmer air, and a lot more rainfall with it.

The wet weather will be widespread across much of the east coast but northern NSW and Queensland are expected to be hit the hardest by dangerous thunderstorms.

“Most of the storm activity will be in southern Queensland and northern NSW, where we have some severe warnings for damaging winds and hail,” Browne said.

Residents in those areas are being warned the storms could produce damaging wind gusts and heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding.

Canberra has experienced heavy rainfall already with severe thunderstorms expected in some parts of the Australian Capital Territory on Thursday.

There is also a severe weather warning for parts of Victoria such as the Otway Coast.

Even places that miss the thunderstorms, should expect heavy rainfall, which could be significant in parts of the country including north-east Tasmania.

“As it expands it will brush Tasmania. There [are] some flood watches current for Victoria and Tasmania,” Browne said.

Victorians are likely to continue to have rain into next week across a lot of the state, he said.

“Melbourne enjoys a rain shadow, so it will be wet,” Browne said.

“Sydney is a mixed bag. There is a chance of some severity tomorrow [Thursday] for Sydney but it’s on the fence.”

The BoM is predicting up to 45mm of rain to fall in Brisbane over Thursday and Friday, which would be more than the region has had in three months.

And in the Northern Territory, there is a high chance of thunderstorms over the western Top End later in the week.


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