This season’s first thunderstorm event is expected to hit the east coast in the next couple of days bringing flooding, hail and damaging winds.
The La Niña is announcing its arrival with heavy moisture coming in from the Coral Sea and as this moisture collides with central Australia’s instability, it’s set to cause widespread thunderstorms in the continent’s eastern half later this week.
Damaging winds, flash flooding and hailstones are all on the menu, so now is the perfect time to clear your gutters and tidy the yard that you’ve been ignoring.
According to Jonathan How a forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), we should expect possible showers over all Australian states and territories in the next few days, with the main focus being on Queensland and the northern parts of NSW.
The northern New South Wales and southern inland Queensland are forecast to receive rains and possible severe thunderstorms.
However, Thursday is set to be the harshest day when a low pressure system lingering over Western Australia is expected to track to the east, releasing storms all across South Australia as well as parts of the Northern Territory.
Friday looks like the severest day.
“We’re going to see very widespread thunderstorms all the way from the Top End down through western Queensland, eastern South Australia, western New South Wales, into Victoria as well,” Mr How noted.
By Saturday, things are expected to be thick as wild weather is forecast in parts of northeast Victoria, eastern NSW as well as the footy, eastern
What of the grand finals?
Brisbane could potentially receive showers, mostly in the afternoon through to evening during the AFL grand final day.
There’s a forecast for a possible thunderstorm in the evening and high humidity during the game though the BOM believes any impending storms are more likely to occur inland.
“Definitely conditions that you don’t normally see in a grand final in Melbourne,” Mr How stated.
A possible thunderstorm on Saturday is expected with Sunday being forecast to be cloudy with early morning showers and possible storms in the morning despite being Sydney’s NRL grand final day.
How much rainfall?
Widespread showers ranging from 30 to 50mm are forecast across eastern Queensland, northern Victoria and the eastern parts of New South Wales.
“We could see three- to four-day totals for about 100 to 150mm; the tricky part is actually picking where that is going to be,” said Mr How.
However, he noted that parts of eastern NSW and eastern Queensland could record huge totals.
Unfortunately, WA is likely to miss out on this round of rainfall and storms but chances are moderate that it could receive showers on Monday as the next episode of weather sets in.
Severe storm trifecta
For areas that have already recorded high falls this year, more rains could only spell trouble.
“There is concern that some catchments are really quite saturated, particularly across northern Victoria, and so we could see some river rises,” Mr How said.
A mix of hail, strong, damaging winds and flash flooding are also expected.
Mr How added that conditions were favourable for large hailstones with high chances of receiving hail inland Queensland and in NSW on Wednesday, with Friday and Saturday expected to experience instability as the huge hail could grow.
“We could potentially see some giant hail around and damaging winds is also a risk.
“So we have the severe storm trifecta over the coming days.”
Relief for southeast Queensland
As the southern states revel the recent relief after prolonged drought and despite the high hopes regarding what La Nina event was carrying, the southeast Queensland has so far missed out.
The latest forecast for Brisbane shows that Friday and Saturday are set to be partly cloudy, with moderate chances of rain in the city starting Sunday.
“There is a good chance of seeing rain over the next few days, but, again, it’s thunderstorms, it’s hit and miss, but fingers crossed for some good rain for those who really need it around there.”
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