Australia’s east coast to be lashed by ‘giant hail, supercell’ storms this week
Central west NSW has been drenched overnight as dangerous “supercell” thunderstorms begin to make their way into the nation’s eastern states.
The storm season is set to arrive along Australia’s eastern seaboard from Wednesday with “giant hail” and destructive wind gusts expected to wreak havoc in northern NSW and southeast Queensland.
It’s expected to be the biggest September rain event in five years, with up to 50mm forecast to fall in most areas in Tasmania, Victoria, inland NSW and southern Queensland from now until Friday.
But it’s expected to be wetter along the east coast of Tasmania and the alpine regions of Victoria and NSW, and more than 70mm could fall in areas hit by thunderstorms.
Severe thunderstorm warnings have already been issued by the weather bureau for southern central Queensland and upper western NSW, with towns affected including Cunnamulla, Bollon, Eulo, Barringun, Wyandra and Hebel in Queensland, and Bourke, Brewarrina and Enngonia in NSW.
The storms are likely to produce damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding over the next several hours, the weather bureau warned.
Overnight, West Wyalong in central west NSW recorded 30mm of rain, while nearby in Cowra there was a downpour of 22mm.
A severe weather warning has also been issued for the Otway Coast in Victoria with damaging winds and heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding.
Sky News meteorologist Rob Sharpe said the worst storms would occur in the upper western and the western part of the northwest slopes and plains in NSW, and the Maranoa and Warrego districts in Queensland.
“That’s where we are going to see some of our most dangerous thunderstorms, where we could see a couple of supercell thunderstorms develop which could produce destructive wind gusts and giant hail,” he said on Wednesday morning.
He said there would be the triple threat of damaging winds, heavy rain and large hail all the way down into far southern parts of NSW and the Riverina, while there would be areas of rain across Victoria and NSW, particularly along the ranges.
North-east Victoria is also forecast to be hit by storms, with Tatura already recording 20mm overnight.
Mr Sharpe said shower and thunderstorm activity would continue across the eastern states on Thursday before more supercell storms hit on Friday.
He said it would be “quite wet” through Victoria and northeast Tasmania on Thursday before southeast Queensland became the “target zone” on Friday.
“On Friday, the rain will pick up especially for the east coast of Tasmania, shower and thunderstorm activity continuing across mainland Australia, especially in southeast Queensland which is looking to be a target zone,” Mr Sharpe said.
“We are likely to see some further supercell thunderstorms developing with destructive gusts and giant hail.”
He said the weather event was likely to be on par with 2016 when there was also an exceptionally wet September across the eastern states.
Originally published as Australia’s east coast to be lashed by ‘giant hail, supercell’ storms this week
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