Rain bomb stretching over 4,000km causes flooding across Australia

Rain bomb stretching over 4,000km causes flooding across Australia – so how long will the deluge last?

  • Rainy weather to continue to cause chaos heading into the weekend 
  • Meteorologists predict a short break from the rain next week 
  • Australia is on track for the wettest spring in more than 100 years 

A low pressure system that brought heavy rains and damaging winds to southern and western NSW is expected to push further east.

It comes amid widespread flooding across the state as extended heavy rains fall in areas where the ground is already saturated and rivers already high in many areas and flooding in others.

Australia is on track for its wettest spring in a decade and some regions in NSW have already received more than three times their normal rainfall for November.

Weather experts have predicted the majority of Australia will be engulfed by wet conditions leading into Sunday

Weather experts have predicted the majority of Australia will be engulfed by wet conditions leading into Sunday

On Thursday some areas in the south of the state copped a drenching, with a portable rain station south of Griffith measuring 60mm in an hour.

Snowball, south east of Canberra, recorded 28mm in an hour and Braidwood recorded 15mm in 30 minutes.

Gunnedah recorded more than 20mm in 90 minutes and a similar amount fell at Gunnedah over a two hour period.

Grafton recorded 20mm in three hours, Cabramurra saw 26mm fall over four hours

Sydney’s Warragamba Dam received 96mm of rain in 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday.

Areas including Coombah, Hay, Wilcannia, Broken Hill, Ivanhoe, Menindee and Balranald were in the path of a “complex low pressure system” that moved across the lower part of the state on Thursday.

Severe thunderstorms also prompted concern around the state, looming over the south coast and southern tablelands on Thursday afternoon as well as threatening in west NSW near Wilcannia. 

Brisbane too will see its heaviest rain today, with up to 50mm predicted and a storm likely.

All Forbes residents have now been given the all clear to return home after the Lachlan River fell below minor flood levels.

During the height of floods in Forbes earlier this month, close to 2000 residents were ordered to evacuate and the river peaked at 10.54 metres, above major flood levels but below the peak during previous flooding in 2016.

NSW Farmers Association has called for a statewide natural disaster declaration so relief funds can be accessed as farmers watch paddocks go underwater and their crops destroyed after so many years of drought conditions.

Weather bureau head of operational climate services Andrew Watkins says the summer outlook for NSW is wet, with temperatures cooler than usual on the coast and warmer than usual in the state’s west.

Daily minimum temperatures are expected to be higher than normal as increased cloud traps hot air, leading to warmer nights.

What is La Nina and how will it affect Australia?

  • La Niña is part of a weather cycle known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a naturally occurring shift in ocean temperatures and weather patterns along the equator in the Pacific Ocean
  • During La Niña in Australia, waters in the central or eastern tropical Pacific become cooler than normal, persistent south-east to north-westerly winds strengthen in the tropical and equatorial Pacific, and clouds shift to the west
  • According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Head of Operational Climate Services, Dr Andrew Watkins, rainfall becomes focused in the western tropical Pacific, leading to wetter than normal periods for eastern, northern and central parts of Australia
  • Last significant La Niña in Australia was back in 2010–12. This strong event saw the wettest two-year periods on record, and widespread flooding
  • La Nina could last until January 2022 or beyond
  • The weather pattern can reduce the chances of bushfires due to colder conditions 

Source: BOM 


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