Powerful winds, severe thunderstorms and heavy rain battered parts of New South Wales and Victoria yesterday as a low pressure trough and front swept across the region.
Warm and increasingly humid air had been building across eastern Australia over the past fortnight as a high remained near stationary over the Tasman Sea. This created ideal conditions for severe weather across the nation’s southeast, in a setup more typical of spring than autumn.
Eastern VIC and southern and central NSW saw the worst of the conditions as several bands of severe thunderstorms and heavy rain swept across the states.
Wind gusts were most powerful in the Alps, reaching 117km/h at Mount Buller and 115km/h Thredbo.
However, showers and thunderstorms brought damaging wind gusts to lower ground as well, reaching 91km/h at Wagga Wagga and 100km/h at Canberra. For the nation’s capital, this was the strongest wind gust recorded since 2009.
Heavy rain also fell over the region, particularly over the ranges. Perisher Valley recorded a massive 97mm to 9am today, its biggest fall in over a year, while Mount Hotham saw 93mm, its highest total since 2010. Some of this rain fell as snow about the upper peaks, but unfortunately none reached the resorts.
While rain was not as heavy off the peaks, it still brought useful falls leading into winter. Albury collected 36mm, Orange 25mm and Parkes 22mm, the heaviest rain in two months.
Conditions have eased significantly today as a high pressure system moves over the region. This will lead to dry and stable conditions until at least Friday.
During the weekend, a cut-off low will cross southeastern Australia, leading to more unsettled weather. This system brings the promise of some follow up rain, but also the risk of further severe thunderstorms.