Australia has been battered around this winter – as snow, heavy rain, fierce winds and flooding have beset different parts of the country over the last 3 months.
The week started promisingly – with welcome rains falling across parched parts of Queensland and New South Wales – parts of the country which desperately needed moisture after a long, dry summer and autumn.
Things quickly took a turn, however – from welcome rain to damaging storm – after a mini tornado hit western New South Wales on Monday evening, and severe thunderstorms moved across parts of the state bringing large hailstones, damaging winds, heavy rainfall and flash flooding.
The mini tornado hit Dubbo in western NSW about 5:00pm on Monday, causing damage to some homes and property.
â€” Mark Leberfinger (@wx_mark) August 24, 2015
And in Sydney, a severe thunderstorm hit central parts of the city, bringing hailstones, lightning, heavy rain and flash flooding.
Footage on social media showed cars stopped in the middle of CBD streets inundated with water.
Thursday was to get even worse though, as continuing heavy rain forced the evacuation of more than 320 properties in St Georges Basin and Sussex Inlet on the New South Wales south coast.
The State Emergency Service (SES) said there had been more than 1,600 calls for help and 79 flood rescues in the first 3 days of the week.
â€” BOM New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) August 25, 2015
But there was more to come to finish the week, as Warragamba Dam in Sydney finally spilled, following days of heavy downpours, as residents on the New South Wales south coast count the cost of flood damage.
The Sydney Catchment Authority said Warragamba Dam had begun spilling through its central gate on Friday morning.
It is the first time in two years the dam has spilled, according to the weather bureau, though the maximum spill is now expected to be much less than previously forecast.
â€” 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) August 27, 2015
Over in the USA, they’ve been having storm issues of their own, as the first Atlantic hurricane of the season, Hurricane Danny gained in strength, heading towards Haiti earlier this week.
Danny soon weakened though, and was downgraded quickly as it approached landfall, meaning it has been the longest period to pass without a major hurricane hitting the United States since reliable record keeping began in 1850, according to a 2015 NASA study.
Though forecasters are calling for a below-average storm season in the Atlantic, any hurricane that does emerge this year can have a strong impact.
And further afield in Asia, deadly Typhoon Goni battered western Japan and southeastern Korea with damaging winds and flooding rainfall on Tuesday, before tracking northward through the Sea of Japan.
Goni left 21 people dead, mainly due to landslides, in the Philippines, the Associated Press reports.
As Goni moved northward and passed through Ishigakijima, Japan, it produced sustained winds of 162 kph (101 mph) and a gust to 255 kph (159 mph).
The city endured sustained winds over typhoon force for four straight hours. The winds were strong enough to damage buildings and flip over automobiles.
â€” Justin Povick (@AccuPovick) August 24, 2015
And finally this week, check out what the next few days have in store with Philip Duncan’s latest weather video, here – and if you’re spending the weekend indoors (due to the weather), head over to our Friends of WeatherWatch section, where you’ll find an extremely entertaining chat with Te Radar!
– Drew Chappell, WeatherWatch.co.nz
– Photo: Weatherzone