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Storms hit Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart as wet weather becomes widespread over eastern Australia

Ben Domensino, Thursday January 16, 2020 - 09:46 AEDT


Showers and thunderstorms developed over a broad swathe of eastern and southeastern Australia during the last 24 hours, with storms impacting multiple capital cities.


A trough of low pressure interacting with moisture-laden air and an unstable atmosphere triggered showers and storms over Australia's eastern states between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.





Image: Thunderstorms formed along a broad trough of low pressure over eastern Australia on Wednesday afternoon.


During the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday, areas of welcome rain had fallen over parts of Queensland, NSW, the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania.


In Victoria, a line of intense thunderstorms rumbled across the state's central and eastern districts late on Wednesday, prompting warnings for heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail. Avalon Airport collected 44mm of rain in half an hour at 3pm, which is more than a month's worth of rain at this time of year. Melbourne's 19.6mm from Wednesday's storms was the city's best rain in a year. 





Image: A line of intense thunderstorms over central Victoria on Wednesday afternoon.


Unfortunately, showers eased as the system moved over fire-affected areas in Victoria's North East and East Gippsland Districts. Waterford, near Dargo, managed to collect 17mm during the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday, while Orbost only received 1.8mm and Mount Buffalo missed out completely.


Thunderstorms were also widespread over western, central and southern NSW and western and northern Queensland.


During the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday, Faulconbridge in the Blue Mountains of NSW received 47mm and nearby Mount Boyce had 20mm. Storms also rolled into parts of Sydney on Thursday morning, with Penrith picking up 19mm prior to 9am, it's heaviest rain in four months.


In addition to Melbourne and Sydney, storms have also affected parts of Hobart. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the city and surrounding areas of southeastern Tasmania on Thursday morning. While the city only picked up 2mm of rain by 9am, a rain gauge at Cannells Hill, near Grove, received 16mm in one hour during one of the morning's storms.





Image: Showers and thunderstorms in southeast Tasmania on Thursday morning.


Widespread showers and thunderstorms will continue to affect parts eastern and southeastern Australia during the next week. Some of these storms are likely to be severe, so be sure to keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings.


- Weatherzone

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