The “heaviest rain in months” is set to hit Western Australia, and Perth in particular, in the coming days. But it may not be enough to fully extinguish the raging bushfires.
In fact a tropical low heading Perth’s way could potentially make things worse if it fails to bring rain but only delivers strong winds.
The east, north and south of the country could also be drenched with storm and rain fronts colliding creating a band of unsettled weather stretching from Queensland all the way down to Tasmania.
More than 10,000 hectares of land have been burnt on the fringes of Perth. Thankfully, no lives have been lost but at least 71 home have been lost and people living in some suburbs in the city’s north east.
“Over the next few days, winds will bring up cooler air from the south east which will see Perth below 30C of the first time in a week, but gusty winds will continue to hamper firefighters for the next two days,” said Sky News Weather meteorologist Alison Osborne this morning.
But a big change is on the way in the form of a tropical low moving southward from north west Western Australia. Currently sitting around Exmouth and Carnarvon, it’s bringing heavy rain to the Gascoyne.
“It’s slow moving but it will eventually reach the South West Land Division on Sunday leading to Perth seeing some of its heaviest rain in months,” said Ms Osborne.
Current forecasts have up to 15mm of rain falling on Saturday and 25mm on Sunday on the Greater Perth area.
“Widespread falls of 25mm won’t completely extinguish the fires but it will certainly help in firefighting efforts,” said Ms Osborne.
However, Ms Osborne warned, rainfall totals depend on how close the low gets to the coast. If it brushes Perth, expect big downpours. But if it wanders off further into the ocean the amount of moisture that falls on the city could be far less.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that while the tropical low could bring some relief, it also poses fresh dangers with strong and gusty winds leading to dangerous fire conditions.
RAIN, WIND, STORMS IN THE EAST
On the other side of the continent, relatively calm conditions are likely to give way to far more unsettled weather with rain, winds and storms due.
“On Friday a storm band in the east meets a rain band in the south directing locally heavy falls throughout Victoria, Tasmania and thunderstorms to New South Wales and through central west Queensland,” said Sky’s Ms Osborne.
“This wide storm front could deliver heavy falls, flash flooding as well as damaging gusts. Quite a few storms on the way for eastern Australia”.
There will be rain leading into the weekend in Adelaide with up to around 10mm on Thursday and Friday but that should clear by Saturday. Temperatures will top out in the low twenties.
Heavy rain in Melbourne on Friday with up to 20mm coming down with a possible storm. Saturday should be dry but more showers could arrive from Sunday. Warm today, with a high of 30C, but that will sink into maximums in the teens by Sunday.
Warm in Hobart with the mercury heading into the high twenties. Rain is set to develop on Friday with up to 15mm on Saturday. By Sunday, the temperatures will have dropped to 20C.
Showers in Canberra until at least Saturday with heavy rain, up to 20mm, and storms possible on the weekend. Dropping from 29C today to 23C on Monday.
Sydney’s run of sun may be coming to an end with rain on the horizon. Saturday could see thunderstorms and around 10mm of rain. A few spits and spots on Sunday with further showers heading into early next week. Staying warm, however, with maximums in the high twenties.
Brisbane will head into the thirties over the coming days, hitting 33C on Sunday. Any rain is most likely to arrive early next week.
Very soggy in Darwin with the monsoon in full swing. Showers and storms every day with 10-20mm in the gauge and highs of 31C.