The nation’s southeast is bracing for a wild end to the week with severe thunderstorms, heavy rain and damaging winds forecast to hit.
The severe conditions will begin in Victoria, Tasmania, southwest Queensland and inland NSW on Friday before pushing into eastern NSW and southern Queensland on Saturday.
Showers, strong winds and cooler conditions are also expected in South Australia on Friday, while southern Western Australia is also expecting rain, with up to 15mm forecast in the greater Perth area on Saturday and 25mm on Sunday.
Weather bureau meteorologist Dean Narramore said a band of rain and severe thunderstorms would extend from southwest Queensland right down into Victoria and Tasmania on Friday with heavy rainfall likely.
Wind gusts of more than 100km/h have already hit Victoria’s alpine areas on Friday morning with Mount Hotham recording winds of 111km/h, Falls Creek 107km/h and Ben Nevis 95km/h, while Casterton in western Victoria has already seen 10mm of rain.
Multiple severe weather warning are in place across Victoria, including Melbourne, northern Tasmania, the Snowy Mountains in NSW, parts of Gascoyne and Central West districts in Western Australia and southern South Australia.
A road weather alert in also in place for all of Melbourne with the weather bureau warning of dangerous driving conditions and reduced visibility in heavy rain and gusty winds on Friday.
“An upper trough raced north from well south of Australia (on Thursday) and is beginning to develop into a low pressure system as it interacts with tropical moisture,” Mr Narramore said.
“This low will bring widespread rain, severe storms and damaging winds to much of southeastern Australia in coming days.
“Severe weather warnings are current for parts of Victoria and Tasmania for heavy rain and damaging winds with falls in excess of 100mm possible in these areas and winds up to 100km/h possible for alpine areas.”
Mr Narramore said flood watches were also current across the nation, particularly in northeast Victorian and northern Tasmania, with wet catchments and heavy falls likely to lead to flash and riverine flooding.
“Severe thunderstorm warnings are also likely to be issued for large areas of southeastern Australia on Friday,” he said.
“Severe thunderstorms with large hail, damaging winds and heavy rainfall are likely on Friday, particularly for inland areas of NSW.
“The band of rain and storms will move into eastern NSW on Saturday and continue in southern Queensland as the low slowly weakens and moves away, while rain and winds slowly ease in Victoria and Tasmania.”
Up to 8mm of rain has been forecast in Sydney on Saturday with the chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening.