Weather News

Storms, heat, fire and snow

Ben Domensino, Friday November 2, 2018 - 11:02 AEDT

Thunderstorms will affect parts of every state and territory in Australia during the next 24 hours, while a sweltering air mass raises fire danger in eastern Australia and snow falls in Tasmania.

Residents across South Australia were woken by claps of thunder on Thursday night as a band of storms rumbled over the state. More than 50,000 cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were detected within a 200km radius of Adelaide between 6pm on Thursday and 6am Friday. Strathalbyn's 11mm of rain overnight was its heaviest in five months, while Tarcoola (11mm) and Keith (13mm) both had their best rain since August.

Thunderstorms over South Australia on Thurday night.

The storms were produced by a broad low pressure trough that is moving over Australia from west to east this week separating a large pool of very warm air to its north and east from much cooler air to its south and west. This contrast in air masses is causing a complex mix of weather as the atmosphere tries to restore equilibrium.

While many South Australians were woken by thunder, some Victorians also had a restless night as warm air swept over the state ahead of the approaching trough. The temperature in Melbourne only dropped to 24 degrees during Thursday night, which is 13 above average for a minimum temperature at this time of year. However, the official minimum temperature for the 24-hour period ending at 9am on Friday was 16 degrees, which occurred at 9am on Thursday.

The warm start to the Friday was also accompanied by raised dust in parts of central Victoria and Melbourne, as strong northwesterly winds lifted loose topsoil into the air. A severe weather warning was in place on Friday morning for damaging winds across most of southern, central and eastern parts of the state, including Melbourne. Some of the highest gusts observed in Victoria as of 9am on Friday were 115km/h at Mt Hotham, 100km/h at Mt Buller, 98km/h at Mt William and 93km/h at Avalon Airport. This has been the windiest weather in 3-6 months for parts of Victoria.

Storms were also moving across Victoria on Friday morning and as the broad trough moves further north and east today, thunderstorms may affect parts of every state and territory during Friday afternoon and evening.

The hot air ahead of the trough is elevating fire danger ratings in eastern Australia today, prompting total fire bans in parts of eastern NSW. This ban includes the Greater Sydney region, where some suburbs had already exceed 30 degrees prior to 9am. A number of locations in western NSW could exceed 40 degrees today, which will be the  first day over 40 in NSW this season.

To cap off the mixed-bag of weather across Australia, parts of Tasmania could see snow falling above an elevation of 600m on Friday night and Saturday morning as much colder air crosses the state in the wake of a front.

Storm clouds could build over all states and territories on Friday.

Visit for the latest severe weather and thunderstorm warnings around Australia.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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