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BOM forecasts heavy rain, flooding as more wet weather descends upon eastern Australia

Thursday November 11, 2021 - 02:34 AEDT
ABC image
Clouds are looming over Queensland as yet more rain and storms descend upon the east coast. - ABC

November rain records have already been smashed through Australia's west and centre ? now the focus is moving east.

"This is going to be the most widespread and heavy rainfall event we've seen so far heading into summer," according to Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Jonathan How.

And with it will come a plunge in temperatures, with Canberra expecting a maximum temperature of just 12C on the weekend. 

Wednesday's focus is on northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, with heavy rain expected to result in flash and riverine flooding, while erratic thunderstorms are expected to be in the mix.

Warnings have been issued for severe thunderstorms that are likely to produce damaging winds and heavy rainfall.  

A 93kph wind gust was recorded at Roma this afternoon and 46 millimetres of rain fell in just 30 minutes at Isaac River Bridge near Moranbah, inland of Mackay. 

Heavy rain is also expected in South Australia, where a low pressure system is expected to deepen. 

Mr How is paying particular attention to this low, which is expected to be the focus of the rain, wind and storms over the next few days. 

The low is expected to move through South Australia and western New South Wales on Thursday before diving down towards the ACT, eastern Victoria and south-east New South Wales late Thursday and into Friday.  

"We are expecting the heaviest rain and winds to be quite tightly bounded to that low pressure system," Mr How said. 

"It's going to be quite critical where this system moves." 

Easterly winds from this system could spell trouble for Victoria, where gusts from this uncommon direction have caused havoc in the past. 

It's also going to be freezing 

Conditions are expected to ease over Queensland and northern NSW on Friday and into Saturday, but the cold wet conditions are expected to linger down south over the weekend. 

"We're seeing maximum temperatures all through central and eastern Australia over the next few days between six to 16 degrees below average for this time of year," Mr How said. 

He predicts some places could see their coolest November days on record, particularly around South Australia. 

Canberra is expecting a maximum temperature of just 12C on Saturday and Sunday; Melbourne is only forecast to reach 15C over the weekend. 

"It's hard to believe that we are just two to three weeks away from summer," Mr How said. 

It has been snowing in Tasmania, where more falls are expected down to 500 metres over the weekend, when Victoria can also see snow down to 900 metres as another cold front comes through. 

The flooding has started

More than 340mm hit the gauge at Samuel Hill, just north of Rockhampton, in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, with widespread falls in the region above 50mm. 

The southern Northern Territory has also seen phenomenal rain; Alice Springs recorded 100.2mm to 9am and the usually dry Todd River is a raging brown torrent. 

"We haven't seen rainfall that high since January 2001. It's a 20-year kind of number for Alice Springs," Mr How said.

Less than a fortnight in, and the region has already broken its November rainfall record.

Earlier, a man was rescued from the Todd River after clinging to a tree for six-and-a-half hours after his car was swept off a causeway.

Over in the west, it has also been wet with many long-standing November rainfall records falling.

Coorow picked up a November record with 50mm, while Perth metro recorded up to 40mm in a storm on Tuesday.

On the east coast, heavy falls were recorded across the northern inland region of NSW in the 24 hours to 9am Wednesday. 

Delungra saw 82 millimetres of rain, while Stannifer recorded an hourly rainfall total of 38 millimetres at 9pm.   

The Bureau of Meteorology expects conditions to worsen into Thursday, with the potential for flash flooding and riverine flooding. 

Heed those warnings 

Few parts of the country will avoid some sort of rain over the coming days and warnings will be coming in thick and fast. 

Keep up with your local warnings via ABC Emergency and heed the advice of the emergency services. 

As always, be careful around flood waters.

Editor's Note 11/11/2021: This article has been updated since its original publication date of 10/11/2021 to change a headline that incorrectly quoted from the article. 


© ABC 2021

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