8 November 2023

Thunderstorm activity widespread across ACT, South East, Riverina and here to stay, says BOM

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Storm Clouds, windy weather, wet weather, rain over Parliament House Photo: Michelle Kroll

Thunderstorms are likely for large parts of southeastern NSW and the ACT today. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Thunderstorms hovering across the South East, ACT and Riverina are here to stay for the next few days, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

In the ACT, the ESA has issued a warning for possible heavy rain and flash flooding later today.

“Canberra, the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast possible heavy rain and potential for flash flooding in the ACT for this afternoon,” the ESA said.

A Bureau spokesperson described the system as relatively weak, undefined and fairly slow moving, leading to possibly widespread rain that will last through until the weekend.

“This is a very stationary trough situated from western NSW through to Victoria,” they said. “It’s not well defined, and that is allowing moisture from the tropics to feed into warm air and create a broad area of thunderstorms.”

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Some of those storms may have a significant impact because of the system’s structure: a slow-moving storm will dump its contents in a specific place rather than being more widely dispersed. While the Bureau says rain totals over the next few days will only be in the range of 20 mm, some areas could experience this as a single heavy fall.

“There’s a lot of moisture in the atmosphere and as that’s being released, it could definitely be problematic for some people,” the BOM duty forecaster said.

“It may not be much all up, but concentrated falls around the mountains and further south around the Victorian border have the potential for quite a significant impact.

“Those thunderstorms are currently hanging off the southern ACT and around the Snowys, but we can expect some thunderstorm activity dispersed across the whole region, including the South West Slopes and stretching further north and south before the system clears.”

The storm systems are not expected to begin moving until Friday.

“Heavier rainfall is still likely today and tomorrow across the Riverina and South West Slopes, but we are not expecting the storm environment to ease for several days. The likelihood of storms will ease but the system won’t completely clear until Monday,” the spokesperson said.

“The situation won’t change until another cold air system from the South West begins to shift the current trough to the north east.”

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The ESA has reminded Canberrans that its 132 500 line is still operational and is the best number to call in a storm or flood-related emergency.

ACT Emergency Services Triple-Zero (000) also remains functional, but please only call in a life-threatening emergency.

  • There are steps you can take to prepare your home for a storm. The ACT State Emergency Service (ACTSES) recommends to:
  • Clean your gutters of debris
  • Trim overhanging trees and branches
  • Complete your survival plan
  • Move your car under cover or away from trees
  • Secure or put away loose items that are outside.

If you plan to travel, take extra caution on the roads and drive to the conditions. If it’s flooded, don’t travel. Don’t walk, ride or play in flood waters.

The weather situation can change rapidly. Check the Bureau of Meteorology for weather updates and warnings.

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Didn’t get a drop where I live – what happened?

Capital Retro8:00 am 09 Nov 23

Acute climate change is what happened.

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