Australia’s south-east coast is bracing for a devastating 200mm rain blast with ‘life-threatening’ floods and powerful winds on the way for millions of residents.
Satellite images capture a massive cloud band extending 5,000 kilometres from the Tropical Indian Ocean to continental Australia – with several states set to be affected, chief among them Victoria and Tasmania, plus southern New South Wales.
Forecasters have warned that persistent and heavy rain will soak most of Victoria during the next 48 hours, with flood warnings also in place.
Sandbagging is underway in the town of Rochester, in central Victoria, which is forecast to essentially get ‘cut in half’ should the nearby Campapse River overflow. It’s feared as many as 700 homes could be flooded.
Meanwhile, Tasmania’s State Emergency Service has called on Tasmanians, particularly those in the north and northwest, to be prepared for intense rainfall, damaging winds, and potential flooding from tonight.
Southern NSW will also be affected in the next couple of days, likely causing or exacerbating existing flooding in the state.
It’s a calmer outlook for the rest of the country – though other cities will also see some rainfall in the coming days.
Victoria and Tasmania will be battered by rain from Wednesday, with threats of intense rainfall, damaging winds and potential flooding
The swollen Lachlan River underneath the Mid-Western Highway in Cowra, NSW on Tuesday
Residents in Rochester, Victoria, have been working tirelessly to fill sandbags as they brace for floods
This satellite image shows the cloud band stretching 5,000 kilometres from the Tropical Indian Ocean to continental Australia
Forecasters have warned that heavy rain will smash parts of Victoria during the next 48 hours with flash flood warnings in force across large areas of the state.
A large band of cloud is being dragged across southeastern Australia, causing huge amounts of tropical moisture to flow over Victoria.
That moisture will fuel a period of heavy rain that will soak Victoria until Friday morning.
Showers have already started to increase over some central and western parts of the state, with Melbourne picking up 8mm by midday on Wednesday.
It is set to get worse over the rest of the day, with wind and rain increasing as a cold front moves over the state’s western districts.
The cold front will spread further east on Thursday with central, northern and northeastern parts of the state hit by bad weather.
The heaviest rain will hit northeast Victoria on Thursday night before clearing on Friday morning.
There will still be a few lingering showers and isolated thunderstorms over the state into Friday afternoon and around 100 to 200 mm of rain will cover central and northeast Victoria.
Tasmania will see the highest rainfall in the country from the impending weather system. The State Emergency Service is renewing the call to Tasmanians, particularly those in the north and northwest, to be prepared for intense rainfall, damaging winds, and potential flooding
Satellite images have captured a massive cloud band extending 5,000 kilometres from the Tropical Indian Ocean all the way to southeastern Australia
This is likely to cause flooding, especially in areas that have seen recent rainfall.
A town in northern Victoria has been told it faces a one-in-50-year flood and a slow-moving landslide has cut access to Falls Creek.
Authorities told a meeting of about 200 people in Rochester on Wednesday evening that the most likely scenario is the town faces a one-in-50-year flood, but under a less likely scenario it could have a one-in-200-year flood.
Locals have been told waters could rise to 115m above sea level.
Mackay Street in the town has reportedly already seen flood waters, with the Campaspe River expected to break its banks.
Residents and businesses of Rochester have been working tirelessly to fill sandbags as the wet weather continues.
The town was devastated by another flooding event in 2011 – the worst on record for the area.
Patients had to be evacuated from the local hospital as the Campaspe river reached record highs.
Tasmania will see the highest rainfall in the country from the impending weather system.
Acting Premier Michael Ferguson urged Tasmanians to keep track of warnings on the TasAlert website amid fears of huge rainfall totals similar to what caused the 2016 flood devastation.
‘Right across the north of the state, we’re looking at rainfalls of as much as 200 millimetres in 36 hours. For some parts of the state that’s like a quarter or a third of the state’s annual rainfall in 36 hours. We’re talking about a lot of water. It will lead to flash flooding in some cases and certainly, the rivers will be rising.’
Six-hourly rainfall totals will likely be between 40 to 60mm, with 24-hour rainfall totals during Thursday expected to reach 70 to 120mm, with isolated totals to 200mm over higher terrain.
Vehicles negotiate floodwater from the Bundaburrah Creek on the Henry Lawson Way between Forbes and Grenfell, NSW. Forbes is facing intense flooding
A car is seen abandoned in floodwaters on Newbridge Road in Chipping Norton in Western Sydney in July. Parts of NSW are also expecting floods
The State Emergency Service is renewing the call to Tasmanians, particularly those in the north and northwest, to be prepared for intense rainfall, damaging winds, and potential flooding.
Tasmania SES Acting Director, Leon Smith, said: ‘As forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Tasmania is looking at a protracted rain event of significance that is going to impact the north and north-west of the state from tonight.’
‘The state is already very wet, which means that rain over the next few days could lead to flooding in the forecast areas.
‘It’s imperative that Tasmanians heed the warnings and take note that intense rainfalls could lead to significant flooding within the north-west, north, and north-east areas of the state.’
Trees could be torn down and there could be power outages caused by the damaging winds.
‘Of concern in the first instance, modelling shows impacts on the north-west townships of Railton, Latrobe, Wivenhoe, Burnie, and Sheffield,’ Acting Director Smith said.
‘This is a dynamic situation of significance that we are monitoring, but inevitably we will see flooding in some areas within the forecast areas over the coming days.
Flood markers indicate water depth in the Lachlan River under the Henry Lawson Way, Forbes, NSW on Tuesday
‘If you know that you live in a low-lying area that is prone to flooding; if you were in areas of the North-West in the 2016 floods; and you are aware that your property, or the property of someone you know, has been previously impacted by flood, there is a high chance flood impacts will be seen during this event.
‘I encourage the community to keep up-to-date with the weather and flood warnings from the official emergency sources.
‘Utilise resources on the SES website and plan to make decisions safely. This is forecast to be an event of significance and emergency services are prepared to assist the community.
‘If you have any concerns about the current situation, make a decision to leave early.’
Heavy rain will also soak parts of southern NSW during the next 48 hours, likely causing flooding or exacerbating existing floods in the state.
The Riverina towards the Broken Hill area is expected to be the the most affected by the heavy rainfall, with up to 50mm expected in southern NSW.
The rain will lead to new flood peaks with forecasters warning people to keep an eye on flood watches and flood warnings.
Floods have already ravaged the state and became deadly after a man’s body was found trapped inside a submerged vehicle.
There are more than 80 flood warnings active across NSW as of Wednesday morning, including three evacuation orders.
People with umbrellas are seen in Melbourne ahead of days of heavy rain set to batter Victoria
Forecasters have warned that heavy rain will batter parts of Victoria during the next 48 hours, with flash flood warnings in force across large areas of the state.
Now, a severe weather warning for heaving rainfall and possible flash flooding has been issued for southwestern parts of NSW from Wednesday night through to Thursday.
Damaging wind gusts of around 110km/h could also hit Alpine areas above 1500m from Thursday afternoon.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jonathan How said: ‘The one good news out of this is that most of the rain will fall to the west and the south of where we’re seeing the major flooding.’
The NSW SES wrote on Facebook: ‘Severe Weather Warning for DAMAGING WINDS and HEAVY RAINFALL for people in parts of South West Slopes, Riverina, Lower Western, Snowy Mountains, Australian Capital Territory and Southern Tablelands Forecast Districts.’
It has also warned people living in Forbes East to prepare to evacuate.
The people of Forbes, which sits on the Lachlan River in the state’s central west, are used to floods, having endured major and memorable inundations in 1952, 1990, 2012, 2016 and 2021.
The town of 9000 people is preparing for flooding later this week, with the river expected to exceed the major flooding peak of 10.55 metres, narrowing in on those historic disasters.
Wednesday’s rain first hit South Australia, starting in the north and sweeping southeast as the day went on.
The rain hit the north-west of the state on Wednesday but will peak in the southwest of the state on Thursday.
Floodwaters west of Condong near the town of Murwillumbah, NSW in September as more parts of NSW prepare for floods
Heavy rain will also soak parts of southern NSW during the next 48 hours, likely causing flooding or exacerbating existing floods in the state
Luckily for those in Adelaide, the city will remain on the edge of the band and miss out on the heaviest rainfall.
Less fortunate are those living in the Riverland, where the rain fall is expected to be 40 millimeters or more.
‘By the afternoon, we will see a band of rain extend all the way from the Western Australian border, through into the northern parts of Eyre Peninsula, mainly remaining north of Adelaide and down towards the south-east,’ Mr How said.
It will be a mix of storms and heatwaves in the Northern Territory, forecasters have warned.
There will be storms on almost every day of the coming week across the Top End, leading to potential chaos.
However, high humidity and temperatures are also resulting in heatwave conditions through the north of the territory.
In the south, the cold air pushing through Southern Australia will push its way up to Uluru.
The temperature hit 35C in the area on Tuesday and 31C on Wednesday.
However, it will fall as low as 16C on Thursday, with a high chance of showers and rain.
And the temperature could fall as low as 4C overnight going into Friday.
The southwest of Queensland could get rain late Thursday into Friday, forecasters believe.
A few millimetres of rain will hit Brisbane and the Gold Coast, with showers forecast for the Downs and other parts in the state’s north.
However, Queensland is expected to be spared most of the rain storm,
Showers for the Downs and
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Mr How said: ‘It will weaken quite rapidly as it moves across the south of the state,’ Mr How said.
‘By the time it gets to south-east Queensland, it will mostly have dried out.’
Near the border, parts of WA could see some showers, but the region is expected to avoid much of the chaos.
Though Western Australians will stay dry, the temperatures will be a bit lower than usual.
It will be in the low 20s in Perth, below the average for this time of year.
However, the temperature should get warmer after the weekend.
And people on the Ashburton Coast and the Exmouth Gulf Coast have been warned that the fire danger rating for Wednesday is expected to be extreme.
The Capital region is also expected to avoid the upcoming round of wild weather.
Showers are expected to increase from Thursday into Friday with strong winds for elevated regions of the state.
However, the rain isn’t expected to cause much chaos in the region, with authorities only anticipating 10 to 15 millimeters of rain.
THE WEATHER FORECAST IN YOUR CITY
Thursday: Partly cloudy. Min 15. Max 22
Friday: Showers clearing. Min16. Max 24
Saturday: Sunny. Min 13. Max 22
Sunday: Showers increasing. Min 14. Max 22
Thursday: Rain. Heavy falls likely. Min 16. Max 16
Friday: Showers. Min 10. Max 17
Saturday: Cloudy. Min 9. Max 18
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min 10. Max 19
Thursday: Mostly sunny. Min 6. Max 20
Friday: Sunny. Min 7. Max 22
Saturday: Sunny. Min 8. Max 23
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Min 10. Max 22
Thursday: Showers increasing. Min 11. Max 17
Friday: Showers easing. Min 11. Max 18
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 9. Max 19
Sunday: Sunny. Min 9 Max 21.
Thursday: Rain. Min 13. Max 17
Friday: Rain easing. Min 9. Max 17
Saturday: Shower or two. Min 9. Max 16
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 7. Max 16
Thursday: Showers increasing. Min 10. Max19
Friday: Rain easing. Min 10. Max 16
Saturday: Mostly sunny. Min 4. Max 20
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min 6. Max 19
Thursday: Shower or two. Min 15. Max 24
Friday: Possible shower. Min 17. Max 28
Saturday: Sunny. Min 17. Max 27
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 16. Max 25