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A new weather event is striking Australia that could bring even more rain after one of the wettest starts to the year for the east coast on record.
The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed on Wednesday that a negative Indian Ocean Dipole event is underway, which increases rain and wind over the country during winter and spring.
The wild weather has already set in, with five states in line to be battered by rain and damaging winds courtesy of one of the most powerful cold fronts to hit the nation this winter.
WA was slammed with the extreme weather event earlier this week before it moved across to South Australia and Victoria. NSW and Tasmania are next in line for the weekend.
Houses had their roofs ripped off in Perth while the severe weather cut power to parts of Perth Airport, pushing back check-ins, flights, and leading to the delay of the city’s flight schedule, after a high-voltage transmission pole was damaged.
The unprecedented rain and record-breaking floods which have ravaged Australia’s east coast this year could be here to stay, with new research revealing climate change has loaded our atmosphere with more moisture. Pictured: Sydneysiders brave the rain
In WA, destructive winds wreaked havoc with tress knocked down and fences blown over. At one point there were some 35,000 people without power in WA but that number is understood to have dropped to around 10,000
In NSW, a severe weather warning has been issued for southeast of the state, with a cold front forecast to bring heavy rain, damaging winds and possible flooding.
The Bureau of Meteorology says heavy rain may lead to flash flooding in the Illawarra, Southern Tablelands, the Hunter, South Coast, Central Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Plains, South West Slopes, Snowy Mountains, and Riverina.
The Snowy Mountains and the south western slopes could cop six-hourly rainfall totals between 45 and 60mm on Thursday, with localised falls up to 100mm possible
Wind gusts could peak around 90km/h over the ranges to the west of the ACT, as well as the eastern Great Dividing Range from Bombala to south of Crookwell, extending north to the Blue Mountains.
‘Saturated soils in the Central Tablelands and Illawarra bring an increased risk of gusty winds toppling trees and powerlines,’ the BOM said.
A flood watch is current for areas including Braidwood, Goulburn, Bombala, Tumbarumba, Tumut, Khancoban and Thredbo Top Station.
NSW SES superintendent Barry Griffiths said volunteers in Wagga Wagga were preparing for riverine flooding of the Murrumbidgee River around Tumut and Gundagai.
‘We have mobilised two high clearance vehicles, a fixed wing and been engaged with the local government agencies in those affected areas since Monday,’ he said on the Nine Network on Thursday.
There are a number of strong wind warnings for northern parts of Tasmania, as well a several minor flood warnings for the state.
Emergency crews across the state responded to more than 300 call-outs on Tuesday as several homes in Port Kendi and in Joondalup north of Perth suffered extensive damage
Thousands of Victorian households and businesses were without power yesterday after winds took out power lines.
AusNet Services reported the most unplanned outages on Wednesday morning, with more than 15,000 as of about 9am. The outages were significant east of Melbourne and in the state’s far southeast.
By about 11am, the number of properties without power had dwindled only slightly to nearly 12,900.
Victoria’s State Emergency Service fielded 254 calls for help in the 12 hours to 8.20am on Wednesday, with 214 for fallen trees.
The Bureau of Meteorology warns another cold front would approach the state late on Wednesday evening, with further damaging winds expected in the southwest.
Victorian State Emergency Service chief operations officer Tim Wiebusch advised people to prepare.
‘Ensure you listen to the advice of emergency services, and secure loose items in and around your home, park your vehicle undercover, away from trees and remain indoors until the severe weather has passed,’ Mr Wiebusch said.
‘As we are expecting heavy rain in parts of Victoria, it’s important you never drive through floodwater.
Sydney’s total rainfall smashed a 132-year-old record last month reaching 1500mm faster than ever seen before. Pictured: Rescue volunteers patrol floodwaters in Windsor near Sydney
In Queensland, Brisbane will get some of the rain and wind by the weekend but the north of the state will avoid most of the rain.
While the cold front causing the damage this week is not directly related to the negative Indian Ocean Dipole, the weather event which causes wind to blow from the east over the country is helping push the cold front further along.
The negative IOD could also increase the chance of another La Nina event being declared.
Last summer’s La Nina was only declared over in June, the IOD increases the chances of another La Nina developing – which would be the third summer in a row for Australia.
Wednesday: Min 10C, Max 23C. Winds 20 to 30 km/h in the morning.
Thursday: Min 16C, Max 22C. Winds 25 to 40 km/h in the afternoon and evening. Possible rainfall 2 to 4 mm.
Friday: Min 15C, Max 22C. Winds 15 to 25 km/h in the morning.
Saturday: Min 10C, Max 20C. Winds 15 to 20 km/h during the day.
Wednesday: Min 12C, Max 23C. Mostly sunny
Thursday: Min 12C, Max 24C. Winds 15 to 25 km/h during the day
Friday: Min 14C, Max 27C. The chance of morning fog
Saturday: Min 15C, Max 23C. Medium chance of showers 0 to 5 mm of rain.
Wednesday: Min 10C, Max 19C. Winds 35 to 50 km/h. Possible showers 0 to 2 mm of rain.
Thursday: Min 10C, Max 17C. Winds 35 to 50 km/h. Showers 4 to 8 mm of rain.
Friday: Min 9C, Max 14C. Winds 25 to 45 km/h. Showers 6 to 15 mm of rain.
Saturday: Min 8C, Max 13C. Winds 25 to 35 km/h. Showers 2 to 6 mm of rain.
Wednesday: Min 2C, Max 18C. Winds 25 to 35 km/h. Chance of a thunderstorm 4 to 10 mm or rain.
Thursday: Min 10C, Max 17C. Winds 25 to 40 km/h. Chance of a thunderstorm 50 to 70 mm of rain.
Friday: Min 6C, Max 16C. Winds 20 to 30 km/h. Showers 2 to 5 mm of rain.
Saturday: Min 3C, Max 13C. Winds 15 to 20 km/h. Shower or two 0 to 1 mm of rain.
Wednesday: Min 11C, Max 19C. Winds 35 to 55 km/h. Chance of a thunderstorm 3 to 6 mm of rain.
Thursday: Min 12C, Max 19C. Winds 15 to 25 km/h. Showers most likely in the morning and afternoon 0 to 2 mm of rain.
Friday: Min 10C, Max 17C. Winds 25 to 35 km/h. High chance of showers 1 to 4 mm of rain.
Saturday: Min 8, Max 15C. Wind 15 to 25 km/h. High chance of showers 2 to 5mm of rain.
Wednesday: Min 10C, Max 17C. Winds 35 to 65 km/h. Chance of thunderstorms 15 to 20 mm of rain.
Thursday: Min 10C, Max 17C. Winds 25 to 50 km/h. Showers 3 to 6 mm of rain.
Friday: Min 7C, Max 17C. Light winds. slight chance of showers 0 – 0.4 mm of rain.
Saturday: Min 8C, Max 18C. Winds 15 to 20 km/h. Showers 1 to 4 mm of rain.
Wednesday: Min 7C, Max 16C. Winds 15 to 35 km/h. Possible showers 0 to 1 mm of rain.
Thursday: Min 8C, Max 16C. Winds 15 to 40 km/h. Shower or two 0 to 2 mm of rain.
Friday: Min 7C, Max 15C. Winds 15 to 20 km/h. Showers 1 to 4 mm of rain.
Saturday: Min 7C, Max 12C. Winds 15 to 20 km/h. Showers 2 to 8 mm of rain.
Wednesday: Min 20C, Max 31C. Winds 15 to 25 km/h. Chane of morning fog.
Thursday: Min 21C, Max 31C. Winds 15 to 20 km/h. Partly cloudy.
Friday: Min 21C, Max 31C. Winds 15 to 20 km/h. Mostly sunny.
Saturday: Min 21C, Max 32C. Winds 15 to 25 km/h. Sunny.
Source: Bureau of Meteorology