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Wettest September 3-day stretch for parts of Victoria in over 100 years, Australia


Continuous heavy rainfall in southeast Australia over the last couple of days is causing widespread disruption. Severe thunderstorms first rolled through South Australia and Victoria on September 8 and 9, producing heaviest rain in six years, and continued this week.

As reported on September 10, meteorologist Stevie Jones said what they saw there was tropical moisture feeding into two cold fronts moving through Western Australia early last week, causing some damage, and then over South Australia on Thursday and Friday (September 8 and 9) and into western Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania.

Victoria was set to get hit by pretty hard, with a month worth of rain in just one day. This has also been exacerbated by above average sea temperatures over the east coast of Australia, feeding moisture over Australia and making these rain events even heavier.

"The heavy rain came at a very bad timing because the river catchments are full at the moment with the amount of rain they received over winter," Jones said.

"New South Wales had its third wettest winter on record, South Australia its wettest winter in 15 years and areas of northern Tasmania had wettest 4 months ever on record. The catchments are full, the ground is saturated with water which makes this a very bad timing for such heavy rain."

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said today, September 14, that the last few days have been the wettest 3-day stretch in September for over 100 years in some parts of Victoria: Ballarat since 1921, Beaufort since 1911, and Wedderburn since 1916.

Some areas have already seen more rain than they would normally record during the entire month of September.

According to the International Business Times, a temporary flood levee in Hamilton, a town in Victoria’s southwest, threatened to collapse, and as a result, residents of 45 homes in the area were ordered to evacuate immediately. On Wednesday morning (September 14), the State Emergency Service issued the evacuation warning for streets near the Grangeburn River, which runs adjacent to Hamilton’s CBD, as flood warnings were renewed for the Loddon, Wimmera, Avoca, Barwon, Campaspe and Glenelg rivers.

An SES spokesperson said water is beginning to spill over a levee further upstream of Apex Park. Residents who evacuated were told not to return until they were told it is safe to do so.

Victorians are urged to brace for more heavy downpours and flash flooding today after some towns again received a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours on Tuesday, September 13. 

Within 24 hours (September 13 – 14, 2016), Mount William registered 79 mm (3.11 inches), Clunes 67 mm (2.63 inches), Daylesford 66 mm (2.59 inches), Mt Cowley 65 mm (2.55 inches), Ballarat Airport 54 mm (2.12 inches) and Benwerrin 53 mm (2.08 inches).

Video courtesy Seven News

A more than 50-kilometers (31 miles) stretch of the Great Ocean Road, between Moggs Creek and Skenes Creek, is closed due to a series of landslips and fallen trees.

"There is some potential for more serious landslips. Safety has to come first. Exercise some common sense and don't enter floodwaters in cars or by foot," Premier Daniel Andres said.

Video courtesy BOM

National warnings summary 
as of 16:45 UTC on September 14, 2016 (00:45 AWST, 02:15 ACST, 02:45 AEST on September 15)





Featured image: JMA/Himawari-8 image acquired 16:20 UTC on September 14, 2016.

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