Widespread flooding, described by authorities as unprecedented, continues affecting parts of eastern Australia. After more than a year's worth of rain fell in just a couple of days, more heavy rain is in the forecast, as well as giant hail and destructive winds. At least 9 people have died in Queensland and another 3 in New South Wales, as of early March 3, 2022.
Very dangerous thunderstorms with giant hail, destructive winds, and locally intense and heavy rainfall have been forecast for southeast Queensland today and may persist into the weekend.1
It could lead to flash flooding in creeks, streams and catchments that respond quickly to heavy, short-duration rainfall.
Multiple moderate to major flood warnings are in place for the lower Logan River, Weir, Moonie, Condamine and Balonne rivers, and a Flood Watch has been issued for southeast Queensland for renewed river rises.
Communities should be prepared for flood impacts and are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings on the Bureau's website and BOM Weather app, and to follow the advice of emergency services.
- Giant hail around 5 to 6 cm (2 – 2.3 inches) in size was recorded west of Inglewood at midnight.
- 81 mm (3.2 inches) of rainfall was recorded at Woodford, with 66 mm (2.6 inches) in 30 minutes.
- A wind gust of 93 km/h (58 mph) was observed at Dalby at 19:15 AEST Wednesday night.
BOM issued a Severe Weather Warning was on Thursday morning for an east coast low to impact the New South Wales Central and South coasts and eastern ranges.2
The storm will bring increasingly widespread rain, with the risk of intense rainfall leading to flash flooding. Six hourly rainfall totals of 80 to 120 mm (3.1 – 4.7 inches) are likely over broad areas, and some may see six hourly rainfall rates exceed 200 mm (7.9 inches).
Multiple major flood warnings are in place for New South Wales including the Hawkesbury, Nepean, Georges, Richmond, Clarence and Weir rivers and Tuggerah Lake. A Flood Watch is in place for other parts of New South Wales.
Communities in the Hunter Valley through to the New South Wales South Coast, including the densely populated areas of Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong, are likely to experience heavy rain and flash or riverine flooding.
Severe thunderstorms are also possible across the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast and Northern Tablelands today and Friday, and possibly over the weekend.
Damaging winds and waves, as well as abnormally high tides, are expected, with the risk of inundation from seawater and coastal erosion, particularly between Newcastle and Wamberal on the Hunter Coast.
Many catchments are saturated, with New South Wales dams at or near capacity, with flash flooding and landslides are occurring. Communities should be aware of potential flooding in local creeks and streams and be prepared for flood impacts, BOM said, urging residents to continue to watch for evacuation warnings and orders and follow the advice of emergency services.
1 Very dangerous thunderstorms forecast for south-east Queensland, flood warnings in place – BOM
2 Severe weather warning issued for New South Wales Central and South coasts, major flood warnings in place – BOM
3 Flood disaster in Queensland and New South Wales after a year's worth of rain, Australia – The Watchers
Featured image credit: QFES
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