‘Intense, violent’ supercell warning across country
Severe thunderstorms are likely across a huge area of Australia's east coast today with warnings of damaging winds and large hail along with heavy downpours.
Forecasters have said "very intense and violent" storms could barrel through many regions, including supercells which are some of the largest and most dangerous types of storms and can cause considerable damage.
Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra could all see thunderstorms today, along with Darwin where storms are usual for this time of year.
Meanwhile, in the Top End a tropical low continues to form that is looking likely to become a cyclone dumping possibly up to 300mm of rain in the next week.
"On Tuesday there is a high chance of severe storms for central and northern New South Wales," said Sky News Weather channel Meteorologist Tom Saunders.
"We're expecting maybe even supercells which bring a high threat of damaging winds, flash flooding and large hail."
Supercells are "organised thunderstorms" that are larger and higher than usual systems and can also rotate. They can travel long distances and last for many hours so can cause considerable damage.
This morning, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning that thunderstorms were possible just about anywhere in NSW, Victoria and the ACT today, most likely in the afternoon.
Severe storms are very probable for parts of Melbourne and eastern Victoria and across the entire NSW coast.
Sydney could reach a high of 30C today with any storm bringing up to 10mm of rain in a swift dumping.Insurers have sent text messages to Sydneysiders warning them of possible hail damage. Canberra will see similar conditions.
By Wednesday, those storms should have passed through central areas of NSW and up to the state's north. Both Sydney and Canberra are looking far more settled on Wednesday.
Severe #thunderstorms are likely across eastern NSW today. Watch out for warnings, and take precautions against possible large #hail, damaging #wind gusts and heavy #rainfall. https://t.co/78YDIy3iMH pic.twitter.com/rWgDDzwkeY— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) February 17, 2020
Today's Thunderstorm ⛈️ FORECAST ⛈️: storms possible across most of #Victoria, and may tend severe across the south and east. Check for warnings here: https://t.co/9tySfJKHII pic.twitter.com/3ah8en5llz— Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) February 17, 2020
In Victoria, a low pressure system is responsible for the storm activity with severe storms likely in central and eastern parts of the state as that low passes through.
"Those storms could be very intense and violent for northern parts of Victoria," Mr Saunders said.
Melbourne should reach 24C today with any storms bringing up to 15mm of rain. Some of that rain will continue into tomorrow but the storms are likely to linger only in Victoria's east.
There will be possible late rain in Hobart today with a high of 21C and outbreaks of showers tomorrow with temperatures reaching 17C.
Adelaide will be a mild 22C today with the mercury inching upward towards a high of 27C on Saturday. Expect sun but also some cloud.
Perth will be a hot 34C on Tuesday but settled. A possible storm for tomorrow and then calmer conditions in the mid-thirties for the rest of the week.
Stormy and 34C in Darwin but it could get wetter towards the end of the week if a tropical low forms in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Showers and highs in the mid-thirties for Townsville.
It should be drier in the south of the state with Brisbane reaching 32C today. Tomorrow a storm could hit during the afternoon as the front works its way up from NSW. It will gradually get more soggy in south east Queensland as the week progresses.