Southeast Australia rain update

Ben Domensino, 2 May 2019

Welcome rain is soaking parched areas of southeastern Australia this week, with some places already picking up their best falls in several years.

A large upper-level low pressure system interacting with tropical moisture is producing this week's much-needed rain.

Healthy falls were widespread across Victoria, western NSW and northwest Tasmania during Wednesday and Thursday morning.

Victoria's Stawell (69mm) and Westmere (51mm) both had their heaviest rain since 2011 during the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday. While Melbourne only collected 4mm, nearby Avalon's 30mm was their best rain two years.

There were also reports of extensive structural damage near Lake Purrumbete following a severe thunderstorm on Wednesday night.

Image: Radar and lightning strikes detected around the time a severe thunderstorm caused extensive structural damage at Lake Purrumbete, near Camperdown.

Parts of northwest Tasmania picked up their heaviest rain in two-to-three years during the last 24 hours, including Smithton (54mm) Luncheon Hill (47mm).

Southern districts of South Australia also saw showers on Wednesday and Thursday morning as a complex low pressure system loitered in the Bight.

Adelaide's 8mm during the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday brought their two-day total to 14mm, nearly matching the 17.8mm that fell during the first four months of 2019. This followed Cape Borda's 61mm during the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, which was their best rain in eight years.

Areas of rain, showers and thunderstorms will continue to occur near the front and trough on Thursday, affecting parts of Tasmania, Victoria, NSW, southwest Queensland and the NT. Showers will also persist over southern districts of South Australia thanks to the complex low pressure system over the Bight. Some areas of southeastern Australia could also see damaging winds and severe thunderstorms on Thursday.

Looking ahead, a broad band of rain and storms will spread further east across NSW and southern Queensland on Friday and Saturday, before clearing on Sunday as the system moves out into the Tasman Sea.

Image: Forecast rainfall between Thursday and Saturday, according to the ECMWF-HRES model.

Showers and isolated thunderstorms will also persist in parts of SA, Tasmania, Victoria and southern NSW during Friday and Saturday as the upper-level low passes over southeastern Australia. This system could also cause a few snow flurries as it passes over the Alps on Saturday.