Deluge of Rain Falls on Eastern Australia

A persistent area of low pressure off the coast of Eastern Australia is to blame for extreme amounts of rainfall that fell during the mid-week.

An upper level low that was cut-off from the main jet stream to the south was the reason for the slow movement of the surface low. Sydney and surrounding regions were hardest hit from the storm where over 300mm fell in some areas in less than 24 hours. Dungog and Maitland, towns north of Sydney, received some of the highest amounts in the region; 312mm fell in Dungog in 24 hours and 301mm fell in Maitland in the same amount of time. Sydney received 225mm during a two-day span – relatively speaking, this is a significant rainfall for them. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology this was the most rain Sydney has received during two-day period in more than a decade. What made conditions even worse was that winds howled to 80km/h in Sydney and over 130km/h in three separate regions on the east coast of Australia. The high winds made for swells of over 6m out at sea.

The state of New South Wales is pictured with one-week rainfall totals. Bright pink shaded areas are areas that saw over 300mm of rain fall throughout the week.
The state of New South Wales is pictured with one-week rainfall totals. Bright pink shaded areas are areas that saw over 300mm of rain fall throughout the week.

Due to the high winds and flooding rains, power to 215,000 people was knocked out in the region. In addition to that, creeks quickly became dangerous, fast-flowing rivers in the Dungog region. Several houses in Dungog were washed away due to the floodwaters and unfortunately four people perished.  There were also 150 water rescues that had to be executed. As of Friday morning where were still a few thousand people isolated by floodwaters that cut off main roads. In total, 12 communities were officially declared a natural disaster area by the government – insurance companies estimate the damage to be around 100 million dollars.

Since then the soggy weather has continued, off and on, throughout the end of the week. With another system and associated cold from arriving from the west today, the chance for rain continues – amounts will be nowhere near the ones that were observed this past week, however.

Warm Start to the Week

This week will start out on the warm side as a high pressure ridge edges into Manitoba. Temperatures on Monday and Tuesday are expected to reach or exceed 20C, which will mark the first occurrence of a 20 degree reading since April 6.

A large ridge centred over Western North America will bring warm weather to Southern Manitoba on Monday and Tuesday

A large ridge centred over Western North America will bring warm weather to Southern Manitoba on Monday and Tuesday

Highs on Monday should be around 20C in most of Southern Manitoba. Skies will range from mainly sunny to mainly cloudy, with Winnipeg and the Red River Valley tending to be on the cloudier side and Western Manitoba on the sunnier end. As such South-Western Manitoba will likely be a bit warmer than the rest of Southern Manitoba. Tuesday will feature much the same weather as Monday with temperatures once again climbing up to around the twenty degree mark over Southern Manitoba. Skies on Tuesday will mostly likely be a mixture of sun and cloud, preventing temperatures from climbing much above 20 degrees. Should Monday or Tuesday be sunnier than currently expected you can easily add a couple degrees onto the temperatures listed above.

20 degree temperatures are expected in Southern Manitoba on Monday and Tuesday

20 degree temperatures are expected in Southern Manitoba on Monday and Tuesday

A cold front will slice through Manitoba on Wednesday, dropping our temperatures back down to normal values. Highs on Wednesday are expected to hover in the low teens in Southern Manitoba, while on Thursday temperatures will remain stuck in the single digits. A recovery in temperatures in expected to begin on Friday and stretch into the weekend.

No significant precipitation is expected this week, although some weak shower activity might form as a low pressure system and associated cold front pass through on Tuesday night and Wednesday.


Elsewhere in Weather News

Australian Rains

As Australia’s summer transitions into fall, heavy rains have pummelled its capital, Sydney, and surrounding regions resulting in flash floods throughout the area.

Rainfall map from this past week in NSW, including Sydney’s approximate location. (Source: Bureau of Met.)

Rainfall map from this past week in NSW, including Sydney’s approximate location. (Source: Bureau of Met.)

Between Monday, April 16th and Wednesday, April 18th, the New South Whales (NSW) region was hit hardest from the flooding where some areas received between 150mm-200mm of rain. The flash floods were triggered by a number of towns receiving rainfall of 40mm/h over a couple hours, and the fact that the soil was saturated in those areas due to heavy rainfall that occurred over the past month.

Parking lot swamped by water. (Source: Seven Network)

Parking lot swamped by water. (Source: Seven Network)

Emergency crews were called to assist residents whose cars were overtaken by water and also to help those trapped in their homes as water levels rose in a matter of hours. Utility crews were also busy due to more than a thousand people losing power.

Video of car struggling to cross flooded roads. (Source: mascott1963)

Unfortunately, more rain was forecast to fall this weekend as another slow moving trough/cold front stretched across the whole region. No additional flash flooding was reported with this latest rainfall, however more rainy days are expected to hit the coast this coming week which increases the risk of further flooding in the region where another 15mm-25mm are expected through to Wednesday.

This event comes just two months after the region located north of NSW, Queensland, was hit hard by flooding (brought to you on February 27th post). Australia’s eastern coast has seen its fair share of dangerous flash flooding already this year.

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