Thunderstorms left thousands without power as the east coast prepares for wild weather on first weekend of summer
Eastern Australia is preparing for a wild weekend of storms and muggy weather, with rain, thunder and lightning to batter the are as a possible cyclone forms off Queensland.
A series of thunderstorms left nearly 10,000 households and businesses without power across Southeast Queensland on Friday night.
The first storms of summer hit late afternoon, stretching from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast, including Brisbane, and west to the Darling Downs.
Hail, heavy rain and strong winds struck early evening. Energy supplier Energex said nearly 10,000 customers had power with 8,576 still affected at 8.30pm local time.
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The Bureau of Meteorology has warned a tropical cyclone could form over the weekend before making its way towards the Australian far northeast coast but won’t make direct impact.
The alert was issued on Friday and forecasted a high chance of a tropical cyclone developing near the Solomon Islands or far northeast of the Coral Sea next week.
“This weekend a tropical low, 02U, is likely to form within Fiji’s area of responsibility,” the BOM said.
The system is likely to move into the Australian area of responsibility in the Solomon Sea either on Monday or Tuesday, before turning towards the south or southwest.
The BOM said it could move into the far northeast Coral Sea either on Wednesday or Thursday.
“02U has a moderate chance of developing into a tropical cyclone from late Monday, and a high chance from late Wednesday,” the bureau said.
“02U is forecast to remain a long way from the Queensland coast and no direct impacts are expected.”
Meanwhile, a stunning graphic has emerged of the 40 millions lightning strikes that have been detected in Australia in November.
“Late spring is typically a stormy time of year in Australia due to an abundance of warm air, moisture and atmospheric instability,” Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino said in a release.
“But even by these typically stormy standards, November 2023 was a big month for lightning in Australia.”
Severe thunderstorms are forecast to hit parts of the east coast over the weekend, with large hail and damaging wind gusts expected to lash one state.
Queensland is experiencing a heatwave across large parts of its northern and coastal regions as warnings are issued for potential severe thunderstorms on Friday afternoon.
NSW, Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania are all expected to get a wet weekend.
Here’s what you can expect in each capital city this weekend.
A sunny Friday will give way to a chance of showers, most likely on Friday evening. A thunderstorm is possible in the outer west in the afternoon and evening.
Hazardous surf and swell are forecast on the NSW far south coast, with residents urged to avoid coastal activities such as rock fishing, boating and swimming.
“People should consider staying out of the water and avoid walking near surf-exposed areas,” the Bureau of Meteorology said.
A wet weekend is ahead for Sydney, with up to 10mm of rainfall forecast to fall over Saturday and Sunday.
Heavy rain, large hail and damaging wind gusts are expected over the Sunshine Coast and in central Queensland on Friday afternoon.
“Severe thunderstorms likely between Longreach and Maroochydore, and possible across central and southern Queensland, with heavy rainfall, large hail, and damaging wind gusts,” the bureau said.
“Thunderstorms possible over South East Queensland from late afternoon.”
A heatwave continues to grip the far north and coastal edges of the state, creeping further south to the NSW border by Saturday.
Showers are forecast in Melbourne on Friday afternoon and most of Saturday, with up to 8mm of rainfall expected to fall before Sunday.
A maximum temperature of 18C is forecast on Saturday.
The mercury will climb to 22C on Sunday, with the sun due to poke out between showers.
A hot and sunny day in Perth on Friday comes with a high of 35C.
Partly cloudy conditions are forecast over Saturday and Sunday, but the weather will stay warm with a maximum of about 26C.
It’s a partly cloudy start to the weekend in the country’s south with a high of 24C.
The weather will warm up, and the sun will peer out, out on Sunday, sending the temperature up to 28C.
Light showers are expected in Hobart from Friday to Sunday, though rainfall totals are forecast to be minimal.
Temperatures will stay cool, with nothing above 20C for the entire weekend.
Significant rainfall is due over the nation’s capital this weekend, with up to 10mm set to fall on Friday alone.
Another 14mm could fall by Sunday, with a high of 24C on Saturday and just 22C on Sunday.
A heatwave is under way in the Top End, with a high of 35C forecast for Darwin on Friday.
A thunderstorm is likely on Saturday and Sunday, with up to 18mm of rain expected.
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