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BOM warns SA faces possible record rainfalls, severe thunderstorms and damaging winds

By Nicola Gage, Friday December 1, 2017 - 07:27 EDT
ABC licensed image
One of the almost 224,000 lightning strikes which happened across SA on Wednesday and early Thursday. - ABC licensed

Emergency services are on standby across South Australia as the state prepares for possible record rainfalls, severe thunderstorms and damaging winds.

Up to 100 millimetres is expected to fall across the state in coming days and a flood watch has been issued over a wide area.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned the severe weather may be revised up to "destructive".



"We're watching very closely whether we need to up from the 'damaging' criteria, which is for 90 kilometres per hour [winds], up into that 'destructive' criteria which is usually associated with super-cell-type thunderstorms," Matt Collopy from the bureau said.

Some regions are bracing to receive several months' summer rain in one or two days.

Port Lincoln was already inundated on Thursday, with water flooding some streets and more than 200,000 lighting strikes have hit the state in 24 hours.

"The flood watch covers the areas of eastern Eyre Peninsula stretching down through the Flinders and Mid North, also to the Mount Lofty Ranges to the southern parts of the pastorals and then also into the Riverland and Murraylands," Mr Collopy said.

The wild weather is uncommon for this time of year and emergency services have spent the afternoon in Adelaide handing out sandbags.

"It's not unusual to see thunderstorms but this widespread rain and widespread thunderstorm activity is unusual," Mr Collopy said.

"Particularly as it moves across our eastern border areas."

SES warns people about floodwaters

It has promoted the State Emergency Service (SES) to issue a warning for residents to take heed around floodwaters.

"What we don't want is a tragedy for families in the lead up to Christmas this year," the SES's Derren Halleday said.

"We need people to be aware of fast-flowing creeks, make sure they keep their children away and don't attempt to drive through flooded roads."



The weather cell is expected to stick around until Saturday with light showers clearing in the afternoon, in time for the start of the second Ashes test at Adelaide Oval.

"Saturday morning will be still quite wet," Mr Collopy said.

"There will be still a lot of showers around the Adelaide area but the atmosphere does dry up during the day.

"So by the time we get to the later start at around 2:00pm we should just see a few light showers around and they will be clearing."


- ABC

© ABC 2017

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