A violent storm swept through Darwin this morning, bringing down trees, knocking out power and causing intense rainfall.
After a very warm night where the mercury hovered around 27 degrees with the humidity close to 100%, relief finally came as the thunderstorm arrived just before 9am. During the height of the thunderstorm the temperature dropped down to 22 degrees, the coolest it has been in a week and a half.
The main feature of the storm was the extremely heavy rainfall. In the 10 minutes prior to 9am, the city collected a rapid fire 23mm. In the 10 minutes following this, it picked up a further 28mm. By the time the storm had largely passed, 95mm had fallen in just 54 minutes. The deluge led to flash flooding, causing roads to be flooded. This was also the heaviest rain Darwin had seen since March, with the wet season so far being more like an extended build-up.
The storm was also associated with strong winds. While winds to 48km/h were only recorded in Darwin itself, there were reports of stronger winds which brought down trees elsewhere in the metropolitan area.
Very frequent lightning was also a feature with over 1000 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes within a 20km radius of Darwin during the storm, causing power outages.
The severe storm was caused by a deepening low pressure trough and high moisture levels. With the trough expected to continue deepening over the coming days, severe thunderstorms remain a threat in Darwin for at least the next week, with very heavy rainfall, intense lightning and damaging winds all possible.
© Weatherzone 2013
16:41 EDT Lightning strikes sparked fires in the roof spaces of two Canberra houses today as storms swept through the capital.