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Severe thunderstorms unleashed on SA

Rob Sharpe, Tuesday November 6, 2012 - 10:41 EDT

Thunderstorms blazed from Tasmania to the WA Kimberley last night in a fiery display of nature's power.

Thunderstorms have dominated South Australia's weather for the past two days with over 100 000 lightning strikes. On Monday afternoon and evening a line of storms developed along a low pressure trough which stretched over 3000km from Tasmania to northern parts of Western Australia. However the focus of the severe storms was in South Australia where almost every location experienced lightning.

There were almost 30 000 lightning strikes within 200km of Adelaide in this bout of thunderstorms. Many enjoyed the frequent flashes of lightning in the night sky, however these strikes left some people in the dark. Lightning strikes and wind gusts of up to about 90km/h caused damage to powerlines, leaving tens of thousands without power. Lightning also caused many grass fires across the state.

The fast moving nature of the storms meant that rainfall totals were small. The largest recorded fall was in Robe where 20mm was recorded from multiple storms. A heavy rain rate of five millimetres in 10 minutes was seen in Ernabella in the North West Pastoral, while Adelaide gained eight millimetres in a number of bursts during the afternoon and evening.

Today, thunderstorms are likely to occur across most of the North East Pastoral district and slightly further south and west. Storms begun just south of Renmark at 9am this morning but should be clear of that region by the evening.

Adelaide and the southern districts are likely to be lightning free until the end of the week, with only a small risk of isolated lightning on Thursday evening with the arrival of a cold front.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2012

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12:21 EST A series of cold fronts and a low pressure system will sweep over Tasmania during the next week, bringing showers on most days and keeping temperatures to those more likely to be experienced in winter.

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