Storm force winds and showers are battering Tasmania today, with even stronger winds possible tomorrow.
A complex westerly flow and multiple cold fronts are leading to the gales and showers over the state.
The first of these fronts moved through this morning, with winds averaging 40-60km/h over large parts of the state, even stronger on the coast and mountains. Wind speeds have been averaging close to 100km/h at Mount Wellington since early this morning, with gusts as strong as 135km/h at times. Maatsuyker Island in the south also managed to reach 122km/h this morning, while Hobart Airport peaked at 89km/h at 1pm, its strongest wind gust since December.
Showers were heaviest overnight and in the west, with widespread falls of 20-30mm to 9am this morning. Luncheon Hill picked up its heaviest rain since June with 26mm, while Strathgordon and Mount Read saw their heaviest falls since September, recording 42mm and 73mm respectively. In the east, totals were much lighter, with generally less than 5mm recorded. A few showers are lingering today in the west and south, however falls have generally been much lighter than last night.
While the winds should ease through this afternoon and evening, they are likely to restrengthen ahead of another cold front from tomorrow morning.
About the West Coast, northwesterly winds should average up to 70km/h, with gusts up to 150km/h possible about the exposed coast. While winds won't be as strong further east, they won't entirely escape. Gusts are likely to reach 80-90km/h in Hobart and will be even stronger on Mount Wellington.
As the front crosses during the evening winds should ease slightly, although showers are likely to increase and spread across the state. The west is again likely to see the heaviest falls, with widespread totals of 20-30mm and isolated falls of 50-60mm. Showers will be lighter in the east, with less than 5mm likely.
On Sunday, showers and strong winds are likely to persist in the wake of the front, although they will ease slowly through the day. However, a much colder air mass is likely to move in during the day, with snow showers possible down to 1100m from the afternoon and into the evening.
Looking into the new week, winds are likely to be much lighter, while showers should only be light and confined to the west and south. The cold air mass is likely to linger until at least mid week, with temperatures remaining a couple of degrees below average.
© Weatherzone 2013
11:39 EDT El Nino is one extreme of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena, in which La Nina is its counterpart.