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Stormy Saturday for the Southeast

Lachlan Maher, Sunday October 21, 2018 - 11:00 EDT

Severe thunderstorms have developed across parts of New South Wales, bringing a lightshow over much of the state.

Thunderstorms are being triggered from the interaction of a warm humid airmass over the east and a trough moving in from the west.

While some thunderstorms had sprung up in the early morning over Victoria, it was just after midday when they started to become common over the plains of NSW. As they flared up, they brought rain, strong winds and widespread lightning, while also combining with the passage of the trough to drop temperatures.

Thunderstorms crossed by Omeo in Victoria in the early afternoon, bringing more than 5,000 lightning strikes within 50km of the town. A storm cell looks to have passed directly overhead, leading to 11mm of rain between 1:30pm and 2:30pm, though this is not an exceptional amount as the site has already had higher rainfall this October.

Much higher totals were recorded north in NSW at Coonamble with 23mm falling in a 21 minute period after 2pm. This amount of rain is more than half the monthly average of 41.1mm, and is also the highest one day fall recorded in the area since December last year. The skies were also lit up in the region with over 34,000 strikes recorded within 50km of the town.

While the thunderstorms have been resulting in downpours of rain, they tend to be fairly isolated and restricted to directly below the storm. This means that while a storm could pass within a short distance of a location, there is no guarantee that it will receive any rain.

Any current example would be Goulburn. One storm has already passed to the north of the city, leading to a series of lightning strikes just outside the town's centre. Unfortunately, no large downpours were been recorded. The gauge does record 2.2mm since 9am, though this is likely a result of the odd shower rather than from the storm. Fortunately, as a second line of storms is approaching, there is still the opportunity for rain today.

Later in the day, thunderstorms are expected to continue tracking across the state, bringing rain, wind and lightning to the east coast. A severe weather warning has been issued for several districts. To stay up to date with warnings, visit http://www.weatherzone.com.au/warnings.jsp

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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