Weather News

Festival of lightning across inland QLD and NSW, and it's not over yet

Esteban Abellan, Sunday September 20, 2020 - 14:33 EST

A broad low pressure trough lingering over eastern inland Australia has led to widespread thunderstorms on Saturday, bringing the wettest September day in years for several places.

More than 650,000 lightning strikes were registered within 500km of Middleton (Qld) from Saturday midnight to Sunday 9am, with over 75,000 hitting the ground. Further south, in a radius of 500km centred in Bourke (NSW), the Weatherzone lightning network detected more than 130,000 strikes, with just under 20,000 ground strikes, within the same period of time.

Image: Lightning strikes detected by Weatherzone Total Lightning Detection Network (WZTLN) around 6.30pm on Saturday

The slow-moving thunderstorm band also resulted in significant rainfall across these dry areas of the country. Wilcannia collected 44mm to 9am on Sunday, making it its wettest September day since the station opened in 2000. Remarkably, this amount exceeds more than twice its total September average of 20mm. Blackall's 35mm was its heaviest September 24-hour rainfall in a decade.

The storm activity is easing rapidly on Sunday afternoon as the trough weakens. However, another trough combined with a cold front will bring the chance of severe thunderstorms, possibly with damaging winds, heavy rain and large hail, on Monday. The areas most likely to be affected are parts of Northwest, Channel Country, Central West and Maranoa and Warrego in Qld, and Upper Western, Central West, and Southwest slopes in NSW.

With these storms on the cards, you can keep track of the latest weather warnings issued here


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