Weather News

Rain, storms and cooler weather heading for Tasmania

Ben Domensino, Wednesday February 6, 2019 - 15:30 EDT

Rain, thunderstorms and snow could all affect fire-ravaged Tasmania during the next week.

A band of rain and thunderstorms will move over Tasmania on Wednesday night and Thursday as a low pressure trough drifts across the state.

The heaviest falls are likely to occur in the state's north, as a stream of moisture-laden air with tropical origins drifts down from the mainland.

A severe weather warning for heavy rain and thunderstorms has been issued in parts of the North West Coast, Central North, Central Plateau and Midlands Forecast Districts. Some places in this region could see 50mm of rain by the end of Thursday, particularly with thunderstorm activity.

While the heaviest rain will be in the north, some wet weather should affect parts of every district in Tasmania during the next 24-48 hours. This rain will help extinguish some of the fires burning across the state's central, western and southern districts.

A number of large fires have scorched Tasmania in recent weeks as the state endured its warmest and driest January on record. This included a record seven days at or above 30 degrees in Hobart during the month.

January's unrivalled heat may soon be replaced by a burst of colder weather across Tasmania during the middle of next week.

A number of computer models suggest a pool of cold air originating well to the south of Australia could pass over Tasmania from about Tuesday next week. If this air mass isn't held back by high pressure in the Tasman Sea, like so many cold fronts have in recent weeks, it could drop temperatures low enough for snow in parts of Tasmania on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Image: Cool air passing over Tasmania on Tuesday, February 12th according to the ECMWF-HRES model.

At this stage, any snow next week would most likely be confined to high ground if it does occur.

Snow in Tasmania is not uncommon during summer and flakes have falling on the state during every month of the year.

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