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Wind, rain and storms batter southeast Australia

Press Release, Thursday January 13, 2011 - 09:53 EDT
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Press Release

Wind, rain and storms batter southeast Australia

13/01/2011: Over the past few days much of Victoria and Tasmania have been struck with heavy rain, severe storms and strong winds, but the worst is yet to come according to

"In the last 24 hours, storms pushed through northern and central Victoria, bringing heavy downpours and some of the largest January totals in around a decade," Weatherzone meteorologist Josh Fisher said.

North East Victoria was one of the hardest hit areas, with widespread falls of 30 to 60mm. Halls received 52mm, their heaviest January total in at least nine years.

A few storms also pushed south into Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon. Avalon recorded 5mm in just 10 minutes and Werribee coped a deluge of 8mm in the same time frame.

"Huge amounts of moisture filtered across Bass Strait, bringing heavy rain to Tasmania. The largest totals were received over the state's north, where as much as 50 to 100mm was picked up," Fisher said.

Wynyard recorded 101mm to 9am today, their heaviest 24 hour total in at least 19 years. Devonport and St Helens both received their largest January rain in seven years, with 47mm and 89mm respectively.

The heavy rain and severe storms were also accompanied by strong northeasterly winds. Cape Grim in Tasmania recorded a gust of 115km/h, while in Victoria winds of 95km/h blew through Mt Hotham.

"But the worst is yet to come as a deepening low slips south from the country's interior, drawing huge amounts of tropical moisture over the southeast. This will lead to another round of heavy rain and strong winds during the next 48 hours," Fisher said.

"The heaviest in the next 24 hours will be in western Victoria, where some areas have already received their biggest totals in more than a century. Widespread 50 to 100mm is expected, although parts of the Mallee and Wimmera could see in excess of 100mm."

For Melbourne, the rain will pick up this afternoon and become heavy at times overnight into Friday morning. The city can expect between 30 and 60mm during the next 36 hours.

"By Friday the low will have slipped further south, with the heavy rain spreading into Tasmania. The state's north will again see the largest totals, where another 40 to 80mm is likely," Fisher said.

"The rain will clear late on Friday with dry and sunny conditions arriving for the weekend."

Media Inquiries:

Josh Fisher
02 9965 9269

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