Huge storms, heavy rain tipped for the east coast as bureau sounds La Nina alert

Alex DruceNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: NCA NewsWire

Australia’s east coast should prepare for a “miserable couple of days” with large hail – and perhaps even wilder weather over coming months – after forecasters upped their La Nina climate alert.

Heavier than expected summer rainfall across the nation’s north and northeast is looking more likely after the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) on Tuesday raised its ENSO outlook from a La Nina “watch” to “alert”.

The bureau said continued cooling in the tropical Pacific Ocean throughout September – and subsequent warmer oceans near Australia – had boosted the chances of La Nina from 50 per cent to 70 per cent, roughly three times the normal likelihood of an event forming in any year.

The majority of international models used by the BOM meet La Nina criteria from November.

“A La Niña ALERT is not a guarantee that La Niña will occur, rather it is an indication that most of the typical precursors of an event are in place,” the BOM said in a blog post.

The update comes amid warnings the rain system that has lashed communities from Queensland to Tasmania in recent days should intensify.

BOM duty forecaster Jonathan How said a “deep and complex” low pressure system sitting over the Great Australian Bight would bring wet weather to Adelaide, Victoria, and Southern NSW on Wednesday before morphing into a rain band and washing over western NSW and the Riverina.

Moisture coming down from the tropics is also expected to bring rain from Central Queensland to Sydney on Wednesday before the arrival of widespread thunderstorms on Thursday.

Maroon Moments
Camera IconA late afternoon storm over Brisbane CBD last week. Richard Walker Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr How said severe storms were a chance to bring heavy rainfall, damaging winds and hail up to 5cm across all the way from the Illawarra to Capricornia region, with the Darling Downs and Wide Bay areas in Queensland particularly warned.

“It’s going to be a pretty miserable couple of days,” Mr How said.

The storms are expected to clear over the weekend and more stable weather is expected next week.

Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Northern Rivers region of NSW already copped a drenching on Monday and Tuesday, with some regions recording more than 70mm overnight.

Originally published as Huge storms, heavy rain tipped for the east coast as bureau sounds La Nina alert

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