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SEVERE WEATHER WARNINGS: What you need to know!

Written by on August 20, 2019

The State Emergency Service is advising people across the south east, west and far north east (including the Furneaux and King Island groups) of Tasmania to prepare for damaging winds forecast this afternoon and on Wednesday evening.

“In order to prepare for the strong winds, we ask that people tie down and secure any loose items including outdoor furniture and play equipment. Winds of this speed can pick up items like trampolines and debris and carry them some distance, and can blow trees and power lines across roads.” said SES Assistant Director Leon Smith

CURRENT WARNINGS:

SEVERE WEATHER WARNING:
For people in King Island, Furneaux Islands, Western, Upper Derwent Valley, South East, Central Plateau and parts of North East, East Coast, North West Coast, Central North and Midlands Forecast Districts.

DAMAGING WINDS POSSIBLE TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY
Weather Situation:
A cold front embedded in a strong and gusty west to southwesterly flow will cross Tasmania Tuesday evening. Strong and gusty west to southwesterly winds will continue through Wednesday and then increase again on Wednesday evening as another cold front crosses Tasmania.

DAMAGING WESTERLY WINDS are possible in all western, southern and central areas, as well as over the far northeast and the Bass Strait Islands. DAMAGING WINDS averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts of around 100 km/h are possible, although elevated areas above 400m may experience gusts over 110km/h.

Winds will begin to ease over southeast Tasmania during Tuesday evening, with gusts of 70 to 80 km/h still likely. However DAMAGING WINDS will continue overnight and through Wednesday, mainly in western and central areas, and through Bass Strait.

DAMAGING WEST TO SOUTHWESTERLY WINDS will redevelop over southern and eastern Tasmania later on Wednesday.

Locations which may be affected include Currie, Smithton, Oatlands, Whitemark, Orford, Strahan, Hobart, and Geeveston.

Maximum wind gust observations over the past 6 hours include: 146 km/h at Maatsuyker Island, 139 km/h at kunanyi/Mt Wellington, 128 km/h at Cape Bruny, 106 km/h at Eddystone Point, 100 km/h at Maria Island and 96 km/h at Hobart.

For damaging winds in Marine Wind Warning Summary for Tasmania
Gale Warning for the following areas:
Channel, South West Lakes, Far North West Coast, Central North Coast, Banks Strait and Franklin Sound, East of Flinders Island, Lower East Coast, South East Coast, South West Coast and Central West Coast

Strong Wind Warning for the following areas:
Derwent Estuary, Frederick Henry Bay and Norfolk Bay, Storm Bay, Central Plateau Lakes and Upper East Coast

Flood Warning:
The following Watches/Warnings are current:
Minor Flood Warning for the Huon River
Flood Watch for North West and Derwent catchments

Huon River Minor Flood Warning:
Minor flooding is occurring along the Huon River during Tuesday afternoon. Additional river rises are expected during Tuesday evening based on observed and forecast rainfall.

Since 9 am Tuesday, 10-27 mm of rainfall has been recorded in the upper reaches of the Huon catchment (27 mm at North Boomerang, Mt Bobs) and 5-10 mm in downstream areas around Huonville. A further 10-25 mm of rainfall is forecast for the remainder of Tuesday, with a further 25 mm forecast for Wednesday.

Strong and dangerous flows will be a hazard over the next couple of days.

Minor flooding is occurring along the upper Huon River above Tahune.

Strong river rises are occurring along the Picton River.

Minor flooding is occurring along the Huon River – Tahune to Judbury.

The Huon River at Tahune Bridge is currently at 5.15 metres and steady. The Huon River at Tahune Bridge is expected to remain above the minor flood level (4.00 m) during Tuesday. The river level may peak between 5.30 and 5.60 metres Tuesday evening, based on observed and forecast rainfall.

The Huon River at Judbury is currently at 4.61 metres and rising. The Huon River at Judbury may peak between 5.00 and 5.40 metres Tuesday evening.

Minor flooding is occurring along the Huon River around Huonville.

The Huon River at Huonville is currently at the minor flood level (3.00 metres) and rising The Huon River at Huonville may peak between 3.30 and 3.60 metres Tuesday evening.

Latest Huon River Heights:

Location Height of River (m) Tendency Date/Time of Observation
Huon River at Harrisons Opening 5.83 Rising 04:04 PM TUE 20/08/19
Huon River at Tahune Bridge 5.15 Steady 03:48 PM TUE 20/08/19
Huon River at Judbury 4.61 Rising 02:00 PM TUE 20/08/19
Huon River at Huonville 3.00 Rising 03:43 PM TUE 20/08/19

Flood Watch for North West and Derwent Catchements:

Flooding is possible at some forecast locations in the North West and Derwent catchments from Wednesday morning. A Minor Flood Warning is current for the Huon River. A strong westerly to southwesterly flow will persist over Tasmania for the next couple of days, with embedded fronts.

Catchments are wet from winter rainfall.

In the 24 hours to 9 am Tuesday, widespread rainfall totals of 5-45 mm were recorded in the flood watch catchments, with isolated higher totals up to 86 mm at Cradle Valley. Widespread rainfall totals of 20-50 mm are forecast for Tuesday, with higher totals up to 80 mm possible in elevated areas. Additional totals of 15-25 mm are forecast for Wednesday, Showers are expected to clear during Thursday.

Minor flooding is occurring along the Styx River (in the Derwent catchment). Additional river rises and flooding is possible at some forecast locations from Wednesday morning, based on observed and forecast rainfall.

Strong and dangerous flows will be a hazard over the next couple of days.

Catchments likely to be affected include:
Mersey River
Forth River
Northwest and Central Coastal Rivers
Arthur River
Channel Coastal Rivers (South East Cape to Gordon)
Derwent River (including Ouse)

Warning to Sheep Graziers for the Furneaux Islands, North West Coast, Midlands, East Coast, Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts:
Sheep graziers are warned that cold temperatures, rain and showers and strong westerly winds are expected during Tuesday and Wednesday. Areas likely to be affected include the Furneaux Islands, Midlands, Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts and parts of the North West Coast and East Coast forecast districts. There is a risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions.

Pulse FM advises that people should do the following to prepare for severe weather:

  • Secure outdoor items including furniture and play equipment (trampolines are a frequent issue in high winds)
  • Beware of fallen trees and power lines
  • Take care when driving
  • Supervise children closely
  • Check that family and neighbours are aware of warnings
  • Be prepared in case of power outages and report outages to TasNetworks on 132 004
  • Keep up to date with the latest weather warnings at www.bom.gov.au/tas
  • Check that family and neighbours are aware of warnings
  • Never drive, ride or walk through water flowing over roads and bridges and obeyroad closure signs.
  • Monitor and move stock and equipment from low-lying paddocks as required.
  • Be aware of debris on roads after flooding has subsided.
  • Visit www.ses.tas.gov.au for further preparation advice
  • For road closures: www.police.tas.gov.au
  • Listen to ABC Local Radio for updates in an emergency

For flood and storm assistance call SES on 132 500
In a life threatening emergency call Triple Zero (000)

Information accurate as of 20th August 2019. For current warnings, please visit www.bom.gov.au/tas/warnings

COVER IMAGE: Lismore, NSW floods (2017)


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