Australia is on killer tornado alert as supercell thunderstorms sweep across the country bringing floods, giant hail, dust storms, and high winds.
Urgent severe weather warnings were issued for, Victoria and parts of as the dangerous storms grow overnight.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned the intense storms was a ‘very dynamic situation’.
South Australia was battered by storms earlier on Thursday with golfball-sized hail smashingbefore the weather system began to move east.
Ice and sleet ran like rivers through the streets of Adelaide in what locals called ‘incredible, crazy weather’.
Australia is on killer tornado alert as supercell thunderstorms sweep across the south-east of the country bringing floods, giant hail, dust storms and land gales. (Pictured, Thursday’s devastating storm hits Adelaide)
Up to 6,000 homes were without power, with Adelaide Hills among the areas worst hit and 2,500 families left in the dark by the devastating storm.
The storms are expected to reach their peak on Friday after building in strength through the night, with a severe fire danger warning for South Australia too.
The BoM warned of possible flooding in western and northern Victoria as well as possible dust storms, as high winds from the storm rips off dry topsoil.
‘Nature is throwing a mixed bag at south-east Australia today and tomorrow with heavy rain, land gales, severe fire dangers and severe thunderstorms,’ weatherman Jackson Browne said.
Urgent severe weather warnings have been sent out for South Australia, Victoria and parts of NSW as the danger storms develop and grow overnight.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology warned the intense storms were a ‘very dynamic situation.’ (Pictured, the hail that smashed Adelaide on Thursday)
South Australia was battered by storms earlier on Thursday with golfball-sized hail (pictured) smashing Adelaide before the weather system began to move east
‘Severe storms affected large parts of South Australia overnight and also Adelaide this morning with multiple reports of large to giant hail.
‘With the system deepening rapidly today we’re seeing a broad scale pick up in winds across the southeast with severe weather warnings for damaging wind.’
Throughout Friday, the storms will batter a wide section of NSW as temperatures soar up to 35C, stretching from Sydney all the way up to the Queensland border.
Elsewhere, a deep low pressure over Tasmania will bring heavy rain and floods to the south of NSW, Tasmania, and Victoria, and sea fog to the NSW south coast.
Ice and sleet ran like rivers through the streets of Adelaide (pictured) in what locals called ‘incredible, crazy weather’
The Bureau of Meteorology described the hail which hit Adelaide (pictured) as ‘large to giant’
‘We have is a cold front trough moving across the state,’ said BoM weatherman Hugh McDowell. ‘It’s already in the west of the state today.
‘Through tomorrow, that starts spreading further to the northeast and affecting half of the state.
‘It’s through the afternoon into the evening when we see the greatest risk of those storms. There could be severe storms – be aware and maybe be prepared.’
Weathermen fear the storms will develop into supercell thunderstorms which generate powerful updrafts.
Those updrafts, stretching high into the atmosphere, cause the giant hail, as pellets of ice repeatedly cycle up and down through the clouds growing bigger every time.
Up to 6,000 homes were without power, with Adelaide Hills among the areas worst hit and 2500 families left in the dark by the devastating storm (pictured)
The storm gathers in the skies above Adelaide (pictured)
And if those updrafts then start to rotate, it creates the tornados which have repeatedly pummelled Australia’s east coast this year, destroying homes and threatening lives.
But meteorologists admit they are still baffled by the sudden increase in this spring’s dangerous extreme weather.
‘We are seeing more severe thunderstorms just in this current season,’ admitted weatherman Dick Whittaker.
‘Whether that’s a long term trend or or whether it’s just the current season, we don’t really know at this stage.
The storms are expected to reach their peak on Friday after building in strength through the night, with a severe fire danger warning for South Australia too (pictured)
‘But there is little doubt it has brought increased tornadic activity.’
He said Australia had a long history of tornados in the past, including one in 1906 which wreaked havoc in North Sydney and another in 1918 which hit Brighton in Melbourne.
Usually though the tornados are in remote areas and rarely seen by humans, he said.
Increasing population – and the widespread use of mobile phones with cameras – meant tornadoes were now being seen and recorded more frequently.
But he said the signs were that Australia was currently enduring a worse tornado season than ever so far – and it could last until March or even April.
Supercell storms create updrafts, stretching high into the atmosphere, which cause giant hail like those seen here form Adelaide on Thursday, as pellets of ice repeatedly cycle up and down through the clouds growing bigger every time
Backyards were turned into winter wonderlands in Adelaide on Thursday (pictured) and insurance companies are braced for thousands of claims for damage
Possible factors are climate change, which sees increasing surface temperatures potentially sparking more and potentially severe thunderstorms, leading to tornados.
Or else it could also be the developing La Nina weather activity, which is currently at alert level, with BoM estimating a 65 per cent chance of a full soaking La Nina for Australia this summer.
‘It’s one of the consequences of global warming that you do see an increase in severe thunderstorm activity,’ Mr Whittaker said.
‘Whether we’re seeing that now is not really clear yet, but certainly we are seeing an unusual number of of supercell storms for NSW and Victoria.
‘But the BoM are much better at predicting these than they ever were 30 or 40 years ago which is also why we are now seeing more dangerous storm and tornado warnings from them.’
FIVE-DAY FORECAST IN YOUR CITY
Friday: Partly cloudy. Min 9 – Max 21
Saturday: sunny. Min 9 – Max 24
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Min 10 – Max 23
Monday: Possible shower. Min 10 – Max 20
Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Min 9- Max 21
Friday: Possible morning shower. Min 11 – Max 18
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 9- Max 18
Sunday: Sunny. Min 8 – Max 24
Monday: Sunny. Min 13 – Max 29
Tuesday: Shower or two. Min 18 – Max 33
Friday: Showers easing, wind easing. Min 13 – Max 18
Saturday: shower or two. Min 8 – Max 17
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Min 8 – Max 21
Monday: Sunny. Min 9 – Max 24
Tuesday: Sunny. Min 12 – Max 29
Friday: Rain, possible heavy falls. Min 8 – Max 11
Saturday: Possible shower. Min 5 – Max 15
Sunday: Cloudy. Min 9 – Max 18
Monday: Partly cloudy. Min 10 – Max 19
Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Min 10 – Max 23
Friday: Mostly sunny. Min 13 – Max 23
Saturday: partly cloudy. Min 4 – Max 18
Sunday: Sunny. Min 4 – Max 21
Monday: Sunny. Min 5 – Max 24
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Min 8 – Max 27
Friday: Possible gusty afternoon storm. Min 18 – Max 35
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 15 – Max 20
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min 13 – Max 20
Monday: Mostly sunny. Min 13 – Max 25
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Min 15 – Max 25
Friday: Shower or two developing. Min 21 – Max 32
Saturday: Showers, possible storm. Min 21 – Max 33
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 19 – Max 25
Monday: Cloudy. Min 17 – Max 25
Tuesday: Shower or two. Min 17 – Max 25
Friday: Possible shower or storm. Min 27 – Max 34
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 27 – Max 35
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min 26 – Max 35
Monday: Possible storm. Min 27 – Max 35
Tuesday: Showers. Min 27 – Max 35
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