A thunderstorm led by “damaging and locally destructive winds” in excess of 120km/h is a “high risk” of hitting Canberra this afternoon, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
BOM forecaster David Wilke said a strong cold front moving through NSW and the ACT and is dramatically influencing the weather conditions across the region.
“Ahead of it we have warm temperatures, generally about 8-10 degrees above average for this time of year.”
Mr Wilke said these conditions will lead to an active thunderstorm day today, with the key risk from central-west NSW across to Canberra and the ACT.
“The main concern is wind. We’re expecting these thunderstorms to have fairly strong wind gusts,” he said.
The current thunderstorm warning is for damaging and locally destructive winds in excess of 120km/h.
“There’s always the possibility of heavy bursts of rain and large hail … In this situation that’s considered to be less of a risk but still a risk.”
Mr Wilke predicted that today’s thunderstorm activity will continue tomorrow, moving toward north-east NSW and ease entirely by Wednesday.
However, he said the next “thunderstorm signal” will come into play as we head toward the weekend, with a renewed risk for thunderstorms due Friday-Saturday this week.
There is a potential for thunderstorms for the ACT this afternoon. Storms will likely bring strong winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to localised flash flooding.
In light of the forecast, the ACT State Emergency Service (ACTSES) has issued a warning, encouraging Canberrans to secure or remove loose items that could blow around in strong winds; and move your car undercover as well as avoid parking under trees.
For information and tips on how you can Be Storm Ready, click here.
If you need assistance during a storm, call the ACTSES on 132 500. For life-threatening emergencies always call Triple Zero (000).