ISSUED: Friday 23 December 2022 at 5pm AEDT
Tropical Cyclone Ellie, which crossed the coast on Friday morning as a Category 1 system, has been downgraded to a tropical low. Heavy rain and strong to damaging winds will continue to impact large parts of the greater Top End (including Darwin), and into the Kimberley.
Observed rainfall has generally been between 40 – 80 mm, with wind gusts between 60 – 80 km/h.
Significant observations over the past 24 hrs (to Friday 9am ACST) include:
- 156mm at Walker Creek, Northern Territory
- 138mm at Elizabeth Downs, Northern Territory
- 122mm at Point Stuart, Northern Territory, including 78mm in one hour
- 99mm at Adelaide River West, Northern Territory
- 45mm at Darwin Airport, Northern Territory
Tropical Cyclone Ellie was the first tropical cyclone to make landfall during this Australian season.
A Tropical Cyclone Warning has now been cancelled.
A Severe Weather Warning is current for heavy rainfall and damaging wind for parts of the western Top End and into the Gregory district, as cloud bands feed into the tropical system. This warning includes the Darwin metro area.
Northern Australia outlook:
Over the coming days, the ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie will drift south near the Western Australia/Northern Territory inland border, pushing widespread rain into western and central Northern Territory. This will add to the heavy rainfall already seen across the south. Heavy rainfall is likely through to early next week when ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie begins to move west.
Widespread rain and thunderstorms are increasing over northern Australia more generally, with the onset of the northern Australia monsoon.
The monsoon trough currently lies just south of Darwin and is expected to continue moving south, bringing increased cloud, rainfall, and potential flooding to some areas.
A Flood Watch has been issued for a broad stretch of northern Australia, from the Kimberley, through much of inland Northern Territory, western Queensland, and northern South Australia.
Flash flooding is also a possibility with heavier, isolated thunderstorms that may wash away dirt roads and cause localised disruptions.
This wet and stormy outlook continues into the Christmas weekend and next week.
Maximum temperatures will remain 6 to 12C below average over northern Western Australia, with much of the Northern Territory, and northern and western Queensland under thick cloud.
South-east Australia outlook:
Severe thunderstorms impacted parts of Victoria and New South Wales on Thursday, including the Melbourne area.
Heavy rainfall through some suburbs caused flash flooding and local creek and river rises. The highest rainfall totals included (in the 24hrs to 9am AEDT Friday):
- 60 mm at Melbourne Airport, Victoria and 83km/h wind gust
- 44 mm at Tatura, Victoria
- 33 mm at Sunbury, Victoria
Small to large hail was reported, in addition to roof damage and power outages.
On Friday, the thunderstorm risk moves east and into eastern Victoria, and eastern and northern New South Wales. Severe thunderstorms are possible, with may produce heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail.
Conditions will improve across south-east and southern Australia into the Christmas weekend.
By Sunday, maximum temperatures will reach the low 40s over southern Western Australia and inland South Australia, and into the low-to-mid 30s for remaining parts of South Australia, and inland Victoria.
By Tuesday and Wednesday, maximums climb into the low-to-mid 40s for eastern South Australia, western New South Wales and north-west Victoria, and the mid-to-high 30s for inland New South Wales and central Victoria. Some locations in Tasmania may also exceed 30C.
Low to severe intensity heatwave conditions will develop across southern South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania – the first significant heatwave across the region this summer.
Gusty northerly to north-westerly winds are likely in some areas which may lead to elevated fire dangers.
A cool change will begin to move over some coastal areas in South Australia on Wednesday, and then Victoria and Tasmania by Thursday.
New Years Eve is looking mild but mostly dry over southern Australia, ahead of a potentially warm to hot New Years Day.
Christmas/Boxing Day forecast around Australia
It is looking warm to hot and sunny across the country on Christmas Day. The current forecast for 25 December is (current as at 1pm AEDT Friday):
- Sydney: Cloudy, possible afternoon shower or storm in the outer west, 28C
- Melbourne: Morning cloud or fog, then a sunny afternoon, 28C
- Brisbane: Shower or two, possible thunderstorm, 29C
- Perth: Mostly sunny, 31C
- Adelaide: Sunny, 31C
- Hobart: Mostly sunny, 25C
- Canberra: Cloud clearing, 31C
- Darwin: Showers. Possible storm, 32C.
Boxing Day will be warm and dry for the start of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
For all the latest warnings see National Warnings Summary (bom.gov.au)