Wild weather continues to wreak havoc on Australia's east coast

| 21.01,20. 09:20 AM |

Wild weather continues to wreak havoc on Australia's east coast

Melbourne had its wettest day in a decade. (AAP Image/Michael Dodge) (AAP)

A monster storm is forecast for parts of Queensland, while bushfire-affected areas in eastern Victoria will welcome light showers before a fire danger spike tomorrow.
Meanwhile, parts of Sydney and Canberra are waking up to huge clean up this morning after a summer storm brought damaging winds, lightning and monster hail stones.
The central and northwest parts of Queensland will get the best of the rain, with some areas a chance of receiving 20mm.
The forecast follows some parts of Queensland recording as much as 350mm over the weekend.
Just days after officially running out of water, Stanthorpe received 75mm which filled up the water tanks of many rural residents.
Another 10mm could fall this week according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Statewide dam levels rose by about one per cent after the weekend rain.
Little Nerang Dam in the Gold Coast Hinterland is near capacity, with Seqwater recording the dam at 96 per cent full, up from 72.5 per cent on Friday.
The Queensland Environment Department lifted the statewide fire ban yesterday however there are still bans in the North Burnett, South Burnett, Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Noosa and Sunshine Coast local government areas are still in place.
The summer thunderstorm that has brought heavy rainfall and hail over central Victoria is forecast to follow its path towards the east of the state, easing its conditions as it reaches bushfire-affected areas.
Although light showers are expected to hold in East Gippsland until late morning, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts the sky will be clear across the state by the evening.
The rain has brought some relief to the fire front, as the 14 active blazes in Victoria were all under advice levels that didn't pose risks to lives and homes.
But the impact of flooding and debris running into waterways has also challenged the battle against the flames.
"There's significant chance for run-off today, off the ground, and for those streams and creeks to run quite hard with debris, rocks, sticks and the like," SES deputy chief officer Alistair Drayton said.
Melbourne recorded the wettest day in nearly a decade with 44mm of rain causing flash flooding in parts of the city.
These weather challenges were strongly felt in Melbourne's eastern suburbs on Monday afternoon, where thunderstorms closed roads and delayed public transport.
The State Emergency Service received 1824 calls for help since storms started hitting Victoria on Sunday.
About 1700 of them were in the Melbourne metropolitan area, mostly for building damage.
Hot and windy weather is expected to return on Wednesday, pushing fire danger into the severe and extreme ranges again in some parts of the state.
A raise in the mercury levels will come with strong winds that could cause the blazes to flare up.
"The strong winds are the main driver, but we do see the temperatures climbing, especially on the north of the state, where temperatures are pushing up to the high 30s," BOM senior meteorologist Richard Russell said.
Severe thunderstorms hit Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong on Monday.
A 16-year-old boy was struck by lightning in the Blue Mountains on Monday afternoon, while a 24-year-old man leaning against a metal railing nearby was also treated.
Both were taken to Nepean Hospital in a stable condition.
A 65-year-old man was was treated for multiple injuries and airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in a stable condition after a large tree crashed through a glass door at a house in Harrington on the mid north coast.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Gabrielle Woodhouse said fire-affected areas could experience quick run-off, flash flooding and roadways covered by ash and debris.
"Due to the fire and drought conditions, quite a lot of the vegetation is weakened, and this means that trees and trees' branches are going to be much more likely to come down due to wind gust or a bit of heavy hail," Ms Woodhouse said.
Temperatures are forecast to increase slightly closer to Wednesday and Thursday, with a spike in heat expected particularly for Thursday and Friday and a possible elevation of fire danger.
Downpours have provided relief for parts of drought-stricken NSW in recent days and helped firefighters slow the spread of bushfires and build containment lines ahead of increased fire danger mid-week.

The clean up continues after a severe thunderstorm has paved Australia's capital white with massive hail, leaving a trail of broken car windows and debris.
In Canberra, emergency services responded to 1,900 call-outs since noon. The ACT SES said that was a record, with the average annual storm response being 600 call-outs.
Canberra can expect a mostly sunny day, with a top of 26C.
The country's Top End is also forecast to receive some monsoonal weather this week with a surge in westerly winds across the Timor Sea bringing showers and thunderstorms to northern and western parts.
Western Australia is tipped for a sunny day, with a top of 22C.


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