Victoria braces for more than a month’s worth of rain in an hour and flash flooding as a wild storm sweeps towards Melbourne
- Monsoonal rains and flash flooding forecast for Melbourne tonight and Thursday
- The city’s downpour expected to exceed February’s average rainfall of 40mm
- No significant rain expected in regional part of Victoria where bushfires still burn
Victorians are preparing for more than a month’s worth of rain in the span of an hour, but the torrential rain isn’t expected over regional areas where bushfires continue to rage.
A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for the Melbourne and Geelong regions, where the downpour is expected to exceed February’s average rainfall of 40mm on Wednesday.
‘These storms could impact Melbourne, most likely between 6 and 9pm this evening,’ the Bureau of Meteorology tweeted.
The entire state is under a severe thunderstorm warning on Thursday with potential for flash flooding in some parts of the state with up to 50mm falling ‘within an hour in some parts’, according to meteorologist Chris Godfred.
Parts of Victoria have already recorded significant rainfall.
Melbourne motorists are urged to take care on the roads on Wednesday night
Stawell in Victoria’ north-west copped 9mm in nine minutes on Wednesday, while Longrenong, near Horsham received 20mm in 20 minutes.
Birchip residents in the Mallee region, have captured large amounts of raised dust as a result of gusty winds.
However, there is no significant rain expected where fires still burn.
Bushfires in Grantville, far east of Melbourne, have continued blazing since they were first reported last Friday.
No rain is forecast over the affected areas.
More than 6200 hectares of land have been burnt in the Thomson Catchment fire, east of Melbourne, with authorities concerned burnt debris have the potential to wash into Thomson Dam and contaminate Melbourne’s major drinking water source.
Bushfires continue to burn in the Grantville with no rain forecast in the coming days
Water Minister Lisa Neville told reporters up to 3mm of rain fell on the dam in the past day and if ‘you were going to ask for an ideal amount of rain that was about it’, to aid firefighting efforts, and not wash debris into the dam.
With the dam’s storage level at just over half, plus the threat of contamination, the state government is expecting to place an order for desalinated water order by April 1.
‘We know we have at least three months supply in our other reservoirs, so there is no urgency about it,’ Ms Neville added, noting an order can be filled within days.
‘It doesn’t take that long.
‘We have put in place a minimum order of 15 gigalitres a year and part of that is to ensure we always know that is ready, (the desalination plant) is able to work and it is functioning and you have the resources to go quickly.’
A watch-and-act warning is in place for the Grantville blaze with crews on alert for windy conditions reigniting hot-spots.
More to come.