Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Extreme weather: Bush fires in southwest, flash floods in north Australia

As parts of south-west Western Australia burns, the north has been warned to brace for flash flooding. The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said monsoon storms “fired up” again over the Pilbara last night bringing the risk of destructive winds and heavy rain. Posting an image to Twitter they indicated regions that were hit with lightning strikes.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) warned residents in the mining town of Tom Price to prepare for flash flooding.
“Water will be fast flowing and levels will rise quickly,” it wrote yesterday.
“Watch for changes in water levels so you are ready if you need to evacuate.
“Never walk, swim or play in floodwaters as they are dangerous.”
The BoM said storms will shift southwards “over coming days”.
It comes as the south west continues its battle against multiple bushfires.
Temperatures in the state are expected to top 38C in Perth, hampering firefighting efforts.
The BoM have issued a fire warning for the region.

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“A hot to very hot and dry airmass with moderate North to North East winds and fresh and gusty afternoon coastal seabreezes will result in severe fire danger over the Central West, Gascoyne Coast, Goldfields, Lower West Inland, Ninghan and Jilbadgie fire weather districts on Thursday,” it wrote.

A total fire ban has been declared for 16 local government areas, stretching from the Midwest Gascoyne Region, to metropolitan Perth and the south west.
Two fires in Denmark and Bridgetown have together burned through more than 4700 hectares of land, destroying homes and businesses.
The DFES have called the current weather extremes some of the worst in the state’s history.

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