East Coast Low Incoming!

Finally some exciting winter weather – but don’t get too excited, as it’ll be happening to our south! We’ve got some really cold air moving across over the next couple of days, and as this cold air moves across the coast and into the Tasman it will develop an East Coast Low at the surface. This feature will bring some very strong winds and wet weather across much of Eastern Australia – however most of the action will be to our south. You can see the forecast winds over the next 48 hours on this animation:

You can see a few things happening in the animation above – the development of the low to our south / the strong winds that will develop just off the Sydney coast / the movement of a trough through our region through tomorrow / the development of westerly winds as the trough moves through and the low develops. The trough should bring us a period of rain through the morning tomorrow before clearing offshore, with much drier westerly winds to follow. It will also bring quite a sharp, if brief, drop in temperatures. You can see the trough move through in the forecast rain animation covering today and tomorrow:

You can see the current (at 4pm) location of the trough on this radar / lightning map from Weatherzone – check out that band of lightning to our west:

Here’s the total forecast rainfall through the next couple of days – with some big falls to our south:

You can also see the impact of the range to our west, keeping most of the rain to our south and west. There are flood watches in place for rivers to the west of the divide. That colder air moving in will bring some decent snow to the Blue Mountains, with flakes also likely through Guyra and other high points to our west:

We’ll likely see more showers and some rain as changes move through over the next few weeks with some drier weather in-between. Still never too wet, never too dry. The difference we’re seeing this year is the impact of the really warm waters to the north and northwest of Australia bringing much wetter air across the country – so when the changes move through we see a lot more cloud and rain associated with them. You can see those warm waters on the first frame of this animation that shows sea temperature anomalies over the next 9 months:

What you can also see if the forecast development and then decline of another La Nina across the Pacific. The combination of the La Nina and warmer waters to the north and northwest of the country should see wetter than normal conditions through Spring and into Summer…before it starts drying out again as the water temperatures move back towards more neutral conditions. Here’s the forecast rainfall anomalies through to next May to illustrate that point:

With La Nina in decline we will likely see drier conditions late next winter – but that is a long way away, and it only takes one East Coast Low to change that completely…which brings us neatly full circle 🙂

Thanks: Kombu Wholefoods | Snapfrozen | Meteologix | Tropical Tidbits

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