Severe Weather: Australia
This isn’t the first post on YourWeatherBlog discussing the unusual weather across Australia. From high heat to flooding to tropical cyclones, Australia is no stranger to severe or unusual weather. This time, severe thunderstorms over Melbourne delivered flooding downpours and large hail Saturday — hail the size of lemons, it was reported. You likely don’t think of Australia as a citrus haven, but a good portion of Australia is considered arid and semi-arid and lemons rather enjoy the climate, having been a part of Australian culture since the late 18th Century while providing multiple crops each year. Overall, lemons constitute about 5% of the Australian citrus market which includes limes, grapefruit, and oranges (Navels, Valencia and Mandarin), and Australian lemons are much more common than hail, no matter the size of the hail.
A stairwell in Melbourne on the receiving end of a downpour. Photo: David Crosling/EPA
On Friday, March 5, I detailed the well-defined and unusually strong upper-level low pressure system moving across the Great Australian Bight and the surface cold front moving toward Melbourne for the aviation weather video series, Aviation Weather Today. Lemonade from lemons? Many farmers in eastern Australia are rejoicing. The early heavy rainfall is welcome. However, as the flood waters recede, damage to pastures, fences and grazing stock is likely to be higher than expected. As the storm system continued to push eastward, news agencies from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland continued to report on the flooding conditions across these regions.