Sydney thunderstorm: Concerns of flash flooding raised, flight schedules affected

By @shauryaarya1 on
Heavy rain
People walk holding umbrellas in rain brought by Typhoon Haima, in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China, October 21, 2016. Reuters/Stringer

Sydney was lashed with violent thunderstorms on Tuesday. As around 50 millimetres of rain fell in inner parts of the city in over half an hour, concerns of possible flash flooding have been raised.

The Marrickville Golf Club experienced 49 millimetres of rainfall in 40 minutes on Tuesday morning. Rose Bay recorded 45.6 millimetres in one hour. Almost 45 millimetres rain fell in Canterbury.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Meteorology has put into effect a warning of severe thunderstorm for people in Hornsby, the CBD, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and waters off Bondi Beach. Around 26 millimetres of rain fell at the airport in a period of one hour from 10:00 a.m.

As many as 11 flood rescues were reported within the city. They were mainly in the inner suburbs of Alexandria and Zetland. As reported by AAP (via 9News), a spokeswoman from SES said two of these rescues had been completed.

Major city roads were flooded as a result of severe thunderstorms. As a result, motorists experienced lengthy delays. Only one westbound lane on the Anzac Bridge, Sydney’s inner west, was open for vehicles. “These thunderstorms are moving towards the east. They are forecast to affect Mona Vale, waters off Dee Why Beach and waters off Manly Beach by 12:00 pm and Brooklyn, Palm Beach and waters off Mona Vale Beach by 12:30 pm,” the warning from Bureau of Meteorology reads.

The rain will likely continue today into tomorrow, according to NSW BOM duty forecaster Rob Taggart. “There is a chance we could see heavier rainfall. The risk of heavy rainfall doesn’t really leave until day time tomorrow,” Taggart said. “There is the possibility of flash flooding and we have got people monitoring the situation at Cooks River (in south-eastern Sydney). That is the one catchment that they are monitoring at the moment.”

Heavy rainfall at the Sydney Airport has led to several flights being delayed and or cancelled. The airport said as many as 2,500 lightning strikes within 10 nautical miles had been reported on Tuesday morning. It urged travellers to check for their flights for any changes. Several flights of a scheduled arrival time of 11:00 a.m. landed an hour later.

Nevertheless, the city will likely experience sweltering conditions over the weekend. Temperatures are expected to climb again. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, mercury levels of 36 degrees Celsius have been forecast for Sydney CBD. Western Sydney will likely experience scorching temperature of 40 degrees Celsius.