Issued August 7th, 2019. A complex weather pattern between Thursday and Sunday is expected to deliver rain, storms, hail, damaging winds and snow to Tasmania with the majority, if not all, of the State experiencing some form of severe weather at some stage. Above image: Snow forecast via Windy.
Rain, Storms, Hail: Activity is expected to begin on Thursday as a large cold front linked to a strong low in the Bight moves across the State and combines with a small scale low pressure system to the North East of the State. This combination will combine with colder air aloft, whilst pumping increased moisture over the entire State. This is likely to result in some isolated storms moving across the State with hail and wind being the main threat, along with expansive areas of rain. This rain will be on and off from Thursday afternoon through to Friday afternoon. During Friday, a strong low pressure region is likely to intensify over the Tasman Sea, East of Tasmania. This will draw in a significant amount of moisture and combine that with freezing air aloft to produce further hail showers and continuous rain areas from late Friday through to early Sunday when activity becomes more scattered as the system moves away. The heaviest rain is expected to be over the South and East of the State where falls of 50-75mm are likely and localised higher falls are possible (orange shaded areas) and this includes Hobart. Moderate falls of 25mm+ are expected over Central districts and in a unique setup compared to normal, only light falls are expected over West and Northern areas.
Snow: As with all winter systems across Tasmania, snow is expected. Initially, on Thursday, snow is expected to around 700-800m across the Central Highlands and probably Mt Wellington. During Friday and Saturday as the colder air arrives – the snow level is expected to drop to a solid 400-500m with snow being possible down to 250-300m with any colder air that gets dragged down through downbursts. This level should then rise on Sunday to around 800m or higher again with the colder air moving away and moisture levels starting to fade. During the peak snow potential (Friday afternoon / night into Saturday morning), heavy snow is possible around the Mt Wellington Mountain area. Good snowfall is expected over the Central Highlands. Snow is even likely in the Hobart Hills which will include towns such as Collinsville, Glenlusk, Grove, Glenorchy, the Lenah Valley, Tolmans Hill, Mount Nelson, Ridgeway, New Town, West Moonah. On the other side of the river, places like Brighton, Honeywood, Richmond, Campania will also be seeing potential. Sleet is also expected in isolated bursts throughout Hobart City. This means that if you are in Hobart, there is the potential for snow to be falling on the ground less than 30mins away.
Where to go: From Hobart City to Lenah Valley its 14mins. From Hobart City to Collinsvale its 28mins – which takes you through Glenlusk. This is a very scenic and safe drive if you take your time. The highway has plenty of pull over areas and large fields that are likely to have snow settling on them given these areas are around 600-800m. This will let the kids be able to play and for the adults to take in some of the scenery.
Wind: Winds should be “okay” on Thursday as the front pushes through. During Friday, a South Westerly breeze is expected to increase to around 30-60km/h (nothing too dramatic) over much of the State and then even more over the elevated terrain. As the low increases on Saturday, winds are expected to veer around to the South and increase to around 80-100km/h, possibly even seeing peak gusts of over 110km/h across Mt Wellington. The strongest winds will be over the Central Highlands from the West and the South East Coast from the South. Strong winds of 60-70km/h+ are likely during Sunday and into Monday. This will help make the temperature feel more like in the negatives across most of the State during the weekend as temperatures remain in the single digits.