Parts of Australia’s east, including southeastern Queensland and northern New South Wales, experienced severe thunderstorms and heavy rains, with hailstones as large as 2 inches and wind gusts of up to 62mph. The rural town of Beerburrum in Queensland received a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours. More severe thunderstorms are expected throughout the first week of 2024, with flash flooding anticipated in some areas. The government plans to deploy up to 70 military veterans and retired emergency service workers to assist with the clean-up efforts after recent storms.
Climate change has contributed to Australia’s recent extreme weather, with the El Nino weather phenomenon causing wildfires, cyclones, and prolonged drought. Meanwhile, a heatwave is affecting towns in Queensland’s outback, with temperatures expected to reach 113 degrees Fahrenheit. However, Sydney is preparing for its New Year’s Eve fireworks display, with mild weather expected for the event.
In addition to the recent severe weather, the country is still recovering from Cyclone Jasper earlier in the month, which caused widespread flooding and damage. The weather bureau has warned that the storm risk is increasing and plans are being made to deal with the aftermath of these intense storms.