MELBOURNE—Thunderstorms and heavy rain swept across parts of Australias east coast on Thursday, bringing hope that some of the fierce bushfires razing the country will be extinguished or at least slowed.
Officials warned, however, that short, intense thunderstorms could lead to flash flooding, while lightning brought the risk of new fires being ignited.
“Were expecting unsettled weather for the next four or five days or so at least,” Jake Phillips, a senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio. “The rainfall in some areas might be useful and in other spots it might only be a millimetre or two.”
“There are risks associated with it, so its not always necessarily a great thing, particularly if we get the rainfall really quickly. What we really need is soaking, steady rain.”
Australia has been battling its worst bushfire season on record since September, with fires killing 29 people and millions of animals, and destroying more than 2,500 homes while razing bushland across an area the size of Bulgaria.
There were still 85 fires burning across the state of New South Wales on Thursday, with 30 of them yet to be contained, while 19 fires were alight in Victoria, according to fire authoRead More – Source