Adelaide has been drenched by a rain band and battered by strong winds and thunderstorms overnight, prompting the State Government to issue a “code blue” to enable those sleeping rough to access additional services.
- The highest rainfall was more than 65 millimetres in parts of the Adelaide Hills
- Adelaide’s Kent Town weather station recorded the most rain since December 2016
- More than 4,000 lightning strikes were recorded in 24 hours
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said the system developed in western parts of the state and is linked to one which developed over the Great Australian Bight during the weekend.
As it moved east it dumped more than 65 millimetres at several spots in the Adelaide Hills including Mount Lofty and Aldgate Creek.
Adelaide’s Kent Town and West Terrace weather stations both recorded about 40 millimetres, with strong falls over the suburbs and the Barossa Valley.
The BOM said that today had been the wettest day that Kent Town had seen in more than two years, since December 28, 2016.
“[On that date] we had 61.2 millimetres in Kent Town, so it’s the wettest day since then,” forecaster Kylie Egan said.
“But it’s a bit of a way off our record of June for daily totals.”
The BOM said while the overnight downpour was “not record breaking”, it was nevertheless a “good rainfall event”.
“It’s up there as one of the highest daily rainfall totals for Adelaide this time of year,” Ms Egan said.
Thousands of lightning strikes recorded
The weather system also brought thunder and wind gusts, and a strong wind warning remains current for several of the state’s coasts.
“We saw thunderstorms through Adelaide and gusts of about 80 to 87 kilometres … Adelaide saw those storms around about midnight,” Ms Egan said.
The BOM said there had been more than 4,000 lightning strikes across South Australia in the past 24 hours.
BOM tweet: Highest rainfall totals to 9 am recorded across SA were about the Mount Lofty Ranges: Aldgate Creek 66.6 mm, Mt Lofty 64.6 mm. #Adelaide West Tce recorded 39.8 mm, compared to record June daily rainfall of 54.6 mm on 21/06/2005.
Regional parts of the state also received a soaking, with more than 30 millimetres recorded at regional centres Port Augusta and Port Pirie, as well as grain growing towns including Snowtown and Lameroo.
Ms Egan said the BOM believed that some parts of the state had almost reached their average rainfall for the month and warned of more to come.
Rain fronts have been forecast for later in the week, particularly for the southern coastal parts of South Australia.
“But [the rain] will be nowhere near as much as what we’ve seen with this [overnight] event,” Ms Egan said.
“There will be a couple of millimetres falling.”
In the meantime, the BOM said there was a slight chance of a shower later on Wednesday around the Adelaide Hills and southern suburbs.
The wet and windy weather has prompted the SA Government to issue its first “code blue” for the year — enabling those sleeping rough to have access to extra services.
“The code blue is a specific response for when it’s particularly dangerous for people to be exposed outside so we always encourage people to take shelter and to seek help at all times,” Human Services minister Michelle Lensink said.
The code blue has been activated in Adelaide as well as the Fleurieu Peninsula, Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Murray Bridge and the Riverland.