A witness in Ringwood described a “tropical storm” hitting the Melbourne suburb as torrential rain bucketed down from 2:30pm. (Supplied: Brendan Ricci)
Thunderstorms are dumping “torrential rain” across parts of Victoria, bringing flash floods, hail and strong winds to Melbourne’s suburbs that could last until tomorrow morning.
- One spot between Geelong and Ballarat received 55 millimetres of rain in 40 minutes
- School buildings at Ringwood in Melbourne’s east were flooded in the downpour
- The weather is not expected to be as extreme as record-breaking rains that hit New South Wales
The high-pressure system, which delivered record-breaking rainfall to New South Wales this week, has been slowly moving south, prompting a thunderstorm warning for Victoria.
Ringwood Secondary College geography teacher Brendan Ricci said “torrential rain” and hail began to fall from 2:30pm, with water getting into some school buildings during the 50-minute downpour.
“It was like being in the middle of a tropical storm really, because the winds were howling. We certainly had squalls that you could see where the wind was often horizontal,” he said.
“It was just extremely heavy rain, it was almost like we were in the middle of a very severe storm cell.”
The rain flooded a street next to the college, rising up the sides of the parked cars of teachers and students.
Mr Ricci said the timing made for a “pretty chaotic” end to the school day as students dashed home in the “incredibly intense rain”.
Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria @BOM_Vic “This is how quickly things can change. Here is a video of a thunderstorm moving through Avalon airport this afternoon. Wind gusted to 65 km/h and 8mm of rain recorded in 9 minutes and Sheoaks 40mm in 26 minutes. Radar at http://ow.ly/uJ9j50ym8TP”
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said the Ringwood area had received about 39 millimetres of rain, 23mm of which fell in the space of an hour.
Senior forecaster Michael Efron said the damaging storms could last until Saturday morning, but would be “hit and miss”, leaving damage in some areas while others missed out.
The locality of She Oaks, halfway between Geelong and Ballarat, received 55mm of rain within 40 minutes.
Ominous clouds began to gather over Pakenham in Melbourne’s south-east just before 3:00pm. (Twitter: @DeanSgarbossa)
The suburb of Ferny Creek, in Melbourne’s east, has received more than 30mm of rain.
The storms have also brought wind gusts of up to about 100 kilometres per hour to Horsham.
About 3:45pm, more than 20,000 customers were without power, according to power company websites.