News National Australia’s east coast braces for a weekend of wild weather

Australia’s east coast braces for a weekend of wild weather

Spring weather
A snake warning has also been issued in NSW suburbs as temperatures soar to 40 degrees. Photo: Getty
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Australia’s eastern seaboard is bracing for severe thunderstorms, temperatures pushing 40 degrees and bushfire warnings.

In Queensland, as three storm cells move towards the east coast, damaging winds and large hailstones are likely in the Ipswich, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Moreton Bay council areas on Friday afternoon.

“Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours,” a Bureau of Meteorology warning said.

Small hail has already blanketed yards at Crows Nest and Gatton, west of Brisbane.

hail in gatton
Gatton hit by large hailstones as storms move across southeast Queensland on Friday afternoon. Photo: Twitter

Record 40-degree temperatures are expected in parts of NSW on Saturday, according to NSW’s Bureau of Meteorology.

BoM forecaster Mohammed Nabi some parts of the state could “hit the 40-degree mark”.

“If that were to happen that will be the first time since these records began.

“It would be the first time we would have seen 40-degree temperatures in September in New South Wales,” he said.

At least three locations (Burke, Tibooburra and Brewarrina) at the moment are looking to get to 40 degrees.

A total of 12 fire bans are also in place across NSW with warnings of very high to severe fire danger.

The Australian Reptile Park says “extreme caution” should be taken as people enjoy the outdoors because warmer Spring days have already led to an increase in snake activity.

The park’s head of reptiles Daniel Rumsey says NSW residents in both rural and suburban areas should be on the lookout.

Queensland’s storm warning comes ahead of a heatwave in Brisbane and parts of the state’s southeast where the forecast is expected to reach a top of 35 degrees on Saturday.

A lack of rain over winter has also increased the risk of bushfires.

South West Rural Fire Service regional manager Tony Johnstone said the Friday afternoon storms were not expected to bring much rain but “may produce dry lightning which could spark bushfires”.

The Maranoa and Warrego regions will be placed on an extreme fire alert on Saturday, while much of the rest of the state will be on very high and severe.