Damaging winds and heavy rainfall are forecast in parts of the state until early this afternoon, the Bureau of Meteorology says.
About 5am on Wednesday morning, the BOM issued a severe weather warning for people in Tasmania’s North-East, East Coast, Midlands and parts of the South-East, Central North and Central Plateau forecast districts.
“A low pressure centre close to the East Coast of Tasmania is directing a strong south to southeasterly airstream over parts of the east of the state,” the update from the bureau read. “The airstream tends more south to southwesterly during the day.”
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The damaging southerly winds, which will average 60-70 kilometres per hour, with peak gusts of 90-100 kilometres per hour, are expected to affect areas in the state’s East, as well as in the lee of the Central Plateau.
Furthermore, gusts of about 110 kilometres are possible in places such as Swansea and Bicheno.
“Damaging winds are expected to contract to the East Coast of the state by around sunrise on Wednesday morning, then clear the East Coast around midday,” the BOM said.
Meanwhile, heavy rain – that could lead to flash flooding – has been forecast in the Midlands district until later this morning. The bureau said six-hour rainfalls of 50 millimetres had been recorded at Ross and Tunnack: “Rainfall in the Midlands district is expected to ease during the morning, and develop about the East Coast where 50-70 millimetres is expected, with rainfall in excess of 90 millimetres possible about high ground in the North-East.”
Locations that could be affected include Campbell Town, Scottsdale, St Helens, Swansea, Fingal and Orford.
People are advised to supervise children closely, check that family and neighbours are aware of weather warnings, manage any pets and livestock and secure outdoor items like furniture and play equipment.
For emergency assistance, contact the State Emergency Service on 132 500.
A further severe weather warning will be issued by 11am this morning.
As at about 4.50am this morning, there was a road weather alert for the Central North, North-East, Midlands, East Coast, North-West Coast, Western, Central Plateau, Upper Derwent Valley and South-East forecast districts.
“Icy and snow covered roads will make driving conditions dangerous during Wednesday and Thursday in parts of the North-West Coast, Central North, North-East, Western, Central Plateau, Midlands, East Coast, Upper Derwent Valley and South-East forecast districts,” the alert from the BOM said.
In a statement issued about 6.45am this morning, Tasmania Police urged motorists to drive to the conditions on elevated roads, due to the potential for them to be affected by snow, ice, rain and damaging winds.
A long list of roads most likely to be affected was provided, including Lake Leake Highway, the Midland Highway at Spring Hill and St Peters Pass, Highland Lakes Road including Shannon Tier, Bakers Tier, Barron Tier and Quamby Bluff and Poatina Road.
A significant number of roads are closed across Southern Tasmania, while just one is closed In the North: Lilydale Road from Rocherlea to Lilydale.
Roads in the Midlands and Central Highlands areas are open to all vehicles, as is the stretch of the Midland Highway from Breadalbane to Launceston, including the Southern Outlet – but police warned that motorists “should adhere to cautions regarding icy conditions”.
The stretch of the Tasman Highway between Waverly and Nunamara is open only to four-wheel drive vehicles.
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