Canberra weather hits record-breaking run of hot March days

Big Splash head lifeguard Jacob Cumming, still on duty above and below the water after another hot day in Canberra last month. Photo: Jay Cronan A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for ACT region. Photo: Glenn Campbell

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for the ACT with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting large hail, heavy rain, and damaging winds

The warning, issued just after 5 pm, also covers the Snowy Mountains, parts of the Hunter, Illawarra, Central Tablelands, and Southern Tablelands.

The BOM said severe thunderstorms were likely to produce heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding, large hailstones and damaging winds over the next several hours in the ACT, Snowy Mountains and parts of the Southern Tablelands.

Locations which may be affected include Cooma, Bombala, Captains Flat, Jindabyne, Bredbo and Nimmitabel.

Parts of the Hunter, Illawarra, Central Tablelands and Southern Tablelands districts could also be affected including Mudgee, Bathurst, Katoomba, Oberon, Blayney, Trunkey Creek, Hill End, Crookwell and Taralga.

The State Emergency Service advises people to move cars under cover away from trees, secure loose items around the house, unplug computers and appliances, and avoid using the phone during the storm.

People should also stay indoors away from windows, avoid flood water and keep clear of fallen power lines, creeks and storm drains.

For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.

The ACT cemented a new record for the longest run of March days above 30 degrees when the mercury crept past 30 degrees shortly after 12.30pm on Thursday.

The previous record stood since 1983, when Canberrans endured nine March days in a row over 30 degrees.

But as the temperature soared on Thursday, our consecutive streak of 30-degree-plus days hit 10, making this Canberra’s hottest start to autumn ever.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s senior climatologist Agata Imielska said Canberra’s last shot at smashing that long-standard record was in 2009, when we had six consecutive days above 30 degrees.

And with a top of 32 predicted for Friday and Saturday, it looks like that tally is set to climb even higher.

By next Wednesday, the temperature is predicted to peter out to a more manageable 25 degrees.

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