There is a severe weather warning for damaging winds across the ACT.
High winds with peaks gusts of up to 90km/h are expected on Thursday morning.
Damaging winds are being experienced in higher parts of the south east. These winds are driving up fire dangers. Highest winds 96km/h Cooma & Bombala, 95 Nerriga, 91 Goulburn, 83 Canberra. Latest weather warnings: https://t.co/Ss766eSCrL Latest fire info: https://t.co/4ggfQ8nLdwpic.twitter.com/bG1imyhoRD— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) January 23, 2020
The Bureau of Meteorology said they could reach speeds of 60 to 70km/h in the mountains around the city, peaking in gusts of 90km/hour.
"A cold front lies over southwest New South Wales, and is expected to progress through southeastern and central parts of New South Wales during Thursday. Vigorous and gusty winds are forecast ahead of the front," it said in its 4:52am update.
In Canberra itself, winds were expected to be strong but not as fierce as up in the mountains like the Brindabellas. In areas above 1900 metres, winds with peak gusts in excess of 120km/h are expected.
Canberra is forecast to reach a top of 33 degrees on Thursday. Razed dust is also expected to blow into Canberra, creating a dust haze.
There is a total fire ban for the ACT with a fire danger rating of very high.
On Monday, wind gusts reached 117 km/h at Canberra Airport. The Emergency Services Agency received a record 2100 calls for help from that storm.
"Calls for assistance have been prioritised based on the information given at the time of call, the risk to the community and the circumstances of the caller. Crews are working hard to attend all calls," it said in a statement.
"We ask that Canberrans remain patient as we clear the record number of calls for assistance. There are currently 1070 incidents outstanding and 1020 incidents have been completed."
Forecaster Rebecca Kamitakahara said at the very highest speeds, branches could be blown off trees and fire-weakened trees knocked down during the Thursday forecast high winds.
A Severe Weather Warning is current for the ACT for Damaging Winds averaging 55 - 65kmh, with gusts to 90kmh. Latest warning: https://t.co/LNKdqZSeMm Stay informed and learn how to be prepared from the ESA website: https://t.co/DLURP2juLKpic.twitter.com/v6SRTGG6RT— Bureau of Meteorology Australian Capital Territory (@BOM_ACT) January 22, 2020
Over the past month or so, the ACT has been buffeted by a series of different weather systems which have brought, firstly, drought and fire followed by hail and now wind.
The first system brought hot, dry wind from central Australia and that made ideal conditions for the bushfires which ravaged the huge area on either side of Canberra.
The hail came with a new weather system that brought moisture from the tropics.
The wind comes in a third system, with cold air coming from the Great Australian Bight.
The State Emergency Service advised people to:
- Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
- Secure or put away loose items around your house.
- Keep at least eight metres away from fallen power lines or electrified objects like fences.
- Canberra storm declared a 'catastrophe', more than 15,000 claims made
- Smash repairers to work on hail-damaged cars for 'at least' a year
- Hail damaged cars given fine amnesty in government car parks
- The hailstorm set a new record for calls to help to ACT SES
- Photos of the hailstorm that tore through Canberra
- Frances only had her new car for two hours before it was ruined by hail
- Hailstorm 'roared like a jet', and disappeared in a flash
- Hail smashes CSIRO glasshouse crop research