People with umbrellas walk in heavy rain.
Widespread showers and possibly thunderstorms are set to return to NSW and Queensland from Friday. Image by David Moir/AAP PHOTOS
  • weather

More severe thunderstorms forecast across NYE weekend

Duncan Murray December 29, 2023

New Year’s Eve could be a wet one for parts of eastern Australia, with more severe weather forecast.

Widespread showers and possibly thunderstorms, which have hammered the country’s east in recent weeks, could return to NSW and Queensland from Friday.

Northeast NSW will bear the brunt of the rain in that state, with isolated and possibly severe thunderstorms beginning on Friday.

Scattered showers are forecast for the remainder of the coast, with the chance of storms.

Sydney and surrounding districts face the worst of the weather, before the highest risk of damaging thunderstorms moves further north into Saturday, stretching from Port Macquarie in the south up to Rockhampton in Queensland.

“The focus on Saturday will be through southeast Queensland and northeast NSW, including Brisbane and the Gold Coast,” meteorologist Jonathan How said.

“In this area we could see isolated, very dangerous thunderstorms bringing flash flooding, destructive winds and giant hail.”

Isolated gusty thunderstorms are also possible over western South Australia.

On Sunday, the risk of severe thunderstorms eases for NSW but continues for Queensland.

Showers and storms are a chance across parts of southern and eastern Australia, mainly NSW, eastern South Australia and northern Victoria, senior meteorologist Sarah Scully said.

There is a risk of severe thunderstorms about Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Hunter region of NSW.

Meanwhile, the country’s north is being hit by a heatwave, bringing temperatures in excess off 40C to some regions.

Storms and flash flooding across southeast Queensland have claimed seven lives since Christmas and caused significant damage to homes and infrastructure.

Thousands of people remain without power in dangerous heatwave conditions that are not expected to ease until Saturday.

Wild weather has also ravaged NSW and Victoria, with three people killed by flash flooding and a falling branch on Boxing Day.