Weatherwatch: Stephen Davenport on copious rain and severe gales in South Australia

Stephen Davenport: A vigorous low pressure system brought copious rain and severe gales to South Australia

Heavy rain in New Brunswick, Canada, from Tuesday to Thursday last week, prompted flood warnings around the St John river. On the face of it, warmer, sunnier weather through the weekend, when temperatures rose above 26C, might have been expected to ameliorate the threat, but this merely served to accelerate snow melt and swell the river further.

In Australia, a vigorous low pressure system brought copious rain and severe gales to South Australia on Saturday. The storm intensified as it moved east, taking ferocious winds across Tasmania and southern Victoria on Sunday. Storm force winds blew through the Bass Strait and gusted to 95mph, and the cities of Melbourne and Geelong recorded gusts of 60mph. Melbourne was colder than at any time since last August, with a maximum temperature of 13.6C. Parts of both states were deluged with 30-50mm of rain in 24 hours, and snow fell in Victoria's uplands to a depth of 20cm. New South Wales was spared the brunt of the storm but it experienced its earliest snowfall in more than a decade.

A complex chain of shallow depressions in the western Mediterranean brought heavy rain during the weekend to southern and central France. Millau, in the Midi-Pyrénées region, was inundated with 43mm of rain through Saturday and Saturday night; another 26mm fell in just six hours up to midday Sunday, a period during which Montpellier, Languedoc-Roussillon, recorded 33mm.

Stephen Davenport, MeteoGroup

The GuardianTramp

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