Australians planning to park themselves on the couch this New Year’s Eve instead of heading out may not be missing much with grey and cloudy weather conditions expected.
Conditions for cities along the east coast, including Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, will be grey and cloudy, according to a senior meteorologist at the weather bureau.
“If you are staying indoors (on New Year’s Eve) it won’t be such a bad thing because it will be quite grey for many cities,” senior meteorologist Jonathan How told NCA NewsWire on Thursday.
Storms and showers were expected for much of the country’s north, and the only cloud-free parts of the country would be the west and Central Australia, he said.
In Brisbane there’s cloudy skies and the chance of showers expected right up until the stroke of midnight, and in Sydney showers are expected to clear before the fireworks.
The nation’s capital Canberra will be cloudy, but it will be mostly dry for revellers there.
Melburnians can expect humid and cloudy conditions as they celebrate the end of 2020.
“But for New Year’s Day things are looking a bit more interesting. We’re going to see humidity increasing and the chance of afternoon showers and storms,” Mr How said.
In Hobart the cloudy and cool conditions will continue from New Year’s Eve right into the first day of 2021.
Adelaide is looking “quite nice” with dry and mild weather, and Perth is looking at clear conditions with a hot first day of the new year expected.
But Darwin should expect showers and storms on Thursday and into Friday.
Unfortunately, the grey skies are expected to worsen for the first few days of 2021 across the east coast with thunderstorms predicted across Queensland, NSW, the ACT and Victoria.
“Heading into the new year it is looking to be a very active time over much of eastern Australia due to a lot of tropical moisture moving in from the Coral Sea, and that’s going to trigger a lot of thunderstorm activity,” Mr How said.
He urged those travelling around during the early days of January to heed warnings and be aware heavy storms bring the risk of flash flooding.
“For Friday we are looking at pretty widespread storms around the east with a real focus on western Victoria, eastern South Australia and western NSW as well,” the meteorologist explained.
In those areas there could be heavy rainfall and the possibility of large hail as well as damaging winds.
However, compared with last year the bushfire risk was lower in the eastern states, he said.
“Thankfully, this year there are very few active bushfires, and because there is so much moisture in the air, dry lightning is not going to be such a risk this time because there will be so much more rainfall around.”
But temperatures are expected to soar in Western Australia for the first few days of January, with highs in the low to mid-40C range.
“I’m not expecting records to be broken, but it will be quite high,” Mr How said.
There will also be “severe to extreme” weather conditions developing in central WA, southern parts of the Northern Territory and northern parts of South Australia.